Whether you’re a full-on globetrotter or more of a day-tripper, summer really is the season to hit the road. So we’re filling our beach bags with travel-themed books this season. Some will take you across the country, some will take you across the world and some will take you back in time – so crack those peanuts, make sure your tray table is in the upright and locked position and bon voyage!
'Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen,' by Gonzalo Guzmán with Stacy Adimando
This mouth-watering collection of authentic Mexican dishes won the 2018 James Beard Foundation International Cookbook Award. It is the first publication from the adored San Francisco eatery Nopalito, written by head chef Gonzalo Guzmán (with Stacy Adimando). Whether you grew up south of the border, or you don’t know mole from machaca, this book will inspire you to get cookin’. Born in a tiny village in Veracruz, Guzmán learned Mexican cooking from his abuelitas; then, as a dishwasher, chef, and, ultimately, restaurateur in chic San Francisco eateries, he furthered his love of seasonal, organic ingredients. These dishes are the delicious melding of those two worlds.
'Roaming America: Exploring the National Parks,' by Renee Hahnel and Matthew Hahnel
If overseas travel is not in the cards for you this season, don’t be blue; you won’t believe the beauties there are to behold, right here in your own backyard. We’re talking about America’s national parks, 59 of them to be exact. How many have you seen so far? Make it a mission to raise your number with this gorgeously photographed book from Australia-born, Seattle-based couple Matthew and Renee Hahnel, aka Renee Roaming. In, “Roaming America,” the Hahnels visit all 59 national parks in one seven-month road trip. Depending on how many vacation days you’ve saved up, your journey might be a little less ambitious…but no less awesome!
'Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler,' by Lynne Olson
In this book, we will travel to 1940s France to learn the riveting and largely untold story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the young, beautiful, French mother who defied all societal norms to become the leader of an invaluable French spy organization during World War II. Fourcade’s devotion to Alliance, her spy network, was unshakable; she was captured by Nazis twice and escaped both times. Under Fourcade’s fearless leadership, Alliance became, by many accounts, the most valuable intelligence provider in all of France.
'Hungry,' by Jeff Gordinier
“Eating, road-tripping and risking it all with the greatest chef in the world,” sums up the four years food and drink critic, Jeff Gordinier, spent with world-renowned Danish chef, René Redzepi. In “Hungry,” Gordinier chronicles their travels as the two men embark on a journey in search of the most tantalizing flavors across the globe. Whether you’re hungry for food, risk, adventure – or all of the above – channel your inner globe trotter, without leaving your couch. Your itinerary includes: the jungle of the Yucatán peninsula, the beaches of Sydney, the arctic circle, Copenhagen and many more.
'Gray Malin: Italy,' by Gray Malin
Tuscany, Capri, Portofino…Gray Matlin’s gorgeous, richly colored photos bring each city alive, whether you’re reading his book in an Italian villa or a Brooklyn subway. The photos in, “Italy,” are taken from various vantage points; some are taken from above, in Malin’s trademark bird’s-eye view (like in his previous book, Beaches), some are taken from the land, and some are taken from the sea. Together, they communicate Malin’s abiding infatuation with all things Italian, and his endless wonder at Italy’s sights – from the oft-photographed color-mosaic of Cinque Terre, to a cluster of nameless children, playing on a rock at the beach.
'A Gentleman in Moscow,' by Amor Towles
We’d never give you a summer reading list without at least one mystery! And this is an engrossing one. Set in 1920s Moscow, Towles’ blockbuster novel centers on Count Alexander Rostov, who the Bolsheviks have sentenced to decades of house arrest for writing a poem. So, Rostov spends the novel locked up in his “house,” the luxurious Metropol Hotel. A, “A Gentleman in Moscow,” dips into political commentary but ultimately rests on the appealing magic of the Metropol – and of the characters that inhabit it.