Blog posts of '2012' 'September'

Odyssey Guide Myanmar
Refreshingly direct and engaging, this new edition of Caroline Courtauld’s richly illustrated and indispensable guide covers Burma's culture, long history and religion with grace and authority. With many fine color maps (as is the custom with the excellent Odyssey series), hundreds of photographs and well-chosen literary excerpts. In honor of the historic visit of the remarkable Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi to the United States, we highlight this guide along with other new and noteworthy books on Myanmar.
Suu Kyi Visits U.S.
On her first trip to the United States in decades, the Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi has been busy indeed! She received the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, when she also met privately with President Obama in the Oval Office. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama was looking forward to the visit, "as it provides another opportunity to reaffirm our long-standing support for her struggle and the struggle of many others toward democratic, just and transparent governance in Burma.
Palm Beach Entertaining
Kindly contributed by Annie Falk, author of Palm Beach Entertaining, a beautifully photographed celebration of food, friends and philanthropy. The book grew out of Ms. Falk's support of local causes, including these four not-to-be-missed events.
"Friends often ask 'what is your favorite Palm Beach fund raising event?'  While I attend events for the causes closest to my heart, it is certainly very nice when the party is also one I truly look forward to.  My top four are the Children’s Home Society’s Ultimate Dinner Party, The Palm Beach Police Foundation’s annual Policeman’s Ball, the Norton Museum of Art’s Premiere and the Armory Art Center’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
World Heritage Sites
How many have you visited? This beautifully illustrated compendium of World Heritage Sites, just revised, includes color photographs, a map and succinct description of each of the 936 archaeological sites, monuments, cities or parks inscribed by UNESCO from 1978 to 2012. Organized by order of inscription (Galapagos was the first), this fourth edition includes the 25 sites added in 2011 — from pastoral Cevannes in south-central France (so eloquently described in Robert Louis Stevenson's
Vostok, Antarctica
Kindly contributed by Jason Anthony, author of Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day, and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine, one of the lucky few who has visited the coldest place on Earth, and veteran of eight seasons in the Antarctic. Anthony was working as a U.S. Antarctic Program fuels operator when he was called to remote Vostok Station. The most isolated of the Antarctic research station (the Antarctic Peninsula this is not), no one gets to Vostok, loneliest and coldest of the Antarctic outposts. "Murmured Russian syllables followed me into the empty dining room.
Bob Burton's handy new Field Guide to the Wildlife of South Georgia features full-color, full page-photographs of the birds, marine mammals and plants of this most spectacular of the Subantarctic islands. Burton reeled in noteworthy experts to provide individual accounts, including WildGuides stalwart Robert Still (
Gone Missing...In Antarctica
Maria Semple, novelist and screenwriter who did time writing for Beverly Hills, 90210, Ellen, Mad About You and Arrested Development, brings her comic sensibility to Where'd You Go, Bernadette but that's not what got me hooked.
Dolman Travel Book of the Year
John Gimlette wins the Dolman Travel Book of the Year for Wild Coast, Travels on South America's Untamed Edge — a Longitude Best of 2011 and simply the best thing going on the Guyanas.
Paramaribo, Suriname
Kindly contributed by John Gimlette, author of Wild Coast, Travel's on South America's Untamed Edge.
"If I were to design the perfect city, it would be white and have a river running through it. There’d be plantations and fruit trees all around, and little canals would come seeping through the center. There’d be no business district or overbearing banks, and nothing would be taller than a church. At the heart of it all would be a little purple fortress, like a hat full of mansions. There’d be no trains or tubes or public toilets. This would be one of the greatest cities of the eighteenth century.