Books + Reading Lists
A new book about the global fascination with bargain hunting by frequent T+L contributor Mark Ellwood hits shelves today, giving valuable and often hilarious insights into the changing landscape of secret sales, online shopping, and good old haggling.
Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World focuses mostly on the recent surge in U.S. discounting—sales of sales have more than doubled in under a decade here—but it also takes readers to the bazaars in Istanbul and the megamalls in Tokyo.
Ellwood's inspiration for the book occurred when he saw shoes on sale for 50 percent off just days after he had purchased them for 10 percent off. “I got the sense that no matter what I was paying, there was always a way to pay less,” he explains. “The more I looked into it, I realized I was falling down a half-price rabbit hole.” Bargain Fever is the result of his deeply researched quest to find out why and how that “rabbit hole” came to be.
Ever heard of schnecken? How about pawpaws? Me either. If the new book Taste of America (Phaidon, $29.95) does one thing, it will make you realize that you know a lot less about American food than you thought. (Answers: a raisin-studded cinnamon roll found in Cincinnati, and mango-like fruit native to the East Coast’s temperate forests.)
Written by Colman Andrews, the co-founder of Saveur and a former editor at Gourmet, this illustrated anthology includes 250 write-ups of foods that define eating in the U.S., broken down by category (baked goods, poultry, and condiments, to name a few). It’s a mix of specific products from specific brands (e.g. Butter Mints from Katharine Beecher) and more general entries, such as cherries and rainbow trout.
Anna Wintour. Vera Wang. Tina Turner. The client list of interior designer Stephen Sills reads like a who’s who of the style world. Since the 1980’s, Sills—one of Elle Décor’s Top 25 Designers—has decorated everything from a penthouse on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to a modern mountain retreat in Aspen. (Back in the day, he also worked on hotels, including London’s Connaught Hotel and the St. Regis in New York.) As for his own Bedford, New York country house? Karl Lagerfeld has called it the “chicest house in America.” His latest book, Stephen Sills: Decoration (Rizzoli), which celebrates 16 design projects, hits shelves this month. Here, Sills shares some inspiration, advice on navigating antiques markets, and more.
The Telegraph's Soo Kim reports on plans to open a Jackie Chan theme park in Beijing. The best news? Admission is expected to be free. (Peter Schlesinger)
Skift takes a look at budget airline Ryanair's first foray into social media. Famously brash, the company is now tweeting with attitude. (P.S.)
I'm a sucker for commercials with nice music. This new Carnival Cruise Lines ad (the company's first TV spot since the Triumph debacle last spring) fits the bill. Showcasing Instagram photos from passengers, it is an upbeat step forward for the beleaguered cruise line. The New York Times reports. (P.S.)
White-gloved stewardesses, lobster dinners served on bone china, on-board cocktail lounges—there’s a lot to miss about the golden days of air travel. (In-flight smoking, not so much.) Re-live the era through Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet, which hits shelves Sept. 10. The soft-cover book—originally released as a hardback in 2000 in the U.K.—presents a highly researched history of uniforms, food, and interior design. Sure, it’s interesting to read, but the images (and detailed captions) really tell the story. The final chapter takes a look at airline corporate identity, with a focus on logos and branding. Bet you didn’t know that now-defunct British European Airways had their own Benson & Hedges cigarettes and gave out complementary ashtrays adorned with “Fly BEA.” Today, that would never, er, fly.
Brooke Porter is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Image from the book AIRLINE: STYLE AT 30,000 FEET by Keith Lovegrove. Courtesy of Laurence King Publishing
Thanks to the growing air travel demand in China, Boeing expects to see 5,580 new commercial aircrafts during the next 20 years, via Circa. (Adrien Glover)
While Jamaica, Oahu, and many cruise lines are banning smoking of all kinds, Mexico City is considering legalizing marijuana to create cannabis clubs, according to the Huffington Post. (A.G.)
A new twist in Edward Snowden's NSA leaks? Evidence that the organization tapped into at least three foreign airlines' reservations systems—leading Skift's Rafat Ali to speculate that their data dive may have touched everything from OTA records to domestic booking data and beyond. (Nikki Ekstein)
A boat neck tunic about 1,500-years-old was found along the Norwegian Lendbreen glacier at 6,560 feet—talk about quality. [Discovery News] (Maria Pedone)
ABC News found that 61% of Americans plan to work this Labor Day Weekend—just be sure to pack that waterproof iPad case in your beach bag. (M.P.)
While Zimbabwe has no national currency, the country does plan on spending $300 million to open a Disneyland near Victoria Falls. [Travel Weekly] (M.P.)
Scoot Airlines, a low-cost spinoff of Singapore Air, has joined Malaysia's Air Asia X in offering child-free zones on its flights. The new ScootinSilence seats, which cost as little as $15 more, offer travelers a few more inches of legroom and the promise of no seatmates under the the age of 12. The jury's still out on whether U.S. domestic carriers would find a market for such seats. Marketwatch has the story. (Amy Farley)
The ever-helpful George Hobica of Airfare Watchdog has assembled a list of the airports providing Wi-Fi service, outlining both the network names and costs. We'll be sure to consult it before heading on our next flight. (Nikki Ekstein)
Pandas are ALWAYS news. Here, Circa News reports on the birth of a rare giant panda in Vienna's Schönbrunn Zoo. (Adrien Glover)
Also from Circa News, scientists in western Nevada have discovered petroglyphs from as many as 14,800 years ago, making them the oldest rock out found in North America. (A.G.)
In tech travel news, Sky News reveals that New Zealand aviation authorities have given jetpack developers a flying permit, allowing the company to run test flights. (A.G)
The Boston Globe's Christopher Muther meets with the general manager of Forum, the restaurant at the epicenter of Boston's Marathon Bombings that is reopening today four months after the attacks. (Peter Schlesinger)
This week's Economist investigates how doping scandals are affecting travel trends at the Baseball Hall of Fame. (P.S)
Want to visit Sicily but can't foot the bill yet? Beverage company San Pelligrino let Facebook users this week control robots for three-minute virtual tours. But hurry, the experiences ends on Saturday! (P.S.)
Scott Mayerwitz from the Associated Press shares his view on the American-US Airways merger, finding that Department of Justice's suit is too little too late for consumers. (Amy Farley)
Photo credit: iStockphoto
Don’t you hate it when this happens? An American man accidentally snapped a finger off a 600-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary at a museum in Florence. Oh yeah, and he’s a surgeon. [Daily Mail] (Amy Farley)
A new skyscraper in Spain's resort town Benidorm is almost finished, except they forgot to build an elevator…Jamie Condliffe from Gimodo shares the bizarre story. (Peter Schlesinger)
"Bucharest not Budapest" is the Romanian capital's new tourism campaign, highlighting that the city, dubbed the Paris of the East, should not be compared to similarly-named Hungarian capital. Feargus O'Sullivan from The Atlantic Cities reports. (P.S.)