Travels with Charley

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.

Books for the Armchair Traveler

In early January of 2017, when I sat down at my computer to begin my memoir, I knew it would be of interest to armchair travelers.  But I never imagined, as I typed the first words of the first chapter, that the book would be released in the middle of a pandemic when travel was limited. Now many who would otherwise be roaming the globe are stuck at home. The AAA membership magazine Westways (September /October 2020) featured an article titled “Transported by Armchair.” The authors, Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, state, “Vicarious adventures can get us through tough times.” They point out that would-be travelers can adventure vicariously through movies, books, magazines, and on the internet. I have always loved books and movies that take me to foreign places. Everything, from my favorite childhood book, Heidi, to the 2014 movie The Hundred Foot Journey about Indian food in a [...]

2020-12-03T20:10:42+00:00December 3rd, 2020|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Nomadland, A Book about Van-life Today

Over the last months, while I was researching travel memoirs, I came across Nomandland, by Jessica Bruder. Not a memoir, still this triumph of personal journalism hit a cord with me because it reveals van-life as it is today. I am aware of the trend of adventurous youth to spend some years living in a van or camper on the road.  Some time ago, I read about the upswing of interest in van living that was highlighted in The New Yorker Magazine (“#Vanlife, The Bohemian Social-Media Movement,” April 2017 issue).  Instagram reveals dozens of hashtags about this lifestyle, including #vanlife (266,126 posts), #vanlifediaries, and #vanlifeexplorers.  […]

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