Tag Archives: Travel Books

Reviews: The Top New Travel Books For 2022


Cover of All the Way to the Tigers by Mary Morris
Anchor
All the Way to the Tigers: A Memoir

By Mary Morris ’77GSAS (2020)

When travel writer and novelist Mary Morris was badly injured in an ice-skating accident, she feared that her life of adventure was over. But a quote from Thomas Mann convinced her otherwise: “He would go on a journey. Not far. Not all the way to the tigers.” Thus began Morris’s three-year-quest — which does take her far, from Brooklyn to the jungles of India — to find a tiger in the wild. Like her much-lauded memoir Nothing to Declare, Morris’s latest book is a thoughtful, spiritual, genre-bending journey. 


Cover of Looking for Transwonderland by Noo Saro-Wiwa
Soft Skull Press
Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria 

By Noo Saro-Wiwa ’01JRN (2012)

Noo Saro-Wiwa spent her childhood in the United Kingdom, traveling back to her native Nigeria only on summer vacations. But when she was nineteen, her father, a journalist and activist, was killed by Nigerian police. Saro-Wiwa returned to her homeland to reckon with her father’s legacy and try to understand the history of the nation that killed him. Part memoir, part family history, and part travelogue, it’s an intriguing (and surprisingly funny) look at a very complicated country. 


Cover of Come Fly the World by Julia Cooke
Mariner Books
Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am 

By Julia Cooke ’13SOA (2021)

There’s nothing glamorous about flying these days, so it’s extra fun to tag along with Julia Cooke back to the 1960s, the golden age of air travel, when working as a Pan Am stewardess was peak cool. Cooke tells five such women’s stories, which run the gamut from the enviable (shopping sprees in Paris and beach holidays in the Philippines) to the unbelievable (evading the KGB in Moscow and smuggling a newsreel out of war-torn Pakistan). 


Cover of Letters to Lillian and Travel Notebooks by Meyer Schapiro
Getty Research Institute
Meyer Schapiro Abroad: Letters to Lillian and Travel Notebooks 

By Meyer Schapiro ’24CC, ’35GSAS, edited by Daniel Esterman ’65CC (2009)

Meyer Schapiro is known as one of the twentieth century’s most accomplished art historians. But in 1926 and 1927, he was still a Columbia graduate student, studying abroad in Europe and the Middle East. The letters that he wrote to his then fiancée, Lillian, as well as the notebooks that he kept, are ripe with budding observations on art and politics and represent a fascinating time capsule of intellectual life nearly a century ago.


Cover of Wayfinding by M. R. O'Connor
St. Martin’s Press
Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World

By M. R. O’Connor ’08JRN (2019)

Technology has made wayfinding — “the use and organization of sensory information from the environment to guide us” — almost obsolete. But before GPS, or even written maps, humans purposefully traveled great distances across the earth. Journalist M. R. O’Connor draws on disciplines from neuroscience to anthropology to explore how they did it. Her findings are fascinating, and so is her journey to reach them, which takes her to the Arctic tundra, the Australian outback, and the islands of the South Pacific. 


Cover of Secret Brooklyn by Michelle Young
Jonglez Publishing
Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide

By Michelle Young ’12GSAPP and Augustin Pasquet (2019)

Michelle Young, an adjunct professor of architecture at Columbia, is the founder of Untapped New York, a website dedicated to the secret corners and hidden gems of America’s biggest city. So it’s no surprise that her guide to Brooklyn is equally full of treasures — things like the world’s oldest subway tunnel and a museum built into the hallway of a Williamsburg apartment building. It’s an indispensable resource for visitors and residents alike. 


Cover of Travel Brightly edited by Sarika Bansal
Sarika Bansal
Tread Brightly: Notes on Ethical Travel 

Edited by Sarika Bansal ’12SIPA (2021)

Editor Sarika Bansal is a true citizen of the world: she has lived on five continents, speaks four languages, and has traveled extensively. So she’s more than qualified to ask tough questions and offer wisdom about how to travel ethically. The essays and photos in her collection tackle topics like the ecological implications of cruise ships, the ways that study-abroad programs and “orphanage tourism” impact communities, and the role that privilege plays in exploration. It’s a timely wake-up call, with plenty of thoughtful ideas for the future. 


