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Longitude News | For Customers, Friends and Partners of Longitude


  1. 1. Endurance: 100th Anniversary of Shackleton's Voyage
  2. 2. New & Noteworthy: Red Nile, Delta Blues
  3. 3. Featured Destination: Siberia
  4. 4. New in Paperback: Luminous Shores & Cool Cities
  5. 5. Book to Film: Inside Tracks
  6. 6. Octoberfest: Beer, Booze & Brews
  7. 7. And the Winner Is: Nobel Prize, Man Booker Prize & Dolman Travel Book Award

Dear Traveler,

As ships set sail for the Antarctic season and the 100th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton's legendary voyage approaches, we're setting our sights south. Shackleton fever has spread through our staff as Longitude's book club discussed the epic story of his expedition in Alfred Lansing's Endurance, now out in a 100th anniversary edition.

Read through the end of this newsletter to discover the winners of the Man Booker, Nobel Prize and Dolman Travel Book Award, one of which fits nicely with our featured destination: Siberia. Then raise your glass to Octoberfests around the world, and don't forget to sign up for our forthcoming holiday catalog!


Jodie Vinson


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We are not only celebrating Shackleton's voyage with a new graphic novel and biography about the legendary hero, we're also honoring the journeys of those who followed in his icy footprints, including Sir Vivian Fuchs and Sir Edmund Hillary, who together made the first successful crossing of the continent in 1957, and Felicity Aston, the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica. And of course, our celebration would not be complete without penguins! Tui de Roy has the ultimate guide to flightless birds.

Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
(ANT396, $27.99)

An extraordinary tale of survival that reads like a good novel. It's the gripping day-by-day story of Ernest Shackleton's legendary perseverance: losing his ship in the ice, drifting helplessly across the Weddell Sea and finally reaching Elephant Island, from where he sailed 800 miles to South Georgia to get help for his stranded men. This 100th anniversary edition of Alfred Lansing's masterpiece is outfitted with maps, an expanded selection of Frank Hurley's photographs and an introduction by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Shackleton, By Endurance We Conquer (ANT400, $30.00)

Journalist and polar historian Michael Smith's intimate biography of Ernest Shackleton takes stock of the explorer's prodigious skills as a leader and navigator alongside his chaotic private life, romantic affairs and unfulfilled ambitions.

Shackleton, Antarctic Odyssey (ANT397, $16.99)

This entertaining and dramatic graphic novel chronicles Ernest Shackleton's ambitious expedition into Antarctica, an astonishing feat that very nearly took his life and the lives of his fellow explorers.

The Crossing of Antarctica, Original Photographs from the Pioneering Expedition (ANT398, $40.00)

When the dream of crossing the whole of Antarctica was at last realized by Sir Vivian Fuchs and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1957, photographer George Lowe was there to document the pioneering deed. This collection of previously unpublished photographs captures everyday moments, sprawling landscapes and candid portraits from the expedition. Accompanying reflections by the explorers and polar experts provide important context.

Alone in Antarctica, The First Woman to Ski Solo Across the Southern Ice (ANT404, $26.00)

Battling through a sea of snow, hidden ice cracks, hypothermia and frequent hallucinations, Felicity Aston became the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica. Her inspirational saga takes us deep into the polar climate where the daring explorer meditates on human vulnerability, struggle and the kind of aloneness we rarely feel in today's Information Age.

Penguins, The Ultimate Guide (ANT399, $35.00)

From their humorous antics on land to their surprising grace in the sea, penguins have become one of the world's most beloved birds. Their endearing behavior, expressive moods and impressive endurance have made them the subject of both entertainment and serious study. Sharing their passion for penguins, wildlife photographers Tui De Roy, Mark Jones and Julie Cornthwaite have produced a stunning volume documenting 18 species, including those rarely photographed. Filled with 400 vivid full-color images, informative text and tips about where to watch penguins, this is the ultimate guide for penguin lovers.


Red Nile, A Biography of the World's Greatest River (EGY419, $29.99)

This expansive biography of the Nile River overflows with stories of the human history that has played out on the river's banks, from ancient times to the Arab Spring. Robert Twigger meanders along the Nile, bringing to the surface fascinating tales of crocodiles and caliphs, 19th-century adventurers and 20th-century novelists, biblical prophets and classical lovers, dam-builders and crusaders.

