A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
By Bill Bryson
The Appalachian Trail is a goal for my daughter as she wants to hike it and I want to explore it. One of the most interesting sites that I discovered was Camp Michaux, which is the site of a WWII POW camp. This book inspires me to further discover the trail.
AMAZON: The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).
Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to The World of Food and the People Who Cook
by Anthony Bourdain
I am a foodie and enjoy exploring native foods and recipes. I look forward to reading about the search for the unique and attainable. Anthony Bourdain is someone that can help guide the gastronomically curious traveler on thier journey.
In the 10 years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out – from Monday fish to the breadbasket conspiracy – much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, moving back and forth from the author’s bad old days to the present. Tracking his own strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood, Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he’s seen, pausing along the way for a series of confessions, rants, investigations, and interrogations of some of the most controversial figures in food.
Beginning with a secret and highly illegal after-hours gathering of powerful chefs that he compares to a mafia summit, Bourdain pulls back the curtain, but never pulls his punches, on the modern gastronomical revolution, as only he can. Cutting right to the bone, Bourdain sets his sights on some of the biggest names in the foodie world, including David Chang, the young superstar chef who has radicalized the fine-dining landscape; the revered Alice Waters, whom he treats with unapologetic frankness; the Top Chef winners and losers; and many more.
Always he returns to the question “Why cook?” Or the more difficult “Why cook well?” Medium Raw is the deliciously funny and shockingly delectable journey to those answers, sure to delight philistines and gourmands alike.
100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do
By National Geographic
The US and Canada has an incredible number of parks and each one if more beautiful than the next. I am always surprised as how close I am to any of these parks. This book will help you explore from city to country.
AMAZON: In the sequel to the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 ideas, National Geographic turns to the United States’ and Canada’s most pristine–and adventure-filled–national, state, and city parks with 5,000 ideas for the ultimate vacation. Showcasing the best experiences, both obvious and unexpected, each entry in this robust guide provides an overview of the park, detailed travel advice, fascinating facts, insider knowledge about wildlife, and expert tips for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring. From the geysers of Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades’ Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail and the stunning peaks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, each page will fuel your wanderlust. Plus, explore the natural beauty tucked away in cities like New York’s Central Park and Boston Commons, and find bonus parks with day-trip suggestions to nearby neighbors. Top 10 lists throughout highlight best-of destinations for river trips, monuments, panoramic views, beaches, and more. This comprehensive book provides all the inspiration and information you need to plan your next park visit–and make it a memorable one.
A Woman Alone: Travel Tales From Around the Globe
edited by Faith Conlon, Ingrid Emerick and Christina Henry de Tessan
I do like traveling alone. I don’t often do it and am planning on more. I enjoy it because it gives me time to reconnect with myself and explore exactly what I want to explore. A Woman Alone is about just that.
AMAZON: The idea of a journey without companions is too daunting for most travelers. Not so for the women of this collection. These contemporary pioneers savor the ultimate freedom of solo travel. Marybeth Bond discovers the dubious pleasures of desert camel-riding when she decides to follow an ancient Indian trading route. Faith Adiele, a black Buddhist nun, enters a deserted train station at 3:00 a.m. in a Thai village controlled by armed bandits. Ena Singh negotiates with Russian police to visit the blue-domed city of Samarkand. In A Woman Alone, these women and others tell their funny, thrilling, occasionally terrifying, ultimately transformative stories of navigating some of the most unusual destinations on the globe.
Our National Monuments: America’s Hidden Gems
By Q.T. Luoung
There are so many national monuments to explore. According to the National Park Service (nps.org) a national park contains a variety of resources and encompasses large land or water areas to help provide adequate protection of the resources. A national monument is intended to preserve at least one nationally significant resource. These don’t rival each other but add to the potential of discovery.
AMAZON: With the stroke of a pen, the president of the United States can proclaim a national monument. The Antiquities Act of 1906 was enacted to provide an expedited means to protect areas of natural or cultural significance. Since then, 16 presidents have used the Act to preserve some of America’ most treasured public lands and waters. In 2017, an unprecedented executive order was issued questioning these designations by calling for the review of 27 national monuments across 11 states and two oceans, opening the threat of development to vulnerable and irreplaceable natural resources.
Our National Monuments, the first book of its kind, introduces these spectacular and unique landscapes at risk from the review. From the north woods of Maine to the cactus-filled deserts of Arizona, these national monuments include vast lands rivaling the national parks in beauty, diversity, and historical heritage. The critically important landscapes are often under the radar, with limited visitor information available, yet offer considerable opportunities for solitude and adventure compared to bustling national parks.
QT Luong – one of the most prolific photographers working in America’s public lands and author of the best-selling and acclaimed photography book about the national parks, Treasured Lands – hiked and camped in the 22 land-based national monuments under review, aiming his lens at the grand vistas, archaeological wonders, and hidden delights along the way. Accompanying the collection of 300 scenic photographs is an invaluable guide that includes maps, descriptions of the author’s wide-ranging explorations and highlights for each of the monuments. Introductory essays from leaders and activists of 27 conservation associations provide the perspective of citizens caring for each of these national treasures. A foreword by former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, as well as photographs of marine national monuments from Ansel Adams award-winning photographer Ian Shive round out this comprehensive portrayal of America’s hidden gems.
The Art Of Travel
By Alain de Botton
Why travel? Here it all is in one beautiful book.
AMAZON: Any Baedeker will tell us where we ought to travel, but only Alain de Botton will tell us how and why. With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Life, de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.
Even as de Botton takes the reader along on his own peregrinations, he also cites such distinguished fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom. The Art of Travel is a “refreshing and profoundly readable” book (The Philadelphia Inquirer). Don’t leave home without it.