"Maps encourage boldness," writes Mark Jenkins in To Timbukto, "They're like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible." You can think of this month's newsletter as a love letter to the traveler in you. We're mapping the world with a new series of folded maps from Reise Know How, our favorite wall maps and laminated Language Maps (because topography isn't the only thing we need a map for!). We're also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal, a bold endeavor that could not have happened without the use of some excellent maps.
And don't miss our gorgeous new Book Map -- literature set to the art of cartography!
In celebration of DK Publishing's 40 years, we're featuring Great Maps (MAP41, $25.00), a collaboration between DK and Smithsonian showcasing gorgeous maps across time and topography. Profiling 55 historical maps, this book is a lesson in history as much as it is about geography. Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps and professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of London, marches confidently from Ptolemy's world map to the latest maps by Google Earth, explaining how each map influenced the culture and budding science of its day.
"Maps are as much about existence as they are about orientation...This book presents mapmaking as a truly global phenomenon — it is an activity common to every race, culture, and creed, although each one has a very distinctive way of mapping its particular world."
—Jerry Brotton, from the preface
Brotton takes map enthusiasts on a visually stunning journey, introducing each map in its historical context and providing a full spread "visual tour" to highlight salient details about projection, geographical inaccuracies and even mythical creatures of the deep.
Enter promotion code DKTRAVEL40 at checkout during your next order, and we'll enter you to win a free copy of Great Maps!
2. FEATURED MAPS: REISE KNOW HOW
Reise Know How publishes a large selection of travel maps for countries and tourist destinations worldwide. These folded, indexed maps are printed on polyart, a water and tear-resistant synthetic paper, and offer excellent detail, displaying major and minor roads, cities and towns, national parks, mountains, places of interest, rivers, airports, castles and lakes, with multilingual legends.
3. PANAMA CANAL: CELEBRATING 100 YEARS
On August 15, 1914, the SS Ancon became the first vessel to make the ocean-to-ocean passage through the Panama Canal. Over the next hundred years, more than a million ships would cross the man-made channel, carrying commerce and culture to far-flung places and uniting disparate nations into a global community. To mark the 100th anniversary of that first transit, we're offering books to help you plan an adventure through the historic waterway and beyond to Panama and Costa Rica.
A great story, admirably told in vivid, page-turning detail. David McCullough reveals the full scope of the Panama Canal, its characters, technical difficulties and Byzantine politics, capturing all the international intrigue. It's 700 pages long but reads like a suspense novel.
This outstanding guide to the Panama Canal and popular ports of call in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America features a mile-by-mile guide to the transit, a history of the building of the canal and a detailed pull-out map. With a roundup of popular ports from Florida to the Mexican Riviera and California, helpful city maps and color photographs.
Al and Sunny Lockwood are a pair of intrepid retirees who lovingly documented their 17-day cruise through the Panama Canal. The subtitle, "Savoring 5,000 Nautical Miles and 500,000 Decadent Calories," says it all; while Sunny documents the practical details, historical facts and unexpected encounters of their cruise, Al reviews the desserts and delicacies — luxuries large and small — served aboard their 1,200 passenger ship. Aimed at travelers who may be veterans of life but first time cruisers.
Organized by region, BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Adrian Hepworth's color photographs showcase the diversity of wildlife and landscapes of Costa Rica. This second edition includes more than 100 new photos and maps with updated text and introduction.
From pristine beaches and jungle waterfalls to high-altitude coffee plantations, award-winning author and photographer James Kaiser shows readers the best of Costa Rica, including the country's stunning collection of national parks.
4. LANGUAGE MAPS: SPEAK THE LANGUAGE
Learn the language of your next destination with a handy Language Map. These durable, laminated foldout cards provide phonetic pronunciation for several hundred of the most commonly needed words and phrases in each language. The maps have an easy-to-use layout of categories, and each is embellished with full-color original artwork. For a demonstration of the most helpful attributes, watch this short video.
Taking us deep into Mexico City, journalist Francisco Goldman explores his relationship with the megacity of 22 million souls, home to his recently deceased wife. Guia Roji Road Atlas in hand, Goldman undertakes driving lessons, roams plazas, rides a party bus and closely follows the case of a mass kidnapping, all as a means of grappling with his loss. Along the way, he compares the Mexican approach to death, friendship and grief with attitudes in the United States. His book is a heartening paean to the power of place and a city's ability to memorialize, heal and inspire.
