...or anywhere else for that matter. When we leave home for self-realization, adventure, or maybe just looking for love, it’s usually not around the world in 80 days, and even that journey was in a balloon.
Sometimes, though, we don’t have a choice, like Margret Wittmer, who was pregnant when she fled Weimer-era Germany with her husband and his son in 1932, ahead of the Third Reich. They settled on Floreana, a remote island in the Galápagos, and lived in pirate’s caves, with bulls, wild boars, and a few eccentric neighbors, including a baroness who mysteriously disappeared. When Wittmer’s account Floreana: A Woman’s Pilgrimage to the Galápagos was originally published in 1990, she was still living on the island. Merridy Eastman moved to Germany. Married and pregnant at 42, she recalls in How Now Brown Frau, with great humor, her trials learning the language, dealing with her new relatives, and absorbing Teutonic culture, not least of which is Freikorperkultur, or nudism, which according to Eastman, is acceptable in public parks.
Breathless: An American Girl in Paris is Nancy K. Miller’s experience of coming-of-age in Paris in the ’60s. Fresh out of Barnard, she headed to France, where, along with her sexual freedom found herself, and even a con man husband. Thousands of hopeful young people arrive in New York every year looking for a great mate, a great apartment, a great job, despite the adage that getting all three at the same time in this city is akin to hitting Lotto. In the anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, Sari Botton collects the impressions of 28 women writers who made the leap out of the city that Joan Didion (whose essay of the same name was the book’s inspiration) called “the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself.”
Sometimes, though, our favorite places are right where we are. Catie Marron’s City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts celebrates beautiful parks in worldwide cities, showcasing them in photographs and the words of 18 writers including Ian Frazier, Pico Iyer, and Zadie Smith. In My Venice and Other Essays, Donna Leon, the American writer who’s lived in Venice for 30 years and brought it to readers with her Guido Brunetti mystery series, collects more than 50 essays about the city, Italian culture, opera, her family, and “the Italian man.” But there’s no denying the pull of the exotic. For Bill Porter, who spent four years in a Buddhist monastery as a young man and became one of the foremost translator of Chinese texts, the call came from the Yellow River, which he followed for 3,000 miles to its source in Tibet to find the roots of Chinese culture, in Yellow River Odyssey. Aussie journalist Aaron Smith claims the impetus for his coming-of-middle-age in India came about after a drug dealer put a contract out on him, and while his journey is called “rollicking,” there’s grit on that subcontinent as he witnesses the death of a friend and dodges terrorists, in Shanti Bloody Shanti: An Indian Odyssey. Teaching, volunteering, and traveling in more than 40 countries, Alden Jones covers nine countries and contemplates why we travel; Blind Masseuse: a Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia also questions how we travel and provides insight as to how we should. And finally, all that traveling and introspection and growing up and growing old has made us hungry. Fork in the Road looks at the crossroads of travel and culinary delights in an anthology compiled by Saveur editor James Oseland with essays by stars like Marcus Samuelsson and Michael Pollan.
PW’s Top 10: Travel
Floreana: A Woman’s Pilgrimage to the Galápagos. Margret Wittmer. Moyer Bell, Oct. 1.
How Now Brown Frau. Merridy Eastman. Allen & Unwin, Sept. 1.
Breathless: An American Girl in Paris. Nancy K. Miller. Seal Press, Nov. 5.
Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. Sari Botton. Seal Press, Sept. 24.
City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts. Catie Marron. Harper, Oct. 15.
My Venice and Other Essays. Donna Leon. Atlantic Monthly, Dec. 3.
Yellow River Odyssey.Bill Porter. Chin Music Press, Nov. 12.
Shanti Bloody Shanti: An Indian Odyssey. Aaron Smith. Alma Books/Roaring Forties, Sept. 1.
Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia. Alden Jones. Univ. of Wisconsin Press, Oct. 22.
A Fork in the Road. James Oseland. Lonely Planet, Dec. 1.
Southern Light: Images from Antarctica by David Neilson (Aug. 27, hardcover, $85, ISBN 978-0789211552). Photos of the awe-inspiring scenery and wildlife of the frozen continent in both color and black and white for visitors as well as armchair travelers.
