September 2021

by Jeremy Bassetti
Where I Work

After a year and a half of teaching online, I’ve returned to campus. It does feel good to return to a routine, stepping out of the home, and performing the ritual of work: the morning commute, course prep in a quiet office, the after-class decompression, grading sprints, and the short walks around a nearby pond. And, for some, working away from home amounts to a separation of “work” from “life.” But this “separation” is not as cut and dry as it might seem for teachers and others working in a knowledge industry.

Sure, the physical acts of teaching and dealing with emails can be siloed into the physical spaces of work like the classroom and the office, but my true occupation — what is occupying my mind — is with me wherever I go. And, if we’re honest, what teacher doesn’t bring the more rote work of grading and planning home? This is all to say that the so-called “work/life balance” for knowledge workers might be illusory (despite the concession that some spaces can be more conducive to certain types of work).

Anyway, how are you getting on as you “return to work” this autumn? Are you still working remotely? What are your thoughts about your place of work?

Last month we created

Mountains in Sumerian Creation Myths (Essay) on my website
How to Become an Amazon Best-Selling Author: Or, How Amazon Lets Deceptive, Unethical, and Harmful Categorization Thrive (Essay) on my website
Long Beach – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (Binaural Field Recording) on my website
Malecón – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (Binaural Field Recording) on my website
A podcast with CJ Schuler about his book Along the Amber Route on Travel Writing World
A podcast with Sophy Roberts about her book The Lost Pianos of Siberia on Travel Writing World
A podcast with Charles Bergman about his book Every Penguin in the World on Travel Writing World
An author profile of CJ Schuler on Travel Writing World
A review of Elise Downing’s book Coasting: Running Around the Coast of Britain on Travel Writing World

🌿 The 2021 Wainwright shortlist was announced, which included some travel titles. The winners will be announced on Sept 7.

🏔 The 2021 Boardman-Tasker Award for Mountain Literature shortlist was announced!

👨‍🏫 Tim Leffel’s course “Travel Writing Overdrive” is open for enrollment for one week, from August 30 until September 6. #affiliatelink

🧳 Good Place, “a new travel magazine for the endlessly curious,” is being Kickstarted.

📕 The publisher Bradt has a new anthology: Travel Write: Select entries from 20 years of the Bradt travel-writing competition (3 Sept 2021).

🤨 Bradt has also setup a curious new “contract publishing” imprint called Journey Books where authors must pay over $7,000 US to get published. 

☪️ Tharik Husain is giving a virtual talk on September 29 about decolonizing travel writing.  

📚 Michael Kerr of Deskbound Traveler writes a roundup of 20 recently-published travel books for The Telegraph.

🐠 Stuart McDonald of Travelfish mulls over the COVID situation in South East Asia and believes travel won’t resume until 2023.

🗺 Stanfords Bookshop’s “book of the month” for August was Small Bodies of Water by Nina Mingya Powes.

🏛 UNESCO is the best brand in travel, but it comes with some serious costs that this article tapdances around.

🇬🇧  Some UK authors and publishers fear that book copyright and importation rules will harm UK publishing.

🇨🇳 Moreover, Little Toller added to the debate by calling for UK publishers to use UK printers/binderies instead of those in China over environmental concerns.

✍️ Read this Foxed Quarterly profile of Colin Thubron. 

🌱 Meera and Shivani argue in their Unpacking Media Bias newsletter that the misuse of “on-trend” terms like sustainability and sustainable in travel media render them hollow. 

🚌 Lottie and Steph talk group press trips in the Talking Travel Writing newsletter.

🧗🏾‍♂️ Alastair Humphreys published a new book called Ask an Adventurer, where he answers questions about making a living from a life of travel and adventure.

👩 Meet the Women advocating for more diverse perspectives in travel media 

📈 The Bookseller reports that travel guide publishers report sales uptick in 2021, but Publishers Weekly notes caution.

🎥 Richard E Grant journeyed to landscapes and cultures of Italy, France, and Spain that inspired classic works of literature in a new BBC mini-series.

👨‍💻 For self-published authors: Amazon has allowed self-publishers to create/add “A+ Content” to their books’ pages. Take advantage of this opportunity to make your books stand out.

🇮🇹 A short documentary of Naples ’44 by Norman Lewis aired on the BBC, and is available online for another 11 months.

🎧  Ryan Murdock speaks with Jeremy Seal about Turkey and John Gimlette about Madagascar on the Personal Landscapes Podcast.

👂 Jo Frances Penn speaks with Louise Ross about Portugal and Anna Syrup Lane about Canterbury on her Books and Travel Podcast.

✈️ Thomas Swick gives a round-up of books by travelers-in-residence for the Wall Street Journal.

Books received

🇲🇲 Eimer, David. A Savage Dreamland: Journeys in Burma. Bloomsbury: 2019.
🇬🇷 Fiennes, Peter. A Thing of Beauty. One World: 2021.
🧗🏾‍♂️ Humphreys, Alastair. Ask an Adventurer. 2021.
🇺🇸 Prost, François. Gentlemen’s Club. Fisheye: 2021.
🇨🇴 Salama, Jordan. Ever Day the River Changes. Catapult: 2021.
🌎 Seminara, Dave. Mad Travelers. Post Hill: 2021.
🇷🇺 Thubron, Colin. The Amur River. Harper Collins: 2021.

Back matter

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