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  • Sarah Skilton 4:00 pm on 2017/09/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , nonfiction   

    6 Funny, Awkward Memoirs By Funny, Awkward Women 

    The last ten years have seen a surge of funny lady memoirs. When you want the literary equivalent of drinking wine with an old friend—the one who’s always finding herself in awkward situations and turning them into hilarious anecdotes—Tina and Amy (and Amy) are there for you. Inspired by those queens of comedy, we’ve compiled a list of other snort-inducing books guaranteed to keep you cringing, laughing, nodding your head in recognition, and reaching for another glass.

    The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, by Issa Rae
    After producing an award-winning web series, but prior to launching her successful HBO show Insecure (now in its second season), Rae published a collection of clever and entertaining essays about her inability to act, feel, or be cool. This inability bothered her, because society told her coolness is supposedly intrinsic to black people. As a guide for fellow Awks, she covers race and relationships, her introverted style, her parents’ divorce, and how to deflect unsolicited questions and opinions.

    You’ll Grow Out of It, by Jessi Klein
    As a tomboy who, despite the title, has never actually “grown out of it,” Klein’s highly relatable memoir analyzes the modern trappings of femininity, from the cult of bathing to the difficulty in finding women-friendly porn to the pressure placed on pregnant women to endure “natural births.” Her discovery of standup comedy as a refuge, passion, and calling takes her far in life. From SNL to Inside Amy Schumer (for which she won an Emmy as Head Writer), Klein never loses sight of what it means to be a woman today, whether you’re a poodle or a wolf.

    Shockaholic, by Carrie Fisher
    Prior to her death last December, the iconic actress authored four novels, three memoirs, and a one-woman stage show, all at least partially drawn from events in her (relentlessly surreal) existence in a galaxy close to home. (“I wish I could—and armed with that explanation, somehow excuse—the seemingly unending, ongoing…pathetic fixation I have with my feelings.”) You might think the topics of drug use and mental illness would feel heavy to read about, but Fisher never once lost her sense of humor about what life threw at her. Shockaholic is in some ways a love letter to her notoriously unreliable father, Eddie; a detailed family history (splayed out in the tabloids when Fisher was a child); and a depiction of the memory-erasing side effects of electroshock therapy.

    The Broke Diaries, by Angela Nissel
    As a broke student in the late ’90s at the University of Pennsylvania, Nissel and her friends used their creativity and smarts to find ways around their financial troubles, such as posing as teaching assistants on the phone and ordering free copies of the “Educator’s Edition” of expensive textbooks. She occasionally went on dates with crazy dudes for the free food. Now a TV writer (past credits include Scrubs, upcoming ones include Tyler the Creator’s The Jellies, for Adult Swim), her story has a happy ending, but when she wrote the book, her future was up in the air. A very funny storyteller with a compelling, wry, down to earth tone, she’ll have you rooting for her every broke step of the way.

    I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star, by Judy Greer
    As the ultimate character actress (see: Arrested DevelopmentArcher, etc.), Greer has an extensive list of credits. Known mainly for her comedy chops, she’s just as adept at drama (see: The Descendants). If you’ve ever wondered about the charming woman perpetually cast as “the quirky guest star,” “the awkward/sexy weirdo,” or “the lead actor’s best friend,” you’re in for a treat with this memoir. Growing up in Detroit as an only child, Greer maintains both an insider and outsider’s view of Hollywood, which she happily invites readers to share.

    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)by Mindy Kaling
    A self-deprecating writer and comedian (she refers to herself as “a vain flake” and “a timid chubster afraid of her bike” who’s perplexed by hookup culture) Kaling’s conversational tone and hilarious point of view over modern life, including life as a woman and a minority, will keep you smiling from start to finish. This memoir, and her newest one (Why Not Me?) prove beyond a doubt that anyone who has the option of hanging out with Mindy (jelly!) would never dream of leaving her behind.

    The post 6 Funny, Awkward Memoirs By Funny, Awkward Women appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 4:00 pm on 2017/09/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , nonfiction   

    6 Funny, Awkward Memoirs By Funny, Awkward Women 

    The last ten years have seen a surge of funny lady memoirs. When you want the literary equivalent of drinking wine with an old friend—the one who’s always finding herself in awkward situations and turning them into hilarious anecdotes—Tina and Amy (and Amy) are there for you. Inspired by those queens of comedy, we’ve compiled a list of other snort-inducing books guaranteed to keep you cringing, laughing, nodding your head in recognition, and reaching for another glass.

    The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, by Issa Rae
    After producing an award-winning web series, but prior to launching her successful HBO show Insecure (now in its second season), Rae published a collection of clever and entertaining essays about her inability to act, feel, or be cool. This inability bothered her, because society told her coolness is supposedly intrinsic to black people. As a guide for fellow Awks, she covers race and relationships, her introverted style, her parents’ divorce, and how to deflect unsolicited questions and opinions.

    You’ll Grow Out of It, by Jessi Klein
    As a tomboy who, despite the title, has never actually “grown out of it,” Klein’s highly relatable memoir analyzes the modern trappings of femininity, from the cult of bathing to the difficulty in finding women-friendly porn to the pressure placed on pregnant women to endure “natural births.” Her discovery of standup comedy as a refuge, passion, and calling takes her far in life. From SNL to Inside Amy Schumer (for which she won an Emmy as Head Writer), Klein never loses sight of what it means to be a woman today, whether you’re a poodle or a wolf.

