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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

The Best American Travel Writing of 2008

I’ve fallen to the hype of Anthony Bourdain and his No Reservations show on the Travel Channel. I’ve watched it for some time now and attribute it as the sole reason for me turning the ol’ dial back there. I was so sick of many of the other programs they ran that I just flipped it off and never anticipated turning back. But when Bourdain came on, I took notice of the Travel Channel once more and now check back for a couple different shows that I really enjoy.
I suppose this is why, when I saw Anthony Bourdain edited it, I was interested in The Best American Travel Writing 2008. I probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at it otherwise, but when I saw his name associated with the book I was intrigued and wanted a copy. Thankfully Santa was good to me and left it under the tree this year.
Before we got too far in to 2010 I wanted to catch up on what I missed in 2008. And yeah, I know I’m missing 2009, but that’ll come another day. I’m still catching up on the stacks of books on my shelf at home, probably 20 deep, and I figured I should read this one before moving on to the others.
Anyway, I generally liked the book. There were a couple of stories that made me raise an eyebrow over, thinking that it’s more a story of social issues and not really one meant in a travel book. But, when you think about it, travel is quite personal and can take a zillion different forms. What might be traveling for me may not be for another and so forth. So, as it is, I took each story in the book and read it as though it were a story simply about travel. I can’t say I enjoyed them all, but I did like the book and would recommend it to anyone.
I hate to ruin an ending of a book for anyone. I know that seems odd to say when it’s a collection of different stories, opposed to one long one, but I really enjoyed how Bourdain wrapped this together. I can see he put a lot of thought in terms of the order of the stories, probably with the help of series editor Jason Wilson, and how the flow would work. I think this helped me appreciate all of the stories that much more. It all really worked well together, even the foodie stories that one would expect from Bourdain.
And speaking of Anthony, I think he’s on right now on the Travel Channel. Time to go see what he’s up to…

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