Cover of The Diver's Clothes lie Empty by Vendela Vida
Ecco
The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty 

By Vendela Vida ’96SOA (2015)

One of the most alluring elements of travel is self-reinvention, an idea central to Vendela Vida’s captivating, mind-bending thriller. Upon arriving at her hotel in Casablanca, Vida’s heroine is robbed of her passport and all her belongings. Strangely liberated by the crime that stripped her of her identity, she starts posing as a famous film star, which takes her on a series of mysterious adventures. Vida’s writing is full of fun twists, and any armchair traveler will delight in her portrait of the sunbaked Moroccan city. 


Italy for the Gourmet Traveler by Fred Plotkin
Kyle Books
Italy for the Gourmet Traveler 

By Fred Plotkin ’80JRN (2014)

There are plenty of good reasons to travel to Italy, but for most people the food is high on the list. And Fred Plotkin — an expert on Italian opera and cuisine — is the consummate guide. He has tips on the best restaurants, gelato stands, markets, wineries, and olive-oil distilleries, from the bustling centers of Rome and Milan to tiny villages off most tourist-trodden paths. Plotkin is working with travel-guide guru Rick Steves on a new gastronomic guide to Italy, out in 2023. Until then, this fifth edition remains an excellent resource. 


Cover of Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves
Seal Press
Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents 

By Elisabeth Eaves ’99SIPA (2011)

Elisabeth Eaves lives by the notion that you can “go off into the world and let it carry you along.” Her memoir chronicles fifteen years of truly globe-spanning travel — from the busy streets of Cairo to the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Almost every new place comes with a romance, but Eaves is clearly reluctant to settle down with any of the men she meets. It’s a journey that will speak to anyone who craves the unknown and fears the mundane. 
 

Travel & Photography: ‘Greek Islands’ (May 2022)

An endless expanse of shimmering waters paired with unmatched Greek hospitality awaits visitors to the islands of the Aegean Sea. Each island is home to a unique spirit and mythology.

From Patmos (a favorite of Aga Khan) to Hydra (which captivated Henry Miller, Leonard Cohen and Sophia Loren), the islands are imbued with a seductive sense of history, tradition and adventure. 

 Several films over the decades have been filmed on them, including Boy on a Dolphin (1957) on Hydra, The Big Blue (1988) on Amorgos and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) on Santorini.

Sources of inspiration for millennia, the ancient ruins, cliffside monasteries and volcanic rims are all can’t-miss sights. Venturing on an Odyssey of their own, the author and the photographer boarded a traditional Greek sailboat and set out to capture the calming atmosphere, quintessential characters and breathtaking architecture of these gems of the Aegean. A spectacular journey re-created in the pages of Greek Islands.

Read more

New English Travel Books: ‘Deepest Somerset’ (2022)

Deepest Somerset off the presses

THE third book in our series, Deepest Somerset, is on its way to you.  It was printed at Blackmore in Shaftesbury on the last weekend in August, and is now at the bindery, where the cover, again featuring a wood engraving by Howard Phipps, will be joined to the pages.

Preview: ‘Great Escapes Alps. The Hotel Book’

Flowering mountain slopes and traditional meadows. Icy glaciers and majestic summits. With their untouched nature and raw beauty, the Alps have always been a source of fascination. Angelika Taschen presents the best accommodation for Alpinists – historic inns, guesthouses, monasteries, mountain huts, chalets, palazzi, design hotels, even a youth hostel.

A Mountain Tour of the Alps

The Alps are Europe’s biggest and greatest mountain range. Formed millions of years ago, they became a popular destination for travelers in the late eighteenth century – first for adventurers and explorers, then for artists and writers, and finally for everyone who wanted to spend summer in the fresh air of this wonderful scenery or take part in winter sports. Angelika Taschen has followed in their footsteps and collected the finest hotels in the Alpine nations of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy.

They include the Kranzbach near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, built for a British aristocrat, Gasthof Hirschen in the Bregenzerwald, where art-loving visitors have been welcomed since 1755, and the Seehof near Salzburg with its emphasis on contemporary art and fine cuisine. The journey goes to Waldhaus Sils in Sils Maria, where many creative guests have found inspiration, to the Schatzalp in Davos, which Thomas Mann immortalized in literature in “The Magic Mountain”, and to picturesque bed & breakfasts with a personal touch such as Brücke49 in Vals and Maison Bergdorf in Interlaken.

High above Chamonix, mountaineers have stayed overnight for more than 140 years at Refuge du Montenvers with its view of the Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in France. In the exclusive Megève, too, which Baroness Noémie de Rothschild put on the tourist map, travelers experience the Alps à la française in the chalet hotel L’Alpaga; and a bit of Italian dolce vita is provided by stunning addresses in the South Tyrol such as the Ottmangut in Merano, Villa Arnica in Lana with its nostalgic atmosphere, and Pension Briol near Barbiano, constructed in 1928 in the Bauhaus style and extended in 2021 with the addition of two extremely modern buildings.

