Tag Archives: #Travel

Surviving the Australian Winter Without Hibernating

Winter has definitely arrived in Melbourne; with mornings at a record low and frost on the lawn staying home seems like the best way to survive the winter. But where’s the fun in that? All over the country cities play host to amazing events, gallery showcases and theatre extravaganzas that make it worth your while stepping out into the wintery blast.

Here are our top picks to get you out of the house this winter.

…for those of you that aren’t lucky enough to be feeling the cold here in Australia… don’t worry, next week we will be looking at what’s on in the rest of the world… and for those of you that do choose to stay indoors, we have paired these amazing events with a book version… just so you don’t miss out completely.

Melbourne, Victoria


MoMA at NGV

This Winter the National Gallery of Victoria, is working in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art, New York, presenting MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition will be showcasing over 200 key works of the Museum’s iconic collection, including works by van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Picasso, Boccioni, Dalí and Kahlo. Click through the link here to book tickets and read more about the world of contemporary art.

 

 

 

 

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N

This is a must-see attraction on Melbourne’s events calendar this Winter with all-new features and experiences in its very own purpose-built structure at the Paddock, Federation Square. Australia’s first Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N experience integrates science and modern technology with movie-based props. As a training agent of S.T.A.T.I.O.N you can train like an Avenger and delve into the history behind your favourite super heroes while checking out their equipment such as Captain America’s uniform and shield, Iron Man’s MK 45 suit, The Hulkbuster suit and Thor’s mighty hammer.

Find your favourite Marvel Books here.

 

 

The Wizard of Oz

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting revision of the all-time classic. This version has been developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay and contains all of the favourite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. You’ll get to rediscover the story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat, including songs like Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Over the Rainbow, Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead, If I Only Had a Heart, We’re Off to See The Wizard and The Merry Old Land of Oz…makes you want to pop on a pair of sparkly red slippers!

 

 

Sydney, New South Wales

The Bledisloe Cup

The Bledisloe Cup returns to Sydney this winter and there is only one Test match being played on Australian soil this year so this is your chance to see the biggest Trans-Tasman battle on the sporting calendar live. After beating the All Blacks in the final Bledisloe Cup match of 2017, the Wallabies will be looking to go one step better to regain the cup in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Australia 

Bonjour Barossa

A Barossa winery tour with friends to warm the cockles of your heart in Winter. Sounds prefect! How about adding some of South Australia’s best French artisan breads, chocolate, macarons, crepes and croissants to go with your glass of Shiraz. Get ready to don your beret and striped jumper, Bonjour Barossa, Seppeltsfield’s French Festival, is returning on Sunday 8th July. Bonjour Barossa sees the Seppeltsfield estate reimagined into a Parisian style marketplace, bringing together food, wine and homeware vendors to the backdrop of French themed music and entertainment.

 

 

 

Canberra 

The Truffle Festival

Indulge in a feast of the senses and join in the fun as The Truffle Festival celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Each year from June to August more than 250 individual events are held across the Canberra region showcasing the region’s fresh Black Winter Truffle. Taste and experience the magic of these highly-prized gems. Indulge in the special flavours and aromas of truffle dishes at local restaurants and cafes. Join a hunt and see for yourself how the talented dogs unearth truffles. Learn from the chefs and other truffle experts at a cooking class or demonstration, or pop along to a market and pick up some truffle delights for yourself. The Truffle Festival is the ultimate foodie festival, and a fabulous celebration of winter in the Canberra region.

 

 

Tasmania

Whisky Week

This is one week that will warm you up in chilly Tassie. The 2018 Tasmanian Whisky Week takes place from Monday 13th through to Sunday 19th August, with industry events held across seven days in many Tasmanian distilleries, bars, barns, stables, restaurants and hotels. Throughout the week distilleries open their doors to host behind-the-scenes tours to meet the distillers in person, provide access to unreleased whiskies, and offer dining opportunities where distilleries (both old and new) will recount the successes, challenges and events that have shaped who they are today.

 

 

Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland

Okay, so it’s not as cold in these states as some other parts of Australia so when the temperature is all little too much perhaps you could escape the winter blues to enjoy Broome’s sunshine, or the Gold Coast’s or Darwin’s.

