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Blog posts of '2014' 'December'

Best of 2014
Planning your travels for the new year? Dream of new destinations with the best travel books of 2014. Here are, in our humble opinion, the Year's Best Reads for the traveler -- carefully culled and reviewed for your reading pleasure -- including cultural portraits, memoir, photography and, of course, travelogues. The Broken Road.
Melting Away
A widely published and celebrated photographer, Camille Seaman has built a career on majestic portraiture. Over a 10-year period, she traveled to the poles as an expedition photographer to document the rapidly changing face of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. In her new book Melting Away, Seaman offers a masterful series of 75 photos of beauty and historical significance, presented alongside accompanying essays, which evocatively reveal climate change at work.
Extreme Adventure
Kindly contributed by Longitude co-founder Darrel Schoeling.
  Inveterate traveler and photographer Peter Guttman — as you will soon discover from his just-published Extreme Adventure, A Photographic Exploration of Wild Experiences — likes to have fun! Open any page of this marvelously photographed roundup of amazing things to do around the world and you too will fall under his spell.
The Red Sea
Kindly contributed by photographer Jeffrey Rotman, whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time and The New York Times Magazine. In his recent book, The Last Fisherman, Rotman's remarkable portraiture brings us face-to-face with increasingly fragile ocean ecosystems and the effects of illegal fishing and overfishing.
  I packed my rucksack, sleeping bag, and photography gear, and crossed the ocean to reach the Red Sea. Pictures of tropical reefs were well known to me by that time, but I looked at them contemptuously. They were unbearably easy to shoot, unbearably beautiful in their composition.
Gift Books for the Holidays

Need a gift idea for the traveler in your life? Click here for our travel gift guide, sign up for our new fall catalog, then browse these lovely illustrated gift books!   The Best Places to Be Today. 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. A great way to plan, say, your next birthday?  (TVL596, $19.

Opulent Oceans

“The human spirit is inherently drawn to the ocean for recreation, inspiration and solace,” writes American Museum of Natural History president Ellen V. Futter in her introduction to Opulent Oceans, the museum’s new collection of gorgeous illustrations of ocean life. Or, as Herman Melville put it in Moby Dick, “Stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water.”  Melville’s words come to mind again when browsing the diverse sea creatures featured in this book, all culled from the museum's Rare Book Collection.

Happy 100th Birthday, Patrick O'Brian!

If Patrick O’Brian were still living, he would turn 100 this month. We’re celebrating the centennial with some sea-worthy books and, of course, O’Brian’s classic Aubrey-Maturin novels, featuring Captain Jack Aubrey and his great friend Stephen Maturin, a naturalist-cum-spy, in their adventures at sea, all set against an impressively-researched backdrop of Lord Nelson's British Navy. The beautifully packaged full set makes an excellent holiday gift! How many have you read?

Cities that Shaped the Ancient World
Kindly contributed by Darrel Schoeling, world traveler and Longitude's co-founder.

  Petra, Palenque, Persepolis and Pataliputra (center of the Mauryan empire on the Ganges in India). Travelers, tour operators, hey, anyone with an interest in the (mostly western) roots of civilization will delight at the places included in Cities that Shaped the Ancient World, this latest book by the inestimable John Julius Norwich

Cape Bird, Antarctica

Kindly contributed by the celebrated photographer Camille Seaman, who has built her career on majestic portraiture. Over a 10-year period, Seaman traveled to the poles to document the rapidly changing face of the polar regions. Her new collection Melting Away, a masterful series of 75 photos presented alongside accompanying essays, shows climate change at work.

100th Anniversary of Shackleton's Voyage
One hundred years ago, on December 5, 1914 Ernest Shackleton set out from South Georgia with a crew of 26 men and one stowaway, teams of sled dogs and a much-loved cat, with the goal of crossing the Antarctic continent. While his mission was aborted when his ship Endurance was crushed in the ice flows, today we celebrate the heroic journey that followed, which saw every man home again. One hundred years later the legend continues to be told, through a new graphic novel and a recently released biography of the hero, and through other books on the expedition, including the classic Endurance by Alfred Lansing, released this year in a 100th anniversary edition.