    Shockaholic, by Carrie Fisher
    Prior to her death last December, the iconic actress authored four novels, three memoirs, and a one-woman stage show, all at least partially drawn from events in her (relentlessly surreal) existence in a galaxy close to home. (“I wish I could—and armed with that explanation, somehow excuse—the seemingly unending, ongoing…pathetic fixation I have with my feelings.”) You might think the topics of drug use and mental illness would feel heavy to read about, but Fisher never once lost her sense of humor about what life threw at her. Shockaholic is in some ways a love letter to her notoriously unreliable father, Eddie; a detailed family history (splayed out in the tabloids when Fisher was a child); and a depiction of the memory-erasing side effects of electroshock therapy.

    The Broke Diaries, by Angela Nissel
    As a broke student in the late ’90s at the University of Pennsylvania, Nissel and her friends used their creativity and smarts to find ways around their financial troubles, such as posing as teaching assistants on the phone and ordering free copies of the “Educator’s Edition” of expensive textbooks. She occasionally went on dates with crazy dudes for the free food. Now a TV writer (past credits include Scrubs, upcoming ones include Tyler the Creator’s The Jellies, for Adult Swim), her story has a happy ending, but when she wrote the book, her future was up in the air. A very funny storyteller with a compelling, wry, down to earth tone, she’ll have you rooting for her every broke step of the way.

    I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star, by Judy Greer
    As the ultimate character actress (see: Arrested DevelopmentArcher, etc.), Greer has an extensive list of credits. Known mainly for her comedy chops, she’s just as adept at drama (see: The Descendants). If you’ve ever wondered about the charming woman perpetually cast as “the quirky guest star,” “the awkward/sexy weirdo,” or “the lead actor’s best friend,” you’re in for a treat with this memoir. Growing up in Detroit as an only child, Greer maintains both an insider and outsider’s view of Hollywood, which she happily invites readers to share.

    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)by Mindy Kaling
    A self-deprecating writer and comedian (she refers to herself as “a vain flake” and “a timid chubster afraid of her bike” who’s perplexed by hookup culture) Kaling’s conversational tone and hilarious point of view over modern life, including life as a woman and a minority, will keep you smiling from start to finish. This memoir, and her newest one (Why Not Me?) prove beyond a doubt that anyone who has the option of hanging out with Mindy (jelly!) would never dream of leaving her behind.

    The post 6 Funny, Awkward Memoirs By Funny, Awkward Women appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 6:00 pm on 2017/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: , craft, how to be a writer, nonfiction, ,   

    20 Books That Belong on Every Writer’s Bookshelf 

    Like painting, wine, and the human condition, writing is something that can stand up to a lifetime if study. Wherever you are in your journey as a writer, it’s essential to keep your bookshelves well stocked with inspiring mentor texts and reference books that will help you develop your craft. The books on this list will enrich your writing life and deepen your skills, while also lifting your spirits and reminding you why writers devote their hearts and minds to this exceptional art form. Write on, writers! Write on!

    [ean1]The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White
    In general, it makes sense to leave the editing to editors, and instead focus your time and energy on developing your craft. But the most compelling stories are easy to read, and this master class in being clear, succinct, and sensible on the page is essential reading for any writer.

    [ean2]The Plot Whisperer, by Martha Alderson
    For those struggling to give your story a compelling beginning, middle, and end, Alderson guides writers to a deeper understanding of the universal story structure driving everything from fairy tales to multiverse sci-fi operas. You might even learn something about the story of your own life.

    The Art of Character, by David Corbett
    Ask editors what they’re looking for, and they’ll likely say some variation on, “I’ll know it when I see it.” But if pressed, they may admit they’re searching for books with characters readers will fall in love with so hard they’ll want to follow them anywhere. Develop your ability to create memorable, relatable characters with author David Corbett’s practical and inspiring guide.

    [ean4]Wonderbook, by Jeff VanderMeer
    Fantasy and sci-fi writers will love this illustrated guide to world building and storytelling. Filled with maps, advice, essays from writers like Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin, plus online extras, it’s a book you will return to again and again.

    Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    When you need a dose of been-there-done-that courage, this wise, warm exploration of creativity will guide you. It’s filled with actionable advice, thoughtful metaphors, a deep understanding of the creative process, and, yes, maybe even the little bit of magic that’s needed to spark your own creative spirit.

    [ean6]The Emotion Thesaurus, by Angela Ackerman
    As humans, our emotional vocabulary may be woefully underdeveloped, but writers can’t afford to blur the lines between anger and annoyance. This reference book parses the nuances between everything from desperation and disappointment to scorn and smugness. Each entry includes body language suggestions and more. Sure to inspire psychological debates—and better drafts!

    Still Writing, by Dani Shapiro
    Part writing memoir, part craft book, all infused with a creative spirit any artist can relate to, this is a modern classic that belongs on every writer’s bookshelf. Divided into Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, it’s really the title that drives the message: against all odds, Shapiro is still writing and encourages you to keep writing too.

    Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury
    The master of succinct, precise writing lets loose with essays on the creative process. His love for writing is soaked into every page, and you’re sure to finish this book feeling inspired and reassured that the effort you put into your work is worth it.

    [ean9]The Art of Slow Writing, by Louise DeSalvo
    Ah now, doesn’t the title just make you feel better? Slow writing. What a lovely idea in a world that regularly promises you can write a book in thirty days or crank out a bestseller every year. DeSalvo’s wise and practical book is deeply comforting as she lights the way, away from insanity and toward a creative process that’s mysterious, meaningful, and rewarding.

    [ean10]Story Genius, by Lisa Cron
    With an intriguing refusal to take a side with the pantsers or outliners, Cron recommends a new approach to storytelling that promises exciting plotlines, meaningful themes, and strong early drafts. Her secret? New research into brain science that shows how writers can engage readers at a fundamental, deeply compelling level.

    [ean11]The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
    Millions of artists, dancers, and, yes, writers, swear by Cameron’s immersive approach to creativity. Whether you’re feeling stuck, want to take your work to the next level, or are looking to experiment with a new technique, this twelve-week program will inspire you to do more than write. It will inspire you to live like a writer.

    [ean12]On Writing, by Stephen King
    More than a how-to guide written by a serial bestselling author, this is a master class in the craft of writing, as well as a celebration of its power. Generous, warm, helpful, and entertaining, this is a book that’s a pleasure to read and a delight to return to.

    [ean13]Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
    Written with humor and wisdom, this is a practical guide to developing your craft. There are exercises for developing your voice (and your ear), establishing a routine, overcoming self-doubt, and more. Find out why this book has been in print for over thirty years.

    [ean14]The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard
    In her trademark poetic prose, Dillard explores what it means to be a writer. Give this to someone who doesn’t understand their late-night bursts of inspiration or someone who is secretly a writer but doesn’t yet know it.

    [ean15]Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose
    One of the fastest and most enjoyable ways to become a better writer is to read more and analyze the books you love. Prose’s guide to reading will help you make the most of your time, with tips on using your favorite books as inspiration in your own writing.

    [ean16]Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
    Filled with memorable metaphors and reassuring imagery, this is the book that’s on every writing syllabus. It leaves readers feeling braver, smarter, and more dedicated to their craft. And if you’re not yet in a writing class, it will help you be your own best teacher.

    [ean17]Drawing Your Own Path, by John Simon
    Sometimes to grow, writers need to take a break from words. This collection of meditative drawing exercises will help you tap into your intuition and write more mindfully. (If it’s good enough for Ruth Ozeki, it’s good enough for us!)

    [ean18]Letters to a Young Writer, by Colum McCann
    The books on this list are as much about mindset as method, and this collection of lessons on how to be a writer (and an interesting human) is a lovely combination of the two approaches all on its own. A call to empathy, poetry, truth, and light, this is a rallying cry for new and old writers alike.

    [ean19]The Art of X-Ray Reading, by Roy Peter Clark
    Time spent with a masterpiece is never wasted, especially when you’re analyzing it carefully. From The Great Gatsby to The Bluest Eye, Clark invites readers to glean meaning and inspiration from the classics in a way that will inform your writing for years to come.

    [ean20]Scratch, by Manjula Martin
    At some point, after you develop your craft, you’ll probably be eager to start earning money. This book tackles taboos and digs into the nitty-gritty detail of how writers make a living with essays from Cheryl Strayed, Jonathan Franzen, Roxane Gay, and more, making it essential reading for any writer who hopes to be paid for the privilege of making art.

    The post 20 Books That Belong on Every Writer’s Bookshelf appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 3:00 pm on 2017/09/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , abandoned places, , , atlas obscura, beaches, , , , , , , castles from the air, , , , , , , , eric meole, ettore pettinaroli, gabriela logan, , , , , ireland: a luminous beauty, , james gracie, joel anderson, joshua foer, , , , , , , , , nonfiction, , , , paris in color, passage to israel, , , sebastiao salgado, secret journeys of a lifetime, , , spectacular scotland, , , , , , , , , the world’s great wonders, , , , , , ,   

    50 Must-Have Coffee Table Books for the Armchair Traveler 

    For those who know exactly what they would do if they won the lottery (buy a gorgeous house, quit working, and travel the world!), this collection of books is a passport to colorful daydreams, exotic foods, and amazing experiences that can only be found far from home. But if your day job is still your job job, take a virtual trip via one of these classic photography books. You’re sure to return, if not rested, at least inspired.

    Atlas Obscura, by Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, and Dylan Thuras
    From the creators of the popular website comes a book with profiles of 700 of the strangest (and most interesting!) places on Earth. Covering everything from a pub inside a baobob tree to a bone museum in Italy, each entry is sure to disgust, intrigue, amuse, delight, or amaze you.

    Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel, by Lonely Planet
    So many places and so little time to see them…so let the experts at Lonely Planet rank them for you. Never worry about whether you should see Budapest before Birmingham again!

    1000 Places to See Before You Die, by Patricia Schultz
    If for some reason you’ve run out of places to see, consult the ultimate checklist and get back out there. This guide will inspire budget travelers, thrill seekers, and cultural anthropologists alike.

