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The Longitude Blog

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.
Gifts for Travelers
MAP59The holiday season has arrived! We’re here to lighten your load with book recommendations for that person in your life who is always off somewhere new! These gorgeous illustrated gift books would make a treasured addition to any traveler’s library. Happy holidays and safe travels this season! The Travel Book. Each country, no matter how big or small, gets a double-page spread in this big, glossy celebration of travel. All the countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe get a portfolio of color photographs, a map, brief overview and fun facts. Irresistible!
The Greeks
GRE619A well-illustrated tribute to the foundations of Western civilization, The Greeks, An Illustrated History, published by National Geographic as a companion to the PBS series The Greeks, is the perfect introduction for travelers to Greece and its fabled isles. The photographic history pays special attention to ancient innovations: great literature and architecture, war tactics, democracy, the philosophy of Socrates and more. Historian Diane Harris Cline laces the gripping story of the Greek Empire with discoveries like the Uluburun shipwreck, the earliest writing found in Europe and buried palaces.
The Durrells of Corfu
GRE35For those of you watching season one of The Durrells in Corfu, which airs this month on PBS Masterpiece, we’re featuring the wonderful books by Gerald Durrell that the series is based on. In a six-part adaptation of the playful memoirs (great for family read-alouds), Keeley Hawes (Upstairs Downstairs) stars as a widow who relocates to the island of Corfu with her four children, including eleven-year-old Gerry (played by Milo Parks), whose explorations on the island as a child inspired him to become a naturalist. My Family and Other Animals.
The Southern Ocean
JeanauthorKindly contributed by Jean McNeil, author of Ice Diaries: an Antarctic Memoir, published by ECW Press. Ice Diaries is the winner of the Adventure Travel category as well as the Grand Prize at the 2016 Banff Mountain Film Festival and Book Competition.
  I have written substantial parts of my last two books at sea, much of them while clinging to the desk with one hand while looking out the cabin window to determine which stage we were in the great oceanic washing machine cycle. If the porthole was submerged, it was bad. If I suddenly found myself horizontal when I thought I had been standing, or vice versa, then it was bad.