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  • Heidi Fiedler 3:00 pm on 2017/09/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , atlas obscura, , , , , , , , , , , , , , eric meole, ettore pettinaroli, , , , , ireland: a luminous beauty, , james gracie, joel anderson, , , , , , , , , , , , , paris in color, , , sebastiao salgado, , , , , , , , , , , the world’s great wonders, this land, , , , , We Recommend, ,   

    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
    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, , , , , , , , , , , , , paris in color, passage to israel, , , sebastiao salgado, secret journeys of a lifetime, , , spectacular scotland, , , , , , , , , the world’s great wonders, , , , , We Recommend, ,   

    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.

     
  • Brian Boone 5:00 pm on 2016/12/15 Permalink
    Tags: , seascape, the goat or who is sylvia, the play's the thing, , three tall women, We Recommend,   

    Remembering Edward Albee: 5 Plays to Read Now 

    Last September, Edward Albee passed away at the age of 88. Among the last great major American playwrights of the 20th century, he won three Pulitzer Prizes for his dramas, which often dealt with the falsities of modern life and the lies we all tell ourselves to get by. Okay, that sounds pretty bleak. And sure, while his plays often ended with relationships in shambles, they were also really funny, and as he got older and evolved as a writer, they became quite strange. At any rate, his plays don’t have to be seen to be enjoyed—here are some eminently readable works by the late, great Edward Albee.

    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962)
    Before there was “comedy of discomfort” as exemplified by Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office, there was drama of the discomfort. And Albee’s smash hit from 1962 is about as uncomfortable as it gets. Think of every dinner party you’ve ever been to when the hosts start passive-aggressively (or aggressively) sniping at each other as the booze begins to flow. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? depicts that kind of an evening, as professor George and his wife Martha invite a young colleague and his wife over for dinner. As the night wears on, George and Martha’s marriage disintegrates as they inappropriately flirt with their guests, drink way too much, and flat out tell each other that they’ve ruined each other’s lives. (Elizabeth Taylor won an Oscar for her masterful portrayal of Martha in the 1966 film version.)

    A Delicate Balance (1966)
    That title? A bit of a spoiler. Albee won his first Pulitzer Prize for another up-close-and-personal criticisms of marriage and traditional family structures. A study in contrasts, a well-to-do couple named Tobias and Agnes (along with Agnes’s perpetually drunk and funny sister Claire) find their lives invaded by intruders: their friends Harry and Edna, escaping some kind of horrible thing that remains unnamed. (Is it the future? Yeah, it’s probably the future.) Along for the invasion of privacy and sanity is Agnes and Tobias’s daughter, seeking refuge after her fourth divorce.

    Seascape (1975)
    Seascape features something one doesn’t usually find in the legitimate theater: sea creatures. However, it’s an Edward Albee play, so that’s offset by lots of insight about relationships. Once again, Albee examines a marriage in disarray: Nancy and Charles are at retirement age and take a trip to the beach to discuss their uneasy journey forward. And then they’re joined by two humanoid lizards who crawled out of the ocean because they were also seeking a change. (Albee took home another Pulitzer for this one.)

    Three Tall Women (1991)
    While Albee generally wrote in a linear, realistic style, Three Tall Women offers a shift to a more experimental, even expressionistic style. It’s the surreal story of “A,” a 90-year-old woman reflecting on her life and choices before Alzheimer’s ravages her memory. Her caretaker is “B,” who is A at 52-years-old. The other major character is “C,” who is “A” and “B” and age 26 and is in A’s room on behalf of A’s attorney so she can sign some paperwork. While a lovely narrative does unfold, Three Tall Women reads more like poetry than a play script.

    The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (2000)
    This pitch-black comedy is about a stately, upper-middle-class family whose liberal politics are pushed to the limits when Martin decides to leave his wife Stevie for his lover…a goat named Sylvia. It’s easily the only play about a man who marries a goat to ever win the Tony Award for Best Play or be named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

    What is your favorite play by Edward Albee?

    The post Remembering Edward Albee: 5 Plays to Read Now appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Corrina Lawson 4:00 pm on 2016/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , the guardians trilogy, We Recommend   

    Island of Glass Concludes Nora Roberts’ Epic Guardians Trilogy 

    I picked up Island of Glass, book 3 in the Guardians series, having not read books one and two. I also picked it up not having read any fantasies by Nora Roberts before.

    No matter.

    I was sucked into the story and finished it in one night. Which is not to say I’d recommend reading this volume before reading Stars of Fortune and Bay of Sighs, the first two books.

    I’m that weird person who is happy to read a series out of order but, even so, it takes me time to parse who is who and what is what. That I could do that within ten pages speaks highly of Roberts’ writing skills, especially since the book begins with the arrival of our group via magic portal to a castle perched on an ocean cliff in Ireland. They’re fleeing a confrontation with, well, a mystical goddess.

    More than anything, reading Island of Glass made me want to go back and read the first two books, and then re-read Island of Glass to see what nuances I was missing.

    Essentially, the Guardians Trilogy is about three couples with varied powers and abilities, including a wizard, a seer, and a mermaid. Doyle, the hero of the third book, is an immortal warrior and Riley, an archeologist who is like a female Indiana Jones, is the heroine. But their story has been percolating for the first two books so what was in this final volume was more a culmination of their relationship than a full romantic story. They’ve already met, fought together, made friends together, and faced death together.

