Kirsty Henderson, of NerdyNomad.com just put out a new e-book, “The Underground Guide to International Volunteering.” If you are thinking about volunteering overseas or if you are interested in reading from those who have done it, it’s your best choice for the most up to date information, resources, and advice. There are a lot of interviews in the 63 page e-book and most every one of the volunteers will tell you it’s been a good experience. Did I mention I dig the cover as well?
Interesting book American book stores probably don’t have on the shelves. The Pink Box explores Japan’s sex fantasy clubs little known to westerners. You can get a small sampling of the book and the crazy underground that is Tokyo here. Joan Sinclair takes some great photographs and dives into the scene.
I haven’t brought up Anthony Bourdain after all these posts. And if you don’t know who he is, Anthony is a long time chef turned author… turned successful everything relating to food. He host’s ‘No Reservations’ on the travel channel. But here’s my take. I love his ‘Kitchen Confidential’ book (went through it in about 4 straight hours). I enjoy his show, and I somewhat like the personality.
He has a blog on the travel channel site you can check out here. Anthony is no doubt skilled and talented. I think he is a very good ambassador to other countries when he travels, which is big in my book, but I find him a little dishonest. Let me explain. I think as a host, you have to know how to use humor when situations are not good. You have to give an honest opinion and then make the guy not feel like entire crap. And humor is how you do this. Instead Bourdain only knows that adjective sarcastic wit. He’s good at it, but it seems that’s all he knows. But that’s my only one gripe with the guy. I’d welcome him anywhere and even ate at his restaurant in Miami “Les Halles.” One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had.
I guess over two years ago I purchased the Lonely Planet Blue List 2006. It was a well designed book, but now entirely practical when it comes to an actual guide book, which was the point I suppose. And then when the 2007 book came out, LP offered a special “Purchase the Blue List 2007 and get a free copy of Blue List 2006.” Well, I was interested in the 2007 edition (which was orange) so I got it and gave the 2006 book to a friend. So when 2008 came out, I’m thinking…okay…let’s wait a year and get two at one time to save money (2009 & 2008). Well 2009 came and no Blue List. Instead LP came out with ‘Best in Travel 2009.’ And as I assumed, they offered a free copy of 2008 Blue List with it, shown above. So I guess LP decided the Blue List wasn’t working anymore. Which is a bit of a shame, since it was an interestingly designed book. Bottom line…I’m going to be pissed if they come out with Blue List 2009 and I just bought this combo. Wow…that took way more effort to explain than what I was shooting for.
Subway/Metro/Train maps are interesting to me for some reason. I think it’s the colors and lines that make it into it’s own little piece of art with a purpose. The first time you look at a map you’re completely confused, then it starts to make sense once you give it some time and then finally you can project a little confidence in understanding how it flows. That probably sounds really exasperating. Anyways, a cool travel trends book you can get on Amazon for about $15.
I must admit I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferriss, author of The 4 Hour Work Week. And I’m not really a fan of much. I use his site for inspiration and to pass some time if needed. His blog is found at http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog. Basically he’s the guy you want to be. He first came off to me as arrogant, but after reading and going through his site, it’s not arrogance, it’s just he’s done a lot of cool things we all wish we could. I’m jealous. My favorite quote of his… “They don’t make statues of critics.”
Lulu.com brings us the Urban Gridded Notebook created by John Briscella. The sketch notebook is for creatives who want to map out their own cities, track their movements, and not be distracted by anything on maps. The above image is a sample page from the notebook. Each page is an actual city (listed at the back of the book). Very creative….I am loving this. 125 cities from around the world for under $16.00….not bad at all.
Falcon Guides is an outdoor adventurer’s guide book. They cover road biking, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, trails, camping, paddling, fishing, skiing, and even rockhounding…whatever the hell rockhounding is. I need to wiki that apparently. I got a look into one of their guidebooks, and they look very detailed and have good maps. Great guidebook for specific outdoor travel.
Here we have Rolf Potts book about Vagabonding. Vagabonding…if you don’t already know, is long term world travel, never settling basically. Some past small slices of culture lived this way. If you want to check out his book, it’s at Vagabonding.net. He also keeps up a blog that has some really good original content at Vagablogging.net (pretty clever I thought).
The Me No Speak Travel Guide for China is going on year 4 I believe, but they have just recently introduced Japan and Thailand. These guides are pocket sized and full of pictures. Just turn to the color coded page for what you are trying to get (food…transportation….sex?) and point.
I like the fact that most Americans attempt to blend in while visiting Europe and such, but when we go to the East…it’s like…well screw it, I don’t even look the part so I don’t feel nearly as dumb pointing to elementary school pictures to find a toilet. (And for the record…I’m not sure there is a section on sex)