Blog Update - October 2017

Seems a bit like groundhog day, both in terms of how long its taken to get this month's update done and the number of visitors to the Best Travel Books website.

October's breakdown is per below:

Unique Visitors: 41
Page Visits: 82

Niue and Landing Pages remain the most popular, although I'm starting to see an increased click-through onto some of my book reviews. In terms of countries of visitors, a real mix -  the most obscure/interesting being Guam.

During the month I finally got round to updating the Funniest Travel Books section, to include all the recent books I've read.

A very solid month for reading and reviewing books as listed below:

The Dead Yard by Ian Thomson (2009) - 3.5 stars
River of Time by Jon Swain (1995) - 5 stars
The Sun in My Eyes by Josie Dew (2001) - 3.5 stars
A Piano in the Pyrenees by Tony Hawks (2006) - 4 stars
Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost (2008) - 4.5 stars
Walking the Nile by Levison Wood (2015) - 4 stars
Where the Hell is Tuvalu? by Philip Ells (2002) - 3.5 stars
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (1971) - 4 stars
The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah (2006) - 4 stars

Jon Swain's Vietnam and Cambodia memoir, River of Time, really stands out. I have a real affinity for both of these amazing countries, having visited myself back in 2000. Swain's beautifully written book recalling events from the Vietnam War is a must read for anyone interested in this time and place in history, and rates alongside other brilliant books such as as First They Killed My Father and Stay Alive, My Son.

Lost on Planet China by Troost is another that's definitely worth reading for those who aren't easily offended. This powered its way up to Number 3 in my Funniest Books List, rating even higher than his better known The Sex Lives of Cannibals.

Other notable reads were Hunter S. Thompon's gonzo book, which needs no introductions, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a couple of home reno/ex-pat books with from Tahir Shah and Tony Hawks each, respectively, with Moroccan and French twists and finally Philip Ells' book Where the Hell is Tuvalu? about a couple of years he spent working as the People's Lawyer/Liar as part of his volunteering work. Given that there aren't too many books written on Tuvalu, I was quite pleased to find it.

This month also represented my first foray into what I'm calling the Walking Trilogy by Levison Wood. Walking the Nile was the first of the trilogy and I was so taken with it I read his follow up books Walking the Himalayas and Walking the Americas during November! Wood has a real easy writing style and can be likened to a blend of Bear Grylls and Michael Palin. Here's hoping he puts out some more material soon.

No real stinkers or disappointments this month, which means my screening process must be getting a bit better!

Happy reading!