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The Best Women's Travel Writing 2011: True Stories from Around the World

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Since publishing A Woman’s World in 1995, Travelers’ Tales has been the recognized leader in women’s travel literature, and with the launch of the annual series The Best Travel Writing in 2004, the obvious next step was an annual collection of the best women’s travel writing of the year. This title is the seventh in an annual series—The Best Women’s Travel Writing—that pre Since publishing A Woman’s World in 1995, Travelers’ Tales has been the recognized leader in women’s travel literature, and with the launch of the annual series The Best Travel Writing in 2004, the obvious next step was an annual collection of the best women’s travel writing of the year. This title is the seventh in an annual series—The Best Women’s Travel Writing—that presents inspiring and uplifting adventures from women who have traveled to the ends of the earth to discover new places, peoples, and facets of themselves. The common threads are a woman’s perspective and compelling storytelling to make the reader laugh, weep, wish she were there, or be glad she wasn’t. In The Best Women's Travel Writing 2011, readers Have lunch with a mobster in Japan and drinks with an IRA member in Ireland Learn the secrets of flamenco in Spain and the magic of samba in Brazil Deliver a trophy for best testicles in a small town in rural Serbia Fall in love while riding a camel through the Syrian Desert Ski a first descent of over 5,000 feet in Northern India Discover the joy of getting naked in South Korea Leave it all behind to slop pigs on a farm in Ecuador...and much more.


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Since publishing A Woman’s World in 1995, Travelers’ Tales has been the recognized leader in women’s travel literature, and with the launch of the annual series The Best Travel Writing in 2004, the obvious next step was an annual collection of the best women’s travel writing of the year. This title is the seventh in an annual series—The Best Women’s Travel Writing—that pre Since publishing A Woman’s World in 1995, Travelers’ Tales has been the recognized leader in women’s travel literature, and with the launch of the annual series The Best Travel Writing in 2004, the obvious next step was an annual collection of the best women’s travel writing of the year. This title is the seventh in an annual series—The Best Women’s Travel Writing—that presents inspiring and uplifting adventures from women who have traveled to the ends of the earth to discover new places, peoples, and facets of themselves. The common threads are a woman’s perspective and compelling storytelling to make the reader laugh, weep, wish she were there, or be glad she wasn’t. In The Best Women's Travel Writing 2011, readers Have lunch with a mobster in Japan and drinks with an IRA member in Ireland Learn the secrets of flamenco in Spain and the magic of samba in Brazil Deliver a trophy for best testicles in a small town in rural Serbia Fall in love while riding a camel through the Syrian Desert Ski a first descent of over 5,000 feet in Northern India Discover the joy of getting naked in South Korea Leave it all behind to slop pigs on a farm in Ecuador...and much more.

30 review for The Best Women's Travel Writing 2011: True Stories from Around the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I took my time with this book and savored each of the tales in this compilation. What an inspiration! Each woman has an amazing story, worthy of just a bit of envy . . . The events detailed ranged from dancing, climbing, or camel riding, to falling in love or powering through heart-break. But to me, besides travel, the thread that connected each one was bravery. Loved it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gary Buslik

