Blog posts of '2014' 'November'

Midnight in Siberia
“I struggle awake and there she is,” begins David Greene’s Midnight in Siberia. “Russia.” “Russia,” to NPR’s morning programming host and former Moscow Bureau Chief, is Aunt Nina, the diminutive silver-haired relative of a Russian colleague, who starts his travelogue off by offering Greene some water as panacea to the several rounds of vodka he was subjected to the night before.
Pinta Island
Kindly contributed by Henry Nicholls, author of several books on conservation. Nicholls relates the rich and curious history of the giant panda, from its scientific discovery in 1869 to potent symbol of conservation, in his book The Way of the Panda. In Lonesome George, he shows the marvels of evolution, the nature of the Galapagos Islands and the challenges of conservation through the tale of a single species, in this case the lone tortoise from the Island of Pinta. In his most recent book, 
Ciao, Carpaccio!
Ciao, Carpaccio! Veteran travel writer Jan Morris hails the Venetian Renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio in this charming homage to his work. If the word "carpaccio" conjures images of raw meat to your mind, it's time you replaced those visions with the something more tasteful. In the course of writing her classic book on Venice, Morris became utterly enchanted with the historical presence of this sometimes-overlooked artist.
Walking the Woods and the Water
In 1933 Patrick Leigh Fermor walked across Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. Forty years later he would record the trip -- an insightful glance into pre-WWII Europe -- in his famous trilogy, beginning with A Time of Gifts. Now readers can return to his route through the travels of Nick Hunt, who began his own "great trudge" in 2011, walking in the footsteps of Fermor through eight countries and capturing, in his new book
Fall of the Berlin Wall
Though it feels like recent memory, the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago on November 9, 1989. Since that momentous dismantling, the city has undergone tremendous transformation. And yet, despite the changes, the past remains an important part of experiencing Berlin today; the city's haunting history as much as its vibrant present lures visitors. As Rory MacLean puts it in the prologue to Berlin, Portrait of a City Through the Centuries, "Berlin is a city that is forever in the process of becoming, never being, and so lives more powerfully in the imagination...The hypnotic and volatile city comes alive in the mind.
Paramaribo, Suriname
Kindly contributed by Carrie Gibson, author of the new book Empire's Crossroads, a scholarly, readable history of the entire Caribbean from Cuba to Haiti, Jamaica to Trinidad. Gibson begins in 1492 and ends in the 20th century, covering five centuries with panache.