All books

The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, And Other Little Creatures

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This imaginatively illustrated and magical encyclopedia of elves, goblins, and other mysterious creatures that share our planet contains a delightful collection of folklore, histories and stories.

Note: Content may not be suitable for younger children (some adult topics, some nudity).

This giant, gorgeously illustrated encyclopedia documents the lives of elves, goblins, hobgoblins, gnomes, imps, pixies, and sprites with whimsy and wonder. The most extensive volume on the various types of little creatures and fairyfolk, The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins and Other Little Creatures illustrates each unique species with charming, luminous, detailed drawings, and includes the folklore and fairy tales collected through extensive research.

The first half of this volume is devoted to the various species of elves, a species that has existed since the dawn of time. These creatures flourish in both the daytime and the nighttime, undoubtedly the most complex and mysterious species of the fairy world. Some of them are well-known like Sylphs, Selkies and Will-o’-the-Wisps, while other more obscure elves are revealed here for the first time.The second half leads us through a vast variety of the invisible and sometimes frightening creatures who haunt hollow and attic, forest and ocean. If you already knew about Goblins, Gnomes, Sprites, Imps, and Brownies, this book helps you discover dozens of regional and local varieties of magical creatures as well—some of them can even be found in your own attic or garden!

As a result of twenty years of patient research, the author, Pierre Dubois, has created portraits of hundreds of species. For each one, he wrote a tale starting from authentic anecdotes, spiced with spirited humor. An identification sheet presents the appearance of each variety, its morals, manners, and habits; its food and clothing; and the places and countries where they might be found. The illustrations of Roland Sabatier portray each strange and wonderful creature and the marvels and mysteries of the habitats they live in. An excellent book for a family, this encyclopedia will delight people of all ages—and all sizes.

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Wristwatch Annual 2006

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The definitive book for the collector of mechanical wristwatches, with complete information on over 1,700 models made by more than 100 international brands

Every year brings hundreds of new wristwatch designs, with aesthetic and mechanical changes and improvements, limited edition watches, and new producers keeping this field exciting for collectors. Following the success of last year’s book, this new annual features over 1,700 of the world’s most luxurious wristwatches and provides color photographs and complete specifications for each watch. With Wristwatch Annual, collectors have a wealth of information close at hand: the book is arranged alphabetically by producer, and within each producer’s section are specifications and materials for each watch, including price, movement, special features, complications, case, dial, band, and available variations of a particular model.

The elegant photography and layout will encourage people to peruse the year’s offerings for aesthetic appeal as well. The range of styles, from classic to modern, reflects the inclusive nature of this book, which watch collectors the world over will find both a handy reference and required reading.

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Italian Frescoes: The Age of Giotto

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The fourth volume (though earliest chronologially) of the only comprehensive survey in modern times of the surviving Italian frescoes from the end of the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and Mannerism, this groundbreaking oeuvre is an achievement in scholarship and publishing of the same magnitude as Abbeville’s Art of Florence and The Art and Spirit of Paris.

Following the success of the previous volumes in this extraordinary series — Italian Frescoes: The Early Renaissance; Italian Frescoes: The Flowering of the Renaissance; and Italian Frescoes: The High Renaissance and MannerismItalian Frescoes: The Age of Giotto presents twenty-two outstanding fresco cycles. Created during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, these cycles set new standards for painting and an innovative vision of man, paving the way for the monumental achievements of the Renaissance. It was at this time that fresco painting was not only commissioned for churches and chapels, but also for such secular places as town halls and royal residences with humanist in addition to religious themes. The fresco cycles featured here include brilliant works by Giotto in Assisi, Padua, and Florence; dramatic paintings by Cimabue, thought to be Giotto’s teacher; Pietro Cavillini in Rome; and the Sienese artists Simone Martini and Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti — all of these works still visible on walls and ceilings of palaces and churches spanning Italy from the Veneto to Rome.

