Headed West on the China Clipper…

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I read a fascinating book last week called Pan American Clippers: The Golden Age of Flying Boats by James Trautman. It’s about a forgotten age of air travel, when men were men, adventure was waiting around every corner, and the world was a much larger place.

Mean and Lowly Things

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A lone mud-spattered researcher in torn khaki pants and sweat-stained sleeveless t-shirt kneels in the dirt in front of a makeshift shelter, carefully injecting formalin into a toad to halt the onset of decay. Tiny sweat bees cloud around her head, crawling into her nose and ears and getting into the corners of her eyes. She’s so concentrated on her work that she barely notices them. Suddenly, a man from the nearby Pygmy village bursts into camp.

Untitled #23

Untitled23.jpgIn addition to reviewing classic works of travel literature, I’d also like to draw your attention to works of outstanding artistic merit. The sort of thing that’s likely to appeal to those who enjoy my prose. The music of The Church has formed the soundtrack for every journey I’ve ever taken. Allow me to introduce you to their latest album: Untitled #23.

As a Friend

asafriend.jpgI normally stick to recommending classics of travel literature, but I’m going to break my own habit because I enjoyed this book so much.

This slim first novel from renowned poet Forrest Gander punches well above its weight in ounces. It’s the perfect size for the side pocket of your backpack, and great travel reading because, like poetry, you’ll find yourself returning to it again and again.

The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

milleraircon.jpgThough Henry Miller’s book on Greece, The Colossus of Maroussi, is generally regarded as his greatest achievement, he also wrote a second travel book which should be regarded as a definite classic of the genre.

Painkiller

Every journey needs a soundtrack. The music of The Church has always formed the backdrop of mine. The band’s singer, Steve Kilbey, an accomplished lyricist, poet, blogger and painter, has also been one of my most significant writing influences. Allow me to introduce you to Kilbey’s recent solo album: Painkiller.