Mecca, The Sacred City (ARB156, $30.00)

Born in Pakistan and raised in London, Ziauddin Sardar revered Mecca as a child and kept the city as a moral and geographical compass point throughout his life. Sardar made several pilgrimages, or "Hajj," as an adult — including one on foot with a sex-crazed donkey at his side — and conducted extensive research on the site. His book is a unique mixture of history and reportage made accessible by stories of his own ever-changing relationship to the pilgrimage site that draws some three million Muslims each year.

"During the Middle Ages, Mecca was seen as a far away, distant and impenetrable place. Yet, the forbidden fruit presented an irresistible challenge to western travellers. It was different from other blank spaces on the map such as the Africa that Conrad dreamed of. There were not only climate and people to overcome but a religion too, and its very womb where it was conceived: Mecca." —Ziauddin Sardar on Mecca 

Read more on our blog

The French Riviera in the 1920s (FRA154, $195.00)

An extraordinary look into the art, design and culture of the French Riviera, circa the Roaring Twenties. Art critic and historian Xavier Girard, longtime curator of the Matisse Museum, highlights with aplomb the pleasures of the pre-WWII Riviera, paying special attention to the lifestyles of American expats like F. Scott Fitzgerald, artist Pablo Picasso and movies stars like Jean Cocteau as they made the south of France their haven and playground. Featuring more than 200 illustrations, the gorgeous book comes in a luxury slipcase.

Victus, The Fall of Barcelona (SPN563, $29.99)

A sweeping historical novel set in the early 1700s in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain. Albert Sanchez Pinol's main character is Marti Zuviria, a treacherous, young military engineer who holds the fate of the War of Spanish Succession in his hands. Dark, witty and profound, the novel culminates in a great betrayal and the fall of Barcelona and Catalonia.

The Delta (AFR325, $27.99)

Set in the heart of Botswana on the Delta River, Tony Park's thriller follows assassin Sonja Kurtz as she goes undercover after a failed attempt to kill the president of Zimbabwe. Hiding proves difficult, however, when she is conscripted to be an eco-terrorist in order to stop a project that could destroy the ecosystem. Caught between various factions, Kurtz must find a way to survive while saving her beloved river.

Midnight at the Pera Palace, The Birth of Modern Istanbul (TKY288, $27.95)

A 20th-century history of the Near East through the prism of one of its greatest cities, Istanbul. Charles King sets the reader in a world of intrigue, jazz, feminism, Trotskyism, violence, sex and espionage, at the center of which stood the wondrous, decaying Pera Palace Hotel. His backdrop is the multiethnic Turkish republic at the point when it became a global crossroads.

"The spine of Pera/Beyoglu is Istiklal (Independence) Avenue, which foreigners formerly knew as the 'Grande Rue.' The building facades recall fin-de-siecle Paris or Vienna and may come as a surprise to travelers whose image of Istanbul includes only mosques and minarets. A stroll up and down Istiklal Avenue, from Tunel Square to Taksim Square, is one of the great early-evening pastimes for native Istanbullus. It offers a combination of street art, people watching, bar hopping and the occasional anti-government protest and riot police. But there is no better place to get a sense of the 'other' Istanbul: the heart of a city that is both deeply ancient and intensely modern, a place that has reinvented itself time and again over the centuries." —Charles King, on his favorite spot in Istanbul 

Read more on our blog


Midnight in Siberia, A Journey into the Heart of Russia (RUS518, $26.95)

In this eye-opening travelogue, NPR Moscow bureau chief David Greene takes a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, making his way from Moscow to the port city of Vladivostok. As he goes, he interviews Russians from all walks of life, including singers, teenagers, activists and other travelers. Set against the wintery landscape of Siberia, his book vividly profiles Russia in the age of Putin.

To the Edge of the World, The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express (SIB76, $27.99)

Weaving together fascinating personality sketches, vivid travelogue and socio-economics, Christian Wolmar examines the success of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the vital artery that stretches 6,000 miles across the impressive landscape of the expansive nation.