Hearst Ranch: Family, Land, and Legacy by Victoria Kastner (Nov. 19, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1419708541). An intimate look inside the world-famous 82,000-acre Hearst Ranch in California.
ABRAMS/Editions Alain Ducasse
J’aime Paris by Alain Ducasse and Frederick E. Grasser Herme, photos by Pierre Monetta (Oct. 1, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-2841235902). World-renowned chef Ducasse shares his 200 favorite Paris food spots.
Allen & Unwin
(dist. by Trafalgar Square/IPG)
How Now Brown Frau by Merridy Eastman (Sept. 1, paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1741759754). Eastman returns with another hilarious memoir about her experiences in Germany with no command of the language, four months pregnant, and surrounded by Bavarians.
Moron to Moron: Two Men, Two Bikes, One Mongolian Misadventure by Tom Doig (Sept. 1, paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1743311264). The adventures of two men who in 2010 biked 920 miles across the mountains of northern Mongolia from a small town called Moron to a smaller town also called Moron.
Alma books/Roaring Forties
(dist. by Trafalgar Square/IPG)
Shanti Bloody Shanti: An Indian Odyssey by Aaron Smith (Sept. 1, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1938901119). A journalist’s humorous, unvarnished, and unsentimental, journey of personal discovery across the Indian subcontinent.
(dist. by TBS)
The Traveller’s Daybook: A Tour of the World in 366 Quotations by Fergus Fleming (Nov. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1848878129). An anthology of extracts from the journals and writings of travelers, explorers, and adventurers throughout history.
Atlantic Monthly Press
(dist. by Perseus Books Group)
My Venice and Other Essays by Donna Leon (Dec. 3, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0802120366). Novelist Leon, famous for her Guido Brunetti mystery series steeped in contemporary Venetian life, collects her witty and insightful essays on Venice, Italy, and the arts.
(dist. by PGW)
Volunteer Vacations in Latin America (Moon Handbooks) by Amy E. Robertson (Oct. 22, paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1612386416). Volunteer veteran Robertson’s guide to service trips in Latin America.
Chin Music Press
(dist. by Consortium)
Yellow River Odyssey by Bill Porter (Nov. 12, paper, $17.50, ISBN 978-0988769304). Bill Porter, aka the translator of Chinese texts known as Red Pine, connects modern China to its past in a riveting journey down the Yellow River.
(dist. by W.W. Norton)
A Geologist Looks at Manhattan: A Guide to 100 Fascinating Sites by Sidney Horenstein (Aug. 26, paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1581571868). Horenstein, an emeritus geologist at the American Museum of Natural History, reveals an array of wondrous places in Manhattan that have remained relatively unknown and undiscovered.
Daniel & Daniel
(dist. by SCB)
France with My Father: A Journey Through Memory, Art, Time, and Family by Janine S. Volkmar (Nov. 1, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1564745507). With her father, Volkmar travels through France, where they visit the haunts of painter Paul Cézanne, research their family history and put forth a loving appreciation of the French.
Editions du Chêne
(dist. by ACC)
Film Lovers Paris: 101 Legendary Addresses That Inspired Great Movies by Barbara Boespflug and Beatrice Billon (Sept. 1, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-2812308413). An illustrated guide, which includes QR (quick response) codes that lead to all the film trailers, takes the reader to bars, restaurants, hotels, boutiques, galleries, and theaters that have been used in films.
Lighthouses of North America: Beacons from Coast to Coast by Sylke Jackson (Sept. 1, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1770852495). A tour of, and tribute to, 71 of the continent’s most beautiful and important lighthouses.
Canadian Wineries by Tony Aspler (Oct. 1, paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-1770852440). The story of Canada’s entry into the world of world-class vintages.
Secret Museum: Some Treasures Are Too Precious to Display... by Molly Oldfield (Oct. 1, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1770852570). Sixty unseen artifacts from the world’s best museums, hidden away because they are too fragile, too likely to be stolen or forged, too big to display, too dangerous, too controversial, or just sacred or perishable.
