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Introducing Volume 11 of the award-winning anthology, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, published by Travelers’ Tales and coming to bookstores May 2017. The 31 true travel stories in this year’s collection are, as always, wildly diverse in theme and location—they are compelling and complicated, poignant and scary, exciting and irreverent, adventurous and quiet, beautiful an Introducing Volume 11 of the award-winning anthology, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, published by Travelers’ Tales and coming to bookstores May 2017. The 31 true travel stories in this year’s collection are, as always, wildly diverse in theme and location—they are compelling and complicated, poignant and scary, exciting and irreverent, adventurous and quiet, beautiful and hilarious, romantic and solitary, heartwarming and heartbreaking. They tell of places like California and Cuba, Switzerland and Singapore, Iran and Iceland, Montana and Mexico and Mongolia and Mali, our own back yards and some of the farthest, most extreme corners of the world. They are the personal stories we can't help but collect when we travel, stories of reaching out to embrace the unfamiliar and creating cross-cultural connections while learning more about ourselves as human beings. In The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 11, you'll: -- go scuba diving with sharks in Palau -- cook for Syrian refugees in Greece -- be the first American to play pro basketball in the Czech Republic -- anger a nun in Ethiopia -- go whitewater rafting on the Nile in Uganda. -- help slaughter a pig in Hungary -- realize your limits of filial piety in Singapore -- seek healing at the hands of a witchdoctor in Mexico -- feast on rancid food in Iceland -- avoid hypothermia by spooning in Mongolia -- fall in love in Nepal ... and much, much more.


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Introducing Volume 11 of the award-winning anthology, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, published by Travelers’ Tales and coming to bookstores May 2017. The 31 true travel stories in this year’s collection are, as always, wildly diverse in theme and location—they are compelling and complicated, poignant and scary, exciting and irreverent, adventurous and quiet, beautiful an Introducing Volume 11 of the award-winning anthology, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, published by Travelers’ Tales and coming to bookstores May 2017. The 31 true travel stories in this year’s collection are, as always, wildly diverse in theme and location—they are compelling and complicated, poignant and scary, exciting and irreverent, adventurous and quiet, beautiful and hilarious, romantic and solitary, heartwarming and heartbreaking. They tell of places like California and Cuba, Switzerland and Singapore, Iran and Iceland, Montana and Mexico and Mongolia and Mali, our own back yards and some of the farthest, most extreme corners of the world. They are the personal stories we can't help but collect when we travel, stories of reaching out to embrace the unfamiliar and creating cross-cultural connections while learning more about ourselves as human beings. In The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 11, you'll: -- go scuba diving with sharks in Palau -- cook for Syrian refugees in Greece -- be the first American to play pro basketball in the Czech Republic -- anger a nun in Ethiopia -- go whitewater rafting on the Nile in Uganda. -- help slaughter a pig in Hungary -- realize your limits of filial piety in Singapore -- seek healing at the hands of a witchdoctor in Mexico -- feast on rancid food in Iceland -- avoid hypothermia by spooning in Mongolia -- fall in love in Nepal ... and much, much more.

