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Longitude News

Longitude News | For Customers, Friends and Partners of Longitude


  1. 1. Featured Destination: Scottish Highlands & Islands
  2. 2. Featured Publisher: Archipelago Books
  3. 3. New & Noteworthy: Sri Lankan Complex
  4. 4. Series Relaunch: DK Eyewitess Top Ten
  5. 5. New in Paperback: No Man is an Island
  6. 6. Icelandic Thrillers: Inspector Erlendur Investigates
  7. 7. Travel Community: Educational Travel Conference

Dear Traveler,

It's not too late to start planning your travels for 2016. If they take you to the islands of Scotland, to Sri Lanka or to any isle in between, we have the books for you. No matter your destination, don't miss the relaunch of one of our favorite guidebook series from DK Eyewitness.

Let us introduce you to our friends at Archipelago Books, a lovely not-for-profit that has translated and published over 100 books in 30 different languages. We're showcasing a few of our favorite titles, the perfect companions to curl up with during the long winter months. Unless, of course, you're more of the literary thriller type. We've got you covered there, too, with an overview of the deliciously dark Inspector Erlendur series.

And finally, notes from the Educational Travel Conference where we were inspired by author  Wade Davis, whose keynote reminded us that no traveler is an island.

Wishing you the best in this Year of the Monkey,

Jodie Vinson


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Sea Room, An Island Life in the Hebrides (GBR369, $20.00)

Adam Nicolson explores the nature, history and magic of three remote islands, a few miles east of the Isle of Lewis, deeded to him by his father. Tiny islands surrounded by serious tides, the Shiants nonetheless make their mark with 500-foot basalt cliffs, seabird and seal colonies, and a long history. Nicolson combines interviews, diligent research, anecdote, history and observation in this lyrical portrait.

Hebrides (SCT234, $26.99)

In this photographic exploration of Scotland's Outer Hebrides, author Peter May presents the landscapes that inspired his bestelling Isle of Lewis Trilogy: peat bogs, heather-coated hills, rugged islands, weather-beaten churches and all the vivid majesty of the archipelago.

Gods of the Morning, A Bird's-Eye View of a Changing World (BRD134, $26.95)

Prominent naturalist John Lister-Kaye describes how the Scottish Highlands have changed over the last 30 years through the eyes of remarkable birds, from the common swallow to the whooper swan and many more. A vivid, personable and poetic read.

The Story of Scotland, Inspired by the Great Tapestry of Scotland (SCT241, $15.95)

Through the 165 panels of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, Allan Burnett tells the story of the British nation, its Viking invasions, Arctic whalers, saints, soldiers -- even its Wimbledon champs. Written for ages 9-12.

Lonely Planet Scotland's Highlands & Islands (SCT62, $21.99)

This practical guide to Scotland's highlands and islands features maps, a good overview of culture, history and nature, and plenty of information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing. With color photographs and excellent travel information.


A unique publisher of both classic and contemporary international literature, Archipelago Books produces beautifully designed volumes in translation. From the lesser-known works of literary giants like Bohumil Hrabal and Hallador Laxness to the literary sensation Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle, these expansive books are meant to be treasured and pondered, before, during or after a trip abroad.


This Divided Island, Life, Death and the Sri Lankan War (SRL39, $27.99)

Through travels and conversations, New Delhi-based journalist Sammanth Subramanian covers the 30-year history of the Tamil Tiger guerrillas, their struggle and how their civil war may be remembered.

Elephant Complex, Travels in Sri Lanka (SRL43, $28.95)

This exuberant travelogue by an award-winning writer takes stock of Sri Lanka, from the capital city of Colombo through the remotest interior. In his eye-opening journey, John Gimlette visits elephants, forts, tea plantations, devil-dancers, tribesmen, expats, an ex-president and much more. He mixes his narrative with colonial history (Portuguese, British, Dutch and Danish) and plenty of lucid observations.

Sri Lanka, The New Country (SRL44, $19.99)

Drawing on her experience as a foreign correspondent covering the Sri Lankan civil war that ended in 2009, Padma Rao Sundarji writes dispassionately about the challenges facing the rapidly developing nation.

