In the Forward, Pico Iyer states, "We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves." Travel is a personal thing. We do it perhaps to forget our daily lives and to discover something new, as Iyer says; but there is often some outside force that leads us to people and places we never could have dreamed of.
In the 41 essays contained in WANDERLUST, the reader will go to such far flung places as the Amazon and Japan. The writers who take you on their journeys include Peter Mayle, Simon Winchester, and Beth Kephart, among others. David Kohn's essay titled "Hog Heaven: At The Memphis World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest" was one of my favorites. It reinforces the fact that you don't have to travel overseas to have an adventure that is priceless.
Another essay that appealed to me was Lisa Michaels's "The Man Who Loved Books In Turkey." She tells a story of meeting a man who sells books often left behind by travelers in exchange for other books in a small, closet sized bookstore in Turkey. While she is in the man's store he attempts to barter a book from her that she wants to take home. The book was a copy of THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG by Norman Mailer.
Next time you embark on a journey, whether it takes you around the corner or around the world to distant lands, this is one book you should take with you. Perhaps you will find a person in your travels who wants to read it. In any case, you will be transported along with the 41 writers contained in this collection --- it's an unforgettable trip that will last you a lifetime.
Reviewed by Dave Taylor on November 7, 2000