Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All With the Greatest Chef in the World by Jeff GordinierWhat it is: a memoir, biography, and culinary travelogue all in one evocative, innovative book.
What it's about: With his marriage ending, food critic Jeff Gordinier traveled with charismatic, celebrated Danish chef and restaurateur René Redzepi, who was himself restless and at loose ends, on various adventures to discover local ingredients and interesting flavors.
Locations visited: Mexico, Australia, the U.S., Denmark, and Norway.
Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver by Jill HeinerthWhat it's about: Professional cave diver Jill Heinerth describes overcoming her fears and exploring underwater areas from Florida to the Antarctic as well as discussing scientific and historical discoveries.
Did you know? "Cave diving is so risky that even the most casual enthusiasts can't get life insurance at any price."
Why you might like it: Into the Planet is a thrilling combination of adventure and science as well as the inspiring memoir of a trailblazing woman working in a male-dominated profession.
Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home by Matt KepnesWhat it is: a thoughtful memoir by a recent college graduate who left his unfulfilling corporate life behind to travel...and didn't stop for ten years.
Is it for you? Ten Years a Nomad covers Matt Kepnes' personal growth over the course of the decade as much as his adventures, so those who appreciate reflective travelers will enjoy it the most.
About the author: Kepnes, a blogger and the bestselling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, has traveled to over 90 countries.
Escalante's Dream: On the Trail of the Spanish Discovery of the Southwest by David RobertsJuly 1776: Led by two Franciscan priests, the 12-man Domínguez-Escalante expedition set out for Monterey and traveled 1,700 miles across what is now New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona.
September 2017: Accompanied by his wife of nearly five decades, mountaineer and author David Roberts, weak from cancer treatment, retraced the Franciscans' little-remembered journey over the course of six weeks, contemplating the expedition's historical importance and poignantly examining his own life.
Autumn 2019: As of this writing, Roberts is still traveling and just completed a trip to Quebec City.
Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra FullerWhat it's about: In this evocative sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, author Alexandra Fuller focuses on her parents, covering the deaths of three of their children, her mother's childhood in Kenya, her mother's mental illness, and more.
Why you might like it: Fuller movingly evokes the hardships of living in the beautiful and wild African countryside as well as her parents' personal flaws, including their racism.
Reviewers say: "beautifully wrought" (Publishers Weekly).
Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath our Feet by Will HuntWhat it is: a brisk, panoramic exploration of the history, science, and mythology of subterranean spaces, written by a self-proclaimed urban explorer and underworld enthusiast.
Featuring: Paris catacombs, Australian ochre mines, New York City subway tunnels, and Turkish underground cities.
For fans of: unique and offbeat travelogues.
Under the Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America by Joseph Kim with Stephan TaltyWhat it's about: Joseph Kim's family, like many others in North Korea, was devastated by the 1990s famine: his father died, his mother sold his sister...and he became a starving street child, who did what he had to do to survive before escaping to China and eventually the United States.
Read it for: the searing, matter-of-fact look at life in an authoritarian country.
Who it's for: readers moved by the depictions of North Korean life found in Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy, Suki Kim's Without You, There Is No Us, and Blaine Harden's Escape from Camp 14.
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances MayesWhat it's about: First published in 1986, this delightful book chronicles poet Frances Mayes' purchase of a Tuscan villa in need of refurbishing. Relating experiences from her Italian life, Mayes describes spending time with her neighbors, dealing with repairs, and dining on delicious foods (recipes included).
The movie: The 2003 Under the Tuscan Sun film is quite different from the book but features luminous scenery and a compelling Diane Lane as Mayes.
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