“Michael Shapiro’s finely tuned, informed and intimate interviews strike to the heart of the matter.” —Tim Cahill, author of Hold the Enlightenment
The Creative Spark is a collection of interviews with some of the most creative people of our time: musicians, writers, visual artists, explorers, and chefs. These makers speak about what drives them, what helps them to see the world in fresh ways, and what inspires them turn their visions into art.
During the past decade, Michael Shapiro has interviewed some of our brightest creative luminaries. Among the authors are Amy Tan, David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver, Pico Iyer, and Frances Mayes. His work as a music journalist has led to interviews with legends including Smokey Robinson, Lucinda Williams, Graham Nash, Lyle Lovett, Melissa Etheridge, Merle Haggard, and Jethro Tull bandleader Ian Anderson. And he’s spoken with creative masters in other fields, such as director Francis Ford Coppola and comedian Joan Rivers.
She Broke a 1000-Year-Old Tradition
Eighteen-year-old Franca Viola made history in 1966 as one of the first “#metoo” heroines of modern times, when she refused to go along with a centuries-old forcible marriage custom in Sicily. Having endured kidnap and rape, she publicly defied the expectation that she would marry the rapist to “restore her broken honor.” A social uproar occurred throughout the island—and beyond.
In Natalie Galli’s The Girl Who Said No, Viola’s remarkable story unfolds when the author arrives in Palermo to search for her, with little more than the memory of a tiny article she had spotted two decades prior. Galli wanted to know: whatever had become of this courageous girl who had overturned an ancient, entrenched tradition?
Throughout her search for the enigmatic Franca, Galli shares her own poignant and hilarious observations about a vibrant culture steeped in contradiction and paradox. Does she succeed in locating the elusive proto-feminist whose case forever changed Italian culture and history? Travel along on Galli’s engaging odyssey to find out.
“Engrossing from the very first page. I was totally swept away.” —Lavinia Spalding, author of Writing Away
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
“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.
Wings is a love story of France, a blend of travel writing and memoir that reveals the country's art, cuisine, history, and traditions through encounters with characters such as Winged Victory, Claude Monet, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Coco Chanel, and a mélange of writers, filmmakers, and friends. Erin Byrne goes deep to discover little-known aspects of French culture and by doing so, uncovers long-buried qualities of herself. She is transformed and her stories may transform you.“A reverie-inducing glimpse of past and present France.” —Phil Cousineau, author of The Book of Roads
Discover Greece’s Best Places for Women
With style, intelligence, and personal anecdotes gleaned from years of working in Greece, archaeologist and award-winning writer Amanda Summer is your personal guide to the best of Greece. In crisp and often humorous storytelling she introduces you to the temples, shrines, grottoes, and churches of this magnificent country, intricately weaving in stories of the women—from goddesses of mythology Athena, Artemis, and Aphrodite to goddesses of cinema and the arts Melina Mercouri, Irini Papas, and Maria Callas—who have molded the history and culture of Greece itself.
Explore the World with a Legendary Travel Writer
Don George has been captivating readers with chronicles of his wandering adventures for four decades. Here you’ll find his best stories and essays, from climbing Kilimanjaro and contemplating the magic of Uluru to exploring the jungles of Cambodia and the backcountry temples of Shikoku. Let Don open your eyes to the wonders of the world as he falls in love in Greece, encounters whales in Mexico and elephants in East Africa, makes roof tiles in Peru, dances like a South Seas warrior on Aitutaki, and much more.
With a Foreword by Pico Iyer.
"A necessary indulgence for even the most jaded Francophile." —Kate Betts, author of Everyday Icon: Michele Obama and the Power of Style
With intelligence, style, and depth, Marcia DeSanctis offers insight and advice to every France-obsessed woman, whether she's a first-time traveler to Paris or the most sophisticated Francophile. In 100 luminous vignettes on the country's most alluring places, DeSanctis leads us through vineyards, markets, architectural treasures, beach idylls, and contemplates hikes from Biarritz to Normandy, Antibes to Chamonix. Along the way, she tells of fascinating women who have changed the destiny of France—from Marie Curie, Empress Josephine, and Joan of Arc to Audrey Hepburn and Édith Piaf. From sexy to literary, spiritual to gorgeous, 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go is for the smart and curious traveler who wants to see France, her way.
The Guidebook Experiment is a call-to-action for all of us to conduct our own guidebook experiments, to disconnect from the ceaseless barrage of information in modern life and explore an unknown neighborhood or unfamiliar country and discover the joy of travel on our own."Bockino empowers the reader to go skinny dipping in the unknown—I dare you to read it and stay put." —Peter Wortsman, author of Ghost Dance in Berlin
STAND BACK! The 31 tales in this raunchy round-the-world romp might get you dirty.