30 review for The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 11: True Stories from Around the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Just to balance the universe, this needs a 1 star rating. It might otherwise be 2, but since I "can't believe" that this little book of drivel has garnered so many 5-star ratings, on goodreads and elsewhere, my inner alchemist is baaa-ing like a crazed sheep, and wants to make it right with the cosmos. (view spoiler)[If that sentence didn't make any sense, you probably have not read The Alchemist; if it does make sense, try to eradicate it from your memory, or you'll be inclined to write crazy t Just to balance the universe, this needs a 1 star rating. It might otherwise be 2, but since I "can't believe" that this little book of drivel has garnered so many 5-star ratings, on goodreads and elsewhere, my inner alchemist is baaa-ing like a crazed sheep, and wants to make it right with the cosmos. (view spoiler)[If that sentence didn't make any sense, you probably have not read The Alchemist; if it does make sense, try to eradicate it from your memory, or you'll be inclined to write crazy things like I just did.) (hide spoiler)] (Books like this make me want to start my very own small press and bar the door against all those who appear with drivel-in-manuscript form. I have this dream often. It's probably just a nightmare in sheep's clothing.) In starting to plan our next holiday, I was looking for a bit of inspiration. This book jumped into my hands at the local library; I should have made it jump right back in place. "I should have" read a paragraph or two before checking it out but ... how can you go wrong, I thought, considering this is Volume Eleven of a series. Surely, someone would have stopped publishing these long before now if they weren't any good. I've never encountered such self-centered, self-absorbed, egotistical, claptrap in all my days of travelling. Snivelling and whining all the way around the world was only the half of it. I could have handled a certain amount of snivel and whine, but I definitely choked on the patronizing attitudes that many took in their backpacks, to be dispensed among the local people like vitamins from a Peace Corps doctor. Heaven protect me from the well-meaning condescension of the privileged and the entitled. Many of the stories read like trailers for RomComs, or romance novels gone terribly, terribly wrong. (Fifty Shades of Puke comes to mind.) After weeks of worrying what I would wear in Italy, how I would stand up to their rigorous but mysterious standards of bella figura, I am flirting with Fulvio in an oversized men's t-shirt the color of crap and a cheap fedora that was crushed in my suitcase and revived only with much scrunching and lowering of standards. What else would you have on your mind, while in Venice, but Fulvio and t-shirts the colour of Trump's outhouses? I travel the world to discover, to grow, to feel, to explore, to question, to examine ... and so learn to become a better person in the world. As much as I can, I "check my ego at the door" when entering someone's else country (someone else's home, in other words) and I learn from what they can teach me, not what I can impose on them. I come to look outward, not inward. I just don't understand any other kind of travel. That's the problem with this book in the end: people who travel the world with preconceived notions and expectations cannot possibly hope to enlighten the rest of us on the wonders that are out there. For that kind of egotistical travelling, isn't it easier to just watch a series on television so as not to be "bothered" by having your ideas challenged by people with different views from your own? Not all of the stories are so disappointing, but they suffer greatly from having been included in such an uninspiring volume.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 11 felt like a fantastic choice to read on holiday; I did so whilst sheltering in a hotel room in Miami from Hurricane Irma, in fact. Lavinia Spalding has already edited several of the volumes in the Best Women's Travel Writing collection, and the eleventh is the most recent. In her introduction, Spalding comes up with the following, and rather lovely, allegory. During the editing process of the book, she 'came to the conclusion that to be good travelers, w The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 11 felt like a fantastic choice to read on holiday; I did so whilst sheltering in a hotel room in Miami from Hurricane Irma, in fact. Lavinia Spalding has already edited several of the volumes in the Best Women's Travel Writing collection, and the eleventh is the most recent. In her introduction, Spalding comes up with the following, and rather lovely, allegory. During the editing process of the book, she 'came to the conclusion that to be good travelers, we must embody the qualities of water: its beauty, strength, mutability, fluidity, and determination. We need its capacity to ebb and flow; to permeate the most hidden and unreachable places; to soften and smooth what it moves against; to carve a path through seemingly impenetrable obstacles; to change form, and allow itself to be changed.' The women featured in this collection, who have travelled all over the world for many different reasons, write about a lot of places which I have personally been to, and many more which are destinations on my future travel list (which is, frankly, enormous). They use travel as a means of escape, or a means of belonging; of finding themselves, or of knowing themselves better. They travel for work, for love, or for pleasure. What was great about making my way through the chosen essays here is that they have all been randomly ordered; thus, you can flit from one continent to another, and then back again in the space of three entries. Some of the destinations are repeated, as one might expect with such a collection, but every story feels fresh and new regardless. The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 11 is both fascinating and current. Zora O'Neill's essay, 'On the Migrant Trail', for instance, describes her choosing at random the same journey from Turkey to Greece that 'hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan' take. There is a wonderful honesty which shines through in many of these meaningful essays, and every single author shows just how rewarding having a sense of adventure and a valid passport can be.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    One of my absolute favorite books and this is saying a lot because non-fiction is something that I read to learn not to necessarily enjoy. Each story was unique but the way they were put together was really well designed. Each true story shows a glimpse into the writer's travel adventure but the best part is that it's usually not some grand thing that happened but the small details that made the most impact from the country they were visiting or living in. Heartbreaking, joyful, hilarious, and s One of my absolute favorite books and this is saying a lot because non-fiction is something that I read to learn not to necessarily enjoy. Each story was unique but the way they were put together was really well designed. Each true story shows a glimpse into the writer's travel adventure but the best part is that it's usually not some grand thing that happened but the small details that made the most impact from the country they were visiting or living in. Heartbreaking, joyful, hilarious, and shocking, you will feel all this while you are immersed in these women's stories.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zora O'Neill