    I usually don't read women's travel writing for the same reason I don't read the Williams-Sonoma catalog. I'm just not interested in six pages on the texture of Venetian salami, the aroma of Bavarian salted caramel truffle tart, or the orgasm-inducing flavor of Scottish smoked salmon. I don't need to know that the author slept with local guide Bruno to find post-divorce closure, only to come to realize she had lost her identity in Trafalgar Square in the early 1970s, and that the mysterious Span I usually don't read women's travel writing for the same reason I don't read the Williams-Sonoma catalog. I'm just not interested in six pages on the texture of Venetian salami, the aroma of Bavarian salted caramel truffle tart, or the orgasm-inducing flavor of Scottish smoked salmon. I don't need to know that the author slept with local guide Bruno to find post-divorce closure, only to come to realize she had lost her identity in Trafalgar Square in the early 1970s, and that the mysterious Spaniard sitting across from her on the train reminds her of her poodle, Luis. But I picked up Best Women's Travel Writing 2011 because I enjoyed and admired editor Lavinia Spalding's seminal book Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler. Still, in BWTW I wasn't expecting much in the way of an exceptional anthology. But essay after essay proved me wrong, and I'm here to say I had been as closed-minded and stupid as when I believed no woman could ever beat me at racquetball. This is not Eloise Goes to Paris fluff but extraordinary literature that just happens to involve traveling—prose that digs deep and stays with you. Every essay is a work of art, and it's remarkable that we can find so much brilliant writing in one place for under twenty bucks. If Spalding plays racquetball, I'm available.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    This is crack. This should be a banned book if you fancy yourself a traveler but have taken root, or think you have taken root, which, if you are really a traveler, you know roots are not really roots. You can pull up anytime. I found this book in a used bookstore while looking for something else. I'd read other books in the Travelers' Tales series long ago and forgotten how wonderful they are. Lavinia Spalding did a beautiful job of editing. Story after sometimes heartbreaking story of women go This is crack. This should be a banned book if you fancy yourself a traveler but have taken root, or think you have taken root, which, if you are really a traveler, you know roots are not really roots. You can pull up anytime. I found this book in a used bookstore while looking for something else. I'd read other books in the Travelers' Tales series long ago and forgotten how wonderful they are. Lavinia Spalding did a beautiful job of editing. Story after sometimes heartbreaking story of women going and doing and seeing and experiencing. The only reason I'm not crying over my maps and guidebooks after finishing this book, is because I'm in between trips. I'm back in Colorado after living/teaching in Japan for three months. I'll return in another three and may see a bit of South America before that. I just cleared out more blech from my storage unit - storing what for why? I have no intention of landing in the foreseeable future, and this beautiful collection of travelers' stories is a reminder of that intention.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    If you hate travel, people and experiencing other cultures, then this book is not for you.. It was a lot of fun, and the stories share many emotions and relationships. Lavinia Spalding also has a nice TED talk about human relationships, which I found insightful to what she looks for in finding intriguing stories for her series.. I highly recommend this and others in the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Glen Retief

    This was better than I expected. Interesting, thoughtful stories, with more emotional depth than the tales mostly by men one finds in traditional travel anthologies.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Pierce-Garnett

    Should be titled Best Women without Family Travel Writing. It only follows woman who are single or barely married, without children, or, in one, getting away from one's family. Basically, long term, stable (i.e., boring) relationships with men or children were not trendy enough. Come on. Woman can travel with their kids, can travel with their husbands. Being a feminist no longer means 'Just me, me, me. Hear me roar." Women who travel with families are no less women or adventurers. In the end, th Should be titled Best Women without Family Travel Writing. It only follows woman who are single or barely married, without children, or, in one, getting away from one's family. Basically, long term, stable (i.e., boring) relationships with men or children were not trendy enough. Come on. Woman can travel with their kids, can travel with their husbands. Being a feminist no longer means 'Just me, me, me. Hear me roar." Women who travel with families are no less women or adventurers. In the end, these were all stories about relationships. Relationships to new loves, old loves, places, new friends, and experiences. How does this preclude relationships with children or stable families? If anything, travel with family is the ultimate harrowing adventure. Not as romantic, but no less difficult or frustrating than the logistics a summit bid. Many of these writers did settle down with families, but they chose stories of their pre-family days, like the good times ended. How about essays that equally emphasize what it's like to travel with family, or what it's like to travel with your long term partner, whether male or female, or what it's like to travel as you get older? This felt more like, see we women can travel just like the big boys. Yeah, well go further than the big boys, write where no one has gone before.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Having read all of the Best Women fiction published by Traveler’s Tales since the year 2000 I have acquired an overview. Last years 2010 collection seemed top-heavy on stories of expats who became a part of the societies they were exploring. This collection seems more inclined toward travel memoir like a story that reflects upon a situation rooted in an incident during WWII, and a failed love affair during a stint in the Peace Corp many years prior. My favorite story set in Costa Rica is written Having read all of the Best Women fiction published by Traveler’s Tales since the year 2000 I have acquired an overview. Last years 2010 collection seemed top-heavy on stories of expats who became a part of the societies they were exploring. This collection seems more inclined toward travel memoir like a story that reflects upon a situation rooted in an incident during WWII, and a failed love affair during a stint in the Peace Corp many years prior. My favorite story set in Costa Rica is written by Bridget Crocker who demonstrates courage and paddling expertise on a maiden voyage down a mean river. She begins this journey in emotional crisis, but remembers that she is strong, self reliant capable and fully engaged in life when it comes time to turn on survival skills. Several of the stories share the culture shock of young volunteers who are out to do help in regions where the grinding poverty and hardship endured by the average middle class American is simply unimaginable. I was especially taken by a story by Carol Reichert, a CEO of a large company and married mother of young children,who leaves it all behind for just a while to master the art of flamenco dancing. She reminds us that the dance is all there is.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I had the tremendous good fortune to see several of these women read their short stories in NYC and bought the book. Being a fan of the Best American Travel Writing, I figured a women's only version would be a good addition to my library. I was right. As expected, some stories really resonated and others didn't, but the one undeniable trait they all share is they are incredibly well-written, evocative tales. I'd highly recommend. I had the tremendous good fortune to see several of these women read their short stories in NYC and bought the book. Being a fan of the Best American Travel Writing, I figured a women's only version would be a good addition to my library. I was right. As expected, some stories really resonated and others didn't, but the one undeniable trait they all share is they are incredibly well-written, evocative tales. I'd highly recommend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ChrissieP

