Gift Books for the Traveler

Happy Holidays. Here's hoping a certain well-traveled gentleman from the North Pole brings you lots of joy this holiday season. We're here to help his cause with some beautiful illustrated gift books that will take you around the globe (and fit nicely beneath an evergreen tree). If your stocking still isn't full enough, click here to sign up for our annual catalog, full of travel books and maps for the traveler in your life.

Places of a Lifetime, 225 Dream Destinations Around the World. Ideal for inspiring and planning a dream trip, this National Geographic bucket list brings readers a little closer to visiting 225 of the world's most breathtaking natural and man-made locales. The plethora of visual wonders features ancient monoliths, windswept islands, famous artwork, cityscapes, rain forests, ancient cobbled streets and all types of architecture. Each entry includes some hard service information to jumpstart readers' travel planning.  (WLD291, $40.00)

Wildlife of the World. This wildlife survey 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. From the shaggy Musk Ox to the Scottish Wildcat and the Gelda Monkey, each species is given an in-depth profile. Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution.  (WLD289, $50.00)

World Heritage Sites. From the Galapagos and Mesa Verde to China's Mount Sanqingshan National Park and Al-Hijar in Saudi Arabia, this beautifully illustrated compendium includes color photographs, a map and succinct description of each archaeological site, monument, city or park. Organized by order of inscription (Galapagos was the first), this fully updated sixth edition includes new site inscriptions made in 2014 for a total of 1,007.  (CON53, $29.95)

Cuba, This Moment, Exactly So. The fruits of more than 50 trips to the island over the past 20 years, award-winning photographer Lorne Resnick presents passionate and heartwarming moments from Cuba, the "Pearl of the Antilles." His 250 black-and-white photographs are organized around 30 micro-stories and include a foreword by the great travel writer Pico Iyer. An immersive, deluxe coffee table book.  (CBA261, $75.00)

Rarely Seen, Photographs of the Extraordinary. National Geographic presents some of the world's rarest, far-flung objects and natural wonders in this vivid color photography book. Their photographers capture what is seldom seen by human eyes (let alone photographed) including: animals that are the last of their species, 50-ton crystals, 30,000-year-old cave art sealed from the public and, one of the most awesome sights on Earth, volcanic lightning. The coffee-table book measures 10 x 11 inches and includes 250 color images.  (WLD295, $40.00)

Map, Exploring the World. Curated by a diverse panel of cartographers, academics, map dealers and map collectors, this deluxe coffee table catalog includes 300 important maps from all over the world and charts the role of cartographyacross history. In addition, the book supplies biographies of influential mapmakers like Gerardus Mercator, Ordnance Survey and Google Earth. Filled with 400 color illustrations and authoritative text. Measures: 11 3/8 x 9 7/8 inches.  (MAP55, $59.95)

World Monuments. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the World Monuments Fund pulled together some of today's most influential travel writers (including the great William Dalrymple) for this photographic tour of 50 awesome world sites. Great for travel inspiration, the book surveys locales from Venice and Petra to New Orleans, India, Paris and all around the globe. Although important as national heritage sites, many of the architectural gems on the list depend on visitors for their preservation.  (WLD290, $50.00)

Light and Dust, Images and Stories from the Wild of East Africa. This gorgeously photographed tribute to the animals of East Africa captures the region's wild creatures at their most sociable and dramatic. To create the book, dedicated photographer Federico Veronesi spent years camping in the Maasai Mara National Reserve and brought his camera into tumultuous weather -- literally following animals' footsteps -- into mists, dust storms and heavy rains. A beautiful ode to survival, narrated by the photographer himself.  (EAF446, $60.00)  

Plotted, A Literary Atlas. This collection of literature-inspired maps takes readers into the fictional worlds of great books, including the landscapes of The Odyssey, Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, The Invisible Man, Lord of the Flies, A Wrinkle in Time, Watership Down and The Handmaid's Tale. A very unique way of appreciating a good read!  (GNL29, $24.99)

Wild World. Bringing the world's wildest corners into focus, Lonely Planet depicts the breathtaking mountains, wildlife spectacles, animals, rivers, deserts and jungles found on each continent. It's the super-sized follow-up to Beautiful World (WLD245). The book measures 14 x 10.5 inches.  (WLD297, $39.99)