On this page we post our favourite reads concerning world travels, regional knowledge, cultural heritage and all publications we think may be useful while exploring and getting to know our planet and its inhabitants.
Photo above contains several books from our extended library. These are as follow:
A fascinating book about Chinese cuisine, with a focus on the Sichuan region. Fuchsia Dunlop, an excellent food journalist, combines mouth-watering descriptions of regional specialties mixed with her personal experience across travels through many of China’s provinces during a period spanning 10 years. It is an eye-opening book, especially for those who are convinced of the superiority of the western cuisine (or are generally less open minded or intimidated when it comes to “exotic” food). Pick it up and you will not be disappointed!
For many millennia the human diet included insects, although in recent times the practice of (intentionally) eating bugs has disappeared from many cultures. Yet, insects remain in the food culture of many societies, and have been advocated as a tasty source of nutrition. Insects are also environmentally friendly means to alleviate world hunger. Peter Menzel takes the reader of this book on an exotic whirlwind tour of the world, featuring insect cuisine from all four corners of the world. Although some may find the idea of eating six-(or more or less)-legged creatures a bit squeamish, the excellent photography and vivid prose might convert even the timid onto the merits of butter-fried mealworms!
– “The Japanese Kitchen” by Kimiko Barber
– “The Chinese Kitchen” by Deh-Ta Hsiung
– “The Middle Eastern Kitchen” by Ghillie Basan
– “The Indian Kitchen” by Monisha Bharadwaj (not featured in the photo)
This compelling series focuses on traditional ingredients and basic principals of several ethnic cuisines and is accompanied with beautiful photographs and recipes. We appreciate the publisher’s approach to cataloguing the ingredients of each region in an encyclopedic and approachable way. If you are a creative cook (or desire to be one) or wish to elevate your level of culinary knowledge, this series will give you good insight into origins of world cuisines with plenty of room for culinary experimentation.
If you wonder what the Middle East cultural scene has to offer, the Brownbook is a good source for insider information. This independent magazine is based in Dubai and founded by Emirati entrepreneurs. The publication is well written, contains wonderful photography, and features original and insightful content.
This fantastic publication most likely does not need an introduction. However, we decided to feature it in our “Good Reads” section to emphasize the spirit of our website.
This book is a fascinating exploration of the geology of Oman, which sits at the northeastern edge of the the Arabian peninsula. It is the perfect read before a caving expedition or mountain trek in Oman.
If you decide to put yourself on the African wildlife expedition circuit — Kilimanjaro, national parks, trekking, safari, etc. — this handy guide will give you good overview of the continent’s fauna. Very methodological in its approach, this book includes detailed descriptions, photos and illustrations to initiate the travel bug in even the most hardened homebodies.
Always wondered about mystery of Arabic script? When you start your adventure with this language you may want to take a look at this visual dictionary. This series offers an easy-to-use and comprehensive guide for beginners through intermediate users, with vocabulary organised around themes. Rich in photography and illustrations, its compact size makes it portable and thus a must-have when travelling in the Arabic-speaking world.
If you are intimidated by Chinese characters — and who, beside native Chinese speakers, are not — but still curious about the world’s most widely spoken language, you may want to start with this book. This is a great guide for those with little or no prior knowledge or understanding of the Chinese language — basic concepts explained. Soon, you will find yourself deciphering what previously might have been chicken scratches to your eyes. You will also learn the history, logic and intricacies of this script language.
For anyone who is interested with what it feels like to be living in a modern gold rush city, then look no further. Jim Krane chronicles the rise of Dubai from a desert outpost with a population of just several thousand Bedouins through to its meteoric rise into one of the great global cities of the twenty-first century. Krane’s long-standing history with Dubai and his previous work as a journalist with close contacts to all the people that matter in City of Gold as Dubai has come to be known, gives him unprecedented insight.
It is on our summer reading list :-)