    This might seem like a self-serving review, because an essay of mine is in the book. But I am sincerely blown away by all the amazing stories in here. A whole range of voices, experiences and tones. Some of the simplest stories--such as a woman in Japan going to celebrate her birthday alone, and a woman dealing with her father's death while she's in Hawaii--have stuck with me. Then again, some of the more outlandish are standouts too--now I know what it might be like to play pro basketball in th This might seem like a self-serving review, because an essay of mine is in the book. But I am sincerely blown away by all the amazing stories in here. A whole range of voices, experiences and tones. Some of the simplest stories--such as a woman in Japan going to celebrate her birthday alone, and a woman dealing with her father's death while she's in Hawaii--have stuck with me. Then again, some of the more outlandish are standouts too--now I know what it might be like to play pro basketball in the Czech Republic!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephany Wilkes

    Every essay is unexpected and will make you want to instantly book plane tickets all over the place. Some are funny, some dark, all with a twist, and every single one surprising and superbly written. The essay by Jennifer Kelley is my favorite. Read this!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Fowler

    I miss traveling as I used to able to do, and this book was exactly what I needed to read. Inspirational, funny, crazy, sad, brave, articulate women traveling to places I've been to and places I haven't. What I loved about this collection was the diversity, the different personalities and emotions in each story. And as a marine biologist, I was initially drawn to Spalding's intro about her realization of the importance of water. I've continued to think about the women in these stories, where the I miss traveling as I used to able to do, and this book was exactly what I needed to read. Inspirational, funny, crazy, sad, brave, articulate women traveling to places I've been to and places I haven't. What I loved about this collection was the diversity, the different personalities and emotions in each story. And as a marine biologist, I was initially drawn to Spalding's intro about her realization of the importance of water. I've continued to think about the women in these stories, where they've been and where they were going. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    Some of the essays really grabbed me, but I admit that I had to force myself through some of them. The two that really stand out to me are: the basketball player who had to move to eastern Europe to play professionally and the kayaker who told about getting her kayak to the water in her wheelchair. The basketball story stood out to me because it wasn't a happy story of learning so much; it was so honest. The kayak story was like an adventure tale, hard to step away from. Some of the essays really grabbed me, but I admit that I had to force myself through some of them. The two that really stand out to me are: the basketball player who had to move to eastern Europe to play professionally and the kayaker who told about getting her kayak to the water in her wheelchair. The basketball story stood out to me because it wasn't a happy story of learning so much; it was so honest. The kayak story was like an adventure tale, hard to step away from.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Not terrible but not particularly interesting, particularly in comparison to other volumes in the series. There were a few notable stories, but I felt like I was slogging through the majority.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Taking my time to read this, I read one or two of these stories each afternoon. Some were engaging, and I enjoyed learning about the individual lessons; these were the stories I reread and noted approaches and new insights. Per my taste, these were the shorter, succinct stories; they presented clear memories and characters I could follow. Some of these were straightforward stories, and others connected memories from different life periods. When lessons of connection, courage, and discovery emerg Taking my time to read this, I read one or two of these stories each afternoon. Some were engaging, and I enjoyed learning about the individual lessons; these were the stories I reread and noted approaches and new insights. Per my taste, these were the shorter, succinct stories; they presented clear memories and characters I could follow. Some of these were straightforward stories, and others connected memories from different life periods. When lessons of connection, courage, and discovery emerged, I was satisfied and felt as if I knew the author a bit better. Another connection for all of these was a focus on the people they met and relationships they learned in other lands. For those stories which were longer, I often found myself starting again and imagining a "voice" to accompany the words. These became more animated as I "listened" to a storyteller who may insert her memories at various times, describe additional characters, or apply different nuances more than discovered, succinct lessons. In honesty, I did not dislike these selections, but I just didn't prefer this style of writing. Perhaps that's why I switched to a new medium in my reading. Various themes emerged with each writer, and I noted that these authors had extensive writing experience, so it made sense that each woman would have her own style. I explored this when it came with a caption like "You might enjoy ______" or "Per your reading selections, we recommend ______ ." As I write this now, I wonder about some of the emerging voices, especially the younger ones.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

