Friday, November 2, 2012

Le Road Trip - A Book Review

" Every road trip has its ups and downs, just like a love affair, or the stock market".
I just want to gush on and on about how much I loved this book.  What's not to like - a travel book about France, complete with whimsical illustrations and laugh-out-loud tales of the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of travel.  
This is not your usual travel book - no hotel or restaurant recommendations ("What, do I look like Rick Steves"?) and  no list of  must-see attractions.  It's about life, relationships (this was a honeymoon trip after all) and  being a traveler instead of just being a tourist.
Really,this isn't your usual anything book. It's a book with some serious eye-candy, written by someone who pays careful attention to every detail, starting with the hand-written font that she designed herself to the illustrations that complements her  journal-style writing.

Wine dribbles, font and cork art love
I'd love to be able to do watercolor sketches like this. (Who am I kidding - I'd just like to be able to sketch something recognizable).  Sketches this good mean that  I can look at this illustration of the Arc de Triomphe and remember standing in the middle of this busy street looking at this very view and it makes me  wish I were there again. 
I have so many pictures of doors and windows in Paris.  Just look at the details in this sketch.  This is why I'm drawn to these illustrated journal-type books; I love the intimacy of hand-drawn illustrations.
This is a fun book, with advice about how to pack ("packing light isn't cramming as much stuff as possible into a small bag"), what to wear ("Pack for the person you are on Saturday morning"),  and  how to make a traveler's scrapbook and a Band-Aid box boudoir. It's also a  laugh-out-loud account of travelling, full of funny bits that beg to be read out loud.
Now that I've discovered Vivian Swift, I'll be reading her other books, When Wanderers Cease to Roam and  A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put and following her blog.
What a find- a writer who shares my obsessions and can execute them in such grand style.

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