Snow in May, Stories (RUS516, $25.00)

These nine slice-of-life stories follow the interrelated lives of a diverse cast of characters. Each tale is set in a different time, but the place remains the same: Magadan, a small Siberian port town in Russia's far east. Through the various stories one character acts as a constant force on all the others: the physical place. "Nothing excites my literary imagination more than location," author Kseniya Melnik, a native of Magadan, claims in an interview with Publishers Weekly. "The physical place with its attendant political situation, historical consequences, weather, music, color scheme, levels of bird squawking and speed of wind."

Siberia, A History of the People (SIB75, $38.00)

Larger in area than the United States and Europe combined and one of the coldest habitable places, Siberia is an oft-misunderstood area of great extremes. In this text, Janet Hartley, a professor of history at the London School of Economics, puts a human face on the stark landmass. She provides personal narratives and case studies to present what everyday life has been like for Siberia's residents — refugees, prisoners and pioneers alike.

Trans-Siberian Handbook (RUS73, $22.95)

A compact guide and history of the Trans-Siberian, now in its ninth edition, featuring maps and practical details for cities and sights from St. Petersburg to Irkutsk, Ulan Bator, Beijing and Vladivostok. With 50 maps and 30 color photos.


The Luminaries (NZL126, $18.00)

Eleanor Catton's epic, intricately plotted tale, spinning out over 800 pages, is set during the wild days of the gold rush on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. It's just over Arthur's Pass from where Catton was raised in Christchurch. Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize.

Shores of Knowledge (EXP100, $15.95)

"No one had any idea of what would happen if ships sailed west across the Atlantic," writes historian Joyce Appleby in this tale of the scientific revolution unleashed by the great voyages of the Age of Discovery.

The Danube (CEU47, $28.00)

Nick Thorpe travels against the current on a year-long journey from the Black Sea to the Black Forest, mixing accounts of his daily morning swims with environmental research, archaeological observations and, especially, tales of the ferrymen and fisherman, shopkeepers, activists and others he meets along the way.

The Hired Man (BLK180, $15.00)

When Duro Kolak encounters a strange car in his small Croatian village of Gost, he offers its British occupants assistance in setting up a summer cottage. But tensions soon develop between the village residents and the foreigners, as painful memories from the Croatian War of Independence are awakened in this novel by Aminatta Forna.

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, A Memoir of Food and Longing (RUS505, $15.00)

The James Beard Award-winning writer Anya Von Bremzen brings her scarlet-blazed socialist past to life as she cooks and eats through every decade of the Soviet experience.

King of Cuba (CBA203, $15.00)

Cristina Garcia's wickedly funny tale revolves around El Comandante (AKA Fidel Castro) and an equally octogenarian, quarrelsome Cuban exile in Miami obsessed with revenge. Garcia won the National Book Award for Dreaming in Cuban (CBA18, $15.00), a vivid and funny first novel about three generations of a Cuban family divided by conflicting loyalties over the Cuban revolution.

Confronting the Classics (MED199, $16.95)

A classicist at Cambridge, Mary Beard introduces not just Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Hannibal, but also the slaves, soldiers and common folk in this witty and assured set of essays. Originally appearing in the Times Literary Supplement, where she is an editor, and New York Review of Books, the essays also introduce great books of the last decade.

Cool Gray City of Love, 49 Views of San Francisco
(SFO64, $16.00)

A kaleidoscopic love letter to one of the world's great cities, San Francisco, by life-long Bay Area resident and co-founder of Salon Gary Kamiya.


Read the book, watch the film! A recently released major motion picture brings to life Robyn Davidson's classic travelogue Tracks, the story of a young woman's epic journey by camel across the formidable Australian Outback. The film, starring Mia Wasikowska as Davidson and Adam Driver as Rick Smolan, the National Geographic photographer who documented her trek, reveals the stunning landscape of the Outback in all its stark majesty, as does Robyn Davidson's effortless prose. Read about Wasikowska's camel training, take a sneak peak of the trailer or get a full visual tour by ordering the beautifully produced companion book, Inside Tracks.

Tracks, A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback (AUS15, $15.95)

The true-life story of a woman's trek across the Australian Outback — an adventurous tale shot through with a feel for the landscape and empathy for the Aborigines she meets along the way.

Inside Tracks (AUS274, $45.00)

The astounding story of Robyn Davidson, who spent a year crossing the Australian Outback with a dog and four camels, has been given new life in this large format companion to her original account Tracks and the new film starring Mia Wasikowska. Davidson's daring journey, as captured by National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan, is presented alongside scenes from the major motion picture in stunning full-color prints.


