Longitude News

Longitude News

Longitude News

Longitude News

Longitude News | For Customers, Friends and Partners of Longitude


  1. 1. New & Noteworthy: Indonesia & Papua New Guinea
  2. 2. A Favorite Spot: Papua New Guinea
  3. 3. The Great War: The 100th Anniversary
  4. 4. Tour de France: Mapping Le Tour
  5. 5. New in Paperback: Tsars to Narwhals
  6. 6. Yosemite: Celebrating 150 Years

Dear Traveler,

As more and more travelers explore Indonesia, from the beaches of Bali to the wilds of West Papua, the archipelago and neighboring Papua New Guinea have become the setting for a rich array of new literature. We'll introduce you to some anthropologists in the field — from the fictional Nell Stone of the new novel Euphoria, based on the life of Margaret Mead, to present-day anthropologist Michael French Smith, who shares a favorite spot off the coast of PNG.

Then we're off to Europe to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Tim Butcher is on the trail of the man who started it all, and John Baxter takes us to Paris when the city of light went dark. For a brighter tour of France, check out new books on the world's greatest cycling challenge. And finally, we invite you to celebrate America's National Parks.

Happy Birthday, Yosemite!

Jodie Vinson


Connect Facebook Connect Pinterest Connect Twitter Connect RSS


From Savage Harvest (NGA26, $26.99), Carl Hoffman's exploration of the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea, to Tim Flannery's scientific exploration of that island in An Explorer's Notebook (EXP102, $26.00), we've seen an influx of great new books for travelers to Indonesia and PNG. And they just keep coming!

Indonesia, Etc., Exploring the Improbable Nation
(INS121, $26.95)

Though she traveled 26,000 miles around the 13,500 islands of Indonesia, journalist Elizabeth Pisani goes far beyond the numbers to explore what, if anything, holds the impossibly disparate nation together. Along her journey, she debates corruption and cannibalism, navigates impossibly strange traditions and sleeps in a volcano.

Indonesia, Islands of the Imagination (INS123, $16.95)

A visual journey through the world's largest archipelago featuring 140 full-color photos by Jill Gocher and text by Michael Vatikiotis, who takes us through a myriad of breathtaking scenes, from Jakarta and Bali to Sumatra, Sulawesi and New Guinea (and plenty of islands in between).

Euphoria (PNG35, $25.00)

Based on the life and work of Margaret Mead and her second and third husbands, this haunting and atmospheric new novel by Lily King follows the convoluted relationships and personalities of three anthropologists isolated within the female-led Tam tribe of Papua New Guinea along the Sepik River. Check out that incredible Eucalyptus deglupta, New Guinea's native rainbow gum tree, pictured on the cover!

Bali, A Legendary Isle (BAL38, $15.95)

This armchair tour around the lush tropical island of Bali takes the reader to its highland volcanic lakes, beaches, ancient temples and bustling villages. It's a great travel primer with photographs by National Geographic photographer R. Ian Lloyd.

All About Indonesia, Stories, Songs and Crafts for Kids (INS122, $16.95)

This book from the All About series introduces children to Indonesian culture through fun activities that teach them how to speak the language (Bahasa Indonesia), make traditional masks and create Indonesian cloth and food.


Kindly contributed by Michael French Smith, who has been called the "academic grandchild of Margaret Mead" for his portrait of the people of Kragur Village in the East Sepik province of PNG in his book Village on the Edge (PNG20, $29.00). His most recent work, A Faraway, Familiar Place (PNG36, $35.00), chronicles the friendships he has cultivated across cultural differences since he first met the villagers in 1975. Originally listed at $52.00, the book is available for $35.00.

"I've been visiting Kragur Village on Kairiru Island, just off the north coast of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) mainland, since 1975. It's the site of my anthropological research, and a place of which I am very fond, even though traveling by foot — the only option — on Kragur's rugged mountainside in the fierce equatorial heat leaves me dripping with sweat. But there is a convenient remedy for this: a visit to one of my favorite places in the world, the Kragur men's bathing pool.

Fortunately for Kairiru people, the island's geological structure catches and concentrates rainwater, releasing it in springs that feed swift, plunging streams. The several dozen palm leaf-thatched houses that make up Kragur lie near one of these, and the village men and women have their respective bathing places among an Edenic tumble of shallow rapids, slow eddies and small waterfalls spilling past black volcanic boulders sprouting small, perfect ferns glistening with mist.

