An offbeat work that will likely provide inspiration to travel again in the future.

WHY TRAVEL?

A WAY OF BEING, A WAY OF SEEING

A nonfiction book on how, where, and why to visit places around the world.

Thompson, the author of Art and Craft: Thirty Years on the Literary Beat (2015),has written a somewhat unique travel book based on his previously published travel articles in Charleston, South Carolina’s Post and Courier. Each chapter includes an introductory essay on an aspect of travel followed by examples of places to go that relate to that topic. Along the way, the author offers challenges to conventional travel wisdom. For example, although the book is international in scope, it includes plenty of encouragement for Americans to travel in the United States. Indeed, an early chapter is about how Americans should see North America first, before venturing outside the continent—although it also emphasizes that this includes Canada, as well as the U.S., and provides an account of what to see in Quebec City. (He also includes Mexico in this section, as well.) Not everything has to be “off the beaten path”to be meaningful, writes Thompson, as plenty of intriguing things can be found in the familiar. That said, he also does justice to the well-known and lesser-known wonders of Europe and beyond, tackling the new vibrancy of modern Spain and Athens, Greece, beyond the Parthenon. There are also chapters that focus on the joys of train and automobile travel while also acknowledging the challenges of both—such as the fact that a car’s driver may find it difficult to enjoy road-trip scenery. And in a book that admittedly focuses on travel for solo adventurers and couples, he promotes the idea that family travel can also be adventurous and meaningful. There are a few flaws, though; for one, the author is somewhat inconsistent in providing travel tips in each chapter—some offer specific information on lodgings, for example, while others don’t. Also, there’s only a passing reference to the tragic history of Jewish people in the Prague area, which may strike some readers as insensitive.

An offbeat work that will likely provide inspiration to travel again in the future.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73612-640-0

Page Count: 194

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2021

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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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