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Fodor’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Books


Fodor’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guides help you shop for the loved ones in your life. Check out our other gift guides for presents that will please every traveler on your list. So far we have also revealed top gifts for Under $250, Under $100, Stocking Stuffers, and Kids.

Travel the world from the comfort of an armchair, wonderfully transporting book in hand. From stories of cocktails’ beginnings to a look at the world’s most artful cities, there’s adventure aplenty waiting within these pages. Gift someone one of these 12 choice books for the holidays, and you’re giving them more than just a book, but a literary journey to remember.

1. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert


By Richard Betts

From master sommelier Richard Betts, this wine guide comes free of snobbery and stuffy wine-speak. Scratch and sniff your way to recognition of wines from around the world. Great illustrations, easy advice, and heady scents make this book an easy win for winos. Buy It: $12.72, Amazon

2. Storied Sips


By Erica Duecy

Never flounder for conversation at a cocktail party again. A read through of Fodor’s editor Erica Duecy’s cocktail history book will arm you with some "spirited" stories to share. The book is perfect for gifting with its creative mixed-media illustrations, fun histories, and recipes for recreating iconic cocktails at home. Buy It: $22.99, Random House

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3. Art Cities of the Future


Art-lovers, museum-goers, and designers alike will go nuts for this beautiful hardcover that discloses a dozen global cities to watch for contemporary art. The book features groundbreaking work from Beirut to Singapore, and explores the artistic heritage and culture that helped mold the world’s new masterpieces. More than 500 color images will brighten any coffee table and educate readers, to boot. Buy It: $79.95, Phaidon

4. A Map of the World


See the world through a new lens thanks to these attractive maps created by designers, illustrators, and cartographers. The maps present detailed locales and experimental interpretations of well-known destinations to help open eyes to a unique perspective. Travel enthusiasts and artists alike will enjoy the book’s creativity— not to mention the journeys it may ultimately inspire. Buy It: $60, Terrain

5. Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste


By Luke Barr

In the winter of 1970, iconic culinary figures cooked, ate, discussed the future of American food, and ended up shaping the food culture and tastes we know today. Take a journey to the south of France to experience the mindsets of these late culinary masters through journals, letters, and a narrative crafted by author Luke Barr. Buy It: $16.45, Amazon

6. Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir


By Frances Mayes

In a switch from her classic Italian books, Frances Mayes has put out a new novel documenting her transition from growing up in Fitzgerald, Georgia, to her newly adopted life in California. The stories chronicle a young girl’s journey to wider perspectives and her discovery of a world beyond small-town Georgia. Mayes’s observations about how family and place shape us are both thought provoking and humorous. Buy It: $19.36, Amazon

7. The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down


By Andrew McCarthy

Themes of adventure, travel, self-exploration, and true love are all present in this book from travel writer Andrew McCarthy, as he recounts his journey from Mt. Kilimanjaro to Costa Rica. Vivid descriptions of exotic locales jump off the pages and McCarthy’s personal journey of the soul is just as beautiful and emotional. Buy It: $18.47, Amazon

8. Humans of New York


By Brandon Stanton

In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began wandering New York City and documenting the stories of the people who live in the Big Apple. His blog, where he posts the stories, has more than a million followers who encouraged the publication of this book, filled with bright color photos and heartwarming and heartbreaking stories alike. Buy It: $17.99, Amazon

9. Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen


By Edward Lee

Your stomach will be grumbling for the unique dishes whipped up by chef and author Edward Lee, as described in this book mapping his journey from Brooklyn, New York, to Louisville, Kentucky, where he now owns acclaimed restaurant 610 Magnolia. Lee’s creative recipes highlight the convergence of down-home Southern cooking styles with his Korean culinary roots for lip-smacking results. Buy It: $18.94, Amazon

10. Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand


By Andy Ricker, JJ Goode, Austin Bush

Here, restaurateur Andy Ricker animates the story of his Pok Pok restaurants through his journeys and travels in Thailand. The heartbeat of the country is felt through the 70 recipes Ricker shares in this cookbook, which transport you to exciting Thai locales, one slurp of noodle with chicken at a time. Buy It: $22.14, Amazon

11. The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook


By Michael Anthony, Dorothy Kalins

Explore the traditions and history of New York‘s culinary landmark, the Gramercy Tavern. Travel to Gotham with this cookbook and see how the unique establishment became a mainstay of the bustling city. Bring the warmth of the restaurant into your own home, along with the style of the big city, with a selection of choice recipes. Buy It: $30, Amazon

12. Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris


By Ann Mah

France seems to hold the secrets of life’s greatest wonders: food and love. In this book from journalist Ann Mah, gain some insight into the mystery and indulge vicariously in delectable dishes as Mah recounts her year in the City of Light sampling French food and immersing herself in the history of some iconic French dishes. Buy It: $10.99, Amazon

Photo Credits: 1. The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Courtesy of Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2. Storied Sips: Courtesy of Random House, LLC; 3. Art Cities of the Future: Courtesy of Phaidon; 4. A Map the World: Courtesy of Terrain; 5. Provence, 1970: Courtesy of Random House, LLC; 6. Under Magnolia: Courtesy of Random House, LLC; 7. The Longest Way Home: Courtesy of Simon & Schuster; 8. Humans of New York: Courtesy of St. Martin’s Press; 9. Smoke & Pickles: Courtesy of Artisan; 10. Pok Pok: Courtesy of Ten Speed Press; 11. The Gramercy Tavern: Courtesy of Random House LLC; 12. Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Courtesy of Pamela Dorman Books

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