The authors describe and illustrate such celebrated sites as the Church of Saint Francis in Assisi, the Chapel of the Scrovegni in Padua, the Public Palace in Siena, and the papal chapel, the Sancta Sanctorum, in Rome. Each of the twenty-two chapters is concise and authoritative, offering a descriptive and interpretive essay on all aspects of fresco painting, covering the artists and their patrons in the context of their cultural and political history. Each essay concludes with a diagram of the site, followed by a series of full- and double-page color plates showing the entire cycle, many reproduced from new photographs of recently restored frescoes.

No publisher until now has attempted to gather together and document all the important fresco cycles of Italian art from the late thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries. While this volume is the predecessor to the previous books, Italian Frescoes: The Age of Giotto easily stands alone as a masterpiece of art and scholarship which will be welcomed by art historians and art lovers alike. 

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India

Journey Through the Heart of a Continent

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A groundbreaking photographic journey, illustrated with 150 captivating images, through the heart of India, illuminating the variety of cultural traditions that constitute modern Indian life.

From 1965 to 2001, Roland and Sabina Michaud traveled throughout India on a series of lengthy expeditions, dedicating over thirty five years to photographing the landscape and people. India: Journey through the Heart of a Continent is their intimate view of this remarkable country, designed to illuminate the country’s complexities and contradictions.

The beauty and mysteries of India’s many competing religions and ways of life provided the inspiration for the 150 carefully selected photographs in this volume, telling the story of a remarkable country caught between old traditions and modern dilemmas. The variety of the photographs is astounding, reflecting the depth of understanding of the photojournalists; the breathtaking images range from India’s austere, mountainous landscapes and diverse architectural tradition to intimate portraits of the men, women and children who inhabit these places. From beachside bonfires and traditional fishing boats to details of intricate stone carvings and sweeping panoramas of the cities’ crowded streets, India: Journey through the Heart of a Continent provides an unparalleled look into the lives of the Indian people and the multifaceted worlds they live in.

India is currently one of the top five destinations in the world and it inspires extreme and passionate responses from its many visitors; while some see it as an enchanted island, the poverty and difficulties of daily life are impossible to ignore. From the Himalayas to the Dravidian lands, India contains the variety of an entire continent. Through their fascinating text and images, Roland and Sabina Michaud have sought to capture the reality of Indian life in this gorgeous, expansive tribute to the real India. This is an ideal gift for armchair travelers as well as for those who have traveled there and wish to relive the beauty and surprise of their journey.

 

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Sacred Landscape and Pilgrimage in Tibet

In Search of the Lost Kingdom of Bon

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Before Buddhism, there was Bön. This book is a fascinating journey, visually and spiritually, through western Tibet by a monk of the little-known Bön faith, who is searching for the lost, sacred Bön homeland of Zhangzhung.

Including a DVD of the Pilgrimage.

This spiritual adventure is the first book to document the living tradition of Bön. What makes this narrative so compelling is that the voice and perspective of Gelek, a young Bön monk, lends an intimacy and knowledge of Bön not found in religious texts.

According to the Tibetan calendar, 2002 was a holy year for pilgrimages, and in the holiest month of that year, Gelek set out from his monastery in Nepal with some hardy companions and photographer Thomas Kelly to travel to Kailash, a sacred mountain in western Tibet. He was also on a quest to seek out the long-vanished kingdom of Zhangzhung. At the end of the journey, Gelek finds little that resembles the Bön kingdom. He comes upon crumbling ruins that have all but reverted to their native dust and earth. From this experience Gelek understands that the essence of his faith is built not on these shifting sands but on the bedrock of the changeless Bön teachings.

This extraordinary trek is illustrated by 160 stunningly beautiful color photographs of the unknown landscapes, as well as travelers and local people. Accompanying the images is the authors’ vivid description of their journey, which is especially evocative as it includes translated excerpts from Gelek’s personal diary.

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When You Were Young

A 2-in-1 Memory Scrapbook

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A whimsical and enchanting way to record memories from your child’s first five years, in a charming double-book format.

