4 books of­fer tips for trips

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - TRAVEL -

NEW YORK — Whether you’re an arm­chair trav­eler, a road trip­per or a fre­quent flier, books about travel can in­spire and in­form. Here are a few out this sea­son on a va­ri­ety of travel themes.

■ Great Amer­i­can Rail­road Jour­neys. This book is a tie-in to a BBC se­ries of the same name that airs on pub­lic TV this sum­mer, hosted by Michael Por­tillo, who wrote the fore­word to the book. In the show, Por­tillo trav­els by train across Amer­ica from New York and Bos­ton to Atlanta and New Or­leans, then on to Chicago, Colorado, New Mex­ico and San Fran­cisco. The book ( Si­mon & Schus­ter, $25) con­sists of es­says about the devel­op­ment and ex­pan­sion of rail routes across 19th-cen­tury North Amer­ica, with maps, photos, il­lus­tra­tions and lots of his­tory.

■ Foot­steps. This col­lec­tion of es­says is sub­ti­tled, “From Fer­rante’s Naples to Ham­mett’s San Fran­cisco, Lit­er­ary Pil­grim­ages Around the World.” It walks read­ers in the foot­steps of fa­mous writ­ers, look­ing at the des­ti­na­tions and land­scapes that in­spired them, whether the fa­mil­iar lo­cales of their child­hood or a trip they took to a far­away land. Ernest Hem­ing­way’s Madrid, Ja­maica Kin­caid’s An­tigua and Mark Twain’s Hawaii are among the places fea­tured in Foot­steps (Three Rivers Press, $16). ■ Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour. This hard­cover ($20) from travel guide­book pub­lisher Lonely Planet fea­tures brew­eries in 32 coun­tries on five con­ti­nents. Be­cause a lot of craft beers don’t get dis­trib­uted be­yond their home ci­ties or coun­tries, the book of­fers ad­vice on where to find lo­cal suds in des­ti­na­tions as far-flung as Ethiopia, Nepal and Ice­land. The book also of­fers in­for­ma­tion on how to ask for beer and say cheers in the lo­cal lan­guage, the best lo­cal bar snack and other things to see and do. Two other books out from Lonely Planet this sea­son of­fer­ing theme trip ideas in­clude Street Art ($20) with rec­om­men­da­tions for see­ing 140 ex­am­ples of street art in 42 ci­ties around the world, and Film and TV Lo­ca­tions ($12), list­ing places fea­tured in Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Harry Pot­ter and more.

■ Madrid Af­ter Dark. This guide­book is sub­ti­tled “A Noc­tur­nal Ex­plo­ration” (In­ter­link Books, $15) and it takes read­ers on a tour of the Span­ish cap­i­tal many vis­i­tors may never see. Though the city is known for nightlife and late din­ners, au­thor Ben Stubbs re­veals the hid­den side of Madrid’s night­time world, from all-night taxi driv­ers and par­ty­go­ers to sto­ries of re­li­gious ob­ser­vances and the lives of the poor.

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