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The Longitude Blog

An Interview with Marius Jovaisa
CBA303Cuba is back on everyone’s map. But while the country has opened to more visitors, few have been privy to the insider’s glimpse Marius Jovaisa enjoyed when he finally obtained permission to photograph the country from above. Here he shares some of that insider knowledge as well as a few of the spectacular views he captured in flight over the island nation—many more of these stunning vistas are collected in his new book Unseen Cuba.
  Longitude. What first sparked your passion for Cuba? Jovaisa. I came to like aerial photography as a genre some 12 years ago.
The Arctic
cover"What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic," writes Sven-Olof Lindblad, the founder of Lindblad Expeditions, whose life's work has been leading expeditions. The result of over 40 years of exploring, his book The Arctic celebrates the "pure magic" travelers to the far north have witnessed, and taken home. Organized in three sections: Landscape, Wildlife and People, the book features excellent Arctic photography taken from deck, zodiac, kayak, plane and underwater craft.  The images alternate between civilization and pristine wilderness -- the worlds of the Inuit, Inuk, Greenlander, Norwegian and Icelandic peoples and the wild that spreads from their doorsteps.
A Fragment of Central Europe
EUR508Kindly contributed by Lucy Abel-Smith, author of the new Blue Guide Travels in Transylvania. With maps, plans and photographs, this accessible guide to Transylvania's "land that time forgot" focuses on its small towns. With cultural heritage from Romania, Hungaria, Saxony and Judaea, the lovely Tarnava Valley is home to an extraordinary mix of cultures and landscapes.
. Richis/Reichesdorf is a small village in the centre of Transylvania, now part of Romania but Hungarian until 1918. It thrived under its Saxon population, from its 12th century foundation under the Hungarian kings.
Penguins and Other Seabirds
single“Are penguins fish or birds?” Matt Sewell couldn’t believe the suggested question auto-filled by Google when he began research for his new book Penguins and Other Seabirds. Were enough people asking that question for it to show up in the search engine? He began his book with a new-found motivation: to educate the world about the mysterious flightless birds, and a few other seabirds along the way. Sewell is not only an avid ornithologist, he is also a talented illustrator of several bird books.
Year's Best Reads
USA592It's the perfect time to reflect on the past year. When we look back over 2016, we see a path littered with memorable reads, many of which we’ve selected as our  top ten travel books of the year. We hope each featured title serves to inspire further adventures in the New Year. The Hour of Land. Award-winning author Terry Tempest Williams travels to 12 carefully chosen national parks including Yellowstone, Acadia and Big Bend in this insightful journey. Equal parts memoir, natural history and ecology manifesto, Williams' book honors the centennial of the National Park Service by exploring why the protected, wild lands matter to the soul of America.
A Holy Mountain in Mongolia
CAS250Kindly contributed by Jack Weatherford, author of several books about Genghis Khan and Mongol culture, including Genghis Kahn and the Making of the Modern World and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens. His latest book, Genghis Khan and the Quest for God  delves into the great leader's tactics off the battlefield, in the world of religion. Here the historian shares a favorite spot to write, live and be in Mongolia.
  I live and write in my favorite spot on planet Earth.
The Nordic Theory of Everything
nordic theory coverThe American fascination with all things Scandinavian, from hygge to the minimalist architecture and design, has been growing over the past few years and launched a number of articles and books obsessed with what makes Denmark and its northern neighbors among the happiest and highest performing cultures in the world, such as Michael Booth’s The Almost Nearly Perfect People. New York Times and Atlantic Journalist Anu Partanen adds to the conversation with her recent release The Nordic Theory of Everything.
An Interview with Malachy Tallack
book coverIn Sixty Degrees North, one of Longitude's Year's Best Reads, writer Malachy Tallack travels westward along the northern latitude in the wake of his father's death. Through his journey he explores themes of isolation, wildness and exile while considering the relationship between the people and their land and confronting his own feelings about home.
  Longitude. The 60th parallel gave your journey a meaningful shape. Did you find similarities between the countries linked by the imaginary line?
Unseen Cuba
CBA303Because of its unique political history, Cuba’s airspace has been subject to uncommon restrictions. Fueled by a passion for the country’s unique beauty, Lithuanian photographer Marius Jovaisa persevered through years of bureaucratic obstacles to receive permission to photograph the island nation from above. The result of his persistence is Unseen Cuba: over 400 pages of never before photographed vistas, from the misty mountains of the Sierra Cristal range to the sandbars, reefs and turquoise waters of the north coast to Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest city, and beyond.
The Places Where Life Begins
ARC360
Kindly contributed by Michael Engelhard, author of the forthcoming Ice Bear, The Cultural History of an Icon. The product of meticulous research, his cultural narrative examines over 8,000 years of polar bear history. Engelhard probes the narratives of the Inuit, hunters and settlers as well as modern science to show the many forms the powerful, elusive animal has taken. In his book American Wild Engelhard documents his travels between the two areas of the world he identifies as his "soul-scapes," canyon country of the American Southwest and Alaska's great wilds.