The unique style of this double book is sure to surprise and delight; families record the story of their child’s first two years, and then flip it upside-down to begin the companion volume that chronicles the toddler years.

The pages of the first part of this enchanting, full color journal invite new parents to create a loving and original keepsake for their child. Beginning with recollections of the pregnancy and birth, both mother and father contribute to this warm story of their baby’s first two years, sharing memories of joyful moments, exciting first, favorite outings, and family celebrations. Decorated with exquisite patterns, fanciful animals, and characters from story and song, this delightfully illustrated double volume provides space for photographs, announcements and clippings. When You Were Young presents thoughtful parents with a beautiful, engaging, and readable diary especially dedicated to their child.

When your child turns two, mark the occasion by flipping over this unique book and starting again! After the milestones of the first two years of life, children’s abilities and activities increase more and more rapidly as they become more involved with the world around them. Parents can continue their loving tribute as their child speaks his first sentences, discovers new activities and learns to tie his shoes. This beautiful book, enables parents to chronicle the landmarks of their child’s intellectual and emotional growth as well as his or her physical achievements, offering lovely double-page spreads on which to record memories of the child’s typical day, favorite foods, holiday highlights, birthday celebrations, family outings, and much, much more. Like the first book, there is space to add photographs – but now save your child’s drawings as well, creating an irreplaceable book that will be uniquely yours.

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Celestial Realm

The Yellow Mountains of China

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A lavishly produced volume featuring stunning duotone images of China’s fabled Yellow Mountains by the celebrated photographer Wang Wusheng.

 For more than three decades, Wang Wusheng has been captivated by the beauty of Mount Huangshan, also known as the Yellow Mountains. Located in the southern part of the Anhui province in northern China, Mount Huangshan has often been described as the world’s most beautiful and enchanting mountain. Over the centuries this mountain with its seventy-two peaks has been the subject of Chinese landscape painters, whose singular works are so haunting it seems impossible that these mountains exist in nature.

Inspired by the legacy of these paintings, Wang Wusheng has sought to portray this scenic wonder. As shown in the collection of ninety photographs in this extraordinary volume, here are mist-shrouded, granite peaks emerging from an ever-changing veil of clouds, sculptural craggy rocks on lofty cliffs, and weathered, oddly-shaped pine trees, depicted in all seasons and at various times of day. Wang Wusheng’s images are so exceptional that they look like paintings.

Accompanying the photographs are two fascinating essays about the art history and natural history of the Yellow Mountains. Art historian Wu Hung provides an eloquent, comprehensive survey of the region’s artistic, literary, and photographic tradition, relating how Wang Wusheng’s work is an important part of this notable legacy.

In a second essay, Damian Harper presents an authoritative account of the geology, geography, and natural history of this legendary place.

In addition, there is an introduction by the Japanese critic Seigo Matsuoka, who contributes an insightful appraisal of Wang Wusheng’s work.

CONTRIBUTORS

Born in the province of Anhui, Wang Wusheng has been photographing the Yellow Mountains since 1974. He has contributed his work to books published in China, Japan, and Austria, and his photographs have been in collected and widely exhibited by museums and galleries, including the Museum of Chinese Art in Peking. He lives in Tokyo.

Wu Hung was educated in China and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University, where he was a professor. He is now a professor of Chinese art history at the University of Chicago and the director of the Center for the Art of East Asia. His books, including Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting, have received a number of important awards.

Damian Harper lives in Shanghai and is the author of numerous books, among them National Geographic Traveler’s China.

Seigo Matsuoka, who lives in Tokyo, teaches at Tezukama University. He was the editor- in-chief of YU magazine and has written many books and articles.

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Great Country Houses of Central Europe

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland

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Largely neglected and unknown, the palaces, villas, and castles of Central Europe are revealed in the revised edition of this dazzling history.

