I enjoy travel writing and I thought that since I'm a fan of Anthony Bourdain that I'd enjoy his selections for The Best American Travel Writing 2008. All in all it was a strong collection, the only selection I struggled with was the first one, "Extreme Chocolate" by Bill Buford-it felt like much more than I wanted to know about cacao and Frederick Schilling. There selections form some of me favorite contemporary writers: "The Golden Man" (about Turkmenistan's former dictator Saparmurat Niyazov)by Paul Theroux- incidentally Matthew Teague also had a great essay on an equally inept leader (Tongan king Akilisi Pohiva in "While the King Sleeps"), Ian Buruma's ""Phnom Penh Now," David Sedaris' "Journey Into Night" (about air travel), and Gary Shteyngart's "To Russia With Love." There were also a couple of contributors from Slate online magazine who had entertaining pieces as well-Simon Doonan with "Brighton Beach Memoir" and Seth Stevenson's "Looking for Mammon in the Muslim World" (about Dubai). I enjoyed Karl Taro Greenfeld's "Hope and Squalor at Chungking Mansion" since it was the location of one of my favorite Wong Kar-wai films, Chungking Express, and I plan to visit the site on my next trip to Hong Kong. I'm a big fan of Singaporean food and visited there multiple times, so I also enjoyed Calvin Trillan's essay "Three Chopsticks" about Singaporean street food. Painful travel experiences make for mesmerizing reading as well and there were a couple of pieces that fit the bill include Bryan Mealer's essay about a trip down the Congo River during an election, "The River is a Road" and James Campbell's retracing the 130mile trek soldiers took in WWII on the Kapa Kapa Trail in"Chasing Ghosts." Some other standouts included Peter Hessler's "Wheels of Fortune" about the driving culture of China in 2007, Pankaj Mishra's report on "The Train to Tibet," and Annie Nocenti's essay about falconing in Pakistan, "The Most Expensive Road Trip in the World." Honestly I enjoyed all of the pieces, however, some more than others. I think I will check out other editions from editors I like-I see there are volumes from the likes of Theroux and Bil Bryson in the series as well.