Welcome back to The Friday Download, T+L’s weekly roundup of books, music, and internet culture that promise to carry you through the weekend, whether your itinerary is jam-packed with travel or you’re staying put, staycation style. This week: a New York-inspired ESL Guide, James Taylor's first number 1, and more.

By Caroline Hallemann
June 26, 2015
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Credit: Luci Gutiérrez


English Is Not Easy

Whether you're a native speaker, or learning English for the first time, Luci Gutiérrez's cheeky take on the oft-confusing language is worth a look. With playful, graphic illustrations in black and white and red, she takes readers on a linguistic trip through NYC, teaching grammar and vocab all the while. Pick up a copy to peruse over on amazon.com.


Emmy Made in Japan

When it comes to having a cool job, Emmy of Emmymade in Japan is right up there with the person who names nail polish colors. A culinary explorer, the YouTube star dines on interactive Japanese candies, odd-looking fruits, MREs, and snacks from around the world, documenting the dishes for her nearly 440,000 subscribers. Tune in weekly for her "Whatcha Eatin'" and "Emmy Eats" series. Or survey her archives, starting with the clip below.


Cardboard America

Staying put this weekend? Take a trip back in time with Cardboard America, a fully-searchable index of vintage postcards from creator J. Smith's personal archive.


Before This World

Tom Petty's greatest hits may fill Drew Holcomb's road trip soundtrack, but I prefer driving to the soft, sweet tunes of James Taylor. Clearly, I'm not alone; the Carolina songbird's first studio album in over a decade came out this week, and it's already hit number 1 on the Bilboard charts, a first for Taylor. Roll the windows down, and stream the tracks below (the record opener is a personal favorite), or download it from iTunes.com.

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @challemann.