(dist. by Quayside)
A London Year: Daily Life in the Capital in Diaries, Journals and Letters by Travis Elborough and Nick Rennison (Oct. 1, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0711234499). An anthology of short diary entries and letters, one or two for each day of the year, which, taken together, provide an impressionistic portrait of life in London over the past five centuries.
Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage by Mitch Pacwa (Sept. 1, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1616366131). EWTN personality Fr. Mitch Pacwa takes readers on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, bringing the holy sites to life through the pages of this book.
City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts by Catie Marron (Oct. 15, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0062231796). The spirit and beauty of the world’s most popular city parks are captured in photographs and text written by 18 celebrated writers including Ian Frazier, Pico Iyer, and Colm Tóibín. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Mariner Books
The Best American Travel Writing 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert, series editor, Jason Wilson (Oct. 8, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-0547808987). A collection of the best travel writing published in American periodicals during 2012. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Traveller’s History of Australia by John H. Chambers (Oct. 7, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1566564243). The history of Australia from the arrival of the earliest Aborigines some 60,000 years ago to the present.
Germany: Beyond the Enchanted Forest by Brian Melican (Nov. 18, paper, $15, ISBN 978-1566569682). annotated anthology of the impressions of more than 80 literary visitors from the 16th century onward, who chronicled their time in Germany: among them Boswell, D. H. Lawrence, Stephen Spender.
(dist. by IPG)
Where Did They Film That? Italy: Famous Film Scenes and Their Italian Locations by Romina Arena (Sept. 1, paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1610351829). Music star Arena presents a travel guide to the pleasures and culture of her native Italy that uses classic film as a cultural touchstone.
A Fork in the Road by various authors (Dec. 1, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1743218440). A collection of stories showing how travel, food, and eating combine to shape and inspire our lives, edited by James Oseland, editor-in-chief at Saveur magazine, with pieces by Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Pollan, and Rita Mae Brown.
1000 Ultimate Adventures by Lonely Planet editors (Oct. 1, paper, $22.99, ISBN 978-1743217191). Part of Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate series, this collection of the world’s most exciting adventures is for armchair travelers and adrenalin junkies both.
Tony Wheeler’s Dark Lands by Tony Wheeler (Sept. 1, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1743218464). Following his foray into headline-making trouble spots with Bad Lands, Lonely Planet cofounder Tony Wheeler encounters the challenges of travel in the world’s dark lands, into places where most travelers fear to tread.
(dist. by Midpoint)
Floreana: A Woman’s Pilgrimage to the Galápagos by Margret Wittmer (Oct. 1, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1559213998). The reissue of Margret Wittmer’s firsthand account of fleeing Weimer-era Germany with her family and settling on the island of Floreana in the Galápagos, 600 miles from the mainland of Ecuador.
Natural History Museum, London
Antarctic Peninsula: A Visitor’s Guide by Adrian Fox (Sept. 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0565093082). Focusing on the geography and physical phenomena of Antarctica and written and illustrated by experts from the British Antarctic Survey, this guide explains everything from climate and weather to glaciology and geology.
New York Review Books/Little Bookroom
The Best Flea, Antique, Vintage, and New-Style Markets in America by Pamela Keech (Sept. 10, paper, $22, ISBN 978-1936941049). A guide to the legendary American flea markets scattered around the country, famous for their spectacular settings, covetable offerings, and colorful histories.
Florida’s Best Bed & Breakfasts and Historic Hotels by Bruce Hunt (Sept. 1, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1561646050) Another guide from Hunt about Florida’s best places to stay.
(dist. by International Publishers Marketing)
Natal and the Zulu Country by Thomas Victor Bulpin (Dec. 1, paper, $19, ISBN 978-1869199241). An overview of the hidden gems that make up Natal’s history.
Paddling to Winter by Julie Buckles and Charly Ray (Sept. 16, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-0983518921). The story of a couple who built a canoe together, got married, then embarked on the Trip, paddling from Lake Superior to Wollaston Lake in northern Saskatchewan.
