World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain and Laurie WooleverWhat it is: the final book planned by the late, great Anthony Bourdain, which was put together by his long-time colleague Laurie Woolever.
What's inside: Bourdain's witty, lively looks at favorite places and restaurants (via excerpts from earlier writings and recordings); essays about Bourdain by those who knew him well; practical travel information; charming illustrations.
Read this next: any of Bourdain's previous books; Buttermilk Graffiti, an award-winning book detailing Korean American chef Edward Lee's travels across the U.S. exploring various cuisines.
Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am by Julia CookeWhat it is: an engaging, well-researched look at Pan Am's stewardesses in the 1960's and '70s, who had to fit strict standards (young, unmarried, not too heavy, not too tall, multilingual, college educated, etc.).
What's inside: profiles of several women, who discuss their experiences during a history-making time; a look at the airline's cultivated image of glamour; details about Pan Am's role during the Vietnam War.
For fans of: entertaining cultural histories focused on women, like Paulina Bren's The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free.
The Glitter in the Green: In Search of Hummingbirds by Jon DunnWhat it's about: Scotland-based author Jon Dunn covers hummingbirds in history, the problems they face now, and his travels seeking them all across the Americas, the only place they're found in the wild.
Locations include: Alaska, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Argentina.
Read this next: For other books that discuss birds and travel, try Jonathan Slaght's Owls of the Eastern Ice or Noah Strycker's Birding without Borders.
Water, Wood, and Wild Things: Learning Craft and Cultivation in a Japanese Mountain Town by Hannah KirshnerThe beginning: A Brooklyn-based artist and food writer traveled to a Japanese mountain village for several months to apprentice at a saké bar, hoping to learn all about the country's food and drink.
What happened: Entranced by the village, a place where craftspeople and farmers follow traditional ways of doing things, she returned again and again to listen to and learn from locals, including a rice farmer, a duck hunter, a woodturner, a paper artist, and a charcoal maker.
Why you might like it: This absorbing, richly detailed travelogue includes delicate drawings by the author and a selection of recipes.
To the Greatest Heights: Facing Danger, Finding Humility, and Climbing a Mountain... by Vanessa O'BrienWhat it is: an entertaining, uplifting memoir that describes how, after the author's corporate job loss in 2009, she set out on a new path: becoming a mountain climber.
Don't miss: vivid details about climbing the highest peak on every continent in under a year (which sets a Guinness World Record), fun stories about the British American's home base in Hong Kong, and a poignant look at her challenging Michigan childhood.
Reviewers say: "O'Brien's warm, witty voice will bring a wide audience to her world-class adventures," (Kirkus Reviews).
Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture by Matt GouldingWhat happened: Matt Goulding, a co-founder of the digital travel and food magazine Roads & Kingdoms, took a wide-ranging gastronomic tour of Japan, eating ramen, sushi, Wagyu beef, street food, etc.
Why you might like it: Covering seven key geographic regions, he combines delicious descriptions of food with a detailed travel narrative.
Don't miss: nearly 200 color photographs; Goulding's correspondence with Anthony Bourdain discussing the book.
A Beginner's Guide to Japan: Observations and Provocations by Pico IyerWhat it is: lyrical, thought-provoking, and amusing snippets and essays that ponder life in Japan and cover such varied topics as silence, signage, emotion, clothing, anime, baseball, advertising, and language.
About the author: British-born bestselling travel writer Pico Iyer is married to a Japanese woman and the country is his adopted home.
Want a taste? "Being in Japan has taught me to say, 'I wonder,' more often than 'I think.'"
Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye by Marie Mutsuki MockettWhat it's about: Marie Mutsuki Mockett -- who was still mourning her American dad, who'd died three years earlier -- traveled with her mother and toddler son to Japan to bury her Japanese grandfather at the Zen temple her mother's family has owned for decades.
What happened: There just weeks after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, she witnessed devastation, visited holy places, saw the cherry blossoms blooming, and more.
Why you might like it: It's a beautiful, poignant look at Japan that thoughtfully ponders rituals, spirituality, grief, life, and death.
The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City by Anna ShermanWhat happened: An American expat who lived in Tokyo for over ten years walked the city, searching for the bells that used to mark time before Western-style clocks were adapted. She also explored Tokyo's history and culture, and learned about residents, past and present.
For fans of: evocative, elegant writing; thought-provoking musings on time and history; intriguing debut books.
Read this next: Amy Stanley's Stranger in the Shogun's City, a well-researched nonfiction look at Tokyo (then called Edo) via the life of a real 19th-century woman.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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