Monday, November 19, 2007

Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague - Myla Goldberg

The Basics: Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague, Myla Goldberg, 2004, 140 pages

How I found it: This book was featured at my library in the travel section. I spent some time in Prague while backpacking in Central Europe a few years ago, so I picked it up.

What's it about?: This book is a travel book, but it is not your usual travel book - it is not a guidebook or travel writing. Instead it is a series of little essays on the author's reflections as she returns for a visit ten years after she lived there. The essays are descriptions of neighbourhoods, explanations of the history of some areas, and a few anecdotes about her travels there.

Did I like it?: I enjoyed this book but I wasn't blown away by it. As I said, I've spent some time in Prague and like to think that I know a fair amount about it. However, there was almost nothing in Goldberg's book that I knew already: I guess it takes a former resident to really know the city. This book was unlike any I had ever read before, which I enjoyed. Goldberg writes well and in some passages I could clearly picture the sites she was describing.

Will you like it?: If you've been to Prague or want to go, this is a great alternative to a guidebook as it gives you a more interesting history behind the city, and also points out places of interest that are well off the usual tourist trail.

But don't take my word for it: The usual from Amazon, a brief review from another book blogger, and one from the New York Times.

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