(dist. by PGW)
Good-bye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York by Sari Botton (Sept. 24, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1580054942). An anthology for those who have loved and left New York City, with contributions from 28 women writers, including Cheryl Strayed, Ann Hood, and Emma Straub.
Breathless: An American Girl in Paris by Nancy K. Miller (Nov. 5, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1580054881). A provocative coming-of-age memoir set in sultry 1960s Paris.
(dist. by Norton)
Passage to Burma by Scott Stulberg (Oct. 1, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-1626361416). Photographer Stulberg’s beautiful photos of a country in transition.
A Tour on the Prairies: Thirty Days in Deep Indian Country by Washington Irving (Nov. 6, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1620876282). A classic travel narrative of Irving’s exploration of Pawnee territory in 1832.
How to Travel the World for Free: One Man, 150 Days, Eleven Countries, No Money! by Michael Wigge (Sept. 1, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1626360310). Can one man travel from Berlin to Antarctica without a penny in his pocket?
The World’s 100 Best Adventure Trips by Jasmina Trifoni (Aug. 6, paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-8854407558). Adventure travel in 100 thrilling journeys covering the globe by every form of transport imaginable—from foot and horse to aerial tram.
Himalaya: The Exploration & Conquest of the Greatest Mountains on Earth by Philip Parker, intro. by Peter Hillary (Oct. 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1844862214). A book of photographs and panoramic mountain maps marking the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s landmark ascent of Everest, as well as the 50th anniversary of the first successful American expedition.
St. Martin’s Griffin
101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Partying Around the World edited by David S. Miller, (Jan. 7, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1250035585). An edgy travel guide to the wildest parties, raves, and festivals around the world from the Matador Network, the world’s largest, interactive travel magazine.
Grape Expectations by Caro Feely (Oct. 1, paper, $13.95, ISBN 978-1849532570). Descriptions of delicious wines, great food, and stunning views offer a unique insight into the world of the winemaker.
The New York Times: 36 Hours: Latin America & the Caribbean by Barbara Ireland (Nov. 1, hardcover, $39.99, ISBN 978-3836544252). An updated and expanded collection of the New York Times’s travel column stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
The Little Book of Japan by Charlotte Anderson and Gorazd Vilhar (Sept. 10, hardcover, $16.95, ISBN 978-4805312131). The photographer-writer team of Gorazd Vilhar and Charlotte Anderson do an admirable job of presenting a complete portrait of Japan.
Tuttle Travel Pack Indonesia: Your Guide to Indonesia’s Best Sights for Every Budget by Linda Hoffman (Oct. 22, paper, $13.95, ISBN 978-0804842129). The top 15 places to visit in Indonesia.
Univ. of Chicago Press
Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel by Bernd Stiegler, trans. by Peter Filkins (Nov. 5, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0226774671). The luxury of armchair travel is accessible to all, and the author celebrates this convenient, magical means of transport in all its many forms.
Univ. Press of Kentucky
Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide by Susan Reigler and Pam Spaulding (Sept. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0813142487). A bourbon lovers guide to Kentucky’s bourbon country, where some of the most famous distilleries are tucked away in the scenic countryside of the Bluegrass mountains.
Univ. of New Mexico Press
Walk Around the Horizon: Discovering New Mexico’s Mountains of the Four Directions by Tom Harmer (Sept. 1, paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-0826353641). A guide highlighting four high mountains, sacred to the Tewa Pueblo Indians, each in a different bureaucratic and cultural zone.
Univ. of Wisconsin Press/Terrace
Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia by Alden Jones (Oct. 22, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0299295707). The Blind Masseuse investigates what motivates us to travel abroad in search of the unfamiliar.
(dist. by Random House)
Explore Everything: Place Hacking the City by Bradley Garrett (Oct. 8, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1781681299). An exploration of the everyday places around us—the cities we live in—that need to be rediscovered.
Route 66 Treasures: Featuring Rare Facsimile Memorabilia from America’s Mother Road by Jim Hinckley (Oct. 15, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0760344897) offers a new history of Main Street, including more than a dozen facsimile re-creations of rare memorabilia throughout the decades.