When I arrived in Kragur for the first time, my guide ushered me immediately to the men's secluded bathing spot. I eased into a pool fed by a curtain of water spread across a broad rock face and sat down on a bed of smooth pebbles. One arm wrapped around a large protruding rock to keep me from washing downstream, I lay back and let the cool water wash away sweat, sunburn, the red mud crusted on my legs and the itch of insect bites.

Kairiru islanders are learning that there are intrepid tourists willing to travel in small, open boats and on muddy trails to enjoy experiences like rainforest bathing. The locally-owned Polen Guest House, not far from Kragur, advertises this as one of its amenities. I appreciate modern plumbing as much as anyone, but I've not yet encountered any porcelain or tile facilities that can compare with Kragur's rock pools."


The Trigger, Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War (WAR200, $26.00)

Historian and explorer Tim Butcher retraces the steps of Gavrilo Princip, the reactionary teenager who started WWI by assasinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Utilizing newly uncovered sources, Butcher retells the cycle of events that brought Princip's finger to the trigger, plunging Europe into its deadliest war yet.

The Month That Changed the World, July 1914
(WAR197, $34.95)

In an attempt to piece together the beginnings of WWI, Martel begins with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and moves day-by-day through the lives of the top brass as they decide to declare war, profiling such leaders as Prussia's Kaiser Wilhelm II, Austria's Emperor Franz Joseph, Russia's Tsar Nicholas II and Britain's Sir Edward Grey.

World War I, The Definitive Visual History
(WAR196, $40.00)

This well-designed comprehensive history of the First World War begins with the tangled net of European alliances that fanned the flames of the conflict and ends with the Treaty of Versailles. Along the way, R.G. Grant chronicles special interest stories, like Gen. Douglas Haig's insistence that men on horseback still had a place in modern warfare and a sculptor who created works in memory of her son who was lost in the fighting. Richly illustrated with maps, timelines and charts.

The War That Ended Peace (WAR190, $35.00)

A cogent, brilliant book chronicling the military leaders, activists, diplomats, bankers and the extended family of monarchs who watched Europe descend into WWI. Named one of the best books of the year by The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times.

The Sleepwalkers (EUR455, $18.99)

Christopher Clark uniquely captures the intrigue, politics and the centrality of the Balkans in this meticulously researched, gripping narrative of the events that ultimately led to the beginning of World War I.

Paris at the End of the World (FRA122, $15.99)

John Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World) returns to one of his favorite subjects, Paris, to explore how the city survived the four years when WWI threatened her destruction. Taxis drove troops to the front, iconic cathedrals sheltered the wounded and the Eiffel Tower relayed messages to war zones. Baxter tells the heartening story of how, throughout some of its darkest days, the city of light managed to burn brighter than ever.

A Mad Catastrophe (WAR201, $29.99)

A clear and absorbing history of the state of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the start of WWI, the point at which the empire began collapsing. Drawing on deep archival research, Geoffrey Wawro charts the decline of the Empire and reconstructs battles in the Balkans with thrilling and tragic detail.

Mapping the First World War, Battlefields of the Great Conflict from Above (WAR210, $24.95)

This incredibly handsome book delivers more than 100 large-format maps and charts selected from the Kew National Archives in London. The maps are accompanied by informative text exploring what each reveals about a world at war.


The 101st Tour de France takes place this month, a 3,664-kilometer cycling challenge that begins in Leeds and runs through Cambridge and London before crossing the Channel to follow along France's eastern and southern borders, with a grand finish in Paris's Champs Elysees. Follow the routes of previous tours with the exciting new book on the history of the race Mapping Le Tour.

Mapping Le Tour (FRA100, $27.95)

With detailed maps, photographs and informative stats of each Tour de France race, this guide gives a comprehensive overview of the history and development of the world's most famous bike race. Introduction by Mark Cavendish.

Tour De France, The Complete History of the World's Greatest Cycle Race (FRA83, $29.95)

This beautifully written history of the world's most iconic bicycle race covers more than 100 years of memorable events, fierce rivalries and feats of endurance. Marguerite Lazell, herself a competitive cyclist, chronicles tour legends (with an informative section on deposed champion Lance Armstrong) and the upcoming generation of top cyclists competing in the race today. Filled with plenty of black-and-white and color photographs.

Tour de France Travel Guide (FRN832, $24.95)

In his 30-plus years of following and photographing the race, Graham Watson has mastered the Tour de France's daily challenges. He shares his insights in this beautifully illustrated guidebook, making it simple to see the race while treating readers to tips on how to enjoy everything that France has to offer. With tips on planning, reservations, hotels — and coping with crowds.

