A Year in Paris: Season by Season in the City of Light by John BaxterWhat it is: a seasonal look at life in Paris along with a bit of history, by a prolific Australian author who's lived in the City of Light for decades.
Who it's for: those who want an insider's look at what the famed city is like each month of the year.
Reviewers say: "a quirky, affectionate portrait by an unabashed Francophile" (Kirkus Reviews).
In Putin's Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia's Eleven Time... by Nina Khrushcheva and Jeffrey TaylerWhat happened: Two writers traveled across Russia, visiting with locals and pondering how Russia's vastness and history has helped shape its national identity and culture.
Did you know? Russian American author Nina Khrushcheva is the great-granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
For fans of: Lisa Dickey's Bears in the Streets, David Green's Midnight in Siberia, and other looks at lesser-known parts of Russia by astute travelers.
See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy by Frances MayesWhat it is: an evocative, recipe-complemented travelogue through 13 regions of Italy by the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, who's often joined by her husband and her teenage grandson as she eats sumptuous meals in lovely locales.
Read this next: for more books that detail the good eats and fascinating sights in the off-the-beaten-path parts of Italy, pick up Elizabeth Helman Minchilli's Eating My Way Through Italy (also with recipes) or Matt Goulding's Pasta, Pane, Vino (which includes many color photos).
Off the Rails: A Train Trip through Life by Beppe SevergniniWhat it is: a delightful, often wryly humorous journey with Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini (author of Ciao, America!), who shares a collection of travel stories focused on railway trips.
Trips include: his 1986 honeymoon on the Trans-Siberian railway, a trip across the Untied States with his teenage son, a railway journey across Australia, and various travels with a German journalist where they discussed their countries' different mindsets regarding travel.
For fans of: train travelogues like Tom Zoellner's Train, Tim Park's Italian Ways, or Paul Theroux's Ghost Train to the Eastern Star.
Footsteps: From Ferrante's Naples to Hammett's San Francisco, Literary... by The New York TimesWhat it is: an appealing anthology of "Footsteps" travel columns from the New York Times, detailing visits to and examinations of classic authors' relationships to favored places.
Chapters include: "San Francisco Noir;" "Finding Alice's 'Wonderland' in Oxford;" "James Baldwin's Paris;" "Alice Munro's Vancouver;" "In Chile, Where Pablo Neruda Lived and Loved."
Who it's for: travel and book lovers who want a short vacation via essay.
Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City by Anna QuindlenWhat it's about: Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author Anna Quindlen takes readers on an entertaining tour of London, following in the footsteps of favorite fictional characters and their creators.
Did you know? Quindlen has been an Anglophile since she was a child reading books set in England, but it wasn't until she was in her 40s that she actually visited London in person.
Reviewers say: "Quindlen presents a smart, bookish, wry, and stimulating portrait of the most literary of cities" (Booklist).
Schadenfreude, A Love Story: Me, the Germans, and 20 Years of Attempted... by Rebecca SchumanWhat it is: a candid, hilarious debut memoir organized around nine particularly German words.
What it's about: When she was a Jewish teen in 1990s Oregon, Rebecca Schuman fell in love with a boy who liked Kafka -- the teen romance didn't last but she developed a lifelong love of Germany, its language, and its culture, causing her to study abroad and travel there as often as she could.
Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World by Nell StevensWhat happened: After finishing her MFA, British writer Nell Stevens won a fellowship allowing her to go anywhere for several months to write.
So, Paris or Fiji, right? Nope, Bleaker Island, a part of the Falkland Islands, located off the Patagonian coast of South America, that features inhospitable wind, lots of snow, and not many people.
Okay, why? She wanted distraction-free writing -- but discovered that three months of solitude in an isolated place provides its own challenges.
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