Cynical Theories are tearing us apart

This new book by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay is essential reading for anyone struggling to make sense of the self-contradictory ‘woke’ ideology that’s spread divisive cancel culture like a mind virus through our workplaces, public policy and social lives.

To The Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace

Kapka Kassabova is taking us back to the Balkans.

I’ve been looking forward to something new from this wonderful writer since Border, which was my top travel read of 2018.

That earlier book touched on the author’s childhood in Bulgaria, and To The Lake takes us deeper as she journeys to her grandmother’s place of origin in the mountainous Macedonian lake district.

Cut Stones and Crossroads

Cut Stones and Crossroads by Ronald Wright

Ronald Wright traveled Peru in the 1970’s and 80’s, fresh from university with a degree in archaeology, feeding an obsession with the Inca Empire sparked by a random adventure novel he’d read in his teens.

Travels With Myself And Another

Travels with Myself and Another by Martha Gellhorn

How did I live for 47 years without reading Martha Gellhorn?

She’s best known in some circles for her brief wartime marriage to the writer Ernest Hemingway, much to her chagrin. But she is better known as a brilliant war correspondent and travel writer, though she wanted to be remembered as a novelist.

The Best Books I Read in 2019

The Best Books I Read in 2019

It’s that time again.

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

Will Europe End With Marching Boots — or Malaise?

Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989?

I was sitting in the back room of our old house watching music videos on TV.

We didn’t have the specialty channels back then, but the cable company was running a free promo all week, and we could watch the movie channel and the music channel for free.

So It Goes by Nicolas Bouvier

“So it goes” recurs like a refrain throughout this collection of essays, and I found myself wishing it would go on and on.

Nicolas Bouvier is one of those legendary writers whose name circulates among travelers, but few of my North American road friends had ever heard of him. It was European friends who told me about his classic road trip book, The Way of the World.

Not a Hazardous Sport

Not a Hazardous Sport by Nigel Barley

Not a Hazardous Sport brings to a close Nigel Barley’s series of anthropological journeys that began with The Innocent Anthropologist and continued in A Plague of Caterpillars.

A Plague of Caterpillars

A Plague of Caterpillars by Nigel Barley

Nigel Barley returns to Cameroon in this hilarious follow up to The Innocent Anthropologist.

“Returns” is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, he’d only just left.

The Innocent Anthropologist

The Innocent Anthropologist by Nigel Barley

Nigel Barley was a rather unhappy “desk anthropologist” at a British university.

His fieldwork-hardened older colleagues never stopped reminding him of this, because back in their day, it wasn’t enough to camp out in a library cordoned off by stacks of journals. You had to get out and live with the natives.