So much for originality. In the July issue of National Geographic Traveler, the editors have selected their 50 favorite books to read on vacation—this year’s addition to their ongoing Ultimate Travel Library. Number 21? Bermuda Shorts: The Hidden Side of the Richest Place on Earth by T.C. Sobey. Apparently it’s about a guy who moves to Bermuda in search of paradise and finds “nothing is as ever as it seems on the surface.” Sound familiar? Considering it’s on the same list with classics such as In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk, and A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, it must be a good read, but talk about stealing a guy’s thunder. According to Traveler’s editors each of the books selected “will illuminate your destination, give you unexpected tips on what to see and do, and keep you turning pages during that long flight or that sunny poolside afternoon.” Jeez. The good news is I’ve still got the market cornered on first-person accounts of island life since the book is largely a compendium of offbeat newspaper articles culled from the Royal Gazette. Like the story about the man who successfully returned a pair of socks he bought 48 years earlier or the one about the couple who wakes up only to find a strange man in their bed. And then there are the letters to the editor written by citizens with strange pen names like Heartbroken, Not Amused, and Treehugger—an odd phenomenon that still occurs to this day. I’ll never understand why folks choose not to sign their name (is there some kind of tropical hell to pay?) but such is life in Bermuda. I guess I’m not the only one who's figured it all out.
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