The West

Books to give travellers
Books to give travellers

Is there an avid traveller on your gift list?

Or even someone who doesn't go too far from home, but simply loves reading about faraway places and other cultures?

More travel reading:

Maybe you have a friend or loved one who might enjoy spending the day gazing at pictures of places they love or long to see.

Books with a travel theme - whether practical, beautiful, inspirational or just a good read - make a good holiday gift.

Here are a few ideas and recommendations:

Not for Parents: Paris, London, Rome and New York, Lonely Planet ($A19.99)
Not For Parents: The Travel Book, Lonely Planet ($A29.99)
Lonely Planet has published its first series for children, Not For Parents books on Paris, London, Rome and New York. The paperbacks offer curious kids cartoons, photos and drawings packed with tidbits on local history, geography, the arts and pop culture.

Not For Parents: Paris, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know, for example, mentions everything from crepes and the origins of plaster of Paris to a look at Deyrolle, a bizarre showcase for taxidermied animals.

Lonely Planet is also offering a version of The Travel Book for kids subtitled "Cool Stuff to Know About Every Country in the World."

Great Journeys, Lonely Planet ($A49.99)
Lights, Camera... Travel, Lonely Planet ($A26.99)
Lonely Planet's new books for grown-ups include Great Journeys, a coffee-table book about "the world's most spectacular routes," from the trail to Peru's Machu Picchu to America's classic Route 66, and a collection of stories by celebrities called Lights, Camera ... Travel! including Brooke Shield's tale of her wintertime visit to the Arctic.

City Secrets: London ($A35), Rome ($A29.99), Florence/Venice and towns of Italy ($A35).
City Secrets, a new series of small hardcovers for discriminating travellers, has new guides out this year for London, Rome, Florence/Venice and City Secrets Manhattan.

"Remarkable contributors - writers, artists, curators, and others - reveal their favourite strolls, hidden gardens, buildings, shops, and restaurants," is how Pat Carrier, owner of the Globe Corner Book Store in Brookline Village, Massachusetts, describes the series.

Other suggestions from Globe Corner include City: A User's Guide to the Past, Present, and Future of Urban Life by P.D. Smith (Bloomsbury), which Carrier describes as a collection of essays about urban life on everything from skyscrapers and shantytowns to street food and skateboarding, as well as two cookbooks with a strong sense of place, Mourad: New Moroccan, by Mourad Lahlou (Artisan) and Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia by Greg and Lucy Malouf (Hardie Grant Books).

Holidays in Heck, P.J. O'Rourke, Grove Press UK ($29.99)
This book is a follow up to O'Rourke's Holidays in Hell. It takes the reader on a globe-trotting journey to far-reaching places including China, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and the Galapagos Islands. The collection begins after the Iraq War, when O'Rourke retired from being a war correspondent. He embarked on supposedly more comfortable and allegedly less dangerous travels - often with family in tow - which mostly left him wishing he were under artillery fire again.

1000 Ultimate Sights, Lonely Planet ($A34.99)
Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Sights is another of LP's new travel must-see books. Iconic buildings, awesome canyons, weird monuments, vast animal migrations, spooky dungeons and romantic vistas are just some of the man-made marvels and natural wonders in 1000 Ultimate Sights.

Monumental Paris, Herve Champollion and Aude de Tocqueville, Vendome Press ($US150)
If you're feeling generous toward your favourite Francophile, US-based travellers' bookstore Distant Lands recommends Monumental Paris by Herve Champollion and Aude de Tocqueville. It says the "panoramic photos bring you to many of Paris' hidden corners... gardens, canals, parks and secret waterways that make Paris one of Europe's most endlessly fascinating and enchanting cities".

Cities of the World: Complete Edition of the Colour Plates of 1572-1617, Braun & Hogenberg, Taschen ($US70)
Also recommended by Distant Lands, this offers snapshots of how people lived in cities in Europe, Africa, Asia and Central America in drawings and text.

1000 Places to See Before You Die, Patricia Schultz, Workman ($US20)
Patricia Schultz is out with a new edition of the ultimate bucket-list, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. This version adds 200 new entries, including countries not in the original 2003 edition, like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Nicaragua, Qatar and Mozambique, plus budget-conscious suggestions for lodging and food.

An interactive companion iPad app for 1,000 Places is scheduled for release November 22, offering photos, maps and a way to log your past and future travels.

The full app is free with a code included on the first stickered printing of the book; without the book, you can download the app for free with a preview of 99 places or pay $US10 for full content.

The World's Must-See Places: A Look Inside More Than 100 Magnificent Buildings and Monuments, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides ($US25)
Another coffee-table beauty comes with photos and 3-D cutaways and diagrams of places like Beijing's Forbidden City, Mexico's Chichen Itza and Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock.

The Scattered Tribe: Travelling the Diaspora from Cuba to India to Tahiti & Beyond, Ben G. Frank, Globe Pequot Press ($US18)
This is Frank's account of Jewish communities in a handful of places, from a relatively new synagogue in Tahiti that serves expats and tourists to the nearly gone remnants of North Africa's once-thriving Jewish communities. The book is by no means an exhaustive survey of Jews around the world - Vietnam, India and Burma are there, but not China, for example - but the snapshots offered will be of interest to readers with a passion for Jewish history.

Finally, Travel + Leisure is out with lovely photos and engaging text in Europe: The Places We Love ($US30) from the Sweet Life in Capri, to Secret Villages like Norcia, Italy, and Marvao, Portugal.

The West Australian

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