Book Hook: Travel Without Leaving Home

This month I have selected a handful of books that cover the basic incentives for traveling so that you, reader, can avoid cramped red-eye flights, immunization shots, visa nightmares, and meat in your supposedly vegetarian meals. Maybe we can’t all afford the time and money to travel the world, so these books are the next best option.

The Art/Cultural History:

The National Archeology Museum in Athens is surely a top tourist attraction as it houses one of the most extensive collections of artifacts from Greek antiquity. Artist Erik Steinbrecher visited the museum and brought some carrots with him, creating interventions among the sculptures in the museum, which are documented in his book (with the addition of more carrots), Möhren in Athen (2010). The crumbling Greek artifacts are revitalized and reconstructed with newfound carrot appendages. The old meets the new in book form only (because I am sure security promptly disposed of or consumed the carrots before they could be appreciated). [availiable at Motto]

The Culinary Delights:

I know that one of my main motivations for traveling is to eat tasty food that I can’t find at home. But how many people have had the pleasure of dining in different art and design studios? The Studio Cookbook (2010) edited by Ken Kirton is a collection of the favorite recipes from various art and design studios. Now you can make for yourself (and others) the food that fuels creativity! [available at Motto]

The Sports of Leisure:

My secondary school went on a ski trip one year and the result was at least five broken limbs. I was unscathed, mostly because I didn’t get off the ski lift. Even though I never learned to appreciate winter sports, I can appreciate The Powder (2011) by Jocko Weyland, which contains a spectacular array of advertisements and great achievements from The Skier’s Magazine. [availiable at Motto]

The Sound of the Ocean:

If only we all had beaches in our backyards; but all hope is not lost if you are yearning to hear the soothing sound of waves crashing on the beach. Artist Cevdet Erek has created a guide, the Shore Scene Soundtrack (2007) to making your own ocean noises, and the only materials necessary are your two hands and a piece of carpet. “Get a carpet and imitate the sea by rubbing your hands on it.” The book is complete with diagrams as a guide to your own sea sounds making and documentation of his live performances. [available at ProQM]

The Last Wish:

Sometimes we travel to visit friends or family. Marcus Coates traveled to the Amazon on behalf of someone he had visited in a hospice. (Coates had spent time with patients at St. John’s Hospice in London asking if there is anything he could perform vicariously for them to fulfill a last wish.) One request--to visit a remote village in the Amazon--was realized and documented in The Trip (2010). [availabe at ProQM]

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