Canadian Rockies, 9th ed., by Andrew Hempstead (2018)

Nonfiction
Adult

Canadian Rockies: Including Banff & Jasper National Parks, by Andrew Hempstead

This is the second of two book reviews this week, encouraging you to travel British Columbia. Moon travel guides are known for their extensive and off-the-beaten-track approach, and this latest edition of the Canadian Rockies guidebook is no exception. The Rockies are big, and you can spend a lifetime exploring park trails, lakes, and parks, and not see it all. This book is best for those who are relatively new to the parks. Hampstead lives in Banff and knows his Rockies. He starts with an overview for first-time visitors, including the 12 best day hikes (I’ve done only three), offering one-week and two-week itineraries that showcase the region’s highlights.

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Camping British Columbia, the Rockies, and Yukon, 8th ed., by Jayne Seagrave (2018)

Adult
Nonfiction

Camping British Columbia, the Rockies and Yukon, 9th edition, by Jayne Seagrave

This is the first of two reviews this week. Both are on travel in B.C. and the Rockies, as I hope to inspire you to plan a road trip in our beautiful region. I have an earlier edition of this book, so I was happy to discover an updated version on the New Books shelf at my library. With more than half the 100,000 B.C. Parks campsites reservable online, guides like this help you discover exactly what you are looking for, whether that’s a destination park for the family or a hidden getaway as a backpacking haven. Seagrave opens with an introduction aimed at first-time campers, from reserving to selecting a spot at a first-come-first-served campground and setting up your temporary home.

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See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy, by Frances Mayes (2019)

Nonfiction
Adult

See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy, by Frances Mayes (2019)

The woman who introduced readers to Italy with Under the Tuscan Sun more than two decades ago returns with another love letter to Italy, focusing as usual on the smaller towns. This is a travel guide, but a highly personalized one. Mayes, who also published the fictional Women in Sunlight last year, describes the smaller towns where she and her family have eaten, cycled, played and shopped. It’s presented from north to south, rather than as a chronological memoir, giving travellers a chance to delve into an area such as Piedmont, Umbria or Sardinia, among others. In my digital advance reading copy, a table of contents listed all the regions and towns, but there was no map, though I understand one is included in the print edition.

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Kootenay Trips & Trails, 2nd ed., by Murphy Shewchuk (2018)

Nonfiction
Adult

Kootenay Trips & Trails: : A Guide to Southwestern British Columbia's Kootenay-Columbia Region, by Murphy Shewchuk

Living in the Boundary Country of British Columbia, we’re technically in the West Kootenays, that region just east of the Okanagan Valley. It’s home to mining towns, ski havens, and meccas for hiking and snowshoeing. You can explore on foot, on bike, on ATV, or in a car, and this guide will make sure you don’t miss a sight. It’s the second edition, and this one includes all the awesome rail trails, the former rail lines that are converted to other ways of travel, primarily non-motorized though some are multi-use. Shewchuk grew up in B.C. and knows the Kootenays well, offering a book that is more than a travel guide; it includes fascinating bits of local lore and history on every page.

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Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour, by Alan Titchmarsh (2016, 2018)

Contemporary Fiction
Adult

Mr Gandy's Grand Tour, by Alan Titchmarsh

How has life come to this for Timothy Gandy? Forced into early retirement at just 55, he is facing the fact that his marriage is in trouble, even if he’s the only one who realizes it. They’ve grown so far apart Tim wonders if Isobel would even notice if he left. At least a pending grandchild offers promise of future joy. But when Tim is unexpectedly made free, he struggles to find his role. Stumbling across an old journal, he decides to take a Grand Tour of Europe, having never been able to indulge his dreams of travel. Youngest daughter Rosie is glad for him and son Oliver strongly objects to wasting the future inheritance. Middle child Alice? The distant daughter is rarely in touch, so who knows?

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Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, by Mario Giordano (2016, 2017)

Mystery
Adult
Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, by Mario GiordanoDeep down I really like old-fashioned mysteries. It goes back to my love of the Three Investigators and Trixie Belden as a girl, I suppose! I draw the line these days at restaurateurs who find bodies in the whipping cream, so finding the right balance between a cozy and too-cute isn’t always easy. But here’s a new author to follow. Isolde Oberreider, known to her family as Poldi, is grieving the passing of her husband Peppe. Drowning her sorrows – in good wine, mind you – she impulsively decides to move to Sicily for a sea view, a place where she can drink herself to death in comfort, though she is only just marking her 60th birthday. Read More »

Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips, by Rick Quinn (2018)

Nonfiction
Adult
Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips, by Rick Quinn
I love road trips! Having travelled a lot in the southwest, I know this area well for a Canadian; in fact, I estimate I’ve been on more than a third of the trips listed in this book, and for sure I will be back, thanks in no small part to the interesting places described here. There is so much to explore in this area, from historic Native cliff dwellings and the Very Large Array of radio telescopes to alien kitsch and stunning mountain scenery. As GPS has replaced mapbooks, books like this are ever so helpful for making your roadtrip an awesome one. How else are you supposed to discover Pie Town or Slide Rock State Park? Read More »