In Turkey I Am Beautiful-Brendan Shanahan
Shanahan describes himself as a queer giant in a paranoid land.
Shanahan is not a first time traveler to Turkey nor is he 'finding himself' or any of the other narratives you often find in travelogues to obscure Eastern areas (in fact, I'd say Shanahan stays exactly himself), instead he is a travel-savvy man who tries his hardest to meet locals and makes friends with them. He doesn't present a sunny Turkey here and focuses on the often melancholy or paranoid but ultimately very warm aspects of Turkish culture which is so close to my own experiences (especially the conspiracy theories!!) that I immediately liked reading this book ten times more. He spends his time either in Istanbul working in a carpet shop or visiting the dangerous, untouristed Eastern reaches of the country where I'd never venture but find interesting nevertheless. He describes his travels with great humor, a crude buffoon with a good heart type of humor and thus will entertain you as he trods on many people's toes. He clearly delights in idiosyncrasies, finds something interesting/to enjoy everywhere he goes, and this makes this book sound like he's sitting there, telling you his stories over a drink. Maybe you won't choose to travel along with him and maybe you shouldn't meet some of his friends but for your drink together, this was fun while informative.