While she calls writing about Mexico City a "task doomed to failure," Valeria Luiselli's unhurried observations of her native city's architecture, streets and sidewalks create a powerful impression in this masterful collection of essays. Combining elements of travel writing, literary criticism and memoir, Luiselli bikes Mexico City, searches for Joseph Brodsky's tomb in a Venetian graveyard, spies on her neighbors from her New York City apartment and explores the language of the places she finds herself until mere cracks in the sidewalk widen into revelations. With an introduction by Cees Nooteboom.
A compact, comprehensive travel guide to Mexico City with an excellent overview of history and culture. Former Mexico City resident Julie Doherty Meade offers expert tips for visiting the historical metropolis, from browsing the shops of the Roma district to exploring the city's many museums. She includes details on biking along the marvelous Paseo de la Reforma on Sundays, finding the best "tacos al pastor" or visiting the pyramids of Teotihuacan. This new edition is decked out in full-color vibrant photos and helpful planning maps.
The Mexico-based cartographers at Guia Roji depict their great country in more than 50 road maps. Though the text is in Spanish, this revised and updated version is immensely useful to travelers. For the tech-savvy, it includes QR codes to download maps of major Mexican cities to your smartphone.
An entertaining and erudite exploration of Amsterdam from Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World. Weaving observations of his adopted home with the disparate elements that compose Amsterdam's history, Shorto demonstrates how the unique geography of the city — situated in the Netherlands, which he calls "one vast river delta" — cultivated the liberal spirit associated with the city today.
Sara Wheeler follows in the footsteps of six remarkable women who fled 19th-century England: Fanny Trollope, mother of Anthony and author of the biting Domestic Manners of the Americans; the actress Fanny Kemble, who shocked the nation with her passionate firsthand indictment of slavery; the prolifically pamphleteering economist Harriet Martineau; the homesteader Rebecca Burlend, who had never been more than 12 miles from her Yorkshire village before she sailed; the traveler Isabella Bird, whose many ailments remained in check as long as she was scaling the Rockies; and the novelist Catherine Hubback, a niece of Jane Austen, who deposited her husband in a madhouse and rode the rails to San Francisco.
Biologist and director of The Vermilion Sea Field Station Aaron Hirsh recounts his adventures underwater and among the islands of the Sea of Cortez with biologist wife Veronica Volny, historian friend Graham Burnett and students in this series of wondrous essays.
Beginning in 1881 with the emergence of the Zionist movement, eminent Israeli historian Anita Shapira chronicles Israel's history through its nation-building in the 50s and 60s to years of stalemate and hope in the late 20th century.
The account of an Iranian-American writer who takes his family on a year-long sojourn to Tehran. After making many discoveries and experiencing the Arab Spring and the British embassy riots, Majd returns to the US with his family (a blonde-haired Midwestern wife and son) to do exactly what the Iranian government warned him not to do — write about Iran. An interesting cultural portrait and guide to Iranian culture.
Tash Aw follows the lives of five Malaysian immigrants who move to modern day Shanghai in search of success and prosperity. The motley cast includes a country girl who discovers the job she moved for doesn't exist, a country boy-turned-pop star, the son of a real estate magnate and his crush, a left-winged activist-turned-businesswoman and, of course, the titular billionaire whose influence touches all.
This map to the book lover's fantasy world combines cartography with the classics, mapping over 600 book titles from English literature onto an imagined landscape. Place names include well-loved classics such as Northanger Abbey, Wuthering Heights, Bleak House and Animal Farm. Loosely based on a turn-of-the-century London street map, the 24" x 32" wall map includes an A-Z key that indexes each book with its author and publication date.
Up is down — and down is up! This laminated map of the world at a scale of 1:28,500,000 turns everything on end: Greenland at the bottom, South Africa on top. Includes insets describing the science of cartography and the importance of changing perspective. Unfurled size: 30.5" x 56.75".
A tastefully colored, specially produced political map of the world, done in the Van Der Grinten projection (so that zero degrees longitude is dead-center) and printed on Tyvek paper. The high-quality, tear-resistant, fibrous material is tough and non-glossy. The map unfurls to a size of 28.5" x 50". Scaled to 1:32,000,000.
National Geographic's tried-and-true political wall map, which is a Robinson Projection (so that the East and West edges are curved), shows some detailed relief, but mainly boundaries and large and medium-sized cities. Insets depict the poles, world vegetation and land use and world population density. Scaled at 1:38,931,000. Unfurls to 43" x 30".
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