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Blog posts of '2015' 'October'

An Interview with Georgina Howell
In the new Penguin Classic A Woman in Arabia, The Writings of the Queen of the Desert, editor Georgina Howell presents Gertrude Bell's most interesting letters, military dispatches, diary entries and travel writings to uncover her struggles, triumphs and lasting contributions to history. Howell, who defined the character of this remarkable woman in her biography Gertrude Bell, Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations, discusses Bell’s influence today, which falls on travelers, politicians and readers alike.
  Longitude.
Wildlife of the World
Penguins pant to keep cool. The western tarsier has the largest eyes of any mammal, relative to its size; each eyeball is slightly heavier than the nocturnal primate’s brain. An orangutan’s arm span can reach seven feet. African savannah elephants are known to care for wounded relatives. From bird-eating spiders to polar bears to honeybees, DK’s Wildlife of the World introduces some of the most spectacular wildlife on the planet. This virtual safari brings readers face-to-face with the world’s most interesting animals who live in habitats as diverse as the Amazon, the Himalayas, the Sahara and the South Pole. The unique traits of more than 400 species are celebrated with an in-depth profile paired with stunning photographs.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Kindly contributed by writer, producer and traveler J. Ryan Stradal. His debut novel Kitchens of the Great Midwest follows the life of Eva Thorvald from birth to ascent as a celebrity chef through the eyes of the people in her life, a range of quirky characters representative of the great Midwest. Largely set in Minnesota, the book detours through Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and South Dakota.
  I have never been a thrill-seeker. My idea of an exciting vacation is a boutique winery tour, languishing at a sidewalk cafe or several quiet hours inside a museum. I like my caravans calm and my voices low.
At the Movies: Everest
Whether you are planning a trip to Everest or simply to the theater to marvel at the new film Everest, based on the tragic 1996 expedition made famous by John Krakauer's Into Thin Air, we've got the books to keep you informed. The film stars Jason Clarke as expedition leader Rob Hall and Michael Kelly plays intrepid journalist Krakauer, one of the few who survived the mountain to tell the heart-rending tale. Here are a few more titles to read after the film and before you go. For a complete list of recommendations, click here.
Deep South
“Only in America can you travel in confidence without a destination,” writes Paul Theroux, one of America's most notable travel writers, as he begins Deep South, his first project on his own country. By auto, Theroux takes a trip in each season to the states of the Deep South, preferring rural areas to large metropolises and striking up innumerable conversations with Southern folks: reformers, shop owners, small town mayors, gospel-preaching motorcyclists, veterans, even (by accident) the widow of BB King. What emerges is not just a vivid portrait of the South today, but a reminder of its dark history. “As was so often the case," writes Theroux, "driving up a country road in the South was driving into the shadowy past.
And the Winner Is...
Each fall we keep our eye on some of our favorite book awards, including the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year, the Man Booker Prize and of course, the Nobel prize for literature. Here are this year's winners, ready to be added to your list of books to read this season: Down to the Sea in Ships. In this vivid meditation on the unforgiving ocean and the age-old business of international shipping, writer Horatio Clare climbs aboard a container ship as writer-in-residence. His beautiful and terrifying narrative presents a largely unrecorded world in which crews battle pirates, withstand battering waves and endure backbreaking labor. A profoundly human portrait of the oceans and industrial commerce.
World Monuments
Published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Monuments Fund, World Monuments is a lavish new coffee table book that highlights 50 historic sites alongside compelling essays by eight experts. Established in 1965, the World Monuments Fund is one of the few private organizations working in historic preservation on a global scale. The nonprofit originally focused on Venice, Lalibela and Easter Island but has steadily grown its outreach over the years. Historic preservation efforts are more important than ever in this changing world, where ancient relics are increasingly affected by tourism, climate change, civil unrest, urbanization and a growing population.
Upcoming Events
Fall is one of our favorite seasons, filled with bright colors, crisp air, pumpkin lattes, perfect curl-up-with-a-book reading weather and plenty of literary events. Join us! We'll be at the Midwest Independent Booksellers' Association's Heartland Fall Forum in Chicago October 10 and 11, browsing publisher booths for the best new travel books. Then on Saturday, October 17th, we'll be showcasing some of our favorite finds at the Twin Cities Book Festival. Local readers, stop by our booth to say hello and get reading advice for your next trip! Twin Cities Book Festival Saturday Oct.
In Memoriam: Henning Mankell
Fans of Scandinavian noir are mourning the death of Henning Mankell, the author The New York Times has crowned “the dean” of the increasingly popular genre. Mankell penned the well-loved Kurt Wallander series, starring the eponymous detective and his uncanny ability to solve crimes, most of them brutal, and many occurring in and around the real-life town of Ystad, located on the Baltic Sea south of Stockholm. The town has become a literary pilgrimage site for many noir readers.
Across the Arctic Ocean
“What compels a man to risk everything on a dream?” Sir Ranulph Fiennes asks in his introduction to Across the Arctic Ocean, “Why would anyone put themselves through hell and back all for the sake of walking across a frozen ocean?” The new, beautifully illustrated coffee table book from Thames and Hudson strives not only to demonstrate why, but also how in 1968 Sir Wally Herbert made the harrowing journey across the Arctic Ocean on foot in pursuit of his dreams. Hailed as one of the greatest explorers of his time, Herbert undertook to walk across the North Pole and the frozen expanse of the Arctic Ocean via its longest axis with three companions, forty huskies and much courage.