    Aside: I’m a total sucker for world-weary repressed immortal warriors, so Doyle caught my attention immediately. Maybe it’s just as well I read this first because if I’d read them in order, I’d want more Doyle in each of the first two books. Yes, I’m that much of a sucker for this trope.

    The couples already together have moments in the third book that are essential to their happily ever afters. In the finale, the party of six are in the last stage of their quest to take possession of the three “fallen” stars and return them to the Island of Glass in the title, attempting to overcome the goddess who has left the fold and only wants to destroy.

    The fantasy is built around Irish mythology. As I noted above, it’s the first fantasy I’ve read from Roberts. I’m generally a fan of her romantic suspense novels and the J.D. Robb series, but apparently, I’ve been missing out because the worldbuilding is as sure here as in any regular fantasy novel. (And would probably serve as a good introduction to Nora Roberts for fantasy fans.) The magic is well-handled with specific rules, including the wizard/mage’s power, the seer who glimpses the future, and the curse placed on the immortal warrior. Also, I loved the mermaid but I may also be a sucker for an “outsider who knows little of human civilization.”

    Each of the six main characters has their own strengths and weaknesses and while they’re paired off, they also have meaningful if platonic relationships with each other as well. So often in ensemble novels, paired-off characters are on their own islands, only interacting with their romantic partners, but this group has bonds that cross every which way.

    In short, the six are a cohesive team, and Island of Glass provides both them and the Guardians Trilogy with a satisfying ending.

    Island of Glass is on B&N bookshelves now!

    The post Island of Glass Concludes Nora Roberts’ Epic Guardians Trilogy appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jenny Kawecki 4:00 pm on 2016/09/30 Permalink
    Tags: don't forget the giant spiders, , , , , new in fiction, , We Recommend   

    10 Scenes We Can’t Wait to See in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition 

    We’ve been counting down the days until the release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition ever since we first set eyes on Jim Kay’s perfect depictions of The Sorcerer’s Stone. And October just feels like the perfect month for revisiting Harry’s second year at Hogwarts. Between the giant spiders and the Deathday Party and the general air of spookiness, Chamber of Secrets practically screams fall. We can’t wait to see how Jim Kay works his magic on this installment—especially with these scenes!

    10. Fred and George and the Ford Anglia. This moment is pure joy: Harry is sad and desperate and alone, when all of the sudden, Fred and George (and Ron, too) appear in a flying car to save the day. Bonus: Vernon shouting “HE’S GETTING AWAY” as Harry and Hedwig escape. We’ve gotten a taste of this scene from the cover reveal of the new book, but we want more, more, more!

    9. Harry and Draco dueling. We will forever love any scene featuring Draco and Harry, but this one holds a special place in our hearts. After all, who but Harry would begin a duel with a tickling curse? Toss in the look on Justin Finch-Fletchley’s face as Harry speaks Parseltongue, and yep, we can’t wait to see this drawn out.

    8. Aragog and company. How surprising was it to learn that Hagrid used to keep a man-eating spider as a pet? Not at all. But how great will it be to see Ron looking extremely nervous as giant arachnids cover every page? Very. We can’t wait to see how Kay handles this one.

    7. Filch nursing a petrified Mrs. Norris. There’s not much to like about Argus Filch, but if there’s one thing we can definitely relate with him over, it’s his love for his cat. He may be kinda gross and super mean, but the man is clearly devoted to Mrs. Norris, and we don’t want to miss out on this humanizing, anxious pet-parent moment.

    6. Harry trying to get away from Gilderoy Lockhart. In the bookstore, during detention, after breaking his arm—pick any “Harry desperately tries to avoid Lockhart” scene, because they’re all perfect. We can practically picture it already: Harry wishing he could summon his invisibility cloak, Lockhart’s gleaming white smile, and Colin Creevey capturing it all on camera.

    5. Nick’s Deathday Party. Hands down, Harry, Ron, and Hermione awkwardly hanging out at an all-dead party is our favorite ghost scene in the series. We’re hoping for detailed illustrations of the moldy food and varied spirits, not to mention Peeves.

    4. Ron puking slugs. Poor Ron and his havoc-wreaking broken wand—we’d feel sorry for him if we didn’t appreciate the comic relief so much. Between seeing Ron vomit buckets of slugs and getting a glimpse of the inside of Hagrid’s hut, we’re really looking forward to this one.

    3. The Weasleys de-gnoming the garden. This scene is a double-whammy: not only do we get to see the entire Weasley clan (including Molly giving her younger sons the what-for), but also gnomes. Gnomes! And not just gnomes, but gnomes being flung through the air and dejectedly traipsing across the lawn. It’s bound to be quirkily adorable.

    2. Harry freeing Dobby. Beating Voldemort is all well and good, but the real victory of Chamber of Secrets is Harry rescuing Dobby from Lucius Malfoy’s evil clutches. We’re not sure what we’re more excited about seeing: Dobby’s lovable, lamp-like eyes, or Harry’s grubby, nasty sock.

    1. Hermione polyjuicing into a cat. Because honestly, what’s better than seeing our favorite girl wonder with a pair of fuzzy ears and a tail? Nothing, that’s what. We’re sure Jim Kay will work some magic (pun intended) in this illustrated edition.

    The illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is on B&N bookshelves October 4!

    The post 10 Scenes We Can’t Wait to See in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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