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Both “Criminal” and “Confidential” Make for Great Travel Reads – Part 2

"Cockpit Confidential" isn't just about airplanes. It's a book about the whole grand theater of air travel.
Lysa Allman-Baldwin

The Lonely Planet books which we explored in Part 1 of this series are not the only great new travel reads out there. Following are a few more to support your wanderlust adventures.

For the Fearless Traveler

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a fearless traveler, yet I have to say that this book really sounds intriguing. Criminal London: A Sightseer’s Guide to the Capital of Crime by Kris and Nina Hollington provides an insider’s look at the more sinister side of this celebrated European city, with more than 100 sites revolving around common criminals, countless murderers, assassins, and a great deal more.

From a walk around the London of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to that of Jack the Ripper, readers will be truly captivated. Speaking of Jack the Ripper, his seedy journey around London encompasses five miles which the authors say can be explored at a leisurely walk within 2-½ hours. You’ll venture through White Chapel Road; to the Royal London Hospital where you can view The Openshaw Letter, thought to have been sent by Jack the Ripper with a kidney of one of his victims; and other sites. Yet they don’t simply just provide you with the location and what happened there, rather historical background that really sets the stage for the ambiance of the day.

Locations like Gambler’s Paradise in London’s Berkeley Square, De Beers’ Diamond HQ, King’s Bench Prison and other locations are also part of the fun.

What Happens in the Cockpit stays in the Cockpit!

That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw I saw the title of this book: Cockpit Confidential: Everything you need to know about air travel, Questions Answers & Reflections.

Sometimes you want to know stuff and sometimes you might think that being blissfully unaware is the safer route to go. However, you would be missing out on a lot if you did not read this book written by air travel writer and veteran commercial pilot Patrick Smith, who has visited over 70 countries.

In it, he provides air travelers with the scoop on a wide array of subjects related to air travel including myths and misconceptions about cabin air and cockpit automation; the truth about delays and the dysfunction of the modern airport; airfares, seating woes and the pitfalls of airline customer service; and the two fundamental flaws of airport security post-9/11, among other tidbits.

It’s important to note that the book isn't purely informational. According to the author, “The question-and-answer sections are obviously crucial, but they're blended with essays and memoir, and it's the latter that are probably the book's strongest parts.” And, the book isn't just about airplanes. “It's a book about the whole grand theater, as I like to call it, of air travel,” he says.

It’s a fascinating read whether you travel only now again for vacation, or on a regular basis for business or pleasure. And it might just help clear up some your questions, take away the frustration, and maybe even rid you of any flying anxiety you may have. The next time I walk onto a plane I think I’ll have it in my hand so the pilot and crew can see that some of us know a little more than they might think!

To start at Part 1 click here.

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