    Remarkable women recount extraordinary adventures each with intrigue and flair.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Harrison

    Interesting travel stories to intersperse with other reading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    J Treiber

    If you want sporadic short stories, not a bad read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This was a fabulous collection of stories that shed some more light on the 'whys' people travel. I have been reading a lot of travel guides for information and also some travelogues of others who have completed 'round the world' trips and through this process for the first time in my life I have encountered difficult books to read. Books that did not flow or I just couldn't align myself with them. So now I am delving into the world of travel writing to see how the 'pros' do it. This collection w This was a fabulous collection of stories that shed some more light on the 'whys' people travel. I have been reading a lot of travel guides for information and also some travelogues of others who have completed 'round the world' trips and through this process for the first time in my life I have encountered difficult books to read. Books that did not flow or I just couldn't align myself with them. So now I am delving into the world of travel writing to see how the 'pros' do it. This collection was stunning, descriptive and allowed me to see the difference in my journal writing style to what is actually out there and professionally done. I cannot wait to read the others in this series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I got this book free in a Goodreads giveaway. I have not finished all of these stories yet, I usually read one before bedtime here and there. If you read this and struggle with vocabulary (such as myself, I struggle with reading comprehension) make sure you have a dictionary close by. I have enjoyed all of the stories and am inspired to travel and create my own stories. I will be finishing this book soon!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lucija

    Overall a good book. I struggled with some stories, but thankfully they are short. I like when the story is focused on cultures/countries and not their love dramas. At times I got a feeling that some writers can not overcome their past relationships and are clinging on to those memories. On the other side I enjoyed the stories that showcase independence from the need to be with a man and close the love chapter when it is to be closed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Baas

    I found this to be a great book. I found the stories abuot the different ladies travel to be very interesting. I will definitely look for more of these and would recommend the book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    Great summer read. Had the pleasure of discussing the stories in my book club with the editor in attendance. Must book a new adventure. (just won't be as adventuresome as the tales in this book. ) Great summer read. Had the pleasure of discussing the stories in my book club with the editor in attendance. Must book a new adventure. (just won't be as adventuresome as the tales in this book. )

  17. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    Great diversity of travel essays here, I really enjoyed learning about all the different places these authors lived and traveled to. The writing itself was more of a mixed bag.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Lee

    Some stories were very interesting. I guess I enjoy reading complete novels vs. short stories.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gwen Hardin

    Brilliant writing in this book. I feel as if I've traveled all over the world and experienced all kinds of culture. Especially enjoyed the variety of writers and stories. Brilliant writing in this book. I feel as if I've traveled all over the world and experienced all kinds of culture. Especially enjoyed the variety of writers and stories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steven Spector

    Most essays are very easy reads but don't let that fool you. Most are warm and poignant admitting to a life lesson without being preachy or obvious. I may have smiled involuntarily a few times. (<: Most essays are very easy reads but don't let that fool you. Most are warm and poignant admitting to a life lesson without being preachy or obvious. I may have smiled involuntarily a few times. (<:

  21. 4 out of 5

    Coleen

    I didn't know what to think....Maybe it's me. I love travel writing, but this collection was not my cup of tea. I may need to revisit it this summer and give it another shot. I didn't know what to think....Maybe it's me. I love travel writing, but this collection was not my cup of tea. I may need to revisit it this summer and give it another shot.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ian Tymms

    Very readable, honest, engaging and entertaining. Great potential as a mentor text in our Grade 8 reading and writing program.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Arleen Shulman

    Most of these writings are frustratinly short.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate Young

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dannielle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Angela

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