Following are some of the best independent travel books available, as well as an art photography book not to be missed.
Travel Books

Video Nights in Katmandu, by Pico Iyer

An eye opening account of the "new" Far East, where western culture continues to make inroads. Iyer's sharp eye for painting pictures of seemingly "distant" places shines as usual.

Cuba and The Night, by Pico Iyer

This is a truly remarkable book for the person who enjoys traveling to "distant" cultures, moving beyond the beaches and museums. Mr. Iyer was a foreign correspondent for Time and is a travel book writer. This is his first novel.

Cuba, for most Americans, is a country we know much about politically: the Spanish-American War, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, etc. We know little of it's people, largely due to the isolation Castro and our own government have imposed on the Cuban way of life.

Cuba and The Night is about love and mistrust between an American photojournalist and a young Cuban woman. The book is fictional. The characters and their environment are so vividly described that Cuba becomes a place we seem to have visited regularly in dreams.

My Old Man and The Sea, by David Hays & Daniel Hays

Many adventure travel authors plan dangerous trips because they know their brushes with death will sell books. The authors of this book, a New York Times best seller, seem to have thought of the book as an afterthought to their trip. It is an account of a father and son who sail 17,000 miles around Cape Horn in a 25 foot boat. The pair are adventurers whose goals are tackled with a lack of showmanship that belies our ideas about fantastical explorers.

Maiden Voyage, by Tanya Aebi

At 18, Ms. Aebi's father offered her a challenge: he would pay for a college education or a 26 foot sail boat. The catch with the latter was she must circumnavigate the planet by herself.

Even seasoned travelers have but a vague idea of the wanderers that move by sea and ocean. Her feat is remarkable, but so too is the understanding she imparts about the cruising culture. A cruising life is not just for the rich anymore.

Art Photography Books

Bystander: A history of Street Photography, by Colin Westerbeck & Joel Mayerowitz

Bystander's is the best photography book I have ever read. I do not expect to find another art book which interests me more. It reveals a genre of photography which most never considered a style of work with binding, historical ties.

Street photography is my favorite art genre, and this book brings its history to us from two of the most respected figures in the photography world. It is full of photographs that burn themselves into your mind.


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