Blog posts of '2011' 'June'

Lacoste, Provence
Kindly Contributed by Tony Perrottet, author of The Sinner's Grand Tour. "I never had a hankering to visit Provence — too many antique markets, too many Brits living in renovated barnyards, too overdone by Peter Mayle — until I heard about a quirky little village called Lacoste near Avignon.
Blue Guide Istanbul
The long-awaited sixth edition of John Freely's erudite, indispensable guide to the monuments, art and history of Istanbul is out! Opening with a crisp summary of history along with a primer on Ottoman art and architecture, Freely dives straight in to a district-by-district survey of attractions. With a section of color maps, site plans and black-and-white photographs. Brooklyn-born Freely has made his home in Istanbul since 1993.
Kindly contributed by Mark Lamster, author of Master of Shadows, a tale of the artist Peter Paul Rubens, his double life as a secret agent and 17th-Century Europe.
Award Winners
Two terrific novels, Colum McCann's gravity-defying Let the Great World Spin, set in New York city in 1974 as Philippe Petit high-wire walks between the twin towers, and The Tiger's Wife, youngster Tea Obrecht's rich family saga set in the war-torn Balkans, have both garnered prizes this month. If you haven't already, we suggest adding both to your Summer Reading list.
The Danube: Seasons & Castles
Patrick Leigh Fermor opens Chapter Five of A Time of Gifts, his masterful account of an exuberant youth on foot alone across Europe in the 1930s, with this sketch of Salzburg: "Only glimpses of Salzburg remain: bell-towers, bridges, piazzas, fountains, a dome or two and an impression of cloisters which may have been flown here by djinns and reassembled as an Italian Renaissance city on the wrong side of the Alps."
Kardamyli, Peloponnese
The great Anglo-Irish writer and bookish wanderer Patrick Leigh Fermor, who died on June 10 at age 96, fell in love with Kardamyli, happening upon the isolated village in a long-ago tramp across the mountains from medieval Mystra. Though today Kardamyli has a resort and weekend villas, the population is still only 400 and Patrick Leigh Fermor's former housekeeper Lela runs the Taverna. Here's Patrick Leigh Fermor, from his marvelous 1958 account Mani, Travels in the Southern Peloponnese.
Patrick Leigh Fermor Dies at 96
Dashing war hero, bon vivant, charming author of a string of sublime travel books, the gentlemanly Anglo-Irish Patrick Leigh Fermor died on June 10 at age 96. In her introduction to Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts, Jan Morris, without too much hyperbole, called him "infinitely more than a travel writer, also a memoirist, a historian, a connoisseur of art and architecture, a poet, a humorist, a story-teller, a social chronicler, something of a mystic, and one of God's own adventurers." A Time of Gifts and a second book, 
The Tiger's Wife
The war-scarred Balkans, past and present, is the subject of Téa Obreht’s intricately woven new novel, The Tiger’s Wife, winner of the 2011 Orange Prize. At 25, Obreht is the youngest-ever author to take the Prize. Obreht, one of The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 fiction writers, was born in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia and spent her childhood in Cyprus and Egypt before immigrating with her family to the United States when she was twelve.
Steve McCurry, The Iconic Photographs
Steve McCurry, The Iconic PhotographsJust out, the long-awaited book, Steve McCurry, The Iconic Photographs, presents 200 remarkable photographs from around the world, including scenes from the temples of Angkor, streets of India, Tibet, Africa and Europe.
Lonely Planet, First Two in Color!
Wow, these are good. The first two all-color Lonely Planet country guides are head-and-shoulders above their forebears: not just brighter but also genuinely enhanced with real maps you can use, crisp red icons for sections on sleeping, eating, shopping and activities, and well-deployed color throughout; proper and place names, for example, stand out from the text in teal. In addition to all new, all color France and all new, all color Spain, 33 new editions from Austria to Taiwan got make-overs with two-color maps and design.