Books + Reading Lists
15,000 miles, 70 classic Southern restaurants, and one 1959 Cadillac. Sounds like the perfect summer road trip to me. Last summer, Lt. Commander Morgan Murphy, a former Southern Living travel editor, was lucky enough to do just that, visiting his favorite restaurants and uncovering 150 recipes from their menus. The result, Southern Living Off the Eaten Path, is one part travel guide and one part cookbook, perfect for planning your next Southern road trip or for when you can’t travel farther than your kitchen. After scouring the recipes, I recently baked the Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie recipe from the Ham Shoppe in Valle Crucis, NC. It is the perfect combination of sweet and tart and would make an awesome picnic dessert. For the recipe, click through!
Norma Kamali traveled to Iran during the reign of the Shah. Seattle-born designer Chris Benz’s favorite souvenir is a friendship bracelet. You’ll learn this and much more in American Fashion Travel: Designers on the Go (Assouline; $45)—a scrapbook-style compilation of Q&A’s with handwritten responses and personal snapshots from a range of stateside talent, plus a foreword written by intrepid traveler and New York style icon Diane von Furstenberg. The result is a colorful glimpse into the globe-trotting lives of fashion’s who’s who.
Photo by Lars Klove
Fact: We live in an era marked by overachievers. Witness the declining average age of American Idol contestants; the proliferation of cats who play the piano; and football star Dhani Jones.
After 11 seasons as one of the NFL’s most indomitable bruisers, the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker has made a name for himself off the field as a thrill-seeking citizen of the world. Jones is an entrepreneur with his own charitable bow-tie company; an environmental advocate; a photographer, poet, and musician; and the host of Travel Channel’s “Dhani Tackles the Globe,” in which he competes in the native sport of a foreign country—everything from dragon boat racing in Singapore to capoeira in Brazil—and uses his interaction with trainers and teammates as a way into the culture. Now he can add author to that list.
“Too few people understand a really good sandwich,” lamented the consummate foodie, James Beard, in a quote that appears on The Big New York Sandwich Book, by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang (Running Press).
The new cookbook attempts to remedy this quandary with 99 creations from some of the best chefs in the Big Apple—a city that understands a thing or two about sandwiches.
While the recipes make it a worthwhile edition to your cookbook collection, the tone and selections make it fun—no matter what you’re in the mood for.
Here are a five of our favorites. Which one are you?
In The Tao of Travel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $25), out this month, the peripatetic writer compiles wisdom from an array of literature and life on the road. Here, he shares a few tidbits with T+L.
Q: Other than writing, how do you document your adventures?
A: I collect knick-knacks people have used, like snuff boxes and voodoo figures. There’s a Polynesian word, mana, meaning the spiritual power of an object—those things appeal to me.
Q: What have you learned from other writers?
A: As Flaubert said, when you’re traveling, you realize how small you are. Dollars are helpful, but a smile is more valuable.
Q: Is there a 21st-century Grand Tour?
A: In the 19th century, it was London, Paris, Rome, and Greece. Today it’s a global buffet: a safari in Africa, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, and the Carnival, in Brazil.
Photo by Steve McCurry
Wonder what Kate Middleton’s going to wear down the Westminster Abbey aisle this Friday? Or what Michelle Obama’s going to wear on just about any given day of the week? Recently, I chatted with T+L contributing editor and style guru Kate Betts—hot off the heels of publishing her new book, Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style (Clarkson Potter, $35)—about the fashion sensibilities of first ladies around the globe.
Q: People the world over have been enraptured by Michelle Obama’s sense of style. Considering her presence on the international stage, what sort of statement is she making about herself—and America—through what she wears?
A: She is making a statement about the power of confidence. The idea of wearing young, unknown American designers perfectly mirrors many of the ideas her husband campaigned on: new faces, new ideas, change. And at the recent state dinner for the President of China, she made a very bold statement by not wearing a dress designed by an American. A lot of people were upset about that—particularly the American fashion industry. But to my mind her self-possession and confidence define American style better than any label in her dress ever would.
100 Places to Go Before They Disappear, a gorgeous new book of photos which comes out May 1, is dedicated to 100 places around the world that are already on their way or in danger of disappearing forever. In honor of Earth Day, which began as an environmental teach-in in response to an oil spill off of California's coast in 1970, we’re highlighting a few excerpts from some of the most fascinating destinations featured in the book, available from Abrams Publishing on May 1 for $24.95.
Baechtold’s Best: Afghanistan visually explores a stunning variety of Afghan experiences. Each 2-page spread in this short book is dedicated to a simple theme like Taxi, Burka, Meal, or Poppy. The left-hand page offers sixteen thumbnail photos on the theme and a graphic map indicating where each was taken. The right-hand page has a large image chosen by the editors as the best example—Baechtold’s Best—with the briefest of identifying captions.
Imagine if your everyday hardcover book came with rules about where you could read it. Sounds crazy, but in the digital world we hardly bat an eye about similar restrictions. For instance, iBooks titles must be read on Apple devices.
For e-bookworms who love the platform, but could do without the Apple pits, Google just debuted the largest multi-platform cyber-bookshop, Google eBooks, with over 3 million titles (most of which are free). What sets the site apart—and has charmed several top travel publishers—is its quest for open access. Reading materials aren’t tied to a device; they’re stowed in the digital cloud. So, users enjoy limitless storage, as well as compatibility with more than 85 devices, including the Android, Sony Reader, and iPad.
The cobblestone highway through Naples was four cars wide with a cacophony of motorbikes weaving in and out and vendors hawking their wares. “This reminds me of a New York City tango floor,” Renee, my traveling companion and fellow tango dancer, commented. I had been a follower on the dance floor and was wholly unprepared for navigating this, but it seemed the only way to get us to the ferry for the tango festival in Capri.