Pico Iyer’s additions to the World Hum Top 30


Last month, World Hum posted its list of the Top 30 Travel Books of all time, to which I contributed a number of reviews. After the dust settled and readers weighed in with their own recommendations, it occurred to me that I correspond with a number of the authors who made the list. What, I thought, would Pico Iyer or Peter Hessler or Tony Horwitz or Tim Cahill or Jeffrey Tayler think of World Hum’s selections?

Curious, I queried these five writers, all of whom gave me thoughtful replies. I will share comments from each of these writers in coming days, starting today with Pico Iyer, whose Video Night in Kathmandu weighed in at #8 on the World Hum list. Pico replies:

It’s a highly, highly quirky list — Shiva Naipaul right up there and V.S. Naipaul for his most laughable book at the bottom! — but I’m flattered to be in such company, and anyone who loves The Golden Earth is automatically a hero in my book (also very strongly weighted towards the contemporary, though I’m very glad to see Peter Hessler so highly recommended).

I thought last night of a few of the travel-books that I would always keep close and put on any list of inspirations:

All of those books would be in my Top 15 ot Top 20 list. Additionally, I highly recommend:

…and, I think, lots of others that I’m not remembering right now.

Thanks again, so much, for sending me this fun and fascinating list.

Posted by | Comments (9)  | June 22, 2006
Category: Travel Writing

9 Responses to “Pico Iyer’s additions to the World Hum Top 30”

  1. Christian Oden Says:

    Dear Mr. Potts
    I was stumbling around the internet when I came across an article about you. I know that this has nothing to do with your blog, but I’m sure you’ll understand that this was the easiest way for me to reach you (I am at work). I seen that you were from Kansas and I thought to myself, “Why not send this guy an invitation?” so here is my invite: The next time you come to Kansas I would love it if you stopped by Lawrence and joined me and my family for dinner. If you need any kind of accomadations I would be more than happy to provide you with them. We aren’t rich by any means, but I’m sure you’ve seen worse. You should have my email address from posting this comment, so please contact me if you’re ever aound here and need a place to stay for a day or two.

  2. justin Says:

    some of my recent favorites from the top of my head, just for kicks:

    Neither Here Nor There – Bryson, Bill
    I’m a Stranger here Myself – Bryson, Bill
    The Lost Continent – Bryson, Bill
    Round Ireland with a Fridge – Hawks, Tony
    Blue Highways – Heat Moon, William Least
    Life of Pi – Martel, Yann
    Road Fever – Cahill, Tim
    Seven Years in Tibet – Harrer, Heinrich
    Paddle to the Amazon – Starkell, Don
    A Walk in the Woods – Bryson, Bill
    On The Road – Kerouac, Jack
    Dharma Bums – Kerouac, Jack
    A Walk Across America – Jenkins, Peter
    Into Thin Air – Krakaeur, Jon
    The Adventurist – Pelton, Robert Young

  3. Natasha Says:

    I’m an aspiring travel writer. Everything on this blog facilitates ‘flight’, so thank you! Do you have Pico Iyer’s contact details by any chance? (even an e-mail id). I’d be eternally grateful if you could help me get in touch with him.


  4. John Menkes Says:

    Would like to have Mr. Iyer’s email – would appreceiate his comments on my new book: Views of Fuji.

  5. John Menkes Says:

    Would like to contact Mr. Iyer and solicit his comments on my book: Views of Fuji

  6. pereira marianne Says:


    I have just receieved Pico Iyer’s “The Global Road, The Global Journey of The Fourteenth
    Dalai Lama” and would like to communicate with him about a matter that has just struck me.

    Would you have Pico Iyer’s contact details as an e-mail id would be helpful. I would be grateful if you could help me get in touch with him.

    Many thanks and i look forward to your response.


  7. Nash Says:

    Dear Mr. Potts,

    Thank you for this list. 🙂 I was just wondering if you could send me Mr. Iyer and Mr. Cahill’s contact details? Don’t worry, I don’t need them to review any of my writing. I have a long way to go still but I just wanted to properly acknowledge the people who have changed my life. Please let me know if that’s okay. I hope to hear from you.

    Oh and is it okay to add you to my blogroll? I stumble upon your blog often enough and dream of someday finding a voice to speak of the places I’ve been to. But in the meantime, I’m content just reading you guys. 🙂 If you’re ever n the Philippines, do let me know. Thanks for your time, Sir.


  8. Tinesh Bhasin Says:

    Mr Potts,

    Would appreciate if you can help me with Mr Pico Iyer’s email address. I need to interview him for an Indian publication.

  9. Rolf Says:

    Tinesh, please send the query to my email address, and I’ll pass it along to Pico.