5 Globetrotting Books for Christmas
Christmas is coming! We have curated a short-list of our favourite globetrotting books for gift ideas. From the inside world of HH The Dalai Lama to the art of Japanese cooking, there is something for every travel taste in our hand-picked wish list below!
A God in Exile: The Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Raghu Rai, Jane Perkins (Roli Books)
India’s most celebrated photojournalist, Raghu Rai, and Tibet’s Buddhist leader, the 14th Dalai Lama forged a bond over their shared link. Both rooted up from their homelands, the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 led to Rai’s journey across the border aged just 5. His Holiness was almost 24 when he fled his native land to freedom in India.
Rai was discovered in Paris in 1972 by the doyen of 20th-century photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson. This led Rai to Dharamsala, to photograph the Dalai Lama. The images in A God in Exile are intimate glimpses into the private world of a dethroned god-king. In charming anecdotes that pepper the book, the mutual affection and respect of HH and Rai are palpable. Powerful images document the daily life of one of the world’s great spiritual figures. In the words of Rai himself, the book is ‘filled with his godly presence.’ This is a very personal tribute to India’s most cherished guest and political refugee.
Pukka Indian: 100 Objects that Define India
Jahnvi Lakhota Nandan (Roli Books)
‘In India, to understand objects in terms of design, one has to re-imagine design itself’. So goes the intriguing opening to a glimpse into the magic of everyday designs of the subcontinent. Vibrant images accompanied by pithy descriptions tell the stories of objects encountered by anyone visiting or living in India, from the humble Neem twig used medicinally to the iconic lota pot.
Pukka Indian or ‘Purely Indian’ joyfully brings together a hundred objects that are symbolic of Indian culture. Celebrating their diversity, versatility and colours, we meet the Kolhapuri chappal (sandal), Nehru jacket, the auto-rickshaw meter and the iconic Ambassador car among others. The author, Lucknow-born Jahnvi Lakhota Nandan is, somewhat exotically, a perfumer in Paris but has returned to her roots and uses her well-honed eye to give tribute to Indian design in all its diverse forms. A fabulous book for any lovers of craftsmanship, and of course, India.
Arabia: A Journey Through The Heart of The Middle East
Levison Wood (Hodder & Stoughton)
A spirited and honest account of an epic and unprecedented 5,000-mile journey through 13 countries, circumnavigating the Arabian Peninsula. From Mosul in Iraq to Beirut in Lebanon and to the shores of the Mediterranean, explorer Levison Wood travelled by foot, on camel and donkey and even hitch-hiking in his most daring expedition yet, undertaken last year. This book is a fresh insight into some of the most feared and fascinating landscapes on earth. exploring the Middle East through the lives, hearts and hopes of its people. Wood attempts, and succeeds in both challenging the media bias from the West and fearlessly reaches into the chest of this ancient region, pulling out its heart for us to see both truths and reality. A triumph.
Four Seasons: The Art of Hospitality
Ignasi Monreal (Assouline)
One for lovers of style - this new book from Assouline tells the unique stories behind iconic hospitality brand Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Playfully and atmospherically illustrated by renowned digital artist Ignasi Monreal, Four Seasons: The Art of Hospitality is much more than a glossy hotel book. It is an homage to the world of ‘unscripted care and service’ delivered by the the people and properties of Four Seasons, from Hong Kong to Thailand’s Golden Triangle, and features some of our favourite hotels anywhere. The 212-page book also sports a foreword from Pilar Guzmán, longtime travel industry leader and former Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast Traveler.
Japan; The Cookbook
Nancy Singleton Hachisu (Phaidon)
Japan: The Cookbook is a 450-page lovesong to the art of Japanese cuisine. Accompanied by luscious photographs, author Nancy Singleton Hachisu mines Japan’s 1,000-year old culinary heritage which she describes lovingly as ‘the artful layering of sublime ingredients’. A Californian who has lived in Japan for 30 years, the author is married to a farmer in rural Saitama where they live in an 85-year old traditional farmhouse. Divided into 16 categories, the destined-to-be-a-classic book spans everything from steamed, fired, vinegared and rice dishes. Hachisu speaks with authority on the complexities of flavouring and the subtle uses of fermented ingredients saying, ‘In Japan, less is more’. Contributors range from legendary chefs to artisanal food makers and even a Zen nun as well as Teiko Watanabe, an octogenarian grandmother, whose food Hachisu describes as ‘bright and delicious’. We meet dishes that zing with spark, from egg-yolk dressed crab and cucumber to potato salad with black sesame, dashi-steamed cabbage rolls and Japanese egg drop soup. This is a book to inspire both new and seasoned cooks to delve deeply into the simple yet rich joys of Japanese cuisine.
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