Title: The Best American Travel Writing 2010
Editor: Bill Buford
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Publisher: Mariner Books
Genre: Non-Fiction, Travel, Essays
Rating: 4 out of 5
This collection of essays represent the best of American travel writing published in 2010.
I’ve always been intrigued by the books in the Best American series, but it’s really the travel writing I’ve had my eye on. I’m always looking for more travelogues, and this seemed like the perfect way to discover new authors in the genre.
The selection of essays included in The Best American Travel Writing 2010 vary greatly. Tom Bissel’s Looking for Judas deals with history as much as it does travel as Bissell searches for the historical figure of Judas. David Sedaris’ Guy Walks Into a Bar Car uses the author’s trademark humor to discuss a journey by train across the United States, and works incredibly well as both a travel story and one centered in humor. The Ponzi State by George Packer isn’t really about travel; instead, it’s a discussion of the real estate situation in Florida, but it’s still fascinating. Me, Myself, and Ribeye by Steven Rinella will delight both foodie and travel writing fans, as it chronicles the author’s trip across Argentina to find the perfect steak. These four selections were really highlights of the collection for me.
Of course, there were other essays that didn’t resonate as well. Some of the essays didn’t seem travel related, except for the fact that they were set in a different country (admittedly, that’s the case with The Ponzi State - set in Florida - but I found it so interesting and well-written that it didn’t bother me). Like any anthology, different essays will appeal to different audiences, but I have no doubt that if you like travel writing, you will find something to love in this collection.