In the heart of Central Europe stand some of the most elegant and grandly conceived country houses ever constructed, from medieval fortresses and Renaissance- era estates to baroque villas and neoclassical palaces. Until the last decade these illustrious residences were inaccessible to the West. This landmark volume presents these rarely seen treasures of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, nations that shelter a superb selection of Europe’s finest country houses, built over the centuries by some of the continent’s most distinguished families. Richly illustrated with specially commissioned photography, The Great Country Houses of Central Europe tells the stories of these magnificent buildings and the families that constructed them, immersing us in the vanished world of the region’s aristocracy.

Lord Michael Pratt sets his discussion of the houses and their patrons against the backdrop of Central European history. Beginning in the Middle Ages and continuing to the present day, this monumental study analyzes thirty of the region’s most important estates and introduces dozens of others. Although the primary focus is on the houses and the families that built them, gardens, grounds, and interiors are also illustrated in detail, including examples of furniture, decorative arts, and paintings. Splendid and surprising, these remarkable structures and the magisterial book that celebrates them display Central Europe in its full glory. 

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Victorian Jewelry

Unexplored Treasures

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An authoritative and gorgeously illustrated survey of Victorian jewelry that focuses on the recently popularized “secondary” jewelry, characterized by bold, playful, romantic and modern designs.

For more than half a century, during the reign of Queen Victoria, England and Europe produced some of the most delightful flights of fancy that jewelry has ever taken. Long ignored because of the intrinsic worthlessness of its various materials, today these pieces are increasingly prized for their beauty and workmanship. Surprisingly, this period in jewelry-making did not follow the fussy, overly ornate style that characterized the Victorian era, but rather promoted bold, playful, romantic and “modern” styles. Some of the most unusual pieces were constructed with materials including hair, lava, coal iron, and aluminum. The text gives authoritative and fascinating historical context to the uses of these materials and designs. Many of the most sought-after pieces are made of silver, and popular designs include stars, anchors, hearts, bows and outstretched hands.

The many styles of Victorian jewelry presented in this volume are selected from the best collections in the United States and abroad, and shown here in specially commissioned, exclusive color photographs. The photographs showcase the glorious color and style of the rich variety of materials, including Scottish Agate, malachite, and granite, the amazingly modern niello, and the stark black beauty of Whitby jet.

In tune with the current trend of mixing antique styles with modern fashion, the book places emphasis on wearable pieces that add a unique touch or timeless beauty to contemporary styles. These Victorian pieces are too delightful to gather dust in a drawer.

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Dream Cars

The Best Cars In the World

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Updated and revised!

A stunning celebration of the fifty most sought-after cars of all time.

This fast-paced, beautifully illustrated book presents fifty of the most desirable cars in the history of motoring. And it is no mere popularity contest: each outstanding automobile selected is either a masterpiece of engineering, a delight to the eye, or brutishly powerful. Few are all three.

Drawing on a decade’s experience testing the very fastest and most exotic cars, expert journalist Andrew Frankel gives an opinionated and in-depth view of the unique combination of qualities that go into the creation of a dream car. For each model, Frankel outlines the history of the car and provides technical highlights, as well as a driver’s eye view of what it’s like to drive flat out. In addition to a dedicated specifications page, anecdotes and stories of previous high-profile owners of the marque are included for the most prestigious models, all of which adds to the seductive appeal of these unique machines. The selection includes classics from all eras of automotive history—from the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost to the Jaguar XK8, from the Ferrari F40 to the Porsche 959.

Illustrated throughout with 280 specially commissioned color photographs, this provocative profile of the most highly valued cars in the world evokes a world of speed and adventure, with every chrome curve and flared fin suggesting power and passion. Dream Cars is sure to delight and fascinate dream car owners and car-owning dreamers alike.

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Fathering Your Toddler

A Dad's Guide to the Second and Third Years

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A significantly updated, revised, and expanded guide to all aspects of fatherhood during a child’s second and third years by the best-selling, critically acclaimed author of The Expectant Father.

