Even the most confirmed armchair travelers will find themselves infected with wanderlust after reading this irresistible...

Good Globe


Oh, the places you’ll go and the things you’ll see in this debut collection of travel essays.

Simpson offers a lively, inventive, and often hilarious book about her around-the-world adventures. In the first chapter, she double-dog-dares readers to plunge into “A world of bloated goats, warm Coca-Cola, dust facials, and unpredictable sleeping arrangements.” But she adds, somewhat reassuringly, that all is never lost, and that “a native might mysteriously whip out a plasma screen TV and hook it up to some dude’s gold tooth.” The book takes readers on a harrowing tour of a massive Bolivian prison, then island-hops among the assorted Edens of Fiji. Most memorable, perhaps, is a hazardous journey that ends at a hush-hush nirvana deep in the Laotian jungle. All the while, like a blissed-out scout leader, the author implores readers to go now, before all the hidden places are discovered; she’s only writing about the Laotian experience, she says, because it’s already on the Web. Some of her travel stories are more mundane than others; for example, her tale of her stint in the London school system as a sex-and-drug counselor doesn’t seem travel-related enough, nor does her story of picking apples in New Zealand. Still, she usually finds something to write about, no matter the circumstance. How lax is airport security in Fiji?: “I felt like I could have worn a marijuana jacket with a hat made out of dynamite sticks and carried in a bag full of teenagers with price tags stuck to their foreheads.” Still, she never lets readers forget that travel isn’t all Thai sticks, sweet sex, and cocktails on the beach; one chapter here is titled “Death and Vomit.” But she impresses on readers over and over that the benefits far outweigh the discomfort. Although she’s apparently incapable of penning a dull sentence, Simpson does occasionally overwrite (“If there’s a rock ledge, it will make out with my forehead”), but complaining about so much verbal showmanship seems churlish. Indeed, this is the sort of book that one hopes to stumble onto every time one browses the nonfiction section at a local library.

Even the most confirmed armchair travelers will find themselves infected with wanderlust after reading this irresistible compilation.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9968566-0-7

Page Count: 362

Publisher: Drunk Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2016

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



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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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