Blog posts of '2015' 'November'

An Interview with Kim MacQuarrie
In his heartfelt meditation on South America and the Andes, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Kim MacQuarrie follows the spine of the world's longest mountain chain, exploring the lives of legendary characters like Charles Darwin, Pablo Escobar and Che Guevara. Picking through remnants and ruins, he muses on the disappearance of indigenous cultures and searches for the true uniqueness of the South American continent. Now he answers a few of our questions about the choices he made to research and tell the fascinating unsung stories compiled in Life and Death in the Andes, On the Trail of Bandits, Heroes and Revolutionaries.
Map, Exploring the World
With free, high-quality satellite data at our fingertips, it's all too easy to not appreciate the imagination, intelligence and artistry at the heart of cartography. Simply titled Map, Exploring the World, the new art book by Phaidon Press celebrates the wonderful intricacies of the map-maker's art of putting concepts into geometric space. The coffee table collection of 300 maps makes room for the silly and strange, the academic and arcane, the whimsical and wonderful, the hand-drawn and the digital and much more.
Jack London State Park
Kindly contributed by Terri Peterson Smith, author of Off the Beaten Page and a writer after our own hearts. Her excellent guide to literary sites across the U.S. is ideal for book clubs and small groups looking to plan a trip around their favorite books. The thoroughly researched book includes practical advice for planning stress-free group travel, recommended reading, essays describing each destination's literary heritage and suggested three-day itineraries curated around popular and classic literature. You can learn more at
  I developed a serious crush on a guy during my last vacation.
The Only Street in Paris
Former New York Times Paris Bureau Chief Elaine Sciolino has lived in Paris since 2002, but it took her almost a decade to move to the rue des Martyrs, which she calls “the last real street in Paris, a half-mile celebration of the city in all its diversity.” Sciolino discovered the street early on as an appealing alternative to the touristy Marais. Visiting the neighborhood, located half a mile south of the Sacre-Coeur in the Ninth and Eighteenth Arrondissements, became an anticipated Sunday morning ritual. When it was time for the journalist to give in and make Paris her permanent home, she knew she could live nowhere else. In 2010 Sciolino moved into an apartment just off the rue des Martyrs.
At the Movies, In the Dark
The new film The 33 follows the release of the book Deep Down Dark, an account of the harrowing 69 days a group of Chilean miners spent trapped in a collapsed mine in 2010. In the book, a recent Longitude Book Club pick, Journalist Hector Tobar brings to light for the first time the stories of the 33 men who survived the disaster in the San Jose mine outside of Copiapo, Chile.
Burma's Historic Elections
Many travelers' eyes were trained on Burma (Myanmar) Sunday for an election that has been seen as the most democratic in years. The National League for Democracy party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, gained a sweeping victory, winning a parliamentary majority. To understand the impact of these events, read more about "The Lady" and her country's journey toward democracy. For more even more recommendations, click here. Letters from Burma.
Rowan Oak, Oxford, Mississippi
Kindly contributed by Margaret Eby. In her inspired new book South Toward Home, Eby explores the haunts of the Deep South literary giants, peeking into liquor cabinets, digging into literature-inspiring cuisine and visiting Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Her journeys focus on enduring writers William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Barry Hannah, Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Harry Crews and Flannery O'Connor, and her prose will inspire many a literary pilgrim to journey to their own favorite literary spot.
Plotted: A Literary Atlas
Good literature and skillful storytelling have ways of leaving readers wistful with desire to join imaginary worlds. This yearning has inspired many stage, film and television adaptations and recently resulted in a collection of maps created and compiled by pop cartographer Andrew Degraff in Plotted, A Literary Atlas. Known for his colorful, engaging maps of famous movies (, Degraff decided to apply the same creativity to books. He embarked on the project with several goals. One, he wanted to tackle stories that hadn’t already been mapped, whether literally or through cinematic or television representation.
Abducting a General
As dawn breaks over Crete, a few rays reach inside a cave sheltering a rag-tag band of British soldiers and their Cretan comrades. Among them, a captive German captain looks out at the majestic landscape and begins quoting a bit of verse from Horace. One of his captors, British Major Patrick Leigh Fermor, sits up and completes the ode, a personal favorite. Does the scene sound familiar? The story-turned-legend of Fermor’s successful 1944 abduction of General Kreipe from Nazi-held Crete has been told before. Rick Stroud recently laid out the historical context—the Battle of Crete and ensuing German occupation—in Kidnap in Crete. Much earlier, Fermor’s fellow co-conspirator Billy Moss wrote his account in