We've all had unspeakable experiences while traveling that we're ashamed to admit, but these often become our best stories in the re-telling. The writers in this collection cast inhibition aside and reveal their weirdest and worst moments and how they made the best of them. And memorable moments in exotic destinations come in all shapes and sizes: insects as big as Pam Anderson’s left tit, regrettable sex, stink-eyed officials, horrible healers, Lady Gaga’s shoes and Madonna’s special meal, trigger-happy militants, and peeping Tom rock stars.
“Makes me want to pack my bag and follow Van Allen's alluring suggestions. Andiamo!” —Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun
“Van Allen warms the room with her memories and imagination...precise and true.” —The New York Times
Following the critically acclaimed 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go, Susan Van Allen adds new gems to her selection of the best spots for female travelers in Italy’s most popular cities, along with enticing Golden Day itineraries to make vacation dreams come true. Like a savvy traveler girlfriend whispering in your ear, she guides readers to masterpieces where women are glorified—from Rome’s Pieta to Florence’s Birth of Venus and to best spots for wine tasting, chocolate, gelato, artisan shopping experiences to meet leather craftsmen or glass blowers, and places for adventures such as rolling pasta or rowing like a gondolier. She provides fresh, practical tips giving readers an insider’s secrets on what to pack, the best places to get their hair styled, and how to shop for bargain souvenirs.
“Mousejunkies! is a laugh-filled alternative to your standard WDW travel book.”
—Jim Hill, Jim Hill Media
“Bill Burke is a master storyteller who can take the reader on a rewarding journey on everyday events.”
—Parenting Media Association
Where should you turn if you want the best inside information for your Walt Disney World vacation? Why, to the fanatics who go year after year, several times a year, who spend all their waking hours planning their next trip and devising strategies to make the most of their time there—for them it’s not a vacation, it’s a way of life. That’s right, you’d turn to the Mousejunkies!
25th Anniversary Edition!
“A wonderful travel companion for anyone who wants to view afresh the wonders and oddess of humankind.” — Amy Tan
“Asia is a mythical jubilee,” writes Jeff Greenwald, “full of characters more strange and entertaining than anything you’ll find in Star Wars.” On his quest for the perfect Buddha statue, Greenwald treks to a lofty nunnery to meet “one of the most powerful women in Tibet—known to fly through the air.” He visits Kathmandu’s first indoor shopping mall (where a ride on the country’s first escalator is a near-religious event), and befriends a sly ...
Deer Hunting in Paris is an unexpectedly funny exploration of a vanishing way of life in a complex, cosmopolitan world. Sneezing madly from hay fever, a Korean-American preacher’s daughter refuses to get married, travels the world, and ends up learning how to hunt from her boyfriend’s conservative family. As she navigates the perils of an unlikely romantic relationship from Paris, France, to Paris, Maine, Paula Young Lee skewers human foibles while she celebrates hunting, DIY food culture, and what it means to be a carnivore.
She finds herself trying to keep from being “mistaken” for a deer and getting shot at the clothesline, while also avoiding becoming dinner for bears. Along the way, this former vegetarian finds lessons about life, love, and loss in a hacksaw and a haunch of venison.
Rolf Potts has taken his keen postmodern travel sensibility into the far reaches of five continents as a travel writer for such prestigious publications as National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, and The New York Times Magazine. This book documents his boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys—from getting stranded without water in the Libyan Desert, to crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand, to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram.Marco Polo Didn't Go There is more than just an entertaining journey into fascinating corners of the world. It is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing a "commentary track"—humorous endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. Offbeat and insightful, this book is an engrossing read for students of travel writing as well as armchair wanderers.
“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.
“A most diverting and picaresque tale, one that reads like a sentimental journey of a hundred years ago.” —the late Norman Cousins In the early 1960s, a young, self-taught musician set out to travel the world with no money, equipped only with his guitar, his voice, and his belief in the goodness of people. Along the way, blown by the winds of fortune, guided by instinct, he played for kings and paupers, soldiers and servants, artists and terrorists. His name is Moro Buddy Bohn, and his unlikely and powerful story will uplift you and inspire you to live the life you want. His audiences have included Queen Elizabeth II of England, King Frederick IX of Denmark, Pablo Picasso ...
"This book makes me want to pack my bag with the lightest of clothing and follow Susan Van Allen's alluring suggestions for traveling in Italy. Her knowledge reveals an intimacy with the country 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.
