Reading to Write: How Much for a Book?

The connection between landscape and character is never far away…

A few readers have asked me how much research goes into the writing of a book.

How much do you have to read in order to write?

The Best Books I Read in 2016

It’s that time again.

I typically read about 100 books a year. Everything from travel literature to poetry, history, psychology, fiction and memoir.

I love reading lists and recommendations, and I bet a few of you do, too. So at year’s end, I like to take a moment to share my top reads of the past twelve months.

Art, Man and Technology

Evening views over Pariser Platz from the Akademie der Künste exhibit...

Evening views over Pariser Platz from the Akademie der Künste exhibit…

Okay, I swiped that title from Steve Kilbey. It’s the name of a really cool box set containing a CD of spoken word tracks that accompany a series of postcards printed from his paintings. I highly recommend checking it out — my favourite prose poetry pieces on there are The Visitor and The Lonely City.

Tachikawa: Where My Writing Life Began

Tachikawa has grown and changed...

Tachikawa has grown and changed…

I’ve been running this website since March 2009, and this is my 300th blog. I guess that’s an anniversary of sorts, and it got me thinking about my early years as a writer.

How to Go Deep — Doing Your Pre-Trip Homework

You get out of a trip what you put into it...

You get out of a trip what you put into it…

The topic of pre-trip reading came up on my Facebook page the other day when we were discussing Iceland.

I want to share a little of my process, because I think you’ll find it helpful.

The Best Books I Read in 2015

It’s that time again.

I typically read about 100 books a year. Everything from travel literature to poetry, history, psychology, fiction and memoir. I love reading lists and recommendations, and I bet a few of you do, too.

So at year’s end, I like to take a moment to share my top reads of the past twelve months.

Take an Armchair Journey to the Deep South

Deep South

Our greatest living travel writer does it again.

I think this may be Paul Theroux’s best travel book in years. It’s more considered and introspective than some of his previous (all thoroughly excellent) books. Perhaps because it’s based on repeated journeys through the same places over the course of four seasons, rather than a journey through a place wth an end goal in mind.

The Story Behind the Cover

I’ve always gotten a lot of comments about the book cover of Vagabond Dreams.

It really jumps off the shelf, and I loved it the first time I saw it. I thought you might like to know some of the symbolism behind it.

Vagabond Dreams

And the Winners Are…

I read something like 100 books a year. All sorts of stuff, from travel literature, history, fiction, classics, philosophy and memoir. And I like to end each year with a quick wrap up of what I liked best.

This Simple Trick Will Set Your Writing Free

It might surprise you to learn that I changed my name when I wrote Vagabond Dreams.

No, I didn’t trudge down to the courthouse and get myself a new legal alias.

I changed my name in the manuscript.