This holiday season we're tempting you with the best travel books from 2014, carefully reviewed and curated for the traveler in your life. What was your favorite read this year?
There's something for everyone in this gift guide. We've got the latest editions of the best world and specialty atlases. Let the family chef bring the world to your kitchen with the international cuisine featured in our cookbook section. We're proud of our selection of beautifully illustrated children's books, and the gorgeous coffee table books at the end of this newsletter would be the crown jewel of any traveler's library.
We're pretty sure you'll finish reading this gift guide with the typical traveler's dilemma: what to bring, what to leave behind?
Assembled from Patrick Leigh Fermor's manuscripts by friend and biographer Artemis Cooper, with the travel writer Colin Thubron, this is perhaps the most personal of all Leigh Fermor's books, catching up with young Paddy in the fall of 1934 and following him through Bulgaria and Romania to the coast of the Black Sea.
Alfred Lansing's gripping day-by-day story of Shackleton's legendary perseverance is essential reading for any Antarctic traveler. This 100th anniversary edition is outfitted with maps, an expanded selection of Frank Hurley's photographs and an introduction by Nathaniel Philbrick.
The product of 25 years of research into Buddhist architecture, this survey by Vikram Lall takes us from the monastic complexes of India to the dzongs of Bhutan, inside the wats of Southeast Asia and through the simple wooden shrines of Japan. Lall celebrates the architectural innovations and spiritual significance of each inspired style. Gorgeously illustrated throughout with color photography and 3-D renderings.
Editor of the Galapagos Conservation Trust magazine and author of Lonesome George, Henry Nicholls charts the human and natural history of the archipelago from its fiery origins through famous visitors and current conservation challenges.
Though she traveled 26,000 miles around the 13,500 islands that comprise Indonesia, journalist Elizabeth Pisani goes far beyond the numbers to explore what holds the impossibly disparate nation together. Along her journey, she debates corruption and cannibalism, navigates impossibly strange traditions and sleeps in a volcano.
Fans of Patrick Leigh Fermor can return to his famous route, from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul, through the travels of Nick Hunt, who began his own "great trudge" in 2011. Retracing Fermor's 1933 journey, Hunt discovers a modern-day version of the unexpected hospitality and exhilarating freedom of the open road.
In this eye-opening travelogue, NPR Moscow bureau chief David Greene takes a 6,000-mile 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.
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 Atlas in hand, Goldman undertakes driving lessons, roams plazas and closely follows the case of a mass kidnapping, all as a way of grappling with his loss. Along the way, he compares the Mexican approach to death, friendship and grief with attitudes in the United States.
From their humorous antics on land to their surprising grace in the sea, penguins have become one of the world's most beloved birds. Sharing their passion for the flightless birds, 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.
Retracing Michael Rockefeller's steps in the Asmat, where he disappeared without a trace in 1961, Carl Hoffman immerses himself in a world of headhunters and cannibals, secret spirits and customs, uncovering thrilling new evidence.
Crumpled City Maps are soft, yet hard-wearing, waterproof and meant to be creased and crumpled. There is no wrong way to fold them. You can place the area that you're interested in on the palm of your hand to spot street names then just stuff it back into its case or your pocket (or the toe of a stocking!).
Wildsam Field Guides are beautifully produced pocket guides designed for the soulful traveler with a bygone sense of place. Contributors include local artists, musicians and writers who compiled recommendations, essays, illustrations and interviews intended to move the traveler beyond their itinerary.
A good notebook is an essential part of any traveler's gear. These attractive journals feature a stunning print on the cover drawn from the American Museum of Natural History's unique Rare Book Collection. With lined pages, an elegant antique finish, decorative endpapers and a ribbon, these beautiful, practical and portable journals are the perfect place to record your experiences in foreign lands or sightings in the natural world.
Drawing recommendations from 60 local creatives, Citi X 60 Guides are hip, colorful pocket guides with an emphasis on the artistic. Each guide contains helpful travel advice, detailed neighborhood maps and a dust jacket that unfolds into an illustrated map.
These elegant block-by-block city maps by the NYC-based Red Maps are laminated and color-coded for ease of use, highlighting museums, restaurants, shops and other attractions.
Wallpaper City Guides are stylish, thin (they fit in your back pocket) city guides compiled by the design magazine's local reporters. Well-organized, with chapter tabs, many photographs and of-the-moment recommendations.
Worth every penny for its coverage, size and quality, the 14th edition of the world's most authoritative atlas is out in all its meticulous glory. Each double-page spread is a whopping 16 x 22 inches and gorgeous, with excellent physical and political detail, superb coverage of polar areas and an index with an astounding 200,000 place names. Detailed thematic maps include topics such as migration, the global impact of recession and polar regions. Complete with a slipcase.
Published in conjunction with the cartographers at Instituto Geografico de Agostini, this sumptuously produced atlas follows the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. It's a beauty, featuring both political and physical maps of countries and regions of the world. Eighteenth edition.
