Last year I reviewed Sarah Vowell’s book “Unfamiliar Fishes” for the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s an uneven book, but recently I’ve learned of a book by Julia Flynn Siler that appears much more promising: Lost Kingdom. I look forward to reading Siler’s book, “a tale of one of the most breathtaking land grabs of the [...]
The flames rise 30 feet into the air, casting a lurid glow on spectators’ faces. The burning effigy gives off a villainous stench, its acrid smoke engulfing the plaza. Bomberos (firefighters) watch nervously as thousands of Guatemalans howl and rejoice, stamping their feet and jumping into the air to get a better view of the demise of el diablo.
When my book A Sense of Place came out a few years ago I got compliments about being a good interviewer. But here’s the secret: I interviewed people — the world’s leading travel writers — who had something to say. I had a similarly delightful experience interviewing author Anne Lamott who recently published Some Assembly [...]
I’ve just heard there’s still time to sign up for the 20th annual Book Passage Travel & Food Writing & Photography Conference. An amazing line-up of teachers includes LA Times travel editor Catherine Hamm, actor-turned-travel writer Andrew McCarthy, SF Chronicle travel editor Spud Hilton, NYT contributor David Farley and many others. I was a student [...]
David Sedaris is not a rock star. He’s an author, radio contributor, humorist, playwright, and essayist. Yet when he walks onstage Saturday night , October 30, at the Wells Fargo Center, he’ll be greeted with as much effusive enthusiasm as any heartthrob musician. This slight, 53-year-old man is not only talented, insightful and funny, with [...]
“Come, I’d like to show you something,” says Jan Morris, the eminent Welsh author. We’re at the rustic Pen-y-Gwryd, a 200-year-old lodge clinging to the foothills of Mount Snowdon, Wales’ highest peak, where climbers Edmund Hillary, John Hunt, and others trained for 1953 Everest expedition. After a hearty lunch of steak pie and Guinness stout [...]