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Fodor’s Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Books


Traveling and reading often go hand-in-hand, and that’s why we’ve rounded up this collection of titles that would make any globe-trekker happy. From novels to take aboard a transatlantic flight to coffee table books destined to inspire some serious wanderlust, we've got something for every reader on your list.—Amanda Sadlowski

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Quarterlane Book Subscription

With a Quarterlane subscription, you receive three of the season’s best-sellers shipped to you every three months, along with custom artwork and other items like stationary and tote bags.

Perfect for: The indecisive bookworm always thinking about her next read.

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Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders

Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, & Ella Morton    

An encyclopedia of over 600 of the world’s most eccentric destinations, Atlas Obscura showcases oddities like glowworm caves in New Zealand, bone museums in Italy, and underwater mermaid shows in Florida.

Why we love it: For off-the-beaten path travelers, it’s the perfect accompaniment to your Fodor’s guidebook.

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Atlas of Improbable Places

Travis Elborough and Alan Horsefield     

The title explains it all: this book brings you on a journey through some of the world’s strangest and most unlikely sights, from an abandoned American spy station in Berlin to a giant crater in Turkmenistan called the Door to Hell.

Perfect for: Your travel buddy always looking for the next anti-tourist trap.  

Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs by Robert Kanigel    
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Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs by Robert Kanige

Robert Kanigel    

The first biography of the woman who wrote The Death and Life of American Cities explores the life of Jane Jacobs and how she came to change the way we think about cities and modern urban planning.

Perfect for: History buffs who love cities and the women who helped build them. 

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Fantastic Cities Coloring Book

The adult coloring book trend is still going strong, and this one lets would-be artists illustrate their own intricately-designed cityscapes.

Perfect for: Your most artistic friend who needs a serious stress reliever. 

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Far Afield: Rare Food Encounters from Around the World by Shane Mitchell

Shane Mitchell   

With gorgeous color photos and forty recipes, Far Afield takes you on a stunning journey through the world, focusing on the culinary traditions of ten diverse countries, including recipes from tribeswomen from India, fishermen from Kenya, and shepherds from Iceland.

Perfect for: The world traveler who won’t stop talking about that street food they ate in Singapore.

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Benjamin Grant     

One of the season’s most unique coffee table books, Overview brings you on a stunning journey of Earth as seen through aerial shots of its most well-known locations.

Why we love it: It gives a whole new meaning to travel photography, and let us see some of our favorite places like we never have before. 

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Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Denis-Benn

Nicole Denis-Benn    

In her debut novel, Nicole Denis-Benn captures the passion and spirit of Jamaica by highlighting the lives of three generations of women as their country develops and evolves alongside them.

Why we love it: It’s important to hear the stories behind the places we spend so much time visiting and to learn what our tourism means for the people living there. 

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Him, Me, Muhammad Ali by Randa Jarr

Randa Jarr     

This collection of stories explores an array of Muslim voices spanning several cities and continents, all focusing on seeking freedom and love amid displacement and loss.

Why we love it: Because these voices and experiences need to be heard now more than ever.

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Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas by Rebecca Solint and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Rebecca Solint and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro    

This intelligent and insightful look into New York City brings readers a collection of clever maps and accompanying essays from a variety of voices, led by acclaimed feminist writer Rebecca Solint.

Perfect for: The New Yorker always eager to learn more about their city and its endless diversity.

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Ten Restaurants that Changed America by Paul Freedman

Paul Freedman   

Part history lesson and part exploration of the changing palates of America, food historian Paul Freedman explores how often what we eat has been intertwined with who we are as a nation.

Perfect for: The foodie who wants to know the deeper story of where our most beloved restaurants came from.

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Skyline: A Journey Through 50 Skylines of the World’s Greatest Cities

Take a journey through the world by looking at its biggest cities in this illustrated guide showcasing mankind’s most timeless and impressive buildings.

Perfect for: Architecture buffs looking to spruce up their coffee table book collection. 

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Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead  

One of the most powerful novels of 2016 and winner of the National Book Award, Underground Railroad takes the historical metaphor of its title and turns it into a real, actual railroad, one that takes its protagonists (two runaway slaves) on a journey through America and its dark history.

Why we love it: It uses a creative, ingenious format to tell a story we still need to hear.