A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka (SRL42, $17.95)

This handy field guide to 280 bird species common to Sri Lanka features colorful, high-quality photographs accompanied by detailed species descriptions, size, distribution, plumage, preferred habitats and nomenclature. The book also includes a user-friendly introduction and a checklist.


The compact, illustrated guides in the popular DK Eyewitness Top Ten series, already a favorite among many travelers, are about to get even better. DK is relaunching their pocket guides, beginning with ten hand-picked destinations. Featuring favorite attractions, new itineraries, fresh design, excellent color images and bigger, better maps, these revitalized guides are handsome, convenient and up-to-date.


Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World (ICL73, $16.95)

Two science writers discuss the political and natural ramifications of the 1783 eruption of Iceland's largest volcano, Laki, which led to global death, famine and even revolution. Great for the geologically minded but accessible to all with an interest in volcanoes. Longlisted for the 2016 Pen/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Island of a Thousand Mirrors (SRL35, $15.99)

A passionate portrait of place, Nayomi Munaweera’s debut novel follows the lives of two ordinary Sri Lankans as they are shaped by a brutal civil war. Winner of the Commonwealth Book Prize for Asia.

Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye (JPN460, $16.95)

When her American father passes away, Marie Mutsuki Mockett seeks consolation in her mother's home country of Japan. She visits a radiation zone, a Buddhist school, temples and festivals in an effort to understand the Japanese way of grieving, to bury her dead and find healing.

Cuba Straits (CBA253, $9.99)

In this 22nd Doc Ford thriller, the wily detective searches for his old friend, General Juan Garcia, who goes missing after attempting to sell some of Castro's old letters. Now the clock is ticking: who doesn't want these meddlesome messages to see the light of day and where is Garcia?

The Inland Sea (JPN13, $18.95)

Donald Richie's masterpiece, on its surface a travel account, is a beautiful reflection on all things Japanese by one of the country's most acute observers. Anyone with an interest in Japan would enjoy this book, those on a voyage through the Inland Sea even more so. Now in a new paperback edition.


If any man could be described as an island it might be the moody Inspector Erlendur of Arnaldur Indridason's gritty Icelandic thrillers. Gloomy and intensely private, Erlendur has managed to become a popular figure in contemporary literature. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, the enigmatic police inspector spends dark days uncovering unsavory skeletons, tracking missing persons and, in general, seeking justice in a cold and cruel land. Into Oblivion, the latest installment, acts as a prequel to the rest of the thrilling series, beginning with Jar City.


Longitude recently attended the annual Educational Travel Conference in St. Louis. Besides meeting with our current valued travel partners we met a host of new travel companies and look forward to partnering with them in the coming year, all in the name of getting books into the hands of travelers.

The Educational Travel Community was the privileged audience of several talented keynotes, including author and anthropologist Wade Davis. Davis inspired us with images and stories of little-known cultures around the world, reminding us that alternate ways of being are not "failed attempts at being you," but rather the "answer to the question of what it is to be human." Such an answer might be played out in Western cultures through "technological wizardry" but it might also be in the "unraveling of the threads of memory held in myth" by a remote tribe in Polynesia.

In addition to advocating for the conservation of indigenous societies and fast-disappearing languages (which he compared to "the old growth forests of the mind"), Davis inspired the tourism community to continue the good work of fostering meaningful and reciprocal relationships with native peoples through travel. His books move us to do the same, whether by educating us about the ecology of the Colorado River (River Notes), exploring the Amazon (One River) or relating a breathtaking ascent of Everest (Into the Silence). We look forward to returning to the conference next year, animated and enthused by more travel experiences and, of course, further reading.

Please email with your suggestions and comments. We like to hear from our customers!

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P.S. Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the monkey. Celebrate with National Geographic's new children's book, or, for adults, the new Big Red Book of Modern Chinese Literature. We also recommend Michael Meyer's wonderful memoir of rural China, In Manchuria, just out in paperback!