Oh yes, it’s that time of year — or almost — when we must begin to think about holiday gifts for those we love. For the travelers — armchair or otherwise — on your list, consider these great reads (prices may vary):
If you are of a certain age, you may remember those see-Europe-on-$5-a-day books. Well, those days are gone, but traveling the world on $50 a day is still a pretty good deal, and professional nomad Matt Kepnes (www.nomadicmatt.com) tells you how. He has learned a lot since he took his first extended trip in 2006: how to avoid bank fees; buy cheap airplane tickets; find cheap accommodations and work opportunities; and how to take care of those responsibilities at home when you leave for a long time. “You don’t need to be rich to travel,” Kepnes says. “You just need to travel smart.” Softcover; $15.
It’s been around for 226 years, and some people have been reading it for almost that long. Longtime Almanac devotees love its quirky collection of information like eclipse tables; award-winning sweet potato recipes; instructions on how to reduce belly fat, find a bi-national golf course and forage for food; and everything you ever wanted to know about groundhogs. Throw in the traditional weather predictions and a bit of life philosophy and what’s not to like? Softcover; $6.99. 800-ALMANAC or www.Almanac.com. Kid’s edition: $9.95.
If you’ve never been to Brooklyn, this book will make you want to go. This New York City borough (population 2.6 million) is saturated with famous landmarks, eateries with a history, ethnic authenticity, multi-layered neighborhoods, American icons and plenty of free things to see and do. Author Ellen Freudenheim, who has lived in Brooklyn since the ‘80s and published numerous books about NYC, gives an overview of Brooklyn, then the best way to see each of the borough’s 40-something neighborhoods. (Hint: Get out of the car!) Softcover; $23.95.
If the current political climate has you thinking of relocating north of the border, the authors of this hysterically funny book implore you to read this tome on Canadian culture first. And consider yourself warned: Canadaland is irreverent and sometimes (OK, often) profane. For the uninitiated (that’s most of us south of the border), author/journalist Jesse Brown is host of the Great White North’s No. 1 podcast, “Canadaland.” He and his cast of contributors shatter myths about Canadian politeness; the mounted police (my opinion: they are still way cooler than any of our cops); the Canada goose; and what’s up with Quebec, anyway? Buy the book; its’s a good way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, eh? Hardcover; $23.
It’s out there — old Los Angeles — and you can find it among its 503 square miles and 88 municipalities with some help. Authors Kim Cooper and Dick Blackburn to the rescue. Their 102-page guide, replete with color photos of L.A.’s landmarks, help you find those drive-through donuts, dives frequented by the famous and infamous, stately Victorian homes, gracious gardens and mid-century architecture. And don’t forget the cemeteries whose residents once graced the silver screen. The guide, small enough to pop in your purse, simplifies the search by dividing the city into a dozen manageable geographic areas. Softcover; $13.
Take a trip around the world with Lonely Planet and The Independent film critic Laurence Phelan and discover where best known films and television shows have been filmed. The 128 spectacular color photographs transport readers to, among other locations, Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England (“Downton Abbey”); ancient Berber caves in Matmata, Tunisia (“Star Wars’); Ghost Ranch, New Mexico (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”); Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah (“Thelma & Louise”); and Amityville, N.Y. (you know which movie was filmed here). Softcover. $11.99.
‘Vintage Trailer Voyeur: A peek inside the unique custom trailer culture’
If you eat your vegetables, you may have this for dessert — 208 pages providing 300-plus color images of trailer exteriors, interiors and all the details. Author Victoria Ocken takes readers inside the world of those who go to great lengths to find, uniquely renovate and love old/abandoned trailers. Owners choose a theme, christen with a name and take their babies on the road to meet and camp with like-minded aficionados. It’s a sweet read and a fun ride. Hardcover; $34.99.
E’Louise Ondash is a freelance writer living in North County. Tell her about your travels at firstname.lastname@example.org
E’Louise Ondash is a veteran, award-winning journalist who was an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist for the Times Advocate and the North County Times. She has written travel features for The Coast News since 2003.