The Brewer's Tale, A History of the World According to Beer (GNL9, $26.95)

Combing poems and ruins for ancient beer recipes, brew authority William Bostwick travels in search of long-lost tastes and flavors. Aiming for historically accurate taste, he seeks out authentic ingredients and recreates, beer by beer, Babylonian ales, Viking grogs and many more.

Prost! The Story of German Beer (GER99, $14.95)

The Munich-based aficionado Horst D. Dornbusch weaves history and culture with the marvels and mysteries of German beer in this brief, authoritative guide.

The World Atlas of Beer (WLD235, $30.00)

Tim Webb (Good Beer Guide Belgium) and Steve Beaumont (worldofbeer.com) collaborated on this celebration of beer and beer-producing regions. Not just an artfully illustrated guide to this delightful beverage — its origins, brewing methods and technologies — the over-sized hard cover book also profiles 500 great beers.

The Wet and the Dry, A Drinker's Journey
(TVL566, $14.00)

Lawrence Osborne audaciously takes alcohol consumption, its cultural significance, traditions and rituals as his point of departure for a globe-spanning journey from the old-world glamour of a classic hotel in Milan to the vineyards of Lebanon, the only brewery in Pakistan and some very dangerous Malaysian drinking dens.

The Drunken Botanist, The Plants That Created the World's Great Drinks (BST221, $19.95)

In this edifying botanical assemblage (with 50 recipes) Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits and fungi that humans have transformed into alcohol.

AA The Pub Guide 2014 (GRB222, $27.95)

This colorful guide to Britain's best pubs and taverns profiles over 2,000 ancient taverns, countryside inns, gastro-pubs and hostelries, each recognized on merit. Sixth edition.

Moleskine Beer Journal (STF61, $19.95)

An indispensable travel companion from the makers of Moleskine journals in which to note, record and organize your passion for beer -- whether it's lager, ale or stout.


It's that time of year again, when the international literary community bestows honors upon its favored authors. This year's Nobel Prize for Literature went to the French writer Patrick Modiano, "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."

Suspended Sentences, Three Novellas (FRA185, $16.00)

Although originally published separately, Patrick Modiano's three novellas (Afterimage, Suspended Sentences and Flowers of Ruin) form a single, compelling whole. It's the author's three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists, a Paris under Nazi Occupation that is fraught with uncertainty, chaos, loss and mystery.

The Man Booker Prize is awarded annually to the best fiction book of the year. This year's competition marked the first time the prize was open to all books written in English, not just those written by writers of the Commonwealth and Ireland. The award went to Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan for his new book The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North (ASA97, $26.95)

Alternating between Thailand, Burma and Australia, this dark and beautiful novel traces the life of Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans from WWII to the present. While haunted by an illicit love affair, the military commander faces starvation, merciless beatings and insanity at a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway. His journey explores issues as diverse as family, good, evil, guilt, transcendence, war and truth.

The Dolman Travel Book Award is Britain's prize for the best travel book of the year. View a list of the titles shortlisted this year here. Last year the award was split between Kathleen Jamie's Sightlines and Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways. This year the French author Sylvain Tesson, author of The Consolations of the Forest, took home the prize, or will do so as soon as he has recovered fully from his latest adventure. Ever the traveler, Tesson was not present at the awards ceremony on September 30 because of a severe head injury caused by a climbing accident at a chalet in Chamonix in August, from which Tesson is expected to fully recover.

The Consolations of the Forest (SIB74, $24.95)

A profound, deeply reflective account of a French journalist's escape from the pressures of life in Paris to an isolated hut on the shores of Lake Baikal. With over 70 books and a few supplies, Sylvain Tesson set up camp for six months to plumb the depths of solitude against the cold, contemplative landscape of Siberia in deep winter. A Thoreauvian masterpiece, without the moralizing, and with plenty of vodka and Tabasco sauce and a few hardy visitors to keep his thoughtful revelations company.

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PS Back in Print! Check out some travel titles we're excited to see making a comeback, including Handmade in India, The Galapagos, Exploring Darwin's Tapestry and On Top of the World, Five Women Explorers in Tibet.