    Humans of New York: Stories, by Brandon Stanton
    Profound, real, and empathetic, Stanton has a talent for turning interviews into heart-to-heart sessions that reveal just how similar we all are, whether we spend our days in New York City, abroad, or in our armchairs.

    Paris in Bloom, by Georgianna Lane
    Take the most beautiful city in the world and add flowers? Ooh la la! This gorgeous collection of photographs celebrates the flower markets, gardens, and other floral focal points of the city. Très belle!

    Wild Beautiful Places, by National Geographic
    Step into the National Geographic archives with this collection of vintage photographs that capture Nature at her best. Including interviews with the photographers, this book will inspire you to improve your own skills.

    Beaches, by Gray Malin
    Photographed by a favorite in the fashion industry, The Hamptons, Capri, the Amalfi Coast, and more are all on display in these masterful aerial shots that show off the easy breezy glam that is life at the beach.

    Drives of a Lifetime, by National Geographic
    Whether you’re flying solo or with someone you love, there’s nothing better than a road trip. As much a collection of gorgeous photographs as it is a travel planner, this book will guide you onto the open road with expert advice, solid maps, and the detours dreams are made of.

    Both Sides of Sunset, by Jane Brown and Marla Hamburg Kennedy
    Photographs from masters like Julian Schulman and Lee Friedlander come together to reveal the many layers of Los Angeles, a city that can be as sinful as it is sunny. This book is the next best thing to landing at LAX.

    Secret Journeys of a Lifetime, by National Geographic
    Top Ten lists, large photographs, maps, and informative sidebars make this a practical guide to deeper travel. With chapters titled “Spiritual Havens,” “Hidden Treasures,” and “The Road Less Travelled,” you’ll step into a world that is missed by many but never forgotten by those who discover it.

    The National Parks, by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns
    This is a behind-the-scenes look at the PBS special that celebrates Acadia, Denali, the Everglades and more national treasures, as well as a lavish visual history of the parks themselves. With the same democratic spirit as the TV series, this is a book for everyone.

    Paris in Color, by Nichole Robertson
    Bleu, rouge, vert, gris, noir! They’re all found in Paris. Take a colorful tour of artists’ favorite city. Organized by color, this book is sure to have you seeing even your own neighborhood with new eyes!

    Treasured Lands, by Q.T. Luong
    Having logged over 300 trips to the national parks, Luong is an expert on capturing their beauty and majesty. This collection of hundreds of photographs includes captions that explain his process and vision for protecting this magnificent land.

    This Land, by Jack Spencer
    Inspired by the attacks on September 11th, Spencer committed to creating a portrait of America. The project took him to churches, monuments, and the vast landscapes this country is known for. The resulting variety represents the diversity and wonder that is found here.

    Abandoned Places, by Kieron Connolly
    There’s something magnetic about images of ghost towns, rusty amusement parks, and abandoned hospitals. Both haunting and peaceful, they each tell a story, and Connolly’s more than 200 photographs are exceptional examples of the genre.

    Castles from the Air, by Giampiero Gianazza
    Often a favorite on any itinerary, castles represent our ability to create great things: community, architecture, and history. This book presents these ancient buildings with a fresh aerial perspective that will leave you eager to roam the real thing and admire their ingenuity and grace in person.

    Overview, by Benjamin Grant
    Using satellite images to make the astronaut perspective available to Earthbound armchair travelers, this collection of over 200 images reveals our planet in ways we’ve never seen before. Distant views of familiar buildings, landscapes, and more are sure to inspire you to see the world with new eyes, wherever you go.

    Bridges, by David Plowden
    Like a building or a monument, a bridge says something about the people who built it. This tour of American bridges celebrates the beauty, engineering, and spirit of collaboration they embody.

    12 Photographic Journeys: Iran in the 21st Century, by Anahita Ghabaian
    A variety of photographers come together to reveal the people of Iran, who live at the crossroads of traditional and modern life found in malls, cafes, mosques, and more. This is a thoughtful look at a beautiful country that is often misunderstood by outsiders.

    Passage to Israel, by Karen Lehrman
    Inspired by the land, light, and people of Israel, this book captures the deserts, cities, and spirit of this ancient place. Seen from the perspective of over 30 photographers, this collection will have you longing to see the country for yourself.

    London’s Waterfront, by Nicholas Waldemar Reed
    Some coffee-table books are sweeping in scope. Others reveal the intimate details of a hidden world. This book shines a light on a favorite section of London that’s so familiar, it’s easy to take it for granted. Instead learn the history of this area and study detailed drawings, so you’ll never pass by unaware again.

    Africa, by Sebastião Salgado
    With a photojournalist’s eye for truth, this collection of black-and-white photographs reveals the many people, places, animals, and truths that make up Africa. Text by African writer Mia Couto provides a perspective that foreigners must hear.

    The New Paris, by Lindsey Tramuta
    Of course, the traditions we know and love are alive and well in France. But Paris is also home to a vibrant, blossoming culture that welcomes new ideas, cultures, and people. Discover the new Paris with this warm collection of photographs and essays.

    The Japanese Garden, by Sophie Walker
    At over 300 pages, this book handles 800 years of Japanese gardening with the same deft elegance the masters bring to their gardens. Essays examine the meaning, technique, and care that is found in small and large landscapes that are expertly curated. Prepare to be inspired.

