I’m super excited about today’s book suggestion. The latest title in Crown’s Journey Series is Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore by Madison Smartt Bell. The cover itself, decorated with Hon hair and a photo of the famous Painted Ladies, is enough for me to know — I want to read this book! When I first started writing for Gadling back in 2005, I was still a Baltimore resident, and I’ve mentioned the fantastic city here on more than one occasion. I debated waiting to tell ya all about this one until after I had a chance to read it, but why wait? I’m fairly confident it’s an excellent read. I BELIEVE in all things Baltimore.
But you don’t have to take my word for it — This week, the New York Times praised Bell’s book as a guide to the “soul” of a “real city.” Bell, an award-winning author who has lived in Baltimore for over twenty years, is a professor at Goucher College, where he directs the creative writing program. His book explores the history of the city by traveling through its unique mix of neighborhoods and major arteries, focusing on four specific walks through Fells Point and Dickeysville and along Charles Street and Greemount Avenue. Some well-known locals, like Laura Lippman and David Simon, join him on the jaunts. The Baltimore Sun interviewed Bell about how this project came to be. It’s a good read, and more proof that the book is sure to serve as a perfect companion for any trip to Charm City.