Explore the World in the Company of Women Way back in the ’90s, readers and critics alike loved the stories of women travelers in A Woman’s World, which won a Lowell Thomas Gold Medal for Best Travel Book. Twelve years later, best-selling author and editor Marybeth Bond continues to champion women’s travel in A Woman’s World Again with thirty-three remarkable journeys ranging from the middle of nowhere to middle America. Whether they are exploring identity in Ireland, sharing tea with a carpet seller in Turkey, or apprenticing with the silversmiths of Niger, these women will inspire you to create your own adventures. Learn the samba and keep the rhythm in Brazil, Reach the summit of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Get the makeover of your life from the women of the Dominican Republic, Discover the appeal of the Virgin Mary in Mexico, Encounter an alternative view of death and dying in India, Feel the hunger pangs of Hemingway while studying in Paris, Flirt and get that warm fuzzy feeling on a Sicilian farm…and much more.
We giggled all the way to the beach reading Jen Leo’s women’s travel/humor anthology Sand in My Bra, nearly laughed our britches off perusing Whose Panties Are These?, cracked up over The Thong Also Rises, and enjoyed even more hilarity when What Color is Your Jockstrap? transformed the “Leo trio” into a coed quartet. Fans feared that this fabulously funny “Empire of the Underwear” series might come to an end right then and there, but no way Jose! Jen along with fellow travel writer and misadventure enthusiast, Julia Weiler, just couldn't resist all those requests to keep the comedy coming. So slip on your sarong, slap on some sin-block, and get ready for the funniest beach read this season with More Sand in My Bra: Funny Women Write from the Road, Again!
“An amazing feat…Griest manages to impart the essence of some of the world’s most remarkable places. Reading the book is like catching the colors of a tropical sunset, a whiff of an almost tree in bloom, a hint of a melody from a late night jazz bar.” — Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of Omega Institute and author of Broken Open. Seeking the tranquility of a Buddhist meditation center? The raucousness of a rumba club? 100 Places Every Woman Should Go will not only inspire but compel you to hit the road—in a group, with a friend, or solo. Divided into sections such as “Powerful Women and Their Places in History,” “Places of Indulgence,” and “Places of Adventure,” this guidebook includes contact information, resources, and recommended reading. Its “Ten Tips For Wandering Women” features safety advice and pointers on how to stop departing airplanes and avoid getting tossed off Trans-Siberian trains.
“A vicarious delight for the virtual tourist, as well as an inspiration for the most seasoned culinary voyager.” — Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook. Taste the World One Culture at a Time, From the casual cook to the seasoned traveler to the serious gourmand, The World Is a Kitcheninspires its readers to experience food in a new way, exploring new lands, new cultures, and new cuisines. Chefs, travel writers, and dedicated foodies share their unique experiences, transporting readers into kitchens in Morocco, Italy, Belize, Cypress, Kenya, Vietnam, and elsewhere around the world, revealing the diverse traditions of other countries through their cuisine. Explore the gastronomic side of travel through these stories, trying the hard-won and treasured recipes as you go along, and then get ready to plan your own adventure. 37 first-person culinary adventures at cooking schools, on the road, in homes, and B&Bs across the globe. 30 international recipes, including African mafe, Russian pelmeni, Mexican mole verde, and a classic French tarte tatin, Extensive resource section including research tips, cooking schools and classes, culinary tours, internet resources, and recommended reading.
Get the Real Dirt from Master GardenersReading Gardening Among Friends is like participating in a friendly conversation with a group of Master Gardeners. Join us as we discuss:
- What is a habitat garden? What changes can I make to my own garden to attract butterflies? Hummingbirds? Songbirds? Pollinators?
- How can I have a beautiful garden with a minimum investment of time? Is it possible to have a luxuriance without facing an exorbitant water bill? What species of plants can thrive with low water and low maintenance?
- Where did some of the most popular and beloved plants come from? What were they used for in earlier times? Is there such a thing as an easy-to-grow orchid? Can I incorporate any of these plants into my own garden?
Encore to Jennifer Leo's bestselling travel humor books
This time, it’s the battle of the sexesYou cackled at Sand in My Bra, sent Whose Panties Are These? to friends, thumbed past the bikini beauty on The Thong Also Rises to see what other Ms-Adventures were possible. We thought we’d stop before you cracked a rib, but you told us loud and clear that we couldn’t. We shouldn’t. No way, José. So, in the grand tradition of trilogies, there must be a fourth. But what else could we do? Jen Leo went on the hunt, and what she found...
