Conservationist’s Dream Begins in Africa
I Dreamed of Africa.There are many great Africa books, but our favorite is by Kuki Gallmann. The book deals with her introduction to Kenya in the ’60s — the death of her husband, her snake-obsessed son, and the establishment of her gigantic farm in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley which she would later transform into a conservation park. She is currently in her mid-70s, still living in Kenya and active in harmonizing the interaction between the local people, the wildlife and the tourists.
The Best Novel on the Roman Empire
Memoirs of Hadrian. This is the book to read if you are headed to Italy this summer. It took Marguerite Yourcenar some 25+ years to write the book. Written in the form of a letter from a dying man to his cousin, reflecting on all he has accomplished, loved and regretted as the Emperor Hadrian, it is always thoughtful, sometimes sad. The book gives great insight into how life was 2000 years ago, in a place with many of the buildings from that time still standing.
Quintessential Travel Writing
A.A.Gill is Away. I’m a late comer to A.A. Gill. But now that I’ve found his writings, he’s altered forever what I want in travel writing. Diving into one of his stories is akin to tucking into the undercurrents of place in the company of a witty/intelligent/sometimes caustic/hilarious/irreverent super guide. In his words: “My editor asked me what I wanted from journalism and I said the first thing that came to my head: ‘I’d like to interview places. To treat a place as if it were a person, to go and listen to it, ask it questions, observe it the way you would interview a politician or pop star.’ ”