Previously reviewed books and articles focusing on African travel:
Shadow of the Sun – Ryszard Kapusinski – Anyone who’s ever lamented the end of investigative journalism, confused Liberia with Libya, or dreamed of visiting Africa, MUST read this book. Kapusinski, the first African correspondent for the Polish state newspaper, is the Indiana Jones of international journalism. He survived crashes at sea, deadly wildlife, temperamental regimes, sinister diseases and suspicious despots to cover the end of colonialism in the continent. Landing in 1957, he was no kakhi-shorted European expat – and this compilation of articles, dispatches and observations is forever improved by the poverty he chose to live in and record. “Shadow” is one of the best books I have ever stumbled upon. It should be a required read for anyone with a speck of interest in history, journalism, or international politics. **Kapuscinski was also recently recommended for Foreign Policy Magazine’s “The Global Thinkers Book Club”, further proof that his words are magic.**
No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late – Ayun Halliday – Starting out as a fresh graduate Euro-Railing across Europe, Halliday is the typical first-time backpacker. Nervous, assured, confused, elated. As she travels through countries – and several significant others – Halliday finds herself in assorted mishaps and misadventures. At the beginning of the book, she is easy to relate to, bringing to mind my own first trips overseas. From a show-down with monkeys in India, to a dramatic performance festival in Romania, Halliday retains her youthful candor and humor throughout. However, her rambling writing style wears by the end of the book. Halliday does not appear to learn from her own lessons, but remains that typical, American backpacker even in her later travels with her first child.