    Earth From Above, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
    Created in partnership with UNESCO, this collection of aerial photographs is designed to evoke wonder and awe for our beautiful planet. And with over 200 images that present the Earth from a new, sometimes tender, other times grand, perspective, mission accomplished.

    The Hidden Himalayas, by Thomas L Kelly
    Travel where few Westerners have been before. The struggles, spirituality, and strength of the people of Humla are all on display in this evocative book that captures a hidden world that only the most intrepid travelers have seen.

    Spectacular Scotland, by James Gracie
    If you can tear yourself away from the Outlander series long enough to contemplate actually visiting Scotland, this book will have you longing to book a ticket straight away. The highlands, lochs, castles, glens, and villages are all captured here with Gracie’s sharp eye.

    New York, by Gabriela Kogan
    This is the New York that feels at once intimidating, inspiring, and utterly familiar all at once. It’s the New York you can only come to know by living in the city. And it’s here for admiring. Or not. New York doesn’t care. It’s just going to keep doing its thing, and Kogan will record it with her camera.

    59 Illustrated National Parks, by Nathan Anderson and Joel Anderson
    Designed in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this book includes keepsake posters, historic photographs, maps, tips on making the most of a visit to the parks, and a look at the history of these special places that belong to all of us.

    India, by Eric Meole
    India is an epic country, and at nearly 300 pages, this book honors the variety, magic, and history of the country. Meole took nearly 25,000 photographs (and curated them ruthlessly) to capture this place that has inspired people for thousands of years, including the writers who have contributed poems, essays, and more for this book.

    The World’s Great Wonders, by Lonely Planet
    If you’ve ever wondered “How did they do that?” Or “What could cause that?”, read on in this expansive yet informative book that reveals the how and why behind famous sites like the Grand Canyon, Stonehenge, and even the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Then impress your tour mates, or at least whoever you’re sharing the dinner table with.

    Ireland: A Luminous Beauty, by Peter Harbison and Leslie Conron Carola
    The stunning soft light of Ireland is at the center of this book. Everything from castle ruins to vast meadows appears nearly magical in this gorgeous glow. Prepare to sigh with pleasure.

    EarthArt, by Bernhard Edmaier
    Taking a cue from the color wheel, Edmaier has traveled around the world to capture the land from above in all its many hues. The natural beauty of Iceland, New Zealand, Chile, and more are proudly on full display, like a peacock unfolding his feathers.

    California the Beautiful, by Galen Rowell
    If you can’t afford a trip to the west coast, enjoy this road-trip-in-a-book that’s filled with sunsets, beaches, valleys, and that famous Sunshine State sparkle. Words by John Muir, Maya Angelou, Joan Didion and other luminaries add meaning to the experience.

    100 Places to Go Before They Disappear, by Co+Life
    If you don’t already feel excited to take a trip, perhaps a sense of urgency will push you to take action. Tragic but true, many of the world’s most beautiful and interesting places are sinking, being buried, or otherwise destroyed by human activity. Add the Great Barrier Reef, French vineyards, and of course, Venice to your list—quickly. The gorgeous photographs in this book will remind you why.

    Cairo Illustrated, by Michael Haag
    A unique mix of ancient and modern, sacred and commercial, gritty and beautiful, Cairo is a place that deserves a special spot, either abroad or on your bookshelf. This guide includes 150 dazzling photographs and informative introductions to mosques, markets, mosaics, and more.

    Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs, by Steve McCurry
    You may not know his name, but legendary photographer Steve McCurry’s images are unforgettable. Taken during his travels around the world, this collection reveals his unique vision of the human condition and what makes us, along with the world, so very beautiful.

    Great Houses of Havana, by Hermes Mallea
    With the travel ban lifted, it’s time to indulge in all things Cuba, including this gorgeous celebration of Havana architecture. Stately, colorful, and stylish, sugar plantations, mansions, and grand houses are on display here, as is a sophisticated look inside Cuba’s culture.

    My Nepenthe, by Romney Steele
    Even more compelling after the recent landslides in the area, this personal take on Big Sur and Nepenthe, the restaurant with the famous lookout, is one to savor. The recipes, family stories, and musings on what makes Big Sur so very special will transport you.

    Bhutan, by Matthieu Richard
    Richard has been invited into some of the world’s most isolated places. Here he reveals the color, courage, and creativity that are part of daily life in Bhutan, the land of the thunder dragon and national happiness.

    One Planet, by Lonely Planet
    You can almost hear Bob Marley singing “Let’s get together and feel alright,” as you flip through the pages of this book. It’s a beautiful gallery of images that makes a simple but important point: Wherever you go, we’re more similar than different.

    Spectacular China, by Nigel Cameron
    The best Chinese photographers have come together to show off their homeland with 180 colorful images, including many that unfold into panoramic posters. From ancient treasures to contemporary cities, you’ll never look at this country the same way again.

    Italy, by Ettore Pettinaroli
    Wander through the hills of Tuscany, the museums of Florence, and the canals of Venice in this stunning ode to Italy. With an insider’s knowledge, you can plan a Roman holiday or simply escape into the gorgeous vistas that Italy is beloved for.

