Books, Writing, History, and Me

In “Books, Writing, History, and Me” I share my thoughts on travel, cooking, van-life, books, the process of writing, the experiences of an indie-publisher, WWII, the Holocaust, and anything else I feel might be of interest to readers of my books. Please send me comments and let me know what you like and what you want to know more about. Everything in this blog reflects my personal ideas and feelings–a memoir of sorts, it is my perspective and any errors or omissions are mine.

A Lifetime of Travel

In a previous blog I shared my collection of passports —a long line of documents that began when I was sixteen.   These booklets, with their photos that reveal my gradually aging face and random visa stamps in red, green, and blue, represent a lifetime of travel. I also have a large box of travel journals, some on loose stapled sheets, some in the form of letters written home, and others neatly penned in bound journals and sprinkled with sketches.  I treasure all these memory boosters. Recently, I went through my collection and created a list of all the major travel experiences I have enjoyed in the last sixty plus years. […]

2021-11-04T22:53:19+00:00November 4th, 2021|1 Comment

Balanced Memoirs of the Un-famous

Celebrity memoirs frequently appear on best seller lists, but what of the memoirs of the unfamous?  If your name is well-known in the arts or politics, publishers will clamor for anything you might write.  But, when a regular person with an interesting story writes a memoir, one of the first dilemmas they encounter is how to stand out in the market.  What makes readers pick up the memoir of an unknown person, love it, and recommend it to a friend? […]

2022-08-02T15:28:19+00:00October 22nd, 2021|0 Comments

Travel Photos to Bring Back Memories

Travel photos can help you remember highlights of your journey long after you are home again. They can remind you of special experiences and people you met along the way. Nothing beats a significant photo for bringing back memories. Too often, travelers limit themselves to photos of tourist views and selfies taken in front of tourist views. […]

2021-09-27T18:23:43+00:00September 26th, 2021|4 Comments

Four Books about the Silk Road

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the Silk Road.  Before adoption of the magnetic compass and advances in ship design in the early 1500s, this overland journey, also known as the Spice Road, served as the main trade route between China and Europe. Visions of camel caravans crossing the dry deserts and snow-capped mountains of Central Asia captured my imagination.  I longed to travel along this exotic route. I don’t know where my interest in the “Stans” (those mysterious countries along the Silk Road) originated.  Was it my early interest in China, my first visit to Venice as a teenager, the exciting tales of Marco Polo, or Michener’s novel, Caravans, which I read in the mid-1960s? […]

2021-09-12T16:15:53+00:00September 10th, 2021|0 Comments

The Ultimate Road Trip Memoir

In 2007, Dina and Bernard joined the Centennial Beijing to Paris Motor Challenge, a 36-day car rally that would stretch for 9316 miles across the Gobi desert, Siberia, Russia, and eastern Europe. Married for twenty years, the couple had owned and operated a successful business together. In 2005 they were living on a ranch in Colorado, bailing hay, fixing fences, and horseback riding in the sunset.  At a local event, they learned about the motor rally and quickly decided to enter. They had a lot to learn and a car to purchase, but they would do it together. […]

2021-08-13T16:00:25+00:00August 12th, 2021|1 Comment

Seven Types of Travelers. What Kind are you?

What kind of traveler are you? I don’t mean how experienced you are or if you prefer to travel locally or internationally.  I’m interested in what activities and experiences make travel special for you. Recently, I got to thinking about this after I received two very different reviews of my memoir, Wherever the Road Leads, A Memoir of Love, Travel, and a Van. […]

2021-07-24T20:52:14+00:00July 24th, 2021|4 Comments

Two Women on a Train to Sangam. (Part 8, Return to India)

Our hotel host in Matheran had checked our train tickets and was upset to see we were booked on the slow train that stopped at every village station. “The local train will take six hours to get to Pune,” Mr. Lord had told us.  “I recommend you change your tickets for the Konya Express train. One leaves Neral at 10:30 am.  If you get there early, you can easily change your tickets.” This seemed like good advice.  At the station, we were able to change to the Express, but the only tickets available were for second class. We figured a bit of discomfort for two and a half hours was better than a day-long train ride. […]

2021-07-12T15:33:37+00:00July 10th, 2021|0 Comments

An Indian Hill-Station Holiday (Part 7 of Return to India)

At Neral Junction, Una and I descended from our train into a different world.  Gone were the crowds and filth of Mumbai. The station was a quiet oasis shaded by a striped awning.  We waited there for more than an hour while trains from Mumbai came and went. There were several ways to get to Matheran from Neral Junction—by hired car or bus (these only went to a car park a mile from town), pony cart, hand-pulled rickshaw, on foot, and via the narrow-gage railway known as the “toy train.”  Una and I had opted for the heritage toy train that consisted of a diesel engine and a half-dozen small, blue carriages. Scheduled to leave at 11 am, the mini-train waited across the tracks at the only other station platform. […]

2021-06-24T19:57:46+00:00June 24th, 2021|1 Comment
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