Posts Tagged ‘travel books’

Book of the Week – The Way of the Panda

Friday, July 8th, 2011

The Way of the Panda - cover imageOur book partner, Longitude books is always searching for new books to inspire and inform your travels.

This week, they’ve recommended you curl up with The Way of The Panda by Henry Nicholls.

People have been fascinated by giant pandas since they were formally discovered 140 years ago. Author Henry Nicholls provides an absorbing narrative history of the panda, part of his larger story of the animal conservation movement, China’s ascendancy, and what recent scientific work is finally showing us about this most mysterious of creatures.

If you’re ready for your own exploration of China, click here to learn more about discovering China with Smithsonian Journeys.

Book of the Week – Paris to the Past

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Paris to the PastOur book partner, Longitude books is always searching for new books to inspire and inform your travels.

This week, they’ve recommended you try Paris to the Past – Traveling Through French History by Train, by Ina Caro.

You’re invited to join Ina Caro on 25 one-day trips by train from Paris to experience 700 years of French history. Whether taking us to Orleans to evoke the miraculous visions of Joan of Arc, to Versailles to experience the flamboyant achievements of Louis XIV, or to the Place de la Concorde to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette, Caro animates history with her lush descriptions of architectural splendors and tales of court intrigue. Organizing her destinations chronologically from 12th-century Saint-Denis to the 19th-century Restoration at Chantilly, Caro’ s easy wit engages readers of all levels.

Ready to visit Paris? For all of our travel to France, click here.

Book of the week – Smithsonian Natural History

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Our book partner, Longitude Books, is always looking for new top reads for curious traveler.

This week, they’ve recommended you try Smithsonian Natural History, The Ultimate Visual Guide to Everything on Earth.

smithsonian natural historyEvery kingdom of life, from bacteria, plants and animals to the minerals and rocks that make up the Earth is featured in this stunning visual survey, just the thing you need to get you ready for your next Journey out into the world.

With more than 5,000 color images, this book, which celebrates the centennial of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. The first chapter introduces Earth, its geology and life-forms, followed by in-depth chapters on minerals, rocks, and fossils; microscopic life; plants; fungi; and animals, each with informative descriptions and rich images. Ever wanted to know more about the Mexican red-kneed tarantula? Then this is your book.

Wew have 40 itineraries focused on teaching you more about natural history. Click here to learn more.

Summer Book Picks from Journeys

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Just like you, we try to make some more time for reading during those hot summer days. Here are some of the Journeys staff’s favorite travel reads.

Mary I, Queen of Scots. Photo:

Mary I, Queen of Scots. Photo:Government Art Collection

Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley, by Alison Weir

This is one of the best books I’ve read recently. It’s a history of the life of Mary Queen of Scots, focusing on the romance and downfall of her second marriage to Lord Darnley that ended in his mysterious murder. Set in and around Edinburgh, it really lends an extra spark of history to all the buildings in the Old Town.

Betsy Brand, Program Operations Assistant

Oranges in the Sun: Short Stories from the Arabian Gulf, edited and translated by Deborah S. Akers and Abubaker A. Bagader.

This collection includes short stories from writers in the Gulf region and offers a unique personal perspective. The short story genre is fairly new to the region’s writers compared to other places in the world and has really developed in the last 70-80 years.

Alyssa Bobst, Program Support Coordinator

Eurydice Street, A Place in Athens, by Sofka Zinovieff

A fresh and entertaining account of the author’s first year in Athens; a description of her new life in a new city as well as the hurdles, frustrations, and joys of integrating into the complex Greek society.

Gloria Baxevanis, Finance and Program Coordinator

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, by Jung Chang

An amazing book that gives you insight into traditions of China at a time of tumultuous change in the 20th century, through the prism of three generations of women in one Chinese family.

Amy Kotkin, Director

Summer reading. Photo: flickr user Honou

Summer reading. Photo: flickr user Honou

Finding Nouf, by Zoe Ferraris

A murder mystery set in contemporary Saudi Arabia, this book provides a transporting story as well as unique insight to Saudi society and the roles both women and men assume there. It’s an intriguing window into a place that most of us haven’t been able to see yet, and a great book to get lost in.

Leah Ibraheem, Direct Marketing Manager

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

This is a convoluted tale of a successful but burned-out London journalist and the relationship that develops between her and a group of Guernsey book club members. Some may find it too dear, but the character development, sense of place, and the account of Guernsey life under the Nazi occupation is fascinating.

Linda Stevens, SI Research Notes Coordinator

What are some of your favorite travel reads? Share below.

Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Our book of the week this week is by Mary Morris, novelist and author of the marvelous travelogue, Nothing to Declare. Morris has compiled a new expert anthology, Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers, chronicling three hundred years of women traveling around the globe. Morris observing that, “women move through the world differently than men.”  Selected essays describe exotic locales, dangerous situations, and drug addiction, as well as the varied customs, cultures, and people that can be found in the travels of these amazing women. With contributions by such literary lionesses as Margaret Mead, Willa Cather, and Mary Wollstonecraft, to name a few, this pleasurable collection is a who’s who of female letters.

Click here to learn more about this book.