Enjoy!

Exploring the world with Bill Bryson

He’s sharp and witty and regarded as one of the world’s best writers of travel. Bill Bryson has penned numerous books that have made readers snort out loud and laugh until tears were streaming down their faces. He’s been a favourite in our household for years and we always look forward to his next release. Bill Bryson is one of those authors who sparks the reading bug where once you turn the last page in one of his books you’re instantly looking for his next.

Here are a few of our favourites…

The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island

Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain. In 2015, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognise any more. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.

 

 

Bill Bryson’s African Diary

Bill Bryson goes to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world. Kenya, generally regarded as the cradle of humankind, is a land of stunning landscapes, famous game reserves, and a vibrant culture, but it also has many serious problems, including refugees, AIDS, drought and grinding poverty. It also provides plenty to worry a nervous traveller like Bill Bryson: hair-raising rides in light aircraft, tropical diseases, snakes, insects and large predators. Bryson casts his inimitable eye on a continent new to him, and the resultant diary, though short in length, contains all his trademark laugh-out-loud wit, wry observation and curious insight. All the author’s royalties from this book, as well as all profits, go to CARE International.

 

 

In a Sunburned Country

Turning his attention to Australia, Bill Bryson takes a truly outrageous tour Down Under, revealing hundreds of entertaining eccentricities about the world’s largest island and about himself. Leaving no Vegemite unsavored, readers accompany Bryson as he dodges jellyfish while learning to surf at Bondi Beach, discovers a fish that can climb trees, dehydrates in sweltering deserts, and tells the true story of the rejected Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House. Definitely worth a read.

 

 

I’m a Stranger Here Myself

Bill Bryson has the rare knack of being out of his depth wherever he goes even (perhaps especially) in the land of his birth. This became all too apparent when, after nearly two decades in England, the world’s best-loved travel writer upped sticks with Mrs Bryson and his family and returned to live in the country he had left as a youth. Of course there were things Bryson missed about Blighty but any sense of loss was countered by the joy of rediscovering some of the forgotten treasures of his childhood: the glories of a New England autumn; the pleasingly comical sight of oneself in shorts; and motel rooms where you can generally count on being awakened in the night by a piercing shriek and the sound of a female voice pleading, ‘Put the gun down, Vinnie, I’ll do anything you say.’ Whether discussing the strange appeal of breakfast pizza or the jaw-slackening direness of American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on that strangest of phenomena – the American way of life.

 

 

…and finally the book that prompted our love of Mr Bryson…

 

Notes From a Small Island

This book was voted the nation’s favourite book on modern Britain in a World Book Day BBC poll. After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the States for a while, to let his kids experience life in another country, to give his wife the chance to shop until 10 p.m. seven nights a week, and, most of all, because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another, and it was thus clear to him that his people needed him. But before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation’s public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that produced Marmite, a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy, place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells, people who said ‘Mustn’t grumble’, and Gardeners’ Question Time.

…and once you’ve read all of the above treasures you may want to have a look at these

Enjoy!

Top Travel Books to Encourage a Getaway

It’s been a long hot summer here in Melbourne and with February just around the corner, it’s now the time when we all start booking our getaways for later in the year. Whether you relax by spending time on a sandy beach, enjoy immersing yourself in bustling cities or prefer a simple camping trip we have some fabulous books for you to explore.

 

Wander Love by Aubrey Daquinag

Wander Love takes the world of Instagram and travel, and distils it in a beautiful pictorial book that will inspire your own adventures. Author Aubrey Daquinag is a travel blogger and photographer, most often found posting her adventures on her blog The Love Assembly from all corners of the globe. Featuring her incredible photography that shows you a world where travel meets style, her book includes sections on the essentials for a digital nomad office, how to be stylish while on the road, how to upgrade your travel photography skills, advice for solo female travellers, and unique destination guides for countries like Colombia and Morocco. Wander Love is the perfect mix of style, substance and travel adventures to inspire your own.

