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December 06, 2010

Travel Book Club: The Titanic Awards

By Lacy Morris

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By now, we've all seen the mega-blockbuster movie Titanic (possibly even several times) and Kate Winslet's promise to "never let go" after one of the more infamous nights in travel sunk the unsinkable—we all know the story. April 15, 1912, was a bad day in travel. And now author Doug Lanksy (read an entertaining interview here) is giving a nod to the worst of the worst—the unbearable bathrooms, the train ride with chickens, and the reservation that was never reserved—those days that are only funny in retrospect, if you live through it.

The Titanic Awards is a collection celebrating those travel horror stories with stats, interviews, and the world's worsts of travel interspersed—ever wanted to know the airline with the most delays or the most unfortunate city names (Boring, Oregon, or Intercourse, Pennsylvania)?

Titanic Awards

Where to Buy:
Word Brooklyn
Barnes and Noble

Win a Free Copy!
Tell us your travel horror story in the comments section of this blog post. The authors of the two most sympathy-inspiring tales will win a copy of their own and a chance to share their stories on's Travel Blog. Last day to leave a comment is December 31, and winners will be contacted on January 3, 2011.

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November 23, 2010

Get Ready for Your European Grand Tour at NYC's Idlewild Books


Planning a trip to Europe next year? See out the dark days of winter and your travel yearnings with a ten-week language class in French, Italian, or Spanish at Manhattan's Idlewild Books. Instead of packing would-be Don Quixotes into some airless seminar hall, the 75-minute classes take place on the store's high-ceilinged, book-flanked mezzanine level. Idlewild, an independent bookseller located in artsy Union Square near West Chelsea and Greenwich Village, is revered for its impressive collection of travel guides and world literature, organized by country. Teachers are all native speakers, and the approach is firmly fixed on giving students practical, on-the-go language skills for their travels. Register by November 30 and get 25 percent off winter 2011 classes.

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Related Topics: Book Club · European Travel · Travel Tips

November 01, 2010

Travel Book Club: Traveling with Pomegranates

By Lacy Morris

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Whether it be a Hallmark commercial, a Lifetime movie, or our own lives, we've all seen the smiling/crying parents standing in the driveway waving goodbye to a VW's rear window packed full of plastic storage bins and extra-long, twin-size dorm bed sheets. And then what? New York Times Bestselling Author Sue Monk Kidd teams up with her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor as they travel Greece and France both searching to answer the "what now?" question. Sue is looking down upon a looming 50th birthday and, while coming to grips with aging, is trying to complete her first novel (which will laterPomegranates become the bestselling The Secret Life of Bees). With a new shiny college degree and a second-guessed engagement, Ann finds her step alongside her mother as the two alternate writing chapters in this mother-daughter travel memoir.

Where to Buy:

Win a Free Copy!
Tweet this Book Club post for a chance to win a free copy of Traveling with Pomegranates. The winner will be contacted on November 22.

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October 01, 2010

Travel Book Club: The Black Nile

By Lacy Morris

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In The Black Nile, investigative journalist Dan Morrison recounts his journey from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea following the history-laden Nile River on a plank-board boat. Morrison and a childhood friend travel 3,600 miles and six months as they navigate through an area that is no stranger to war, and new discoverers of peace—sometimes terrifying, sometimes humorous, and sometimes truly life-changing. Join me on a trip down the longest river in the world.

BlackNile Where to Buy:
Barnes & Noble
Indie Bound
Powell's Books


Leave a comment to this post sharing your most extreme travel experience in 200 words or less. Twenty-three hours on a bus through a desert in Pakistan with escaped Taliban prisoners? Woken in a hostel with machine-gun rounds being fired outside your window? The winner will receive a free copy of The Black Nile to read with the Away Travel Book Club. Winner will be announced October 18.

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September 22, 2010

Romancing the World: Book Club Giveaway Winners Announced

By Lacy Morris

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Adventure vacations wouldn't be around without the dreamers who think them up. Just like the lost girls themselves, our readers wrote in telling us what exactly they would do if they could pack up and hit the road for a year abroad. We got everything from riding horses in every country, writing a cookbook, and skiing the Andes. Narrowing had to be done, and two winners emerged. Congrats to Elizabeth from Texas and Janet from Pennsylvania for noodling up two itineraries worthy of a daydreamers wasted hour. To reward their wondering minds, we are sending them a copy of this month's travel book club selection, The Lost Girls. Their responses follow:

"As an almost 71-year-old retired school teacher, I would travel to some of the places that I have read and taught about in my 33 years of teaching high school. I'd start in New England with the Salem witch trials; go to the South of To Kill a Mockingbird, on to CA of the Gold Rush. From there to Michener's Hawaii; the Tahiti of The Bounty; Australia of The Thorn Birds; China of The Good Earth; the Holy Land of the Bible; Russia of Nicholas and Alexandra; England of Shakespeare; Ireland of Oscar Wilde; the South Pole of March of the Penguins. If time permitted, I'd end my journey by touring the U.S. by motor home with the love of my life and my dog."

