The lyrical style of writing makes Journeys of Lightheartedness a travel book like no other. Rather than sights to see, or dots on a map, Richard Moore focuses on the experience; how does it feel rather than what did you see. Sights of the city profiled are described, but not always the typical sites. Moore details the feeling, the experience, the small details of old neighborhoods and apartments he called home. In Paris he describes the hot dog vendors; in New York the sidewalks and brownstones; and on the island of Patmos the goat trails which disingenuously were the most scenic route to the far points of the island.
As a person who has not had much opportunity to travel, although perhaps more than some, Journeys of Lightheartedness resonates with my travel philosophy. I don’t always see all the recommended sights, as they are often well pictured on postcards and in coffee table books. Instead I love the bookstores and the thrift shops, and the diners where the locals eat. Moore and his wife Liz frequented the same food stands often in his many travels, getting to know the vendors as best he could, in their leather vests and white aprons, complete with pocket watch. Outings with old friends are described as they stretch the limits of the friendship.
One might imagine while reading Journeys of Lightheartedness that you can see and smell and hear what Moore describes to you. You could be transported to North Carolina or California or Wisconsin right along with him. On the way, you might see the cracked leather seat in front of you, or smell the ancient cigar smoke that resides in the draperies in a restaurant, from a time when smoking was allowed everywhere. You might chat with the washroom attendant or the flea market vendor. In any case, you will enjoy the trip.
Reviewed by Mary Blowers for Readers’ Favorite.