This classic, ever-popular world atlas from the National Geographic Society weighs in at 10 pounds. With 13 x 19 inch jumbo pages (bigger is better in atlases), a 150,000-entry index, clear typography and its own slipcase. Tenth edition.
Perfect for the coffee lover, this global history of the addictive brown bean covers everything from plantations and production to consumption and modern coffee culture. It includes colorful profiles of countries organized geographically with information on the role of colonialism, fair trade efforts and regional techniques and traits.
A unique modern classic, this pocket edition of the original atlas is an imaginative guide to the world's loneliest islands. Novelist and graphic designer Judith Schalansky reveals the secrets of 50 remote islands, making them seem even more mysterious and alluring in the process. With color maps throughout, information on distance from the mainland, number of inhabitants (if any) and historical and scientific anecdotes.
A bible of authentic Mexican home cooking, crammed cover-to-cover with 700 authentic recipes and 200 full-color photographs. Margarita Carrillo Arronte, a native Mexican, has spent her career immersed in Mexican cuisine, recipe origins, ingredients and techniques. She presents the best of the best: Acapulco-style ceviche, savory tacos, snacks and street food, rice and beans, pastries and sweet tamales.
Through evocative writing and gorgeous photographs, Ana Sofia Pelaez and Ellen Silverman have crafted a Cuban cookbook that is "lleno de vida" (full of life) with enticing, easy-to-follow recipes for classic Cuban coffees, simple dinners and leisurely lunches. They include personal stories from Cubans and Cuban diaspora communities from New York City to Florida.
A comprehensive introduction to Indian food that walks readers through the basics on spices and chutneys to meat, vegetable, bread and dessert dishes. Opening this book is akin to opening a menu at your favorite Indian eatery.
A celebration of traditional Portuguese cuisine with a modern flair. Owner of Aldea in NYC and Michelin-starred chef George Mendes (you may also have seen him on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters") presents 125 mouthwatering recipes like his signature Duck Rice and Garlic Seared Shrimp, Mozambique Shrimp and Okra with Piri Piri. With stories interwoven throughout.
A great way to introduce kids to world travel, this compilation of retro children's guides from the 60s and 70s has been revised and updated for the 21st century. Includes profiles of major cities and countries throughout the world.
A notable companion to Le Petit Prince, this beautifully illustrated biography of Antoine de Saint-Exupery by the talented Peter Sis focuses on his life as a pilot and the dangers he faced on his North African mail route flights.
The iconic song Northwest Passage is brought to life through the richly colored paintings of award-winning artist Matt James in this charming children's tale about the search for a route through the Arctic Ocean to the Pacific. Includes music for the song, maps, a timeline of Arctic exploration and biographies of principal explorers.
The exciting story of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's journey to the Antarctic, written for children and illustrated by award-winning artist William Grill in bright, cheery colored pencil drawings.
"Everyone knows that once a lemur takes a liking to you, there is not much that can be done about it." Thus begins this delightful children's tale about a boy who tries to out-travel a clingy lemur. As the lemur gains a following and the boy ends up far from home, who will be able to guide him back?
How many have you visited? This beautifully illustrated compendium, just revised, includes color photographs, a map and succinct descriptions of each of the 981 archaeological sites, monuments, cities and parks inscribed by UNESCO from 1978 to 2013.
This useful catalog arranges the world's most exciting, fun and awe-inspiring events into 365 unforgettable days. The discerning editors at Lonely Planet introduce nature hikes through Patagonia, the Up Helly Aa festival in Scotland (where they actually burn a Viking longship) and the glittering Yamayaki, Japan's fire festival.
Award-winning travel photographer Peter Guttman has captured dozens of dream trips for the adventure seeker in this collection of photographs from far-flung destinations. From tornado chasing across the Great Plains to spelunking in the ice caves of Lake Superior's Apostle Islands, from canoeing through alligator habitat in the Everglades to caravanning camels to a Saharan Oasis, Guttman's photos transmit the thrill of some of the world's most exciting excursions.
The 21st century has been dubbed the "Century of the City," a time when more people live in cities than the countryside. In commemoration, National Geographic has published a splendid, large-format guide to 225 of the world's most exciting cities, from well-known hubs like New York and Tokyo to up-and-comers like Oslo, Asheville and Abu Dhabi.
Using period maps to delve into some of the 20th century's iconic events, Tim Bryars and Tom Harper prove that maps can tell us as much about the march of progress as the location of highways and towns.
From early romantic images of the exotic through the golden age of Kodachrome all the way to the digital age, these three splendidly produced volumes trace the evolution of National Geographic, of photography and of the way we've seen the world since 1888. Organized geographically, it covers the sweep of nature and culture around the world in 1,500 oversized pages, with photographs by Frans Lanting, Steve Curry, David Doubilet, David Alan Harvey and many, many others.
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