Travels in Arabia Deserta

arabiadeserta.jpgCharles Doughty’s imposing 1,400 page tome is one of those strange books many people hail as a masterpiece of travel literature but which few of those people have read. Famous among scholars of Arab history and culture, it’s more often been described as “an achievement” than a gripping read. But thanks to this well chosen selection from Dover Publications, the casual reader can now enjoy some of the author’s best passages without bogging down in rambling Victorian-age digressions.

Riding Theroux’s Ghost Train

If you want to write meaningful travel literature, you’ve got to immerse yourself in everything that’s been published in the genre. In addition to reading broadly, I’ve made it a habit to read deeply of specific writers whose work truly resonates with me. I first read everything they’ve ever published. Next, I read their collected letters and journals. After that comes biographies, and finally, critical writings about the author’s work.