Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love:
J'adore Vivian Swift -- my favorite travel writer, my travel doodler. This book is a little secret pocket of treasure and intimacy. Enjoy every careful and carefree detail!
The Library Journal, March 1 2012:
If the traditional travel guide provides security with its objective detail, organizational structure, predictable outline, and recommendations-by-committee, Swift (When Wanderers Cease to Roam) charms by doing just the opposite. With honesty, whimsy, and subjectivity, she writes in a lively and authentic manner about traveling in her beloved France. She achieves this with her loose, stream-of-thought, anecdotal, and episodic style but especially through her drawings. Everything is covered–nightscapes, a bread guide, gardens, storefronts, a “what to pack” list, Cancale oysters, Bordeaux grapes, statues–with the spontaneity of a cafe sketch session that nearly belies its elegant detail and accuracy. They seem at once in-the-moment and a commentary on it.
Swift’s narrative feels like a vacation. It’s interested in the history of bridges and cheese and wine, takes notice of room decor and the contrasting tones of village streets at dusk and dawn, and wonders about a town’s laundry day and neighborhood cats. A fun, funny, and wonderful experience; highly recommended.
FRANCE Magazine, April 2012:
Veteran globetrotter Swift set out to chronicle her French honeymoon but ended up penning a quirky love letter to travel filled with cultural, historical and literary references. Delightful watercolors illustrate this wide-ranging field guide, which offers hilarious travel survival tips for every clime as well as ruminations on subjects as varied as Parisian windows, Breton sailor-stripe shirts and lettuce (not to mention a highly idiosyncratic A-to-Z on vagabonding in the Bordeaux region).
Scenes from Le Road Trip:
Scenes from Wanderers:
Nancy Pearl, NPR
I probably cannot adequately convey how much I absolutely loved reading Vivian Swift's When Wanderers Cease to Roam; A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put. For over two decades, Swift traveled the world, for work and fun, and then she settled down with five cats in a house in a small village on Long Island Sound. Wanderers is her diary (highly illustrated with her watercolor drawings) of those years, with diversions into her past. It's charming, delightful and captivating. I loved the pictures of the single mittens that she's found over the years, but I could have equally chosen any of hundreds of other examples of what made this book so much fun to read.
Wanderers is a perfect gift for travelers, those with artistic souls, those with a sense of wonder, those who are hug-the-hearths — in short — nearly everyone on your gift list.