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Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France Hardcover – April 10, 2012
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About the Author
Vivian Swift, author of When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put, is a freelance writer and former assistant vice president of Christie's Inc. When not traveling, she lives on the Long Island Sound with her husband.
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Top Customer Reviews
Her "chocolate box" approach to books allows you to read in any order you like (though chronological is fun because it gives you the unfolding experience of the trip). As with her first book, "Le Road Trip" is completely hand-lettered by the author as well as full of her gorgeous watercolors and line drawings, perfect and often obscure quotes as well as thoughtful reflections on what it is like to travel (and be in love). I find that Swift's books lend themselves to re-reading. You'll always notice something new, most notably in the deceptively simple illustrations.
How I wish this book had been around when I first went abroad as a teenager and young adult. It'd have been a help and encouragement to find my own unique way of traveling - the way that was right for me. Indeed, I plan give this book to anyone about to travel or live abroad (perfect for exchange students, college year abroad students and even Peace Corps volunteers). On the surface "Le Road Trip" is about a trip to France, but really the subject is universal - the joys and, at times, difficulties of any kind travel outside of the familiar (going to college, living on the other side of the globe, starting a new relationship).
Nancy Pearl, Seattle librarian and book reviewer extraordinaire said it best: "A perfect gift for travelers, those with artistic souls, those with a sense of wonder, those who are hug-the-hearths--in short--nearly everyone on your gift list."
All I can add to that is be sure to put yourself at the top of that list!
Full of beautiful color watercolor illustrations, travel information (such as "there are no wrong trains"), memories, funny little antecdotes, "Le Road Trip" is a blissful vacation unto itself. This isn't a little slip of a book that you will get a few moments of flipping through, this is a BIG, HEAVY book full of stories. As with "When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put, I have spent several afternoons curled outside on the porch swing, immersed in this book. There's so much to read and look at and ponder. There is an actual BOOK under the beauty, much to read about traveling and personal adventures and information about France (who knew there wasn't really breakfast in France?)
I really appreciate what Vivian Swift does. I love her style, and I've said before that I wish all books were like the ones she creates. Art books don't have to be completely visual, and memoirs don't have to be black and white. There is a happy mix between art books and "reading" books and Vivian Swift has found it.
I highly recommend this.
The reason for 4 instead of 5 stars is that I did find the illstrations too predictable by about midway through, which I think is more about subject matter than any fault of the artist's. In her first book ("When Wanderers Cease to Roam") the subject matter roams hither and yon, so I got used to being pleasantly surprised by each turn of the page, not knowing what would come next. Because this second book is more limited in scope, by the midway point I knew that when I turned a page, I would get either an illustration of a quaint street, or paintings of the landscape showing rolling hills, vineyards, and farmhouses, or a sketch of that day's featured meal. For me this became a little repetitive, with the surprises too few and far between. Thankfully, they are very fine watercolors indeed, and I do love her work.
Overall this is a winning book and I eagerly await whatever subject Vivian Swift assuredly writes and paints about next. You will have a grand time on Le Road Trip!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read it several times and laughed all the way. Gave my first copy to a niece who is going to visit la france. Wonderful artwork also, just like her first book.Published 11 days ago by Leflage
I have been to Paris and she knows what she is doing. Great travel tips.Published 4 months ago by Thomas L. Murty
This book has been a delightful nostalgic meander through my various trips to France over the years, recalling wonderful memories about why I love the country so much. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Story Angel
I loved this book so much I bought a copy for 4 of my friends who travel often, primarily to France. It's amusing and very practical. Enjoy and learn.Published 13 months ago by Alexandra Buchholz
If you're traveling to Paris, be sure to read this book before you go.Published 16 months ago by Linda Becton Holley
This is a delightful, charming and evocative book. Love it.Published 17 months ago by Reading Addict
I purchased Ms. Swift's previous book, "When Wanderers Cease to Roam" and became an instant fan. Read morePublished 17 months ago by debra patterson
Delightfully funny and refreshing. Humor is real and takes you back to your own travels in France.Published 19 months ago by Buddy Guynes