Fall is just around the corner, and it’s time to hit the books! Here’s our selection of hot new titles that should be on every traveler’s back-to-school list.
A True Story of Vengeance and Survival
By John Vaillant
What Jaws did for the ocean, The Tiger does for Russia’s Far East. While John Vaillant’s story might not inspire you to book that trip, his gripping, thoroughly researched account of a series of vicious tiger attacks in Primorye, Russia unveils a place where Man vs. Wild is a way of life. Part thriller, part science, and part cultural history, The Tiger earned my respect for the mighty endangered animals—and for the Russians who live with them. Book Details.
The Woman Who Fell From the Sky
By Jennifer Steil
When journalist Jennifer Steil accepted a gig teaching journalism in Yemen, the liberal New Yorker never expected that she’d end up helming one of the top newspapers in the conservative, traditional country. Steil documents her foray into Middle Eastern culture, from her wanders through medieval streets to the gender and journalistic differences she encounters in her work. Her likable tone and journalistic curiosity create an enjoyable introduction to Yemen and the people she encounters there. Book Details.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
By David Mitchell
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet begins in the land of the rising sun at the dawn of the 19th century. Jacob de Zoet, a young, ambitious Dutchman, arrives in Japan’s Nagasaki harbor with dreams of getting rich. As the plot unfolds, de Zoet finds himself entangled in romance and crime in Dejima, an unruly outpost of the Dutch East Indies Company in the harbor. Mitchell’s superb writing sets the story apart from other Japan-based historical fictions—instead of being simply a new rendition of Shogun, Thousand Autumns is a memorable, beautifully told saga of Japan. Book Details.
An Opinionated Tour of Italy’s 89 Finest Wines
By Joseph Bastianich
Joseph Bastianich owns three Italian vineyards, 20 restaurants in the U.S., and an assortment of food and wine stores. He grew up among food and wine and has traveled extensively around Italy. In short, he knows his wine. In Grandi Vini, Bastianich takes us on a tour of his favorite 89 Italian winemakers and wines. Each profile highlights things like the winery’s history and production techniques; between this information and a few vino-colloquialisms, this read is better suited for oenophiles than the casual sipper. But there’s a handy region-by-region wine list at the end of the book, and Grandi Vini is a wonderful handbook to use as you dive into the world of Italian wine. Available Nov. 9. Book Details.
By Richard Harvell
The Bells tells the story of Moses, a Swiss-born singer with an angelic voice. Born in a belfry in the Swiss Alps, Moses falls under the care of two monks after his father tries to murder him. The monks take him to the Abbey of St. Gall, where he’s enlisted in the choir and embarks on a musical journey that brings him love, castration, and an unlikely son. From alpine villages to the splendors of Vienna, this story will transport you to the mountains and music halls of 18th century Europe. Available Sept. 14. Book Details.