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Spring Books and Solas Awards

Our spring book lineup is rolling out, with two titles coming in March, another in April, and a fourth in May. All are available for pre-order on Indiebound, Amazon, or at your favorite bookstore. Coming March 1 is Tania Romanov's Mother Tongue, her poignant memoir of life stretching from the Balkans to San Francisco and back again over three generations. March 13 brings La Dolce Vita University, an unconventional guide to Italian culture that is witty, charming, whimsical, and loaded with fascinating insights, truly an A to Z experience. Look for James Michael Dorsey's Baboons for Lunch on April 1, and 100 Places in Cuba Every Woman Should Go by Conner Gorry in May.

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We're pleased to announce the winners of the Twelfth Annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year! Grand Prize winner Angelique Stevens collected $1000 for “All the Grains of Sand,” her evocative rumination on the metaphor of keeping clean during weeks of travel in South Sudan. Aaron Gilbreath won the silver award and $750 for “Crossing Shibuya,” his engaging account of navigating “The Scamble,” the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing in Tokyo. Juilene Osborne-McKnight took the bronze and $500 for “Mitty in Rome,” her imaginative tale of wandering the streets of Rome finding stories everywhere she goes. See the complete list of winners.


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.

Mother Tongue

What is your mother tongue? Sometimes the simplest questions take a book to answer. Such is the case with Tania Romanov. Mother Tongue is an exploration of lives lived in the chaos of a part of the world known as the Balkans. It follows the lives of three generations of women—Katarina, Zora, and Tania—over the last 100 years. It follows countries that dissolved, formed, and reformed. Lands that were conquered and subjugated by Fascists and Nazis and nationalists. Lives lived in exile, in refugee camps, in new worlds. The country of birth listed on Tania’s American passport changed four times in four successive renewals. Until the first time, she believed your country of birth was a fixed point. Today she knows better. Go with her as she journeys through time and history looking for answers, and finding some.

The Soul of a Great Traveler

Since 2006 the editors of Travelers’ Tales have run a writing competition to find the best travel story of the year: The Solas Awards. Over those years, thousands of stories have come across their desks, from writers famous and unknown, covering all corners of the globe with stories of adventure and discovery, love and loss, humor and absurdity, grief and joy. In this collection appear all of the top prize winners of the first ten years, stories that bring readers along for journeys that are inspiring, uplifting, and, very often, transformative. These tales are powerful, moving testaments to the richness of our world, its cultures, people, and places.

The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 11

The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 11 presents stimulating, inspiring, and uplifting adventures from women who have traveled to the ends of the earth to discover new places, peoples, and facets of themselves. The common threads connecting these stories are a female perspective and fresh, compelling storytelling to make the reader laugh, weep, wish she were there, or be glad she wasn't. The 31 true travel stories in this year's collection are, as always, wildly diverse in theme and location. They tell of places like California and Cuba, Switzerland and Singapore, Iran and Iceland, Montana and Mexico and Mongolia and Mali, our own back yards and some of the farthest, most extreme corners of the world. They are the personal stories we can't help but collect when we travel, stories of reaching out to embrace the unfamiliar and creating cross-cultural connections while learning more about ourselves.

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go, 3rd Edition

100italy_s“Makes me want to pack my bag and follow Van Allen’s alluring suggestions...she reveals an intimacy with Italy and a honed sense of adventure. Andiamo!” —Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun.

Imagine creating your Italian dream vacation with a fun-loving savvy traveler girlfriend whispering in your ear. Go along with writer Susan Van Allen on a femme-friendly ride up and down the boot, to explore this extraordinarily enchanting country where Venus (Vixen Goddess of Love and Beauty) and The Madonna (Nurturing Mother of Compassion) reign side-by-side. With humor, passion, and practical details, this uniquely anecdotal guidebook will enrich your Italian days.

EDITORS’ CHOICE — This Week’s Story

Mitty in Rome


By Juilene Osborne-McKnight

Grand Prize Bronze winner of the Twelfth Annual Solas Awards


They have cleaned the fountain in the Piazza of Santa Maria in Trastevere. This means that it no longer works. Water spills over the basin and down the sides.

On the lone dry step, the King of the Gypsies has taken his throne. He is young – well, younger than me, which qualifies enough of the world these days. He wears a patchwork coat of many colors and a pair of old pajama pants. He carries a tall staff whose top is adorned with feathery rags in profuse colors. Some days I see him begging; in early mornings on my way to work I have seen him asleep in doorways. But I have also seen men kneel before him and buss both of his cheeks.