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Blog posts of '2015' 'September'

South Toward Home
“The South is not just the setting;” Alabama-born Margaret Eby writes in her new book South Toward Home, “it’s the soul of the thing.” Her conclusion comes at the finish of a winding road trip through the Deep South (Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia), literary sites dotting her map. Eby describes her pilgrimage—and the act of reading Southern literature in general—as an “ongoing cartographic exercise, to trace and retrace the boundaries of the South, to try to figure out what it contains. It’s about figuring out just where exactly you are. It’s about going home.” The first home Eby visits is
An Interview with Mark Vanhoenacker
In the tradition of the great literary pilots like Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Mark Vanhoenacker provides a meditation on modern-day flight with his new book Skyfaring, A Journey with a Pilot. A commercial airline pilot, he speaks from the cockpit to the questions of the everyday traveler. His thoughtful reflections on everything from jet lag to place names on flight charts renew the mystery and adventure of flight in an age in which air travel has become commonplace transportation.
  Longitude. We’ll start by asking the question you always get: How did your interest in flight begin? Vanhoenacker.
Parc La Fontaine, Montreal
Assistant Editor Ben Hankey describes a favorite moment in a favorite spot discovered in the lovely Parc La Fontaine, Montreal, Quebec.
  We came into Parc La Fontaine completely exhausted, each of us on a battered bike share cycle climbing from the main drag of Montreal’s Gay Village (imagine a bustling shopping district with innumerable strands of pink Christmas bulbs overhead), huffing and puffing onto Le-Plateau-Mont-Royal. The terrain evened, our muscles relaxed, the wheels turned more effortlessly and we stationed our bikes between the boulevard’s French mansard roofs and a thick canopy of old-growth ash trees. It was a Saturday evening and we were headed through the iconic park on the way to the restaurants of Duluth Street.
Light and Dust
Behind every photograph in the luxurious photo collection Light and Dust, Images and Stories from the Wild of East Africa is the prodigious passion of Italian photographer Federico Veronesi. His love for the Masai Mara drove Veronesi to his vocations as a wildlife guide, environmental activist and photographer -- and also to long mornings hiding in the backseat of his car watching antelopes, exhausting days of searching and dark nights of camping, “feeling like the only human on earth.” His photography searches for the still moments of “now” that overshadow Veronesi’s deep concerns for the area’s conservation.
The Traveling Pope
If you can’t make it to see the pontiff as he visits Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C. this month, you can read about the life of Pope Francis and the history of the Vatican in these fine books. Or, better yet, plan your next trip to Vatican City! Pope Francis and the New Vatican. National Geographic photographer David Yoder spent six months ensconced in the Vatican to produce this vivid and intimate portrait of "the people's pope." His extraordinary images -- including the Sistine Chapel with the Pope alone on Christmas Day -- capture the pontiff's public life and personal crusades as well as the inner workings of the Catholic Church.
Okavango Delta
Kindly contributed by Geoffrey Kent, co-owner of the luxury travel giant Abercrombie & Kent. In his new book, Safari, A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer, Kent recounts his journey from his first safari in Nairobi with nothing but a Kenya pound and an old Land Rover to his professional role in shaping today's travel industry. Relating exhilarating stories of growing up barefoot in the African bush and riding his motorcycle across the continent, Kent takes the reader on an inspiring tour around the globe.
  Travel has been my life for the last 50 years, so I’m often asked where my favorite place in the world is.
Sicily
According to Goethe, Sicily is the key to everything. But those of us who are not fortunate enough to live there may need a key to understanding the island itself. “No non-Sicilian…will ever be able to penetrate the island’s mysteries altogether,” writes John Julius Norwich in his history of the island. But, lucky for us, his new book Sicily, An Island at the Crossroads of History brings us closer to the mysteries themselves. Norwich, the "dean of popular historians," delivers a page-turning account of Sicily, highlighting the surprising role the island has played in world history.
A Walk in the Woods
Fans of Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods, in which the satirical travel writer tackles (or tries to, anyway) the whole of the Appalachian Trail, won’t want to miss the new film adaptation, starring Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson and, of course, Robert Redford as Bryson, in theaters September 2. Also recently released: 13 folded