Home 2018-03-19T03:04:41+00:00

NEWS

Billy Gogan Sequel Launches Spring Books

We’re getting a jump on spring with the publication of Billy Gogan, Gone fer Soldier, book two in the Billy Gogan series from Solas House Fiction. Follow Billy’s adventures as he flees New York and joins the army and lands in the Mexican-American War where he becomes an aide to the young officer Ulysses S. Grant. Later this spring look for Strange Tales of World Travel by Gina and Scott Gaille (with a foreword by Don George), who recount fifty of the most amazing stories they’ve been told in travels to more than 100 countries. Then get ready for The Girl Who Said No, Natalie Galli’s exploration of Sicily in search of the woman who broke a 1000-year-old Sicilian tradition by refusing to marry her abductor.

Solas Awards Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year. Grand Prize winner David Robinson collected $1000 for “The Mystery of the Sahara,” his poignant evocation of a place and a person both shrouded in mystery. Matthew Félix won the silver award and $750 for “The Citroën and the Pomegranate,” his engaging account of an astonishing set of coincidences on his travels from Istanbul to Barcelona to Hvar. Sivani Babu took the bronze and $500 for “The House on KVR Swamy Road,” her moving reflection on family life and the passage of time on a visit to her grandparents’ house in Rajahmundry, India.

NEW BOOKS

Billy Gogan, Gone fer Soldier

New from Solas House Fiction: Billy Gogan, Gone fer Soldier

“...a sweeping epic saga of one Irish immigrant’s coming of age from boy to man.”
—John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press reviewer

The adventures continue for Billy Gogan in this sequel to the award-winning novel Billy Gogan, American. Young Billy, an intrepid Irish-American immigrant, enlists in the U.S. Army on the eve of the Mexican-American War after fleeing New York for his life. Amidst the bloodshed he encounters the Texas Rangers, Ulysses S. Grant, and friends who fight alongside him. Billy navigates a dangerous path through gambling dens, wealthy estates, mysterious women, and sweltering heat. While challenged to follow meaningless orders, he struggles to escape a threat more imminent than war.

The China Option

Sophia Erickson graduated from college with an apparently useless degree in European history. She faced crippling student loans, but after an anxious couple of months waiting tables in her small Massachusetts town, she bought a one-way ticket to China. Over the following two years she had deeply enriching cultural experiences, paid off nearly half her student loans, and visited China from Heilongjiang to Hainan, as well as neighboring countries Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Singapore. The China Option: A Guide for Millennials: How to work, play, and find success in China is a manifesto for recent college grads to pay off debt while living a stimulating, adventurous life, and to pave the way for a successful future.  

100 Places in Cuba Every Woman Should Go

The secret is out: Cuba is the world’s sexiest, most magnetic travel destination. What isn’t a secret is that folks from around the corner and around the globe have been exploring and falling in love with the largest Caribbean island for decades. Now you can too with 100 Places in Cuba Every Woman Should Go, written from the unique perspective of a New Yorker who has called Havana home for more than 15 years. The 100 places profiled in this book are the result of decades of travel, research, and living in Cuba by a US journalist with uncommon access, ensuring travelers incomparable experiences. Much more than a prescriptive list, these narratives incorporate adventures and mishaps, insider opinion, slang, gossip, and conversations with Cubans during a historic shift that saw Soviet support evaporate, Fidel Castro take his final bow, economic reforms whiffing suspiciously of capitalism, and quasi-normalization with the United States. Author Conner Gorry deciphers the mysteries of Cuba while describing the country’s most alluring sites, sounds, and off-the-beaten track locales. Go with her and discover this magical island for yourself.

Baboons for Lunch

Author and explorer James Michael Dorsey has spent two decades visiting the world’s most remote tribal cultures. In Baboons for Lunch and Other Sordid Adventures, he tells his remarkable travel stories in rollicking accounts that keep readers off balance and eager for more. Many stories are funny, others are poignant, and quite a few are heart stopping, while others are unique insights into remote ways of life most of the world does not know exists. In this book the reader will climb a remote volcano in Ethiopia, cross the Sahara Desert with nomads, undergo a tribal exorcism, and visit shamans, healers, witch doctors, and holy men. This is not your average travel book, but an entree to some of the world’s remote corners and people.

La Dolce Vita University

Come travel with La Dolce Vita University (L◆D◆V◆U) to the heart of Italian culture in the seductive spirit of la dolce vita. L◆D◆V◆U is the perfect sampler to indulge anyone curious about—or already in amore with—Italy and its remarkably rich trove of cultural treasures. In dozens of entertaining yet authoritative mini-essays. L◆D◆V◆U lets you explore fascinating aspects of Italy’s cuisine, wines, history, art, architecture, traditions, style, legendary personalities, and so much more. The book is organized alphabetically, but nothing is ever quite that straightforward when it comes to Italy. Even if you choose to read these mini-essays sequentially, you may very well feel as though you’re wandering the mysterious alleys of a medieval town, the hidden vicoli of a larger city, or even along the serpentine canals of La Serenissima.

EDITORS’ CHOICE — This Week’s Story

The House on KVR Swamy Road

travelers-talesBy Sivani Babu

Grand Prize Bronze Winner in the Thirteenth Annual Solas Awards

We push through a sea of people and cows, the dust and smog swirling red and heavy, giving the scene around us the hazy air of a vintage photograph. A calf chews languidly on a banana as flies buzz around its head. We walk down the street as the tinny sound of temple music floats by and the aromas of everyday life assault our senses: fruits, spices, incense, the musk of oxen, diesel, smoke. Nearly two decades have passed since I last walked KVR Swamy Road, but I still remember the childhood admonitions to keep the dust down by not dragging my feet. I laugh. A drop in the bucket, I think to myself, but I make sure to pick my feet up anyway, hopping, jumping, leaping over puddles and pungent piles of cow manure.