Top 5 at A Traveler's Library in the Merry Month of May

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Jun 11, 2009 / 2 comments

Hello from A Traveler’s Library. We had a happening month over at the library, traveling (in literature, movies and song) to several foreign countries and some domestic destinations, welcoming popular guests, and celebrating the 100th post.

It was Blogathan week, which meant filling that page (feeding the beast, in journalistic parlance) with fresh content every single one of the 31 days of May. Yes, a big month, but topped by a move to a totally new look starting in June.

Adding music into the mix of the usual books and movies that inspire and enhance travel turned out to be a popular move.  Wandering Educators’ Music Editor, Kerry Dexter wrote about two singers from Scotland and one from Ireland. Her posts turned out to be first and third place in traffic draws for the month. Thanks, Kerry.

Another popular guest post introduced us to William Dalrymple’s A Year in Delhi. Sue Dickman, who lives part of each year in India, brought us her favorite book and some nice photographs.

During the week leading to the highly-hyped release of the rather ordinary movie based on a similarly mediocre book, Angels and Demons, I focused on Italy with books about art of Italy, literature of Italy, Miscellany of Italy, and books on Naples, Florence, and Ancient Rome.

Although the story line of Angels and Demons is feeble and error-prone, the movie's scenery justifies the price of the ticket.  Movie goers see glorious Rome in aerial views, careening-through-the-street views and scenes with close-up views of the interior of the Sistine Chapel which looked oh-so-real but were created digitally.  Seeing as how the Vatican did not allow the movie crew inside any buildings belonging to the church, they managed to create some very convincing scenes.

If you need a guide to follow the action of the book as it criss-crosses Rome, check with Wandering Educators' Italy editor, Angela Nickerson.  Her FREE digital book, Rome's Angels and Demons, serves as a terrific guide to art, churches and architecture of Rome, even if you never read the thriller or see the movie.


The Coliseum, Rome

The Coliseum, Rome


Finally, in this month of rather off-beat choices--music and movies--a cookbook came in fourth in the ratings. "What ever happened to travel literature?" you may be asking.  Never fear, there was plenty of that, too, it just got edged out in popularity by the novelties--including a cookbook.

At any rate, I was delighted that so many people were interested in Gallatoire's:Biography of a Bistro--for several reasons.
1: It combines a few recipes with delightful story-telling and presentation of a place--my favorite kind of cookbook.
2: It tells about an iconic restaurant in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans.
3: The co-author, Kenneth Holditch, who wrote the book with Marda Burton, has been a friend ever since I interviewed him and he led me on a literary tour of his beloved city.

The post suggested some other cookbooks, including my favorite Louisiana cookbook, the thick The Picayune's Creole Cookbook, published by the Times Picayune in the early 1980's. I have since learned that the newspaper published a new book called Cooking Up a Storm after Hurricane Katrina because so many people had lost family recipes, and the paper became a recipe exchange. I have not read this one yet, but it sounds like it is packed with good stories.


play it, mister - new orleans

Can I play it, Mister? - New Orleans


I hope you'll find something here to enhance your travels to Scotland, Ireland, India, Italy and New Orleans and I'll see you next month, when I'll be talking about some classic travel literature and maybe some brand new books and movies as well. And come on over and tell us how you like the new look.


Party Party in New Orleans

Party Party in New Orleans



Vera Marie Badertscher is a freelance travel writer who blogs about books, travel and movies at A Traveler's Library and about a biography she is co-authoring of Navajo artist Quincy Tahoma.

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