Book Reviews: Travel
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
Read by Natalie in 2005 and Tracy in 2006
Natalie and Tracy recommends this as laugh out loud funny
This book is just hilarious, I was actually crying I was laughing so hard at times. It tells the story of Bill and his friend (Stephen Katz (a pseudonym)) as they attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail in 1996, possibly one of the longest trails in the world (approximately 2,100 miles), running from down in Virginia to up past Maine. Never mind that he has never hiked before, that doesn't stop him and although he does it in two parts and skips a section in the middle, the adventures he has along the way are so funny. From his trip to Kmart to buy camping supplies to his obsession over what to should he encounter a Brown or Grizzly bear (do I stop and curl up into the foetal position or do I climb a tree?), the book is non-stop laughs. I would highly recommend reading this not just for the comedic value but also to read about the landscape that I had no idea existed.
Check out the other reviews for Bill Bryson books Mother Tongue, At Home and In a Sunburnt Country. Bill Bryson has an official website where you can stay up to date with Bill's travels, writings. You can also view excerpts from his books, sign up for a newsletter and join him on Facebook.
Air Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones & Anonymous
Read by Natalie in 2006
Natalie recommends this as hilarious and eye-opening
This is a must read for anyone that ever flies. Set within a 24 hour time period on a fictional airline, this is a story about all the behind the scenes secrets of the aviation industry. The author has interviewed hundreds of people that work for the airlines, from the pilots to the check-in crew, baggage handlers to flight attendants. Collecting all the crazy stories and tips for dealing with annoying customers, she has packaged it all up into a hilarious and slightly scary read! For example, don't assume when you check in and the person serving you is typing away that this is a good thing. What they might be doing is actually typing a note for fellow staff members to warn them about you or possibly sitting you next to the fattest person on the plane! The best thing to do, is be polite to all of them, no matter what! Because the last thing you want are laxatives in your coffee or your food to be "dropped" on the floor. However, on the plus side, this book will provide information on the best place to have sex on a plane, what happens to your luggage when it disappears down that conveyer belt and what some of the announcements by pilots really mean! A very funny read!