Travel Books--July 2014

By: Keahey, John.
"Hidden Tuscany vividly displays the coastal areas of Tuscany, a territory often overlooked by visitors to Italy eager to see Chianti, Florence or Siena. Veteran journalist and Italophile John Keahey points out the keen distinctions that the western cities maintain: in food, lifestyle, and the way its artists are paving new directions in art that differ mightily from the Renaissance-rich interior. Keahey interviews sculptors and their artigiani, craftsmen and women who toil in the marble studios, eatingtheir lunch in workers' clubs and cafes. From beach locales such as Viareggio, to Livorno (which has Venetian-style canals), modern Orbetello and the seven islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, Keahey reveals beaches rich in European visitors and magnificent medieval villages that rarely see outsiders. The larger, better-known Tuscan coastal city Pisa can even surprise a curious visitor with places of solitude. Keahey's previous books on Italy have always received widespread and complimentary review coverage--garnering praise for the depth of his research and his comprehensive analysis. Travelers instantly flock to books about Tuscany, and this one promotes towns and villages that are often missed by tourists, letting readers in on these 'secret' destinations. For armchair travelers or vacation seekers, Hidden Tuscany puts a very human face on the region in Keahey's discussion of food, history and language. And the result is mesmerizing"--
By: Bennett, Nellie.
A sparky, witty and thoroughly enjoyable memoir of a girl who fell in love with flamenco dance and with Spain.
By: Pisani, Elizabeth, author.
Paints a unique picture of Indonesia and its citizens, where 80 million residents from over 300 ethnic groups across 13,500 islands live without electricity and some communities still participate in ritual sacrifices. 12,000 first printing.
By: Sterling, David, 1951-
The Yucatán Peninsula is home to one of the world's great regional cuisines. With a foundation of native Maya dishes made from fresh local ingredients, it shares much of the same pantry of ingredients and many culinary practices with the rest of Mexico. Yet, due to its isolated peninsular location, it was also in a unique position to absorb the foods and flavors of such far-flung regions as Spain and Portugal, France, Holland, Lebanon and the Levant, Cuba and the Caribbean, and Africa. In recent years, gourmet magazines and celebrity chefs have popularized certain Yucatecan dishes and ingredients, such as Sopa de lima and achiote, and global gastronomes have made the pilgrimage to Yucatán to tantalize their taste buds with smoky pit barbecues, citrus-based pickles, and fiery chiles. But until now, the full depth and richness of this cuisine has remained little understood beyond Yucatán's borders. An internationally recognized authority on Yucatecan cuisine, chef David Sterling takes you on a gastronomic tour of the peninsula in this unique cookbook, Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition. Presenting the food in the places where it’s savored, Sterling begins in jungle towns where Mayas concoct age-old recipes with a few simple ingredients they grow themselves. He travels over a thousand miles along the broad Yucatán coast to sample a bounty of seafood; shares “the people’s food”at bakeries, chicharronerías, street vendors, home restaurants, and cantinas; and highlights the cooking of the peninsula’s three largest cities—Campeche, Mérida, and Valladolid—as well as a variety of pueblos noted for signature dishes. Throughout the journey, Sterling serves up over 275 authentic, thoroughly tested recipes that will appeal to both novice and professional cooks. He also discusses pantry staples and basic cooking techniques and offers substitutions for local ingredients that may be hard to find elsewhere. Profusely illustrated and spiced with lively stories of the region’s people and places, Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition is the long-awaited definitive work on this distinctive cuisine.
By: Anderson, Charlotte.
Japan is a country shrouded in mystery, even now in the 21st century. The myriad facets that, when put together, compose the whole of this nation are impossible to fully capture. But in <i>The Little Book of Japan</i>, the dynamic photographer-writer team of Gorazd Vilhar and Charlotte Anderson do an admirable job of creating a celebration in words and images that encapsulates what makes this country so extraordinary.<BR><BR>Small and easily portable, <i>The Little Book of Japan</i> is organized in a series of 44 essays contained within four chapters: Cultural Icons, Traditions, Places and Spiritual Life. Under these four overarching ideals, Vilhar and Anderson explore a wide range of topics from Japanese cultural icons and traditions to Japan's spiritual life to its unique cities and villages. Broad enough to satisfy anyone with an interest in the culture, art, and beliefs of this unique island nation, yet comprehensive enough for the true Japanophile, <i>The Little Book of Japan</i> is a stunning collection of photographs and thoughtful essays. With everything from Cherry Blossoms to Sushi, Calligraphy to Kimonos, Old Tokyo to Hiroshima, to intimate details of Buddhism and Pilgrimages, this book is a beautiful and enjoyable way to learn more about the fascinating island nation of Japan.