Testimonials

Praise for The Creative Spark

Michael Shapiro’s finely tuned, informed and intimate interviews strike to the heart of the matter.

Tim Cahill, author of Hold the Enlightenment

Questions are knowledgeable, probing, and thoughtful leading to moments as when Melvin Seals recalls his hesitancy to join The Jerry Garcia Band as ‘a church boy walking into a world of all these skeletons.’  … The artists’ discussions are organic and sometimes amusing, and their inclusion is guided by Shapiro’s admiration of his subjects.  

Foreword Reviews on The Creative Spark

Michael Shapiro is a genius at doing interviews, not just writing them but getting all of the famous people to talk to him.  

Elaine Petrocelli, owner, Book Passage bookstore

The cumulative effect [of The Creative Spark] is really much bigger than a bunch of individual interviews. I feel filled up, not overfull, but satisfied and moved by all of these people and their collective experiences. It’s really a portrait of life writ large, with the compelling undercurrent that these ‘famous people’ are real people like the rest of us. These are people living their lives, pursuing what most profoundly interests them, and by doing so, marvelous stuff happens. It’s like alchemy; something magical occurs. Something real gets created and shared, and we’re all the better for it.  

Larry Habegger, executive editor, Travelers’ Tales

This book is meet people you’ll love who you never knew or thought you knew but didn’t.

James O’Reilly, publisher, Solas House

Praise for A Sense of Place

I’ve never thought of us so-called travel writers as forming a comradeship, but in this innovative book, Shapiro brings our motley crew into a single focus by surveying eighteen of us, as writers and as people, through a single pair of perceptive, generous, and imaginative eyes.

Jan Morris author of A Writer’s House in Wales

I enjoyed A Sense of Place down to the last drop. This is a wonderful book, full of literary and experiential allusions — a fascinating read.

Keith Bellows, editor, National Geographic Traveler

Travel writer” is much too claustrophic a label to hang on some of the finest nonfiction writers of our generation, and Michael Shapiro coaxes out fascinating insights into their journeys, their craft and the beloved places they leave behind.

John Flinn, travel editor, San Francisco Chronicle

Journalist and travel writer himself, Michael Shapiro convinced the publishers of Travelers’ Tales to let him travel to the four corners to interview some of the best writers in his field. As a result of Shapiro’s intelligent inquiries, we learn quite a bit about Paul Theroux, Isabel Allende, Bill Bryson, Arthur Frommer, Rick Steves, Jeff Greenwald and others. The book is excellent.

Mike Cleary, The Contra Costa Times, July 28, 2004

Shapiro’s descriptions of each writer were miniature masterpieces, I felt, every one, in part because each was so different and in every case you evoked the very special and unique atmosphere of Isabel Allende showering her kindness on everyone, Tim Cahill and his open heart, Jan Morris with her wry compassion, Eric and Wanda Newby twinkling together. I know a lot of the people you describe in the book, and I feel you highlighted what is special about them and informs their writing.

Pico Iyer, author of Sun After Dark

Whether it’s getting up at 4 a.m. to photograph the sunrise over Jerusalem, or prowling Waikiki Beach’s Halloween madness, Michael Shapiro goes beyond the ordinary in his travels — and his writing. He brings a passion to his topics, digging beyond the surface to find deeper meanings and connections. But always with a sense of fun. And in the end, he and his readers are wiser for the effort.

Larry Bleiberg, travel editor, Dallas Morning News

Hooray for Michael Shapiro, for bringing us these sweet insightful visits with the great creators of contemporary travel literature. These are the writers who gave so many of us our longing for the road, our passion for place, who informed our own wanderings. I always wondered about their lives, and it took Michael Shapiro to track them down, get them talking, and share with us their perspectives on our world. They’ve been everywhere on the bluegreen earth, and they’ve chosen the best places to make their homes.

Lynn Ferrin, former travel editor, Via magazine

Reviews for Internet Travel Planner

A leading authority on using the Net for travel, Michael Shapiro shows how to find the best bargains online and how to use the Web to become a more informed traveler.

Arthur Frommer

Shapiro has collected the latest and best of the Net in this welcoming and well- structured guide. From bargains to bookings, from selecting a tour company to mapping out your route and staying connected online, it should answer all of your questions – and then some. Passports and visas online; worldwide weather and health information; vacation packages; cruise, rail and airline Web sites – these days the world is literally at your fingertips, and this book will show you how to find it. More than just a laundry list of Web sites, it offers plain-English suggestions for getting the most out of your online research.

San Francisco Chronicle, April 9, 2000

Excellent online planning tips and resources.”

Rick Steves, author, Europe Through the Back Door

We’ve seen other books that have tried to pass themselves off as travel Web guides. The reason we haven’t mentioned any of them before now is that they were laundry lists. Ah, but this title truly is a guide. It does include the laundry list of sites, but first takes you by the mouse and, click by click, teaches you to use the Internet in general and to conduct travel research in particular…Open the book to almost any of its 280 pages, and you’ll see color pictures of actual travel Web pages…The whole is written in easy to understand English – not computerese – and divided by color-coded headlines and other attractive visual elements. 

Chicago Tribune, March 12, 2000

Reviews for Guatemala: A Journey Through the Land of the Maya

This hauntingly beautiful book has brilliantly captured the current-day life and culture of the Maya in Guatemala. Michael Shapiro’s text and Kraig Lieb’s photos will cement their reputations as among our leading travel writers and photographers.

Arthur Frommer, founder, Frommer’s Guides

Michael Shapiro’s lyrical text paints a vivid picture of Guatemala and when combined with Kraig Lieb’s evocative photography the result is a stunning portrait of this Central American country. This book makes me want to jump on the next plane. 

Robert Holmes, National Geographic photographer

Get in touch

Please drop me a line. Whether you’re interested in The Creative Spark or my journalism, or are a long-lost friend, I’d enjoy hearing from you.