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Armchair Travel February 2014
"One kind word can warm three winter months."
~ Japanese proverb
New and Recently Released!
Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked - by Lynn Austin
Publisher: Bethany House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/05/2013
Share Pilgrimage%3a My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked ISBN-13: 9780764211188
ISBN-10: 0764211188
Though bestselling Christian fiction author Lynn Austin had a comfortable life, something wasn't right. Perhaps it was too many recent changes -- the deaths of loved ones as well as her three children moving to far-flung locales -- that had caused her to feel spiritually dry and like her life was "a mindless plodding through necessary routine." Seizing the opportunity to travel to Israel, Austin hoped to steady herself by walking where Jesus did, pondering scripture, and visiting historical sites. Her "search for a renewed source of joy after loss is sure to be familiar to many" (Publishers Weekly). Readers who'd like another spiritual perspective of a pilgrimage may want to pick up Shirley MacLaine's The Camino.
My Venice and Other Essays - by Donna Leon
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/03/2013
Share My Venice and Other Essays ISBN-13: 9780802120366
ISBN-10: 0802120369
Mystery fans will recognize Donna Leon's name -- she's the author of the critically acclaimed Guido Brunetti series set in Venice. Having lived in Italy for three decades, Leon knows the floating city well. Here, in a series of short essays, she shares her opinions about the onslaught of masses of tourists to her adopted home (she's not a fan), as well as a wide variety of other subjects (she's also not keen about the American obesity epidemic or the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia). Even if you've never read her eloquent, atmospheric novels, anyone interested in an intimate look at Venice will find Leon to be a no-nonsense guide who writes in "sharply revealing and precisely vivid sentences" (Library Journal).
The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran - by Hooman Majd
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/05/2013
Share The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay%3a An American Family in Iran ISBN-13: 9780385535328
ISBN-10: 0385535325
After 50-year-old Iranian-American journalist Hooman Majd married and had a son with his American wife, Karri, the family moved to Tehran for a a time when relations between the U.S. and Iran were tense, to say the least. But the couple wanted Majd -- who'd left the country of his birth as a child -- to get reacquainted with his homeland, and they wanted to introduce their son to the Iranian part of his heritage. Though they dealt with questions from Iranian security, fasted during Ramadan, and Karri had to wear a headscarf, they also found some things were familiar (parties, Facebook, and organic food). Offering an intimate insight into a country and its people, this is Majd's 3rd and most personal book about his homeland. For another look at a Middle Eastern reporter's journey home, try Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid's beautiful House of Stone.
Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo - by Anjan Sundaram
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/07/2014
Share Stringer%3a A Reporter ISBN-13: 9780385537759
ISBN-10: 0385537751
Would you rather put your Yale mathematics degree to use working for Goldman Sachs or by following a new dream of being a journalist in a country few are interested in? Anjan Sundaram, who was born in India, chooses to go to the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo with pen in hand, but with no real job waiting There, he has a bit of a baptism by fire when his cell phone is stolen, he has a cultural misunderstanding with the family he's renting a room from, and he encounters dangerous, disturbing situations even as he finally gets paid for his stories. In Stringer, Sundaram offers a beautifully written account of his coming of age as a journalist in one of the most troubled countries in the world; "readers may be tempted to compare him to Conrad and Naipaul, but he has a strong, unique style all his own" (Kirkus Reviews).
Good Books You May Have Missed
On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks - by Simon Garfield
Publisher: Gotham Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/27/2012
Share On the Map%3a A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks ISBN-13: 9781592407798
ISBN-10: 159240779X
Where would we be without maps? Probably lost and confused. Simon Garfield, the award-winning author who examined fonts in Just My Type, explores just how important cartography is in witty, highly readable style in On the Map. Ranging from ancient to modern times, Garfield discusses the first century Geographica, the c.1290 Hereford Mappa Mundi, maps in movies, maps to movie stars' homes, apps, and Google maps. He also examines the pivotal relationship between mapping and civilization, demonstrating the unique ways that maps relate and realign history in a book chock full of engaging cartography anecdotes. Though this isn't a travelogue, it does offer travelers "an engrossing, endlessly fascinating" (Booklist) look at an indispensable travel tool. For more on maps, try Ken Jennings' Maphead or Jerry Brotton's A History of the World in 12 Maps.
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World - by Matthew Goodman
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/26/2013
Share Eighty Days%3a Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland ISBN-13: 9780345527264
ISBN-10: 0345527267
Inspired by Jules Verne's fantastic novel Around the World in 80 Days, two rival 19th-century female journalists defied gender stereotypes in a headlong race to complete the fastest trip around the world in 1889. Smartly blending social history and armchair travel, author Matthew Goodman vividly captures the two women's very different personalities against the backdrop of a burgeoning Victorian travel industry that vowed to deliver more of the world, faster, and in more comfort than ever before. For the story of yet another adventuresome, influential, and well-traveled Victorian woman, try Georgina Howell's Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations as a follow-up.
Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria - by Noo Saro-Wiwa
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/21/2012
Share Looking for Transwonderland%3a Travels in Nigeria ISBN-13: 9781619020078
ISBN-10: 1619020076
Though she was raised in England, Noo Saro-Wiwa was born in Nigeria and was dragged back there every summer break. But after the country's military regime executed her well-known environmental activist father, Ken Saro-Wiwa, in 1995, 19-year-old Noo stopped visiting. After traveling the globe as a travel writer, she finally returns to Nigeria for the first time since attending her father's burial and tries to get to know the real Nigeria. She visits disorganized Lagos, the largest city in the area, makes her way to mountains and the beach, as well as exploring dog shows, a desolate amusement park (the titular Transwonderland), and other places; all the while, she is struck by both the level of government corruption and the captivating people she meets in this "remarkable chronicle" (New York Times).
Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti - by Amy Wilentz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/08/2013
Share Farewell, Fred Voodoo%3a A Letter from Haiti ISBN-13: 9781451643978
ISBN-10: 1451643977
"Fred Voodoo" is the joking, catch-all name that reporters used to call the man on the street in Haiti. Veteran journalist Amy Wilentz, who's been fascinated by and reporting on the poverty-stricken country for almost 30 years, is happy to say goodbye to that moniker and show readers some of the fascinating individuals she's met, including parents, priests, and presidents. Describing Haiti's turbulent history, and taking a particularly close look at the devastating 2010 earthquake, she provides an unsentimental yet loving look at a troubled land. This "excellent and illuminating" (Los Angeles Times) book is one of five on the short list for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography; winners will be announced on March 13. For more on post-earthquake Haiti, try Jonathan M. Katz's The Big Truck That Went By.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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