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Day 29 & Friendly Friday: Travel books

As Sandy teams up with the four ladies who run the What’s On Your Bookshelf challenge on the subject of travel books, I’d like to present three books by three bloggers that I admire.

On my penultimate poem of April, I was barely able to nail the poetry series, just like the Mavs. But we did it. That is, they are done, for me one more day.

Prompt 29: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a ‘curse’ you’ve lived with.

The good jeans

The envy is thick
and she is the target.
It’s clear at a glance:
She’s got good jeans. 

Wide at the bottom,
tight at the thighs,
nothing is regular fit,
comfort is clearly key.

She caught it in time,
the gift thus bestowed.
Born a few years later,
she’d end up with 

threadbare, whiny,
seasonal, fashionable,
horribly shaped cuts,
full of shiny bits - 
what in the hell is that for?
Or that sagging back,
and that low waist?
And as if the skinny ones 
are any better.

She was just in time.
She was gifted with 
the good times,
the good years,
the good jeans,
as for the curse - 
she is still around.

And now to travel books. We are lucky that three bloggers who I respect and admire each has had a travel book out fairly recently. Two out of three I haven’t read yet but I have them right here and am looking forward to reading them.

I give my hand into the fire for them all, as the (Slovenian) saying goes.

1. Landscapes – A Virtual Journey through the United Arab Emirates, by Jolandi Steven

Jolandi, who hails from South Africa, has found her peace in Portugal on her estate and she blogs about it on A Taste of Freedom.

This book about her previous dwelling place, a country that is younger than I am, is in the form of a 2-week travel through the seven emirates. The book is the pdf format with embedded links. For more info click on the cover:

2. Travels in the Hills: A Trip Through the High Places of Asia, by Jeremy Dales

The second book, by Jeremy Dales who blogs at Ethnic Scarf Club, is about his adventures in “the hills”, as he calls the foothills of the Himalayas, such as a ride with a Royal Enfield motorcycle across Ladakh, over the allegedly world’s highest motorable pass.

Click on my photo below for the Amazon link. It appears that it’s only available as an e-book.

3. Turn Left at Lenin’s Statue: Travels in Central Asia, by Fabrizio Soggetto

This one I have read and you can find my review on Goodreads. It made quite an impression, especially Fabrizio’s description of the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan or the soccer game in Uzbekistan.

Amazon says that this book is currently out of print, so good luck with tracking it down. Maybe it would help to ask Fabrizio about it directly. He blogs at Are We There Yet?

In case I ever write a book about travelling around Tuscany – for which I would actually need to travel around Tuscany and not sit behind my screen here in the south of it – I took these four photos two days ago. You know, as a book start-up kit.

For more inspiring travelogues visit all the five links below and see which travel books come recommended by these five bloggers:

For Friendly Friday Challenge hosted by The Sandy Chronicles: Travel Books

and for “What’s On Your Bookshelf” hosted by by DebSueDonna and Jo.

The last day in my NaPoWriMo history

2018: Beyond the Tulips
By Sylvain Plathless
Rigid, sunny and not gray at all, 
like those October stones,
Agatha straightens, 
out of her red beanpants, 
beyond the tulips. 
She is falling ill 
to nothing on the brain.

Neither the tulips straighten away 
from any small soul :
they silence its stripes 
below the yellow cave, 
nowhere where Agatha doctors 
the joy of her wounds, 
and runs 
and doesn’t walk.

Read on.

2019: Roman people are hard to impress
Twice this weekend
he tells his father about it.
It must have impressed him
more than all my tenderness,
good deeds,

He says:
- She got her car back
after it was towed away,
in Vienna!
Without payment! 

(Read on.) 
2020: My pet
It can be hard
to take her out, though.
Can’t see it’s for her own good.

Won’t leave the screen.
Stubbornly sitting,
like a mule.

But frankly,
all things considered,
I couldn’t ask for a better pet.

Pet owner.
That’s what I meant.