This opulent book of photographs presents the Alpine range and accommodation in large-format images, short texts, and useful details on prices and how to get there. Walkers, skiers, gourmets, and lovers of good living will find valuable tips and very special accommodation: former monasteries where guests still find peace and seclusion, a mountain hut at the heart of the Dolomites, and a youth hostel occupying what was once a sanatorium, a rare example of modern architecture in Switzerland that was declared a heritage monument in 2002.

Read more

Travel Books: ‘Geneva: At the Heart of the World’

Situated on Lake Geneva and surrounded by mountains, Geneva is a cosmopolitan gem in the Switzerland landscape. Home to various organizations including the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Red Cross, Geneva is a city of diplomacy, charity and finance that accommodates both Swiss authenticity and international interests. 

However, Geneva is not all business; museums, the finest watchmakers, and chocolate is available to visitors and entertainment in the form of theater, festivals, and biennales are in abundance.

Presented in partnership with GVA2 Association, an organization dedicated to fostering the growth of Geneva, this title invites readers to explore all that Geneva has to offer, from its historical landmarks to its cultural diversity. Anecdotes from prominent figures in the community supplement the stunning imagery of a city on the verge of greatness.

Kyra Dupont is a French journalist and author born in Geneva with two masters in international relations and journalism. She has worked as a reporter for the written press, radio and television in several countries and headed the international news section of the daily newspaper 24 heures in Lausanne.

Read more

Travel & Culture Books: ‘Gstaad Glam’ (Assouline)

In the southwest corner of Switzerland, nestled among the snowy mountains of the Swiss Alps is the picturesque, upscale resort town of Gstaad. Teeming with exclusive ski clubs and a fur coat–clad jet set, Gstaad is the definition of Alpine chic, which is evident in the luxurious, family-owned Gstaad Palace, the members-only restaurant The Eagle and the high-fashion boutiques that line the town’s main promenade.

It is this combination of opulence and quiet that has attracted a plethora of celebrities including Madonna, Grace Kelly, Stavros Niarchos and Julie Andrews, to name a few. While glitz and glamour are in abundance, local tradition and culture are always close by. Whether it’s in the Pinte Bar at Hotel Olden that exudes authentic charm or a farm on the outskirts of town showcasing a quaint, pastoral lifestyle, this beautiful volume showcases Gstaad’s elegant traditions and unexpected treasures.There is no shortage of amusements in Gstaad.

It is nature at its finest that yearns to be explored. With 124 miles of slopes, visitors can participate in skiing, snowboarding and sledding in the winter months and hiking, biking, polo and golf in the summer. Gstaad’s calendar is packed with can’t-miss events including the Swiss Open, hot-air balloon festival and Menuhin Festival of music. And after a long day of hitting the slopes and experiencing all Gstaad has to offer, cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate from the decades-old Charly’s, the perfect spot to people-watch along the Promenade.

Read more

Books: “The Grand Tour – The Golden Age Of Travel”

This richly illustrated volume charts the travel heyday of 1869 to 1939. Bedecked with ephemera and precious turn-of-the-century photochroms, it follows six classic tours favored by Western adventurers in the prewar era, including such famous traveler-writers as Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, and Goethe. 

The Grand Tour

Rediscover the golden age of adventure

Global travel can be a wearying business: mass tourism, overcrowded planes, chaotic airports, heightened security, cookie-cutter hotel chains, well-worn tourist trails. Finding even a sliver of adventure can sometimes feel impossible. But take heart: for all of us with an unfulfilled spirit of wanderlust, The Golden Age of Travel evokes an era when traveling the world was a thrilling new possibility for those with the resources, time, imagination, and daring.

 From the Grand Tour of Europe, a traditional rite of passage for young English aristocrats, to the Far East, barely touched by Western influence, to the famous Trans-Siberian Railway, we follow each journey through its itinerant stops and various modes of transport: trains, boats, cars, planes, horses, donkeys, and camels.

With pages brimming with archival travel posters, guides, tickets, leaflets, brochures, menus, and luggage stickers, the book evokes all the romance, elegance, not to mention the sheer sense of novelty, that enthralled these golden-age passengers. Through decadent new cities, or wild, rugged terrains, this is your passport to a long-lost epoch of adventure and wide-eyed wonder at the world.

