Yearly Archives: 2016


manaus, the unique city 2

Truly, Manaus is other-worldly.  I visited for a glorious week a number of years ago.  It is the safest large city in Brazil to carry around an expensive digital camera: as no roads connect Manaus to anywhere, and the jungle is forbidding, the only escape for criminals is by boat […]


signet society reading, cambridge, ma

You’re cordially invited to the first post-Rio Olympics reading of To Belém & Back, recently given one of Publishers Weekly’s coveted ★ Star reviews. Author Ben Batchelder intends to give a brief reading, present the short film “Tiradentes2Belém,” and answer any questions at the Signet Society, in Cambridge, Mass., on […]


ariaú, amazon

One visits the Amazon to visit the jungle.  But how?  The most accessible way for the casual visitor are jungle hotels.  This one, the Ariaú Amazon Towers, is a two hour boat ride up Rio Negro from Manaus, visited some years ago.  They say it was Jacques Cousteau’s idea, back […]


miami beach book & film event

The first public reading of To Belém & Back in Miami Beach, one of the cradles of the book’s creation, was a hoot, with 23+ people packing into my old friend Russell’s mid-beach apartment.  Novelist Ben Batchelder read a darker passage than usual, about the change in his relation with […]


miami beach reading & screening

You’re cordially invited to a book reading of To Belém & Back with a view, at my dear friend Russell’s top-floor apartment in mid-beach. When:       Friday, June 17th, 7-8pm Where:      4035 N. Meridian Ave., Apt. Ph How:         use *5712 front door code […]


santa fe, nm reading & q&a

The first reading of To Belém & Back west of the Mississippi was a success, with over 20 people attending.  (Twice the turnout of my last book reading in Santa Fe.)  My black Lab Zeno stole the show, of course, and the 20′ video “Tiradentes2Belém” was well received.  The author wishes […]


santa fe, nm reading

You’re cordially invited to a book reading of To Belém & Back, which just won a coveted Red Star ★ from Publishers Weekly, by author Ben Batchelder in Santa Fe, NM. Ben plans to read an excerpt, present a slideshow/film titled “Tiradentes2Belém,” and to take questions at The Travel Bug, […]


publishers weekly review gives coveted star ★ to “belém & back”

“An insightful and poignant account… As in the very best travelogues, the author seamlessly combines the personal, the political, and the cultural…[along with] the philosophical, via thought-provoking reflections…” See the full review at Publishers Weekly booklife page; and, if you’re fast, see the book positioning in their weekly reviews here. […]


way upper amazon

I recently went on a mission trip to the Ucayali River in the Peruvian jungle.  While not technically backroads or Brazil, the riverine communities there are similar with those downriver in Brazil and, in the Amazon, rivers are the roads.  With a small group from my church in Miami Beach […]