    Tony Hillerman’s Landscape, by Anne Hillerman
    Author Tony Hillerman’s daughter has captured the New Mexico and Arizona deserts that play such a strong role in her father’s detective novels. With quotes from Tony, a history of the region, and insights into traditional Native American ceremonies, this book adds layers to his own writing and invites readers to venture beyond the page.

    Stone Offerings, by Mike Torrey
    Torrey’s admiration for Machu Picchu’s beauty and demanding nature, pour from the pages of this book. With a thoughtful history of the region, 120 photographs, and personal details that can only be learned by making the climb, armchair travelers will be inspired (perhaps simply to take an appreciative oxygen-rich breath, but still).

    Galapagos, by Tui De Roy
    Penguins, volcanos, iguanas, and more are all captured with De Roy’s compelling camera work, while her personal narration encourages urgent conservation. Like the island itself, this book never lacks for drama.

    The Summer Palace of the Romanovs, by Emmanuel Ducamp
    When you’re craving opulence, there’s nothing more glorious than living vicariously through the Romanovs. Step inside the Agate room, admire the gilded mirrors, hail the porcelain. Nothing is too fine for this palace, and Ducamp lavishes attention on every detail.

    The Most Scenic Drives in America, by Reader’s Digest Editors
    The American highways stretch from coast to coast, but it’s the backroads, winding detours, and secret exits that this book will guide you toward. With maps, seasonal advice, itineraries, and more, you’ll be ready to roll the windows down and take the long way home—or simply dream about it from the comfort of your chair!

    By the Sea, by Peter Guttman
    With the ocean as inspiration, Guttman travels to Maine’s granite coast, the floating markets of Southeast Asia, and even the North Pole. The result is a new understanding of the vital water that makes up more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface.

    Chic Stays, by Melinda Stevens
    Learn where celebrities like Kate Winslet prefer to stay as they introduce you to their favorite getaways. Hotels in Lisbon, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and more are featured here. Prepare to experience major room-service envy.

    What coffee table books would you recommend to armchair travelers?

    The post 50 Must-Have Coffee Table Books for the Armchair Traveler appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 3:00 pm on 2017/09/11 Permalink
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    50 Must-Have Coffee Table Books for the Armchair Traveler 

    For those who know exactly what they would do if they won the lottery (buy a gorgeous house, quit working, and travel the world!), this collection of books is a passport to colorful daydreams, exotic foods, and amazing experiences that can only be found far from home. But if your day job is still your job job, take a virtual trip via one of these classic photography books. You’re sure to return, if not rested, at least inspired.

    Atlas Obscura, by Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, and Dylan Thuras
    From the creators of the popular website comes a book with profiles of 700 of the strangest (and most interesting!) places on Earth. Covering everything from a pub inside a baobob tree to a bone museum in Italy, each entry is sure to disgust, intrigue, amuse, delight, or amaze you.

    Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel, by Lonely Planet
    So many places and so little time to see them…so let the experts at Lonely Planet rank them for you. Never worry about whether you should see Budapest before Birmingham again!

    1000 Places to See Before You Die, by Patricia Schultz
    If for some reason you’ve run out of places to see, consult the ultimate checklist and get back out there. This guide will inspire budget travelers, thrill seekers, and cultural anthropologists alike.

    Humans of New York: Stories, by Brandon Stanton
    Profound, real, and empathetic, Stanton has a talent for turning interviews into heart-to-heart sessions that reveal just how similar we all are, whether we spend our days in New York City, abroad, or in our armchairs.

    Paris in Bloom, by Georgianna Lane
    Take the most beautiful city in the world and add flowers? Ooh la la! This gorgeous collection of photographs celebrates the flower markets, gardens, and other floral focal points of the city. Très belle!

    Wild Beautiful Places, by National Geographic
    Step into the National Geographic archives with this collection of vintage photographs that capture Nature at her best. Including interviews with the photographers, this book will inspire you to improve your own skills.

    Beaches, by Gray Malin
    Photographed by a favorite in the fashion industry, The Hamptons, Capri, the Amalfi Coast, and more are all on display in these masterful aerial shots that show off the easy breezy glam that is life at the beach.

    Drives of a Lifetime, by National Geographic
    Whether you’re flying solo or with someone you love, there’s nothing better than a road trip. As much a collection of gorgeous photographs as it is a travel planner, this book will guide you onto the open road with expert advice, solid maps, and the detours dreams are made of.

    Both Sides of Sunset, by Jane Brown and Marla Hamburg Kennedy
    Photographs from masters like Julian Schulman and Lee Friedlander come together to reveal the many layers of Los Angeles, a city that can be as sinful as it is sunny. This book is the next best thing to landing at LAX.

    Secret Journeys of a Lifetime, by National Geographic
    Top Ten lists, large photographs, maps, and informative sidebars make this a practical guide to deeper travel. With chapters titled “Spiritual Havens,” “Hidden Treasures,” and “The Road Less Travelled,” you’ll step into a world that is missed by many but never forgotten by those who discover it.

    The National Parks, by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns
    This is a behind-the-scenes look at the PBS special that celebrates Acadia, Denali, the Everglades and more national treasures, as well as a lavish visual history of the parks themselves. With the same democratic spirit as the TV series, this is a book for everyone.