 

The New York Times Footsteps; From Ferrante’s Naples to Hammett’s San Francisco by The New York Times

Based on the popular New York Times travel column, Footsteps is an anthology of literary pilgrimages, exploring the geographic muses behind some of history’s greatest writers. From the “dangerous, dirty and seductive” streets of Naples, the setting for Elena Ferrante’s famous Neapolitan novels, to the “stone arches, creaky oaken doors, and riverside paths” of Oxford, the backdrop for Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, Footsteps takes a fresh approach to literary tourism, appealing to readers and travel enthusiasts alike.

 

 

 

The New Paris: The People, Places, and Ideas Fueling a Movement by Lindsey Tramuta

The city long-adored for its medieval beauty, old time brasseries, and corner cafés has even more to offer today. In the last few years, a flood of new ideas and creative locals has infused a once-static, traditional city with a new open-minded sensibility and energy. Journalist Lindsey Tramuta offers detailed insight into the rapidly evolving worlds of food, wine, pastry, coffee, beer, fashion, and design in the delightful city of Paris. Tramuta puts the spotlight on the new trends and people that are making France’s capital a more whimsical, creative, vibrant, and curious place to explore than its classical reputation might suggest. With hundreds of striking photographs that capture this fresh, animated spirit, The New Paris shows us the storied City of Light as never before.

 

Havana: A Subtropical Delirium by Mark Kurlansky

During his decade-long tenure as the Chicago Tribune’s Caribbean correspondent in the 1980s, Mark Kurlansky began traveling to Cuba. Since this introduction to the island nation, the journalist grew to know and love the beautiful, messy capital. Drawing on Havana’s history, Kurlansky starts with Columbus’ arrival in 1492 and examines the city’s role in the slave trade and its lasting effects. But he also brings us into the contemporary culture, highlighting the city’s lively music, dance and art scenes, and supplying us with recipes to tasty Cuban dishes.

 

 

 

 

Beaches by Gray Malin

Gray Malin is the artist of the moment for the Hollywood and fashion elite. His awe-inspiring aerial photographs of beaches around the world are shot from doorless helicopters, creating playful and stunning celebrations of light, shape, and perspective, as well as summer bliss. Combining the spirit of travel, adventure, luxury, and artistry, Malin built his eponymous lifestyle brand from a deep passion for photography and interior design. His work forges the synergy between wanderlust and adventure, creating the ultimate visual escape. Beaches features more than twenty cities across six continents.

 

Camping Around Australia by Explore Australia

Now on its third edition, Camping around Australia has become the go-to guide for all recreational campers. And this edition is bigger and better than ever! With over 3200 campsites included across the country, particularly highlighting free and dog-friendly campsites, the problem isn’t finding somewhere to camp – it’s deciding where to camp out of the many great options.

 

 

Enjoy!

Books That Inspire Your Inner Explorer

The weather is getting warmer now that it is spring here in Australia, and it’s time to start planning our summer vacations…or next winter’s if you like running away from the cool weather…

Here’s a few titles that are inspiring us to pack a suitcase and start exploring…

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

It’s an oldie but a goodie, and has inspired many of us to look at our life experiences through a new lens.

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different and far more satisfying than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognising opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

 

 

 

 

The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

My Dad put me onto Bill Bryson when I was travelling around Europe and while I was a bit hesitant at first, I laughed out loud so hard that everyone on the boat to Naxos turned around…trust me, it’s worth dipping your toe into a previously considered ‘something-for-Dad-author’.

Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain. Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognise any more. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.

 

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman

Rachel Friedman has always been the consummate good girl who does well in school and plays it safe, so the college grad surprises no one more than herself when, on a whim (and in an effort to escape impending life decisions), she buys a ticket to Ireland, a place she has never visited. There she forms an unlikely bond with a free-spirited Australian girl, a born adventurer who spurs Rachel on to a yearlong odyssey that takes her to three continents, fills her life with newfound friends, and gives birth to a previously unrealised passion for adventure. As her journey takes her to Australia and South America, Rachel discovers and embraces her love of travel and unlocks more truths about herself than she ever realised she was seeking. Along the way, the erstwhile good girl finally learns to do something she’s never done before: simply live for the moment.