Read more

Travel: Great Escapes USA – The Hotel Book (SEP 2021)

From the Napa Valley to the Hudson Valley, from the Wild West to the South, from the mountains of New Mexico to the coast of Maine: a journey across the USA will take you to legendary landscapes with all kinds of wonderful accommodations. Angelika Taschen presents her favorite destinations: beach houses and desert camps, motels and ranches, mobile homes and tents, resorts and inns.

TASCHEN
A Journey to the Finest Hotels in the USA

The USA is one of the most varied and fascinating countries in the world. Its areas of natural beauty such as the Pacific Coast, the Yosemite National Park, and Monument Valley are the stuff of great cinema (Hollywood finds its best settings practically in its backyard). For everyone who explores the USA beyond its big cities on a classic road trip, on the trail of Native Americans and pioneers, in the mountains or by lakes and beaches, unforgettable moments are guaranteed.

In Great Escapes USA, Angelika Taschen presents remarkable places to stay through impressive photography, entertaining texts, and practical details on how to get there, prices, and tips for books and films. Her journey starts on the East Coast, where intellectuals and artists once met in idyllically located country houses such as the Twin Farms in Vermont and Troutbeck in New York State. It continues to the South, where The Moorings Village and Hôtel Peter & Paul, for example, tell of the history of Florida and Louisiana, and Southern belles such as the Commodore Perry Estate in Austin, Texas reveal their glamor.

Read more

Travel & Photography: “Wanderlust Alps” (2021)

Stretching from France all the way down to Slovenia, Europe’s most majestic mountain range encompasses eight countries. Wanderlust Alps charts the region’s most treasured routes and guides the reader every step of the way. Aimed at those with an appetite for adventure, this book offers a rich mix of treks for hikers who wish to brave the elements.

Through enlightening maps, first-hand tips, and breathtaking photography, Wanderlust Alps illustrates why the range’s craggy peaks and verdant plains make it an outdoor playground in any season. Expect dazzling content to inspire hikers of any experience and skill level, stunning landscape photography, and helpful hints and information on how best to enjoy more than 50 epic trails.

Alex Roddie is an active backpacker, mountaineer, and climber with over 15 years of outdoor experience. Based in England, he works as an editor, writer, and photographer for outdoor-related print publications and online media. Wanderlust Europe was released by gestalten in 2020.

Read more

Travel & Culture Books: ‘Dubai Wonder’ (Assouline)

Dubai Wonder tours readers through this storied city and its cultural diversity and distinct neighborhoods, including Deira, home to the Khor Dubai, a creek that Dubai’s economy relied on for several decades for pearl diving and fishing; Al Quoz, the cultural heart of the city; the Dubai International Financial Centre and Jumeirah, a largely residential district featuring the emirate’s notable resorts along its coast.

An international port city and desert oasis, Dubai is one of the most important metropolises in the Middle East. With modest beginnings in the industries of pearl diving, fishing and trade, Dubai has since eclipsed its historic origins. The most populated of the seven emirates united by founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971, Dubai is a treasure trove of the best, the biggest and the brightest, drawing such stars of architecture as Zaha Hadid, Foster + Partners, and Santiago Calatrava. Dubai’s skyline features the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa; the giant Dubai Mall; the Burj Al Arab seven-star hotel and the Dubai International Airport—the ultimate extravagance.

Other stops on the tour include Dubai’s burgeoning art scene, the Art Dubai fair and Alserkal Avenue, a cluster of warehouses containing art galleries. Dubai Wonder also takes readers inside the highly anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai, opening in October 2021 and already heralded as the grandest world fair in history. A hub of innovation and firsts, Dubai represents a vision for the future, where anything is possible, as each page of this awe-inspiring addition to Assouline’s Travel Series demonstrates.

Myrna Ayad is an arts consultant, cultural strategist and editor, with a focus on visual art and culture from the Arab world, Iran and Turkey. She established her namesake consultancy in 2018 following her directorship of Art Dubai, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia’s foremost international art fair. Ayad has written for The New York TimesCNN OnlineThe Art NewspaperArtforumArtsyArtnetWallpaper* and The National, among others, and contributed to artist monographs and exhibition catalogues. From 2007 to 2015, she served as editor of Canvas, the premier magazine for visual art from the Middle East, where she oversaw the production of the title’s affiliate newspapers, catalogues and luxury art books. Over the years, Ayad has served both as a panelist and moderator and sits on the committees of cultural entities in the region. For almost four decades, she has been based in Dubai, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Read more