Read all.

2021: A door from a window
The door on the floor,
the hole where the head should be,
discarded in the night.

A woman and a dog
circle it from all sides,
she returns with a camera.

The neighbour texts the hitman: “She has evidence. Now.”

(See more doors.)

This day in my blogging history


Published by Manja Maksimovič

A Slovenian in Italy for love. Blogger, photographer, translator and would-be writer who would be a writer if she wrote. Plus reluctant but emerging poet. Beware.

40 thoughts on “Day 29 & Friendly Friday: Travel books

  1. How kind of you to include my e-book in your list, Manja. Your generous support and encouragement is always much appreciated. I love those photographs of the ripening wheat. Spring is such a gorgeous season. I hope it is getting warmer and that you are able to enjoy the gorgeous landscape you call home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve actually had some lovely rain, and although I am told that the dams are not as full as they should be, we are not desperate for rain. We are lucky with having a lot of water on our quinta although it is definitely drier than last year. Wishing some lovely rain for you. 🌧️⛈️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire those who can write poetry so well done. Thanks for sharing the three travel books with us and all three sound very interesting. I have visited Italy several times as my husband was born there. I’ve flown over the HImalayas on my travels from Australia to Europe and I’ve visited Dubai but not other areas of the UAE. Lovely to meet you and thanks for linking up with our What’s On Your Bookshelf?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Manja – Thank you for joining us for FFC/WOYBS Travel Book Edition. I love reading books by fellow bloggers and greatly appreciate the three recommendations that you have shared here.
    Your ‘jean’ poem is very clever and thought-provoking. You have my deep admiration for being able to do this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Donna! I’m really glad that you’ve enjoyed this post. I wrote a poem a day all April and today was the last! Hurrah! And I’m glad that I had three perfect books for this challenge. Be well!


      1. Nah, that seems to difficult. What about trying a new ice cream flavour? I just made apple cinnamon and banana

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great post Manja with your poem being a standout – well done! thanks for joining us for the Friendly Friday challenge and for sharing your travel books!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahaha! Love it! Such a clever play on “good genes,” and very pleasing to the ear (e.g. “bestowed”/”holes”). I liked “What the hell is that for?” So true, many pairs of genes have very confusing attached doodads. Love your vision of the world and your humour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thank you, Alana. 🙂 I’m so glad that you hear and like things I had no idea were in my poems. And your jeans/genes swap made me think that this poem would be even more effective if I used “genes” instead of “jeans” throughout. 😀 Except maybe in the last stanza… Thanks for that, and for reading, always.


    1. Amanda! Right now I was reading an old blog post and saw that it was your birthday yesterday, like my uncle’s! Hurrahhh!! I hope you had a lovely celebration. Cin cin from Tuscany! And yes, I wonder too how that book would look like… When I know, I’ll write it. 🙂 Thank you!!


  6. Your funny poem cracks me up and reminds me of my sister and me growing up. I distinctly remember her complaining to my mom about the jeans I could wear and she couldn’t.
    That travel book sounds great! Gosh, I would like to travel again. It’s been ages. The world is so fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That was a great take on the gift you were given: good jeans. So funny. Sad at the final line though? Anyway, I have two of the books. Finished Lenin’s Statue and got to Day 4 in Jolandi’s book in a single weekend, then never found time to sit down again. I will. It lives on my desktop. It’s absolutely fabulous and what a brilliant idea. I was insisting to Pedro that we use it to plan a trip to the Emirates!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent, Crystal! I’m so glad that you’re loving it and it may even bring you to the Emirates! That’s why blogging is so extra cool. Happy travels! And thanks, I’m glad you liked my silly poem.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A most excellent post in every way 🙂 I do like jeans with holes in though. That is, they form naturally and then I keep wearing them because it’s never not been fashionable 🙂 Having said, I live in leggings and haven’t worn my jeans since pandemia started!

    I look forward to your Travel book in time to come 🙂


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