 

Wallpaper* City Guide – New York by The Editors of Wallpaper*

Wallpaper City Guides not only suggest where to stay, eat, and drink, but what the tourist passionate about design might want to see, whether he/she has a week or 24 hours in the city. Featured are up and coming areas, landmark buildings in an ‘Architour’, design centres, and the best shops to buy items unique to that city. Wallpaper City Guides present travellers with a fast-track ticket to the chosen location. The edited guides offer the best, most exciting, and the most beautiful of that particular city.  As well as looking beautiful, the guides are expertly designed with function as a priority, and have tabbed sections so that readers can easily find the information they are looking for. The guides include rate and currency information, maps and a colour-coding system to help you navigate the different parts of the city. They are the ultimate combination of form and function.

Actually they have a whole host of city guides…come and check them out here.

 

The Riviera Set by Mary S. Lovell

This is the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed-hopped and politicked at the Chateau de l’Horizon near Cannes, over the course of forty years from the time when Coco Chanel made southern French tans fashionable in the twenties to the death of the playboy Prince Aly Khan in 1960. At the heart of this was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a fisherman from Connecticut, who built the beautiful art deco Chateau and brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Windsors and two very saucy courtesans, Doris Castlerosse and Daisy Fellowes, who set out to be dangerous distractions to Winston Churchill as he worked on his journalism and biographies during his ‘wilderness years’ in the thirties. After the War the story continued as the Chateau changed hands and Prince Aly Khan used it to entertain the Hollywood set, as well as launch his seduction of and eventual marriage to Rita Hayworth. Mary Lovell tells her story of high society behaviour with tremendous brio and relish.

Enjoy!

Celebrating Readers: Top Travel Books

What’s not to like about travel?  New sights, sounds, tastes, beautiful scenery, different cultures, tranquility or excitement (or both)… even if drop-everything-and-go travelling is not an option right now, it is still fun to indulge in some armchair travel and plan a dream trip.  Whether you like your travel glamorous or rugged, by car or in a plane, there’s a great read waiting here for you!

Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places by National Geographic

Destinations of a Lifetime is a stunning coffee table book that inspires wonder and daydreams.  As befits a National Geographic publication, the photography is amazing – whether it is of a rugged landscape, or a rustic market stall.  These 225 Amazing Places have been chosen from around the world for their natural beauty, architecture and cultural history.  From wildlife reserves to mountain ranges to palaces and even train stations, they remind us that the world is a big and amazing place. Each profile also includes travel tips and how to visit places “like a local”.

Slim Aarons: La Dolce Vita by Slim Aarons

Slim Aarons built his career on photographing “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places”.  La Dolce Vita is a collection of his society portraits – chronicling the lives of aristocrats and celebrities for over 50 years.  We see his subjects at home and at play all over Italy – in villas, vineyards, palazzos and on yachts.  The stunning scenery provides perfect backdrops for elegant displays of sumptuous wealth – Slim Aaron’s vision of La Dolce Vita is never crass, but nostalgic and effortlessly glamorous.

The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

Twenty years after the journey immortalised in Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson travels around Britain again, to see what has changed – and, as he cheekily reveals, because his agent wants him to write a sequel.  Time has not diminished his love for his “Small Island”, but has enriched it with authority – he makes a passionate plea here, as a seasoned campaigner for preserving the landscape and heritage of rural England. Bill Bryson also enjoys showing his grumpier side as he derides the bad manners and crassness so evident nowadays.  The Road to Little Dribbling is another perfect blend of affable humour, naughty wit and eye for the ridiculous that Bill Bryson fans know and love.

Walking the Camino: a Modern Pilgrimage to Santiago by Tony Kevin

Travel is usually about external stimulation such as new sights and sounds, but can also promote inward contemplation – particularly when walking alone on a long trek. Tony Kevin, an overweight, disaffected retired diplomat, does just that when he treks across Spain along the Camino – the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. During his eight-week journey he experiences physical and mental exhaustion, picturesque  scenery, ancient tradition and spiritual nourishment.  Walking the Camino offers fascinating insights about why the Camino is still relevant and appealing – and in fact is experiencing a revival, travelled each year by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from many different nations and creeds.

