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To the New Owners: A Martha's Vineyard Memoir by Madeleine BlaisIn To the New Owners, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Madeleine Blais paints a wistful, wonderful portrait of summer vacations on Martha's Vineyard. Though Blais wasn't born to privilege, her husband was -- his father was U.S. President Lyndon Johnson's attorney general -- and it was his family's old-school vacation house (no climate control, no TV, no internet!) that the family gathered at for decades, before the beloved home was sold in 2014. Weaving memories of her visits with excerpts from the house's guest book, newspaper articles, etc., Blais highlights the quirky charm and natural beauty of the island. Celebrity watchers take note: famous faces appear, including Philip Caputo, Katherine Graham, and Carly Simon.
So Happiness to Meet You: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam by Karin EsterhammerAfter the 2008 recession hit, L.A. journalist Karin Esterhammer and her husband had little money and lots of debt, so they did something drastic: they moved to Vietnam with their eight-year-old son. Living in a nine-foot-wide back-alley Ho Chi Minh City house, they met welcoming neighbors who helped them...and unabashedly stared into their windows. With quick humor, keen insight into an amazing country, and introductions to lots of fun folks, this delightful book is perfect for those who like family travelogues or fish-out-of-water tales.
Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India by Kief HillsberyIn search of answers to family questions, Kief Hillsbery spent decades traveling to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal. He was following in the footsteps of a distant English uncle, who'd worked as an East India Company clerk in the 1840s and then "gone native." Presented from both Hillsbery's and his uncle's perspectives (using old letters and documents to inform), Empire Made illuminates the past and the present and offers intriguing findings in this combination travelogue and history, which includes a glimpse of Victorian-era gay life.
Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka KassabovaBulgarian-born poet and writer Kapka Kassabova lives in Scotland, but in Border she describes return visits to Eastern Europe between 2013-2015. In the complex, magical area where Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece meet, Kassabova traveled through mountains, villages, and forests and spoke with former border guards, people who tried to escape Communist Bulgaria, villagers who live near the countries' edges, and incoming refugees fleeing Syria. Clever, lyrical, and acutely observed, this book is a fascinating examination of Eastern European borderlands. For a penetrating look at U.S. borders, seek out Stephanie Elizondo Griest's All the Agents and Saints.
The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious... by David LebovitzOoh la la! In a humorous memoir that's "just as tart as it is sweet" (Publishers Weekly), American pastry chef David Lebovitz dishes about living in Paris and provides yummy recipes (Mocha–Crème Fraîche Cake, Dulce de Leche Brownies, etc.). Here's just a taste of Lebovitz's adaptations to his new life in the City of Light -- he begins to shave and dress before taking out the trash, deals with mind-boggling bureaucracy, and makes sure to always greet shopkeepers. Lebovitz's latest book, L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home, comes out in November. If you want another American's look at acclimating to life and cooking overseas, check out Julia Child's classic My Life in France.
On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta by Jen Lin-LiuWhere did noodles originate and how did they spread? (Contrary to popular belief, Marco Polo had nothing to do with it.) In this "footloose, spontaneous, and appetite-whetting journal of culinary adventure" (Kirkus Reviews), Jen Lin-Liu, a recently married Chinese-American cooking instructor based in Beijing, travels the famed Silk Road in search of answers. Sampling regional dishes in the homes of generous local women in China, Tibet, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Italy, and other locations, she savors the food and companionship and muses on noodles, love, and what being a wife means to her and to her hosts. Pasta-loving travelers will likely find this scrumptious book, which includes some recipes, mouthwatering.
Driving Hungry: A Delicious Journey, from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin by Layne MoslerLayne Mosler takes the idea of catching a cab to dinner to a charming new level. After a disappointing evening in Buenos Aires, she hailed a cab and asked the driver to take her to his favorite restaurant ...where she had one of the best steaks of her life. Building on this idea, she began asking cabbies everywhere where they liked to eat. Moving to New York City, she attended taxi school and began driving a cab herself. Heading to Berlin, she continued to drive and eat -- and eventually met the cabdriver of her dreams. Not just for foodies and fans of Mosler's Taxi Gourmet blog, this honest and lively literary ride around three vibrant cities will appeal to readers who've wondered what the taxi-driving life is like.
The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest... by Michael PaternitiHaving once worked at Michigan's famous Zingerman's Delicatessen, Michael Paterniti never forgot a certain cave-aged sheep's milk cheese. Eventually, he traveled to Guzmán, a rural Spanish village, where he discovered that the amazing cheese said to be "made with love" was no longer being made. Charismatic, larger-than-life farmer/cheesemaker Ambrosio Molinos de las Hera tells him he was betrayed by his partner, ruining the business. Paterniti quickly becomes enmeshed in Ambrosio's world, visiting often in order to savor his stories and dig deeper; Paterniti even moves to Spain with his wife and kids for a time. Chock full of footnotes and digressive passages, this leisurely yet tasty tale will especially please those who enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
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