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#33514 - 12/09/03 11:31 AM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
Promethea
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 957

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Your best bet is probably London: A Biography by Peter Ackroyd. It's the definitive work. A little long, but it's organised by theme so you could dip in and out. Actually, pretty much most of Ackroyd's books including his novels are about London.

Otherwise, what about one of the collections of 'extracts' from Pepys' diaries, or a Sherlock Holmes story for atmosphere? Brick Lane by Monica Ali is about a more multicultural London than the touristy image. I feel obliged to mention London Fields by Martin Amis but personally I hate his stuff.

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#33515 - 12/09/03 12:15 PM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
cat
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 1754
Loc: Northern California

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In the world of fiction, there's a ton set in London that gives an excellent sense of atmosphere. I love Dickens on London, especially Little Dorrit or even the very dark Our Mutual Friend, both of which are deeply embedded in the geography of London. Elizabeth Bowen's Death of the Heart has a lot of West End atmosphere from the 30s. Also, don't forget to haul out the children's books! Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Paddington, Mary Poppins--all rich sources for getting a feel for the city.

Personally, I would also want to read about the Blitz (on which note, don't miss the Imperial War Museum while you're there--it's wonderful, despite the offputting name). I don't have a good book to recommend off the top of my head, though--anyone?

I'm sure I'll think of more!

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#33516 - 12/09/03 12:24 PM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
graceless
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 574
Loc: Illinois

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 Quote:
Mary Poppins
Can anyone remind me what area of London that took place in? I love the movie, I vaguely recall reading it in second grade.
_________________________
"Sometimes I doubt your committment to Sparkle Motion!" - Donnie Darko

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#33517 - 12/09/03 01:41 PM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
Promethea
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 957

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About the Blitz - Darkness Falls From The Air, by Nigel Balchin. Very atmospheric, about the effect of the tension on people's relationships. Or also by him, The Small Dark Room, about bomb disposal, which I haven't read but was turned into a great Powell & Pressburger movie.
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#33518 - 12/10/03 06:20 PM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
Loz
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 297
Loc: Australia / UK

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I'm tentatively considering applying for a job in Slovenia (actually typing that seems to make it so much more possible.) Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions for books set in that part of the world?
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#33519 - 12/10/03 08:06 PM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
naomism
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 757
Loc: Iraq

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Loz - I recommend Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan. It's part travelogue, part history, part poli-sci, but has some good insights as to why the area is so troubled.
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#33520 - 12/15/03 11:40 AM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
Kade Carrion
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 20
Loc: Northern Virginia

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For Tuscany, I prefer the slightly less syrupy book _The Hills of Tuscany_, by Feneric Mate. It's light, quick, and breezy. (I will read the first Mayes book when in the mood for poetry, but I don't mistake it for a book that depicts reality!) I also love the Tim Parks books, _Italian Neighbors_ and _Italian Education_, but he lives in Verona, not Tuscany, so you may not be interested. (Additionally, my favorite Italy book is Mary Taylor Simeti's _On Persephone's Island_, about her life in Sicily. Very rich, and a good exploration of the mythology of the island. Again, not Tuscany *g*)

Christopher Hibbert's _The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall_ is a good historical account of the lords of Florence, since you'll be in that area.

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#33521 - 01/14/04 05:49 PM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
Stephsdad
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/03/03
Posts: 102
Loc: Toronto

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Going to Northern Arizona and New Mexico in April.
Have read all the Hillerman books and love them. Any recommended travelogues or fiction that captures the area.

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#33522 - 02/11/04 05:14 PM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
Kwe
Ching Shih


Registered: 02/15/02
Posts: 75
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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In May I'll be travelling to Denver, San Fran and Las Vegas. Any reading suggestions?
Is there a guide book about the various Missions?

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#33523 - 02/11/04 05:56 PM Re: I'm travelling to ______. What should I read?
ainsley
Ching Shih


Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 614
Loc: north carolina

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Any suggestions for Germany (especially Dresden)? How about Alaska? Or Uzbekistan/Central Asia?
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