This month features two books about walking journeys; one is Down the Nile, and the other is Walking New Orleans. Other books describe the delights of escaping to the ‘Med.’, how to have an entertaining family trip to London, and a delightful book about the weekly dinner shared between four Italian women… with author Marlena de Blasi.
Between East and West : across the borderlands of Europe / Anne Applebaum.
“A vivid and human glimpse into Europe’s borderlands as they emerged from Soviet rule – back in print after nearly 20 years.
As Europe’s borderlands emerged from Soviet rule, Anne Applebaum travelled from the Baltic to the Black Sea, through Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and the Carpathian mountains. Rich in vivid characters and stories of tragedy and survival, Between East and West illuminates the soul of a place, and the secret history of its people. Anne Applebaum is a historian and journalist, a regular columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, and the author of several books… She is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and she divides her time between Britain and Poland, where her husband, Radek Sikorski, serves as Foreign Minister.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Walking New Orleans : 30 tours exploring historic neighborhoods, waterfront districts, culinary and music corridors, and recreational wonderlands / Barri Bronston.
“From neighborhoods such as Lakeview and Mid-City to landmarks including the Saenger Theater and Mercedes Benz Superdome, from its restaurants and music clubs to its parks and museums, the Big Easy has regained the title of one of the world’s most fascinating cities. In Walking New Orleans , lifelong resident and writer Barri Bronston shares the love of her hometown through 30 self-guided tours that range from majestic St. Charles Avenue and funky Magazine Street to Bywater and Faubourg Marigny, two of the city’s “it” neighborhoods. Within each tour, she offers tips on where to eat, drink, dance, and play, for in addition to all the history, culture, and charm that New Orleans has to offer…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Let’s take the kids to London / David Stewart White and Deb Hosey White.
“…Not everyone travels the same way, and traveling with children entails a unique set of priorities. The culture and colorful history of London come to life in this guide to enjoying an exceptionally entertaining family vacation. Written specifically for families, this book is the antidote to the inevitable tribulations faced by traveling parents and children. With a focus on family-friendly adventures, it describes such classic destinations as the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, lesserknown attractions such as the Florence Nightingale Museum and the Churchill War Rooms. Key information about each attraction-such as locations, hours, and prices-is included, allowing families to plan itineraries with confidence.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Great escapes : Mediterranean / compiled and edited by Angelika Taschen ; texts by Christiane Reiter.
“…Flanked by three continents and offering coastline to 21 countries, the Mediterranean is a mythical place, blessed with its fine climate, luxuriant fauna and flora, and the intense blues of its sea. In this revised edition, Angelika Taschen catalogs the best of this legendary region, scouring the most beautiful gardens, the most enchanting beaches, the little-known islands, the finest architecture, and the most gorgeous rooms, with the most breathtaking, and soul-soothing views. From the glamorous Eden-Roc on the Côte d’Azur to the tiny hotel on the small Croatian island of Lopud, this is the ultimate reference for any discerning traveller of the Med. Text in English, French, and German” (Syndetics summary)
The Umbrian Thursday night supper club / Marlena de Blasi.
“Every week on a Thursday evening, a group of four Italian rural women gather in a derelict stone house in the hills above Italy’s Orvieto. There—along with their friend, Marlena—they cook together, sit down to a beautiful supper, drink their beloved local wines, and talk. Here, surrounded by candle light, good food and friendship, Miranda, Ninucia, Paolina, and Gilda tell their life stories of loves lost and found, of ageing and abandonment, of mafia grudges and family feuds, and of cherished ingredients and recipes whose secrets have been passed down through the generations. Around this table, these five friends share their food and all that life has offered them—the good and the bad.” (adapted from Amazon.com)
Postcards from the Middle East / Chris Naylor.
“An easy, engaging, and often funny introduction to Arab culture–its richness, humanity, and challenges–through the experiences of an English family. The Middle East features regularly on our television screens, in ways that often lead to a simplistic and stereotyped view of the land and the people that live there. Having moved to the Middle East, Chris Naylor and his wife set up a pioneering branch of the environmental agency A Rocha in Lebanon. Over the years they found their prejudices and assumptions utterly overthrown. Their story is an insightful and informed introduction to Arab culture through the experience of an English family. Engaging and often funny, it explores themes of cross-cultural communication and environmental vision.” (Syndetics summary)
Saturnalia : traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in search of an African utopia / Justin Chapman.
“In the Spring of 2012, reporter and travel junkie Justin Chapman threw his cares to the wind and, by himself, set off on an epic journey across eight countries in Africa — from Cape Town, South Africa, to Mityana, Uganda — by bus, train, and boat. Along the way, he narrowly escaped being locked away in a mental institution, visited an impoverished township that is changing its future with the help of an art-based nonprofit, got into a life-threatening car crash, dropped acid on the mystical island of Zanzibar, lived with a group of Catholic priests, witnessed a witchcraft healing ceremony, discovered a pygmy opium den, and chased down riveting stories with a local journalist…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The story of the Jews : finding the words : 1000 BCE – 1492 CE / Simon Schama.
“A history of the Jews is possibly the greatest story that can be told. It is the story of mankind – at its most noble and at its most barbaric. From the invention of a single deity and the killing of his embodied Son through to the production of urban modernity, so much of supreme importance for humanity bears the imprint of Jewish thinking and culture.” (Syndetics summary)
Walking the Nile / Levison Wood.
“His journey is 4,250 miles long. He is walking every step of the way, camping in the wild, foraging for food, fending for himself against multiple dangers. He is passing through rainforest, savannah, swamp, desert and lush delta oasis. He will cross seven, very different countries. No one has ever made this journey on foot. In this detailed, thoughtful, inspiring and dramatic book, recounting Levison Wood’s walk the length of the Nile, he will come face to face with the great story of a modern Africa emerging out of the past. Exploration and Africa are two of his great passions – they drive him on and motivate his inquisitiveness and resolution not to fail, yet the challenges of the terrain, the climate, the animals, the people and his own psychological resolution will throw at him are immense. The dangers are very real, but so is the motivation for this ex-army officer.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Much ado about Melbourne : from maps to movies — the creativity that makes a city / Jenny Sinclair.
“What shapes the character of Melbourne, and from where does it get its x-factor? Jenny Sinclair goes in search of the answers and discovers that it’s all in our head – or at least our collective imagination. Much Ado About Melbourne is a whimsical and absorbing survey of the city’s creativity, from Hoddle’s Grid to the cultural achievements that help put us on the world map. Celebrating the tales, spirit and sensibilities that make this metropolis, it charts the evolution of Melbourne through its music, art, literature, film, stories, transport, maps and people.”