    Not all the stories collected are equal from the point of view of the relevance for travel and even the art of writing, but in times of armchair travel, the reader is provided with different angles and examples for a different approach on foreign world and cultures. All feature though the ways in which women relate to places and countries, most ignoring the usual travel recommendations and guided tours cliches. The authors are awarded journalists with years long experience of connecting to place Not all the stories collected are equal from the point of view of the relevance for travel and even the art of writing, but in times of armchair travel, the reader is provided with different angles and examples for a different approach on foreign world and cultures. All feature though the ways in which women relate to places and countries, most ignoring the usual travel recommendations and guided tours cliches. The authors are awarded journalists with years long experience of connecting to places in a half-way between literary encounters and memoirs. The book is a good source of inspiration for beginner travel writers and for everyone looking for refreshing their travel writing - as this writer here. The next collection of the Best Women´s Travel Writing - Volume 12 - is expected for publication in October 2020. Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natalie S

    Review score: 7/10 The Best Women’s Travel Writing has been taking readers on journeys into the great unknown since 1995 when it was first released as A Woman’s World. Since then it has become an annual series and volume number 11 continues to build on this strong foundation. Editor Lavinia Spalding gathers together 31 different personal essays from mostly American authors who have traversed the globe and home soil in order to bring us stories with as many themes and facets as there are people. T Review score: 7/10 The Best Women’s Travel Writing has been taking readers on journeys into the great unknown since 1995 when it was first released as A Woman’s World. Since then it has become an annual series and volume number 11 continues to build on this strong foundation. Editor Lavinia Spalding gathers together 31 different personal essays from mostly American authors who have traversed the globe and home soil in order to bring us stories with as many themes and facets as there are people. To read the rest of this review please visit: http://magazine.100percentrock.com/re...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I chose this book because I love to travel but at the moment I need to pay down debt and be "responsible." I loved hearing about other countries and the female experience whether it was work, play or running away. A woman travels internationally to play basketball; A woman gets invited to butcher a sheep in Hungary (sounds like home); a woman's trip to Hawaii right after her father passes away and her experience while grieving; A woman's solo trip to Italy without her family (young children and I chose this book because I love to travel but at the moment I need to pay down debt and be "responsible." I loved hearing about other countries and the female experience whether it was work, play or running away. A woman travels internationally to play basketball; A woman gets invited to butcher a sheep in Hungary (sounds like home); a woman's trip to Hawaii right after her father passes away and her experience while grieving; A woman's solo trip to Italy without her family (young children and hubby) are all fantastic stories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I really did enjoy this book. As it was published in 2017 there are stories which contain more relevant issues, ie: refugees and drink spiking. I did however find this book (I've read two previous editions) to contain more stories which either drag on too long or contain too much philosophical personal opinions. This can be overwhelming and lead me to on numerous occasions count ahead how many pages were remaining in the story. I really did enjoy this book. As it was published in 2017 there are stories which contain more relevant issues, ie: refugees and drink spiking. I did however find this book (I've read two previous editions) to contain more stories which either drag on too long or contain too much philosophical personal opinions. This can be overwhelming and lead me to on numerous occasions count ahead how many pages were remaining in the story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ducky

    I'll preface this by saying this book was assigned reading for a grad class. Some of these were really good. It gave me inspiration for future travel writing (if COVID ever allows that to happen again), but also ideas on how to improve my existing pieces. It makes me dream about when I can step foot in a different country one day, or even a different state for that matter. I'll preface this by saying this book was assigned reading for a grad class. Some of these were really good. It gave me inspiration for future travel writing (if COVID ever allows that to happen again), but also ideas on how to improve my existing pieces. It makes me dream about when I can step foot in a different country one day, or even a different state for that matter.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Young

    Loved it, I particularly loved the story written by Maggie Downs.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Book received through Edelweiss I liked it, some of the essays were better than the others in my opinion. I especially like the ones that would make me think, yeah I remember feeling like that when I traveled to X, I'm glad someone else had the same experience. I will likely try to find some of the other books in the series to read at a later date, especially since it seems like I'll be doing quite a bit of traveling to new places in the next couple of years. One word of caution, this isn't a gui Book received through Edelweiss I liked it, some of the essays were better than the others in my opinion. I especially like the ones that would make me think, yeah I remember feeling like that when I traveled to X, I'm glad someone else had the same experience. I will likely try to find some of the other books in the series to read at a later date, especially since it seems like I'll be doing quite a bit of traveling to new places in the next couple of years. One word of caution, this isn't a guidebook, so you won't get involved explanations of the places traveled to.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christina Wray

  19. 4 out of 5

    Korie Brown

  20. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Sayles

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angie Brocato

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nina

  25. 5 out of 5

    April Espinosa

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara J

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stella

  28. 5 out of 5

    MICHELE D PARKER

  29. 5 out of 5

    Macey Smith

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

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