    Paris in Color, by Nichole Robertson
    Bleu, rouge, vert, gris, noir! They’re all found in Paris. Take a colorful tour of artists’ favorite city. Organized by color, this book is sure to have you seeing even your own neighborhood with new eyes!

    Treasured Lands, by Q.T. Luong
    Having logged over 300 trips to the national parks, Luong is an expert on capturing their beauty and majesty. This collection of hundreds of photographs includes captions that explain his process and vision for protecting this magnificent land.

    This Land, by Jack Spencer
    Inspired by the attacks on September 11th, Spencer committed to creating a portrait of America. The project took him to churches, monuments, and the vast landscapes this country is known for. The resulting variety represents the diversity and wonder that is found here.

    Abandoned Places, by Kieron Connolly
    There’s something magnetic about images of ghost towns, rusty amusement parks, and abandoned hospitals. Both haunting and peaceful, they each tell a story, and Connolly’s more than 200 photographs are exceptional examples of the genre.

    Castles from the Air, by Giampiero Gianazza
    Often a favorite on any itinerary, castles represent our ability to create great things: community, architecture, and history. This book presents these ancient buildings with a fresh aerial perspective that will leave you eager to roam the real thing and admire their ingenuity and grace in person.

    Overview, by Benjamin Grant
    Using satellite images to make the astronaut perspective available to Earthbound armchair travelers, this collection of over 200 images reveals our planet in ways we’ve never seen before. Distant views of familiar buildings, landscapes, and more are sure to inspire you to see the world with new eyes, wherever you go.

    Bridges, by David Plowden
    Like a building or a monument, a bridge says something about the people who built it. This tour of American bridges celebrates the beauty, engineering, and spirit of collaboration they embody.

    12 Photographic Journeys: Iran in the 21st Century, by Anahita Ghabaian
    A variety of photographers come together to reveal the people of Iran, who live at the crossroads of traditional and modern life found in malls, cafes, mosques, and more. This is a thoughtful look at a beautiful country that is often misunderstood by outsiders.

    Passage to Israel, by Karen Lehrman
    Inspired by the land, light, and people of Israel, this book captures the deserts, cities, and spirit of this ancient place. Seen from the perspective of over 30 photographers, this collection will have you longing to see the country for yourself.

    London’s Waterfront, by Nicholas Waldemar Reed
    Some coffee-table books are sweeping in scope. Others reveal the intimate details of a hidden world. This book shines a light on a favorite section of London that’s so familiar, it’s easy to take it for granted. Instead learn the history of this area and study detailed drawings, so you’ll never pass by unaware again.

    Africa, by Sebastião Salgado
    With a photojournalist’s eye for truth, this collection of black-and-white photographs reveals the many people, places, animals, and truths that make up Africa. Text by African writer Mia Couto provides a perspective that foreigners must hear.

    The New Paris, by Lindsey Tramuta
    Of course, the traditions we know and love are alive and well in France. But Paris is also home to a vibrant, blossoming culture that welcomes new ideas, cultures, and people. Discover the new Paris with this warm collection of photographs and essays.

    The Japanese Garden, by Sophie Walker
    At over 300 pages, this book handles 800 years of Japanese gardening with the same deft elegance the masters bring to their gardens. Essays examine the meaning, technique, and care that is found in small and large landscapes that are expertly curated. Prepare to be inspired.

    Earth From Above, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
    Created in partnership with UNESCO, this collection of aerial photographs is designed to evoke wonder and awe for our beautiful planet. And with over 200 images that present the Earth from a new, sometimes tender, other times grand, perspective, mission accomplished.

    The Hidden Himalayas, by Thomas L Kelly
    Travel where few Westerners have been before. The struggles, spirituality, and strength of the people of Humla are all on display in this evocative book that captures a hidden world that only the most intrepid travelers have seen.

    Spectacular Scotland, by James Gracie
    If you can tear yourself away from the Outlander series long enough to contemplate actually visiting Scotland, this book will have you longing to book a ticket straight away. The highlands, lochs, castles, glens, and villages are all captured here with Gracie’s sharp eye.

    New York, by Gabriela Kogan
    This is the New York that feels at once intimidating, inspiring, and utterly familiar all at once. It’s the New York you can only come to know by living in the city. And it’s here for admiring. Or not. New York doesn’t care. It’s just going to keep doing its thing, and Kogan will record it with her camera.

    59 Illustrated National Parks, by Nathan Anderson and Joel Anderson
    Designed in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this book includes keepsake posters, historic photographs, maps, tips on making the most of a visit to the parks, and a look at the history of these special places that belong to all of us.

    India, by Eric Meole
    India is an epic country, and at nearly 300 pages, this book honors the variety, magic, and history of the country. Meole took nearly 25,000 photographs (and curated them ruthlessly) to capture this place that has inspired people for thousands of years, including the writers who have contributed poems, essays, and more for this book.

    The World’s Great Wonders, by Lonely Planet
    If you’ve ever wondered “How did they do that?” Or “What could cause that?”, read on in this expansive yet informative book that reveals the how and why behind famous sites like the Grand Canyon, Stonehenge, and even the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Then impress your tour mates, or at least whoever you’re sharing the dinner table with.