"Floating through France is a feast for the senses, a peaceful break from the complexities of the world." —Arlene Blum, author of Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life Of the millions of travelers who visit France each year, relatively few venture along the Canal du Midi in Southern France. Completed in 1681, the canal that joined the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea—and for that reason also known as the Canal des Deux Mers—is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Get the Real Dirt on GardeningLocal Master Gardeners lend their expertise on everything from propagating plants to dealing with snails, slugs, and slime to having a successful rose garden in a coastal climate.Bay Area Gardening provides comprehensive answers in sixty-four diverse essays on landscaping, garden design, pests, chemicals, and a multitude of topics endemic to the trials and tribulations of San Francisco Bay Area home gardeners.
Simple Truth, Simple Wisdom “The mythologist Joseph Campbell said that every culture needs ‘myths to live by,’ sacred and timeless stories that lend a sense of ultimate meaning and purpose. This book rests firmly in that venerable tradition of providing stories rooted in lived wisdom, grounded in earned compassion. Stories that even teach us, simply and humbly, how to live.” —Phil Cousineau, author of Once and Future Myths From the time we learn to talk, we tell stories to amuse, teach, frighten, or inspire. When friends, family, or strangers are suffering, we reach into that ancient bag of treasures for comfort. Here, in Stories to Live By, three award-winning editors have chosen some favorites.
“Splendid stories for those who love dogs, adventure, and good writing.” —New York Post There is no more heart-wrenching sight than the look on your dog’s face as you head out the door on a trip. Here is a collection of great writing by dog lovers who didn’t say good-bye, but who packed the dog toys and took Spike with them—as well as stories by travelers who made new canine friends on the road.
Change Your Life Through Travel “The Travelers’ Tales series is altogether remarkable.” —Jan Morris Travel brings extraordinary gifts that help you break through the crust of old patterns and reawaken to the joys, mysteries, and miracles of everyday life. Whether you’re gaining a new understanding of a foreign culture or having an epiphany that opens new inner worlds, travel is a catalyst for living a richer, more loving life. The stories in The Gift of Travel reflect the simple yet profound gifts travelers have received from people and places around the world.
“I’ve never thought of us so-called travel writers as forming a comradeship, but in this innovative book, Shapiro brings our motley crew into a single focus by surveying eighteen of us, as writers and as people, through a single pair of perceptive, generous, and imaginative eyes.” —Jan Morris
Have you ever had the feeling the world was laughing at you—or at least smirking—as you bumbled your way through a foreign land? Did time slow down, your face turn red, and sweat leap from every pore as you wished fervently you could just say, "Beam me up, Scotty"? Laugh at these authors in their shame and be glad that you were not there with them as they muddled their way through embarrassing situations and ghastly faux pas.
Funny Women Have More Fun… Travel isn’t always what we dream it will be, but oh…the stories we can tell later! For the 29 women in this book, packing a sense of humor was essential to the success of their trips. From Australia to Zambia, Thailand to Kuwait, the true stories in Sand in My Bra will not only have you shaking your head in disbelief, they’ll induce smiles, groans, cackles, and guffaws.
Humanity, community, and brotherhood comprise the marvelous virtues of the wine world—from its makers, visitors, friends, and, of course, drinkers. This first-rate collection toasts the warmth and wonders of this large, extended family in stories told by travelers who are wine novices and experts alike. Raise a glass to Dionysus, the god of wine, on the Greek island of Santorini; bring your Parisian, wine-connoisseur fiancé home to meet your Southern beer-drinking family; and enjoy a festive late night in Chile, where wine sampling offers a tasty collision of cultures. Wine, as these acclaimed writers discover, provides a universal medium for bringing people together. As contributor Karen MacNeil writes, "What I didn't know then was that this deep-seated sense of hospitality, generosity, excitement, and community is at the very core of he wine buisnes around the world."
Take a Trip Every Day of the Year 365 Travel is a yearlong companion for all who dream of travel and the magic of other places. Drawn from classic and contemporary writers, each day's selection offers a reflection or anecdote to fuel your wanderlust. Whether kept on the nightstand, in your briefcase, or tucked in a backpack, 365 Travel celebrates the adventurer within us all.
Rivers represent the quintessential metaphor for life, reaching back into the past, streaming toward the future, always vital in the present. The Gift of Rivers makes the metaphor real through exhilarating and thoughtful stories of exploration, white water, fishing, spiritual encounters, and more.
There are more people involved in birding in America than in any other recreational activity. This remarkable collection of avian encounters will appeal to the millions of bird lovers everywhere. Notable authors include: Louise Erdrich, Barry Lopez, Diane Ackerman, Terry Tempest Williams, and Peter Matthiessen.
This sexy book is packed with personal stories of love, lust, and romance on the road, exploring the places where passion resides. Experience the tender, funny, and sometimes scary side of love in foreign lands and discover why travel can often be the ultimate form of romance. Notable authors in this collection: Mark Salzman, Meredith Maran, David Yeadon, Lucy McCauley, and Pico Iyer.