The Route 66 Encyclopaedia by Jim Hinckley

Route 66 is one of the world’s iconic travel routes, and Jim Hinckley has the wealth of knowledge to help guide us along it.  True to its name, The Route 66 Encyclopaedia is jam-packed with information, photographs and memorabilia about the history, landmarks, and personalities associated with this road. It is a guidebook, a cultural history as well as a tribute.  With alphabetically-arranged entries, Jim Hinckley has created the definitive reference for “the Main Street of America”.

Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo by Matthew Amster-Burton

You may already know Matthew Amster-Burton and his daughter Iris from the book Hungry Monkey, a chronicle of Matthew’s attempt at turning little Iris into an adventurous eater.  A few years on, Iris is six – still an idiosyncratic eater – and Matthew takes his whole family to Tokyo for a month.  Based out of a tiny apartment, Matthew and his family immerse themselves in the daily life (and food) of this often impenetrable city.  Part guidebook and part diary, I find Pretty Good Number One both endearing and inspirational, because it shows that travelling with children can be delicious and fun.  Cool fact: one fan took Pretty Good Number One as his only guidebook on his Tokyo trip – and ate magnificently.


Holidays in Hell
and Holidays in Heck by P. J. O’Rourke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the hard-living foreign correspondent for Rolling Stone magazine (who knew that they would have one!?), P. J. O’Rourke filed despatches from troublespots around the world, including Mexico, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.  These thought-provoking and hilarious pieces, published as Holidays in Hell, mash politics and pop culture with black comedy.  Holidays in Hell became an instant classic and a game-changer for travel writing.Fast-forward to the present, and P.J. O’Rourke, retired “sh*thole specialist”, now travels for leisure like everyone else.  In Holidays in Heck, let P.J.’s caustic wit and gonzo ways show you the unexpected horrors and hidden dangers of travelling to nice places.

Check out our recommended travel reads on our Pinterest board.

Finland – the true winter wonderland

Window ferns

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas….” This time of year is strongly associated with idyllic images of snowy landscapes, frosty breath, icy window ferns, winter woollies and steaming hot drinks. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere these are the stuff of fairytales, but in places like Finland in Northern Europe, it is the norm.

I grew up in Finland and only recall one childhood Christmas without snow. Now I live in Melbourne (Australia) and have to make do with paper snowflakes such as these:

paper snowflakes

Visiting Finland

Winter is a great time of year to visit Finland as it really is the true winter wonderland. Here are just some ideas for what to see and do in Finland in winter:

Kemi Snow Castle

Kemi Snow Castle

For a true “Frozen” experience, you cannot go past the gigantic Snow Castle in Kemi. You can even stay there overnight in the Snow Hotel!

(Photo credit)

For more snow inspiration, check out these destinations and ideas.

 

Santa’s hut

cropped santa

For those who believe in the magic of Santa Claus (a.k.a. Father Christmas, or Joulupukki in Finnish); he welcomes you to visit his home near the Arctic Circle in Finland. He may be a little busy bringing cheer and happiness to children everywhere around Christmas time, but is more than happy to hear your Christmas wishes all year round.

 

 

Aurora Borealis – The Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights: Celestial Performances of the Aurora Borealis

If it is magic you are after, not much compares to the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis. They are visible on roughly 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland and the further North you go, the better your chances of seeing them. You can learn more about it here or if you cannot quite justify the cost of flying to Lapland, this coffee table book has some stunning images:

 

 

Now before you book your tickets, here are some useful resources to help you scratch that travel bug bite and prepare for the trip!

Lonely Planet Finland

Finnish for your trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finnish DesignLiving in Finland

City Guide: Bali

Bali is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, friendly people and sense of adventure. Whether you’ve travelled to Bali, have it on your bucket list or are happy to explore it through books, here are our recommended Bali reads:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:GeckoGo to Sleep, Gecko!: A Balinese Folktale by Margaret Read MacDonald

The author of The Girl Who Wore Too Much retells the folktale of the gecko who complains to the village chief that the fireflies keep him awake at night but then learns that in nature all things are connected.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:BaliBalilicious – The Bali Diaries by Becky Wicks

She lifted the burqa on Dubai in Burqalicious. Now Becky Wicks turns her attention to Australia’s number one tourist destination: Bali. It seems to be the new in thing to find yourself these days even if you are not particularly lost.

