1. Rockwell Kent's N by E. 1930. Relationship to Iceland tangential; just finished reading this one. Purchased at Chop Suey Books, Richmond.
2. Lord Dufferin's Letters from High Latitudes. 1857. Wikipedia describes this as "the prototype of the comic travelogue." Obtained by BookMooch from the UK.
3. Tim Moore's Frost on My Moustache. 1999. Purchased at Second Story Books in Washington, DC.
A tidy packet, if I do say so.
For my chicken-loving pals (you know who you are), here is the following aperitif from High Latitudes. On board the Foam, headed for Iceland; fowl on deck:
Shortly after this, a very melancholy occurrence took place. I had observed for some days past, as we proceeded north, and the nights became shorter, that the cock...became quite bewildered on the subject of that meteorological phenomenon called the Dawn of Day. In fact, I doubt whether he ever slept for more than five minutes at a stretch, without waking up in a state of nervous agitation, lest it should be cock-crow. At last, when night ceased altogether, his constitution could no longer stand the shock. He crowed once or twice sarcastically, then went melancholy mad: finally, taking a calenture, he cackled lowly (probably of green fields), and leaping overboard, drowned himself. The mysterious manner in which every day a fresh member of his harem used to disappear, may also have preyed upon his spirits.
Chicken woodcut used with kind permission of Scottish artist Alice Strange. Take a look at her web page to see some really lovely pieces that reflect her interest in the natural beauty of Scotland, New Zealand, and much more.
Anyone who discovers what the artwork of Alice Strange has in common with the Lord Dufferin book might achieve lasting fame in a future blog post.