    Ireland: A Luminous Beauty, by Peter Harbison and Leslie Conron Carola
    The stunning soft light of Ireland is at the center of this book. Everything from castle ruins to vast meadows appears nearly magical in this gorgeous glow. Prepare to sigh with pleasure.

    EarthArt, by Bernhard Edmaier
    Taking a cue from the color wheel, Edmaier has traveled around the world to capture the land from above in all its many hues. The natural beauty of Iceland, New Zealand, Chile, and more are proudly on full display, like a peacock unfolding his feathers.

    California the Beautiful, by Galen Rowell
    If you can’t afford a trip to the west coast, enjoy this road-trip-in-a-book that’s filled with sunsets, beaches, valleys, and that famous Sunshine State sparkle. Words by John Muir, Maya Angelou, Joan Didion and other luminaries add meaning to the experience.

    100 Places to Go Before They Disappear, by Co+Life
    If you don’t already feel excited to take a trip, perhaps a sense of urgency will push you to take action. Tragic but true, many of the world’s most beautiful and interesting places are sinking, being buried, or otherwise destroyed by human activity. Add the Great Barrier Reef, French vineyards, and of course, Venice to your list—quickly. The gorgeous photographs in this book will remind you why.

    Cairo Illustrated, by Michael Haag
    A unique mix of ancient and modern, sacred and commercial, gritty and beautiful, Cairo is a place that deserves a special spot, either abroad or on your bookshelf. This guide includes 150 dazzling photographs and informative introductions to mosques, markets, mosaics, and more.

    Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs, by Steve McCurry
    You may not know his name, but legendary photographer Steve McCurry’s images are unforgettable. Taken during his travels around the world, this collection reveals his unique vision of the human condition and what makes us, along with the world, so very beautiful.

    Great Houses of Havana, by Hermes Mallea
    With the travel ban lifted, it’s time to indulge in all things Cuba, including this gorgeous celebration of Havana architecture. Stately, colorful, and stylish, sugar plantations, mansions, and grand houses are on display here, as is a sophisticated look inside Cuba’s culture.

    My Nepenthe, by Romney Steele
    Even more compelling after the recent landslides in the area, this personal take on Big Sur and Nepenthe, the restaurant with the famous lookout, is one to savor. The recipes, family stories, and musings on what makes Big Sur so very special will transport you.

    Bhutan, by Matthieu Richard
    Richard has been invited into some of the world’s most isolated places. Here he reveals the color, courage, and creativity that are part of daily life in Bhutan, the land of the thunder dragon and national happiness.

    One Planet, by Lonely Planet
    You can almost hear Bob Marley singing “Let’s get together and feel alright,” as you flip through the pages of this book. It’s a beautiful gallery of images that makes a simple but important point: Wherever you go, we’re more similar than different.

    Spectacular China, by Nigel Cameron
    The best Chinese photographers have come together to show off their homeland with 180 colorful images, including many that unfold into panoramic posters. From ancient treasures to contemporary cities, you’ll never look at this country the same way again.

    Italy, by Ettore Pettinaroli
    Wander through the hills of Tuscany, the museums of Florence, and the canals of Venice in this stunning ode to Italy. With an insider’s knowledge, you can plan a Roman holiday or simply escape into the gorgeous vistas that Italy is beloved for.

    Tony Hillerman’s Landscape, by Anne Hillerman
    Author Tony Hillerman’s daughter has captured the New Mexico and Arizona deserts that play such a strong role in her father’s detective novels. With quotes from Tony, a history of the region, and insights into traditional Native American ceremonies, this book adds layers to his own writing and invites readers to venture beyond the page.

    Stone Offerings, by Mike Torrey
    Torrey’s admiration for Machu Picchu’s beauty and demanding nature, pour from the pages of this book. With a thoughtful history of the region, 120 photographs, and personal details that can only be learned by making the climb, armchair travelers will be inspired (perhaps simply to take an appreciative oxygen-rich breath, but still).

    Galapagos, by Tui De Roy
    Penguins, volcanos, iguanas, and more are all captured with De Roy’s compelling camera work, while her personal narration encourages urgent conservation. Like the island itself, this book never lacks for drama.

    The Summer Palace of the Romanovs, by Emmanuel Ducamp
    When you’re craving opulence, there’s nothing more glorious than living vicariously through the Romanovs. Step inside the Agate room, admire the gilded mirrors, hail the porcelain. Nothing is too fine for this palace, and Ducamp lavishes attention on every detail.

    The Most Scenic Drives in America, by Reader’s Digest Editors
    The American highways stretch from coast to coast, but it’s the backroads, winding detours, and secret exits that this book will guide you toward. With maps, seasonal advice, itineraries, and more, you’ll be ready to roll the windows down and take the long way home—or simply dream about it from the comfort of your chair!

    By the Sea, by Peter Guttman
    With the ocean as inspiration, Guttman travels to Maine’s granite coast, the floating markets of Southeast Asia, and even the North Pole. The result is a new understanding of the vital water that makes up more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface.

    Chic Stays, by Melinda Stevens
    Learn where celebrities like Kate Winslet prefer to stay as they introduce you to their favorite getaways. Hotels in Lisbon, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and more are featured here. Prepare to experience major room-service envy.

    What coffee table books would you recommend to armchair travelers?

    The post 50 Must-Have Coffee Table Books for the Armchair Traveler appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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