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:roughguideThe Rough Guide to Bali & Lombok by Lesley Reader

With full – colour throughout, clear maps and stunning photography, The Rough Guide to Bali & Lombok will ensure you make the most of these alluring islands, with insider tips on everything from indulgent spa retreats and fantastic shops, to the best hotels, restaurants and bars to suit every budget.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:balihouseA House in Bali by Colin McPhee

In the 1930s a young American composer heard some gramophone records of music of the land that forever changed his life. As a result, Colin McPhee lived for the day when he could travel and study the beautiful island of Bali, its people, culture, and music. His classic text written in the 1940s still remains the only literary narrative of the island by a classically trained musician, and this unique perspective allowed him to immerse himself in the people, and music of his beloved Bali. And in the end, he only left the island in 1938 as the threat of the second World War loomed over the Pacific. McPhee’s work is a landmark look at Bali’s distinctive gamelan tradition, and is now available again more than 50 years after it was written.

https-::covers.booko.info:300:100yearmanThe Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

After a long and eventful life Allan Karlsson is moved to a nursing home to await the inevitable. But his health refuses to fail and as his 100th birthday looms, a huge party is planned. Allan wants no part of it and decides to climb out the window… Charming and funny; a European publishing phenomenon.

 

City Guide: Rome

There is an Italian expression, Roma, non basta una vita, which means that for Rome, a lifetime is not enough to really know her. I visited Rome once, for a period of a few days but during that time I fell in love with this beautiful city. Aside from the obligatory touristy things like lining up for the Colosseum and throwing a coin into the Trevi fountain, it was simply walking the streets, gelato in hand that I loved. We are lucky we can bring Rome to life simply by reading a book. Here are our recommendations:

 

I, ClaudiusI, Claudius by Robert Graves

The emperor Claudius tells of his life during the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula and the events that led to his rise to power in a classic novel reconstructing ancient Rome.

 

 

 

 

The Public Image by Muriel Sparkhttps-::covers.booko.info:300:97801

“All homage to Muriel Spark, the coolest writer ever to scald your liver and your lights” (The Washington Post). The Public Image, which the author has called “an ethical shocker,” provides a scalding the reader is unlikely to forget, particularly as it is so enjoyable.

 

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:978111The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Murder and romance, innocence and experience dominate this sinister novel set in mid-19th-century Rome. Three young American artists and their friend, an Italian count, find their lives irrevocably linked when one of them commits a violent crime of passion. Hawthorne’s final novel is “must reading” for its symbolic narrative of the Fall of Man.

 

 

Rome Tales by Hugh Shankland, Helen Constantinehttps-::covers.booko.info:300:978019

In ways no guide book can achieve, these twenty absorbing tales by Italian authors ranging from Boccaccio in the Middle Ages to contemporary new writers offer the delight of discovering and exploring one of the world’s most unique cities thorough a wide variety of individual lives and epochs.

 

 

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:9780143Pleasure by Gabrielle D’Annunzio

This new translation of D’Annunzio’s masterpiece, the first in more than one hundred years, restores what was considered too offensive to be included in the 1898 translation—some of the very scenes that are key to the novel’s status as a landmark of literary decadence.

 

 

New York: Books to inspire

Some people feel that they can only truly understand the essence of a city if they walk its streets themselves. This may be true, but you can also get a fantastic insight from books that feature design, history, the food and the people that belong to a particular city. Here is a selection of books that bring on wanderlust for New York (sigh).

 

Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

https-::covers.booko.info:300:978125003882120150606

New York Sleeps by Christopher Thomas

https-::covers.booko.info:300:978379134234420150623

Gastropolis: Food & New York City by Annie Hauck-Lawson & Jonathon Deutsch

https-::covers.booko.info:300:978023113653220150623

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

https-::covers.booko.info:300:978022402291020150614

New York In Style: A Guide to the City’s Fashion, Design and Style by Janelle McCulloch

https-::covers.booko.info:300:978052286647620150611