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NEWS

Winners of the Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards Announced

The Travelers’ Tales editors and this year’s returning judge Scott Dominic Carpenter announced the winners of the Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year on March 1, 2024. Grand Prize winner Sue Parman collected $1000 and the gold award for “You Can’t Get There from Here,” her wondrous tale about connecting with others in the Outer Hebrides. Lance Mason won the silver award and $750 for “The Lessons of Drnc,” his story about cultural conflict in the Balkans. Pier Nirandara took the bronze award and $500 for “To the Thai Woman Who Touched Me,” her reflective essay about class and ethnicity in mixed cultures. Here's the complete list of winners.

NEW BOOKS

Paris Lost and Found

Paris Lost and FoundFollowing his hilarious introduction to Paris in French Like Moi, Midwesterner Scott Dominic Carpenter returns to the scene of the crime with more tales of intrigue.

This time, though, the story starts with sorrow as Carpenter's wife struggles with dementia. Humor may be the best medicine, but even the antics of a vandal in their building can’t cement the tiles of her memory for long. Before he expects it, the author finds himself alone in a capital that is also blighted by the pandemic.

It’s against this backdrop that the city comes roaring back to life. From bizarre encounters on the Metro to comical clashes with authority figures, and even a quixotic battle against a flock of migrant parrots, Paris Lost and Found unveils sides of the great city that are as quirky as they are authentic. With his unique blend of wit, insight, and wistfulness, Carpenter charts a path through his new labyrinth of solitude—only to emerge on the other side, squinting into the bright light of hope and new beginnings.

A Hard Place to Leave

A Hard Place to Leave Winner of the 2023 Lowell Thomas Award!

Vogue's Best Books of 2022

“Intrepid and empathetic, gifted with the dispassionate gaze of a born observer…a harmonious collage of worldview and character, a wunderkammer of experiences in a life fully lived.” —Melissa Febos, The New York Times

Restless to leave, eager to return: this memoir in essays captures the unrelenting pull between the past and the present, between traveling the world and staying home.

Starting in a dreary Moscow hotel room in 1983, weaving back and forth to rural New England, and ending on a West Texas trail in 2020, Marcia DeSanctis tells stories that span the globe and half a lifetime. With intimacy and depth, over quicksand in France, insomnia in Cambodia, up a volcano in Rwanda, spinning through the eye of a snowstorm in Bismarck, and atop a dumpster in her own backyard, this New York Times bestselling author, award-winning essayist and journalist for Vogue and Travel + Leisure immerses us in places waiting to be experienced and some that may be more than we’re up for. She encounters spies, angels, leopards, shoes, the odd rattlesnake, a random head of state, and many times over, the ghosts of her past. Each subsequent voyage leads to revelations about her search for solitude, a capacity for adventure, and always, a longing for home.

The Temporary European

“Vivid, funny, perceptive, intimate, and charged with a love of travel and a deep sense of humanity.” —Rick Steves, from the Foreword

20+ Years as Rick Steves’ Right-Hand Man

A candid account of how the sausage gets made in the travel business—told with affection, warts-and-all honesty, and a sense of humor.

What is it like to write guidebooks, make travel television, and lead bus tours for a living? Find out with Cameron as he samples spleen sandwiches at a Palermo street market, stews in Budapest’s thermal baths, survives driving in Sicily without going insane, and much more. Along the way, he shares many lessons learned from his favorite Europeans. You’ll also get a reality check for what seems to be a traveler’s dream job—working with Rick Steves and his merry band of travelers. Not just for Rick Steves fans but for anyone who loves Europe, The Temporary European is inspiring, insightful, and fun.

La Dolce Vita University – 2nd Edition

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, including 60 new stories and 40 new illustrations in this fully updated 2nd edition, L◆D◆V◆U lets you explore, at your leisure, fascinating aspects of Italy’s cuisine, history, art, 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.

The End of the World Notwithstanding

“Every word the right word, this book is a genuine keeper.” —Kirkus Reviews***Starred Review***

Rife with misadventure, brushes with death, and moments of existential insight, The End of the World Notwithstanding is a hilarious and reflective look at the emotional experiences that make everyday life exciting—and the physical ones that remind us we’re lucky to be alive. These nail-biting stories, all true, fill the reader with wonder, as in, “How do any of us survive?”

Encounters with wildfire, hideous insects, psychotic house pets, bad weather, gravity, predators, bullies, and the most potent force of all—fear—unfold in remote landscapes of the American West; on neon-splashed Hollywood sidewalks; in a Catskills summer camp for actors; in the Boston apartment of a famous senator; on a cliff high above the Mediterranean; beneath the streets of Paris. Goodwin looks for and finds meaning, if not security, in a clear-eyed acknowledgment of the human condition—and in the saving grace of laughter.

EDITORS’ CHOICE — This Week’s Story

Manhauling From The Right Side of The Brain

travelers-tales

By Karen Joyce

Eighteenth Annual Solas Awards Gold Winner in the Bad Trip category

It was a typical Sunday at McMurdo Station, Antarctica: cement-grey skies and a thirty-knot katabatic heading straight at us from the South Pole. All week long we’d worked our 10-hours days with the mid-summer November skies a clear cerulean blue, with hardly a breath of wind. And now of course, Sunday: our only day off, always with this misery weather. Read full story