books

It came in the mail: Beautiful books and a snazzy suitcase

Test-driving a colorful carry-on

A week before COVID-19 made staying home the right thing for us to do, we had the chance to test drive the Roam luggage carry-on we were invited to design for ourselves.

We’ve been reading about these bags. And besides offering a line of 4 carry-ons and check-ins that are super light and durable, Roam lets each customer customize the color of their suitcase, from the front and back shells to the zipper, the wheels and the handle.

Here’s how our Jaunt XL turned out.

Pretty, right?

If we were to do it again, we’d go a bit wilder with the colors, but this design still stands out in a crowd.

We’re grounded, for now, so the bag has only been road-tested once.

But our Roam bag made it home nick-free after traveling as checked luggage to and from London, through a half dozen London Underground stations and a neighborhood with bumpy sidewalks.

Books we may have time to read

We love the fact that books show up in the Stuck at the Airport mailroom. But we don’t always have time to sit down and read them.

The upside of sheltering in place is that now we do.

Here are two recent arrivals we’ll spend time with this week.

Many national parks may be closed to visitors right now in the interest of social distancing, but Scenic Science of the National Parks – An Explorer’s Guide to Wildlife, Geology and Botany, by Emily Hoff and Maygen Keller, is a good armchair prep tool for when heading to a park makes sense.

The book is filled with scientific tidbits, insider tips, recommended hikes and notes on all sorts of wonders to explore in 60 national parks around the country.

Tokyo Travel Sketchbook – Kawaii Culture, Wabi Sabi Design, Female Samurais and Other Obsessions, is chock full of the charming images Spanish artist Amaia Arrazola created while spending a month in Tokyo.

If travel restrictions have put your trip to Japan on hold right now, try touring Tokyo virtually through Arrazola’s keen and quirky observations.

Souvenir Sunday: Aerial Geology book

Anyone who’s looked out an airplane window will surely have wondered about – and wondered at – the landscape below.  Mary Caperton Morton has clearly done that and put together a book that goes a long way to explaining how those great views got that way.

Aerial Geology:  A High-Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectaular Volcanos, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters and Peaks (coming soon from Timber Press) is filled with incredible images, descriptive illustrations and fact-filled, geology-based explanations of how each site was formed and what makes each landform noteworthy.

I love all the photos in this large-format book, but one of my favorite features is the little box by each landform titled “Flight Pattern” that lets you know where you’d be flying when you’re most likely to spot the image featured.

Here are couple of images from the book:

Cape Cod – Massachusetts, credit NASA

 

Shiprock – in northwest New Mexico – credit Malcolm C. Andrews/AerialHorizon Photography

 

Souvenir Sunday: summer reading

Browsing for and buying a book – an actual book – in an airport bookstore is a treat I especially enjoy before a long flight.

Sometimes I choose a title that catches my eye, but most often I pick up something that’s been on my ‘to read’ list.

Today the choice is the just-out-in-paperback edition of Mark Vanhoenacker’s Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot (Vintage Departures)

Skyfaring

The New York Times review of the book says this is “an unusual entry into the air-travel genre. For one thing, the author is a commercial pilot, flying the Boeing 747 from London to cities across the globe. For another, he doesn’t speak of disasters, not even in passing…..”

Sounds promising and appropriate for in-flight reading, doesn’t it?

Vanhoenacker …”can put one in mind of Henry James,” the review continues.

“In “Skyfaring” we regularly come upon phrases like “the water gyre of the planet,” “technical rectitude,” “the ichthyology of our sea-sky” and “the light-filled clerestory of the world.” This is a volume that seeks to leave high contrails in your mental sky, and it does so in a manner that is nearly always appealing.”

Even better.

Now let’s just hope my seatmate isn’t a talker…

Souvenir Sunday: Fantastic Cities coloring book

Fantastic Cities cover

Here’s an activity book perfect for those lazy, hazy days of summer or those crazy days when you just need to take a break, focus on simple, creative tasks and chill out.

Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined
– out in a few weeks from Chronicle Books – is a coloring book for adults filled with Steve McDonald’s intricate aerial views and bird’s eye perspectives of cities from around the world.

Large (12″ by 12″) detailed images inspired by places in Canada, Tokyo, Istanbul, San Francisco, Sydney and other cities around this world offer a great opportunity to get out the colored pencils, some markers, crayons or watercolors and dream about your next adventure.