-Janet, Pennsylvania

"I have a fascination with the stories of the lost island of Atlantis, and I would spend my year following the myths and theories to try to find it. I would follow the myths and folklore, just like Heinrich Schliemann did to find the remains of Troy and prove its existence. I'd begin in Greece, where Plato lived. Then follow his account to Egypt. From there, I would go to Mexico or South America, following another theory linking the ancient Egyptians to the Mayans."

-Elizabeth, Texas

Keep an eye out for our next book selection announcement on October 1 for another chance to win your own free copy.    

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September 07, 2010

The Lost Girls: 3 Friends, 4 Continents and 1 Unconventional Detour Around the World

By WorldNomads

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Lost Girls-Taj Mahal"We're all in transition, but that's not bad. The idea is not to be found, but to embrace being lost."

-Jennifer Baggett

We spoke with Amanda Pressner about her round-the-world trip and newly released book: The Lost Girls: Three Friends, Four Continents and One Unconventional Detour Around the World. Here's what it took to prepare, how it was to return, and lessons learned:

Who are you? Where did you spend your year of travels?
In June 2006, we—three friends and media professionals, Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, and Amanda Pressner—left our jobs, boyfriends, apartments, and everything familiar behind in New York City to embark on a year-long search for adventure and inspiration. We journeyed across four continents, a dozen countries, and 60,000 miles, sharing our experiences with other aspiring vagabonds on our website,

How did you decide to make the big break and go travelling?
Our journeys didn't begin the second we got on the road: They started while we were still in our cubicles, trying (and often failing) to strike a balance between our careers and "real life." Ditching my job and leaving New York to backpack around the planet seemed a completely illogical decision. At the time, I'd just gotten my toe in the door at my dream job as a magazine editorial assistant. But there was always another part of me—one that grew more vocal and insistent the longer and harder I worked—that kept trying to warn me just how much I was missing by spending every night (and many weekends!) inside of a dark office while the real life took place outside the window.

Continue reading "The Lost Girls: 3 Friends, 4 Continents and 1 Unconventional Detour Around the World" »

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September 01, 2010

Away Blog's Travel Book Club

By Lacy Morris

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As summer dwindles and the sun-intense days are replaced with crisp autumn nights, I frantically start stockpiling books to last me through my months of hibernation—especially now that I’ve moved away from Denver, where life just begins to churn out adventures when the first snow hits the ground. I’ve packed up my ski boots and traded them in for the prez's hometown, a gig as the editor of this fine blog, and a fancy new bookshelf, the kind that doubles as wall art. And as a way to keep the travel bug from biting between now and my next dream vacay, I read. I read guidebooks with lists of the best places to swing a hammock, quirky travel memoirs with first-person accounts on what it's really like to sleep on a hut-housed bed mat, books about the places I have to see before I die, and "find yourself" narratives, you know, like the little book that could, Eat, Pray, Love. (The folks at Outside Magazine seem to agree, check out #28 on their 2010 Life List.) And with a page torn out from Oprah's Book of Truths, I'm starting a Travel Book Club. Each month I'll choose a book, travel-related of course, and share with you. 

LGbook First up is the sleeper hit The Lost Girls: Three Friends, Four Continents, One Unconventional Detour Around the World, outlining the itineraries of a trio who quit their jobs, their leases, and their boyfriends in the good ole Big Apple to travel the world for a year. What started out as a blog to keep the family back at home informed of their $30/day adventures turned into a Harper Collins mega-selling travel memoir. Join me and our three friends, Jennifer, Holly, and Amanda, as they trek the globe, searching, running, and seeking for answers to some of lives most perplexing questions. The book has collected quite a few accolades, including a stellar review in USA Today.


Where to Buy:
Harper Collins
Inkwood Books
Bigger Books


*The Lost Girls themselves have sent me two copies to give away to two of the most unique book club participants. Leave a comment to this post with your dream lost girls (or boys) itinerary. If you could take a year off from your life, where would you go and what would you do—tell me in 200 words or less. Authors Jennifer, Holly, and Amanda will choose their favorite two dreamers to receive books in time to begin reading with the Away Book Club.

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