One for the Road: Notable African Explorers – Stanley, Hatton and Mahoney

The New York Times just released its list of 100 Notable Books of 2007. Although we previously mentioned notable selection Down the Nile by Rosemary Mahoney, two other adventure-themed titles on the list caught my eye:

The first is Stanley – The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer by Tim Jeal. According to Paul Theroux’s review, “Of the many biographies of Henry Morton Stanley, Jeal’s, which profits from his access to an immense new trove of material, is the most complete and readable.”

Another notable travel-inspired book worth mentioning is Sara Wheeler’s Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton, otherwise known as the man immortalized by a hunky Robert Redford in Out of Africa. From the NYT review: “In Finch Hatton, Wheeler has found the archetypal wanderer forced to straddle multiple worlds. He embodies the contradictions of the early modern age and, in some ways still, of ours. “He was,” she writes, “the open road made flesh.”

All three of these stories about African explorations have been recognized as notable works, and each one really does sound like a fascinating read. Maybe some good holiday gift ideas for you or your literary loved-ones?