Tour De France, The History, the Legend, the Riders (FRN886, $25.95)

Active cyclist and writer Graeme Fife provides compelling insights into the colorful history of the tour and its mystique in this newly updated edition.


Secret Lives of the Tsars (RUS512, $16.00)

In this scandalous tell-all about Russia's ruling class, Michael Farquhar skips over the dryer parts of history to deliver the jaw-dropping morsels about Catherine the Great's affinity for young lovers and Peter the Great's proclivity for beheading his subjects.

The Valley of Amazement (CHN743, $16.99)

Moving between the glittering world of courtesans in turn-of-the-century Shanghai, a remote Chinese village and the rough hewn streets of nineteenth-century San Francisco, bestselling author Amy Tan's epic novel maps the lives of women connected by blood and history.

The Story of Spanish (SPN540, $16.99)

What began as a dialect spoken in northern Spain became the world's most spoken language after English. The husband-and-wife team responsible for The Story of French (FRA98, $16.99) are here to tell you how, with an emphasis on the pervasiveness of Spanish culture.

Only in Spain (SPN550, $14.99)

In this exuberant memoir, an enthusiastic young Australian traces her journey from Sydney as a directionless, vegan twenty-something to Seville and Madrid where she attends the apex of flamenco schools, Amor de Dios. Along the way, she is driven by a mad passion for flamenco and Spanish culture.

Ireland Unhinged (IRE334, $17.95)

Seeking the essence of Irish identity, American transplant David Monagan travels the length and width of Ireland to explain, among much else, the people's mirth, soulfulness and eccentricities that endure despite the recent economic collapse.

African Stories (AFR318, $17.00)

First published in 1965, this short story collection by 20th-century luminary Doris Lessing features her early work, composed while she lived in Africa. Then a hopeful communist and feminist, the British writer staunchly opposed apartheid and colonialism. Her winning prose explores the complexities, the agonies, joys and the textures of life in Africa.

Narwhals, Arctic Whales in a Melting World (ARC321, $19.95)

The stuff of legend, the tusked narwhal was once as mythical as the unicorn. In his marvelous overview of the mysterious creature, conservationist and author Todd McLeish draws on interviews with scientists, historians and folklorists and delves into the logbooks of whalers and explorers to paint a full picture of the narwhal and its neighbors the walrus, polar bear, bowhead and beluga whale, ivory gull and seal. His work also highlights the effects of climate change on narwhal populations.


On June 30, 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act to promote a peaceful retreat for Americans. The act would protect and preserve the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias over the next 150 years. To mark the anniversary, we're highlighting some gorgeous books that celebrate the lasting legacy of America's National Parks.

Seed of the Future, Yosemite and the Evolution of the National Park Idea (CAL336, $27.00)

This coffee-table book, published in commemoration of Yosemite National Park's 150th anniversary (also the beginning of the National Park system), profiles colorful historical figures like nature activist John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt, arguably the nation's most conservation-minded president, and is illustrated with color photographs that capture the wonder of Yosemite. Its author, award-winning filmmaker Dayton Duncan, wrote and produced the acclaimed PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." The companion book to that series is also available (USA356, $32.50).

Inspiring Generations, 150 Years, 150 Stories in Yosemite (CAL333, 19.95)

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the unprecedented Yosemite Grant Act, this book compiles 150 pieces of prose and poetry selected out of hundreds of submissions from the general public. Meant to inspire future visits to the country's first public parkland, the collection includes personal stories about hikes up Half Dome, encounters with bears and overnight stays at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

The Ansel Adams Wilderness (USA545, $22.95)

National Geographic photographer Peter Essick pays homage to the great Ansel Adams by capturing the rugged, striking beauty of the California High Sierras in glamorous black-and-white shots. His work is supplemented by provocative insights from conservationists and naturalists. The perfect coffee table book for wilderness enthusiasts.

Yosemite, the Complete Guide (CAL213, $19.95)

This outdoor guide, which includes the High Sierra, features stunning color photographs on almost every page, a detailed roundup of hiking, camping and other activities, innovative maps in topographic detail and dozens of suggested itineraries.

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

Connect Facebook Connect Pinterest Connect Twitter Connect RSS

Longitude, Recommended Reading for Travelers
2838 Vicksburg Lane, Plymouth, MN 55447

PS. Where are you traveling this summer? Stop by our Facebook page and leave a comment telling us your next destination for a chance to win $25.00 towards your next purchase.