At what age should you introduce your child to computers? When and how should you go about drawing up a will? The day your child starts preschool, how will you cope with the pangs of adult separation anxiety? The answers to these questions and hundreds more are found in the pages of this information-packed volume. Author Armin Brott devotes a chapter to every three months of the second and third years. In each chapter, Brott charts the physical, intellectual, verbal, and emotional changes the child is going through and examines the emotional and psychological developments the father may be experiencing. He discusses issues that may develop between fathers and their partners as well as matters that involve the whole family. In addition, each chapter contains a section called “You and Your Child,” in which activities and issues appropriate to the given age are discussed.

New topics in this revised and expanded edition cover the latest research on child development, including brain growth. There is more advice for dads who are older, single, or in the military; fathers of preemies and multiples; stepfathers; and stay-at-home dads. This new edition adds information on a wide range of subjects, from helping a child grieve over the loss of a relative or a pet to health and safety issues to care of special-needs children.

Incorporating the author’s and other fathers’ personal experiences, as well as the advice of top researchers in the field, and illustrated throughout with delightful New Yorker-style cartoons underscoring the universality of the joys and woes of parenting, A Dad’s Guide to the Toddler Years is an essential sourcebook for every dad. It’s certain to give every mom helpful insights as well.

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A Key to the Louvre

Memoirs of a Curator

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An art world insider provides a witty and penetrating account of fifty years at the center of international culture.

Art historian, curator, and museum director Michel Laclotte has been at the forefront of French cultural life over the past half century. This informal autobiography sheds light on his brilliant career with warmth and directness. Highlights include twenty years as chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Musée du Louvre, heading the team that created the Musée d'Orsay, and taking the reins of the Louvre to lead the effort that culminated in the museum's transformation into the “Grand Louvre,” one of the world's preeminent cultural attractions.

Raising the curtain on fifty years of Western art scholarship, intrigue, and achievement, Laclotte introduces an extraordinary cast of characters who set France's cultural direction in the postwar period from Charles de Gaulle and André Malraux in the 1950s to François Mitterand in the 1980s and 1990s. His story overlaps with virtually every major scholarly figure in French art history of the last half-century, as well as Laclotte's mentors and colleagues throughout and beyond Europe, from Roberto Longhi and Anthony Blunt to Sir John Pope-Hennessy and Millard Meiss.

An incomparable testament to a period of seismic change in the museum world, this volume will be essential reading for art world afficianados and all students of art and modern culture.

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21st Century Hotel

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Newly built hotels are being admired throughout the world by travelers and architects, and this strikingly illustrated survey features the best new designs.

In the past several years, hoteliers have responded ever more boldly to their guests’ demands for both luxury and aesthetic sophistication. The result has been the emergence of new trends in hotel design, which at one extreme increasingly blur the border between lodging, lifestyle, and living theatre, and at the other seek to reinvent the more discreet manners and style of the grand hotels of the late nineteenth century. This visually exciting volume by noted design writer Graham Vickers provides a timely overview of these trends, profiling no fewer than thirty-seven of the world’s most noteworthy new hotels, from the lavishly appointed Ritz-Carlton Miami to a Quebec hotel constructed entirely of snow and ice.

Vickers skillfully clarifies the distinctions between the various strands of contemporary hotel design by dividing the book into categorical chapters: “Traditional Interpretations” surveys luxury hotels a la the Four Seasons; “Mainstream Experiments” highlights fresh takes on the conventional business or tourist hotel concept; “Original Ideas” presents hotels with a special theme or purpose; “Designer Hotels” focuses on the unique creations of celebrated interior designers; and “Architectural Significance” covers hotels based in exceptional buildings.

The commentaries on individual hotels within these chapters are illustrated by a total of 210 color photographs, as well as the designers’ own plans and elevations. Additional features—a concise introduction to the cultural context of hotel design, a complete list of featured architects and designers, and a full index—make this book an appealing and useful guide for both the hospitality professionals who operate hotels and the travelers who stay in them.

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In Search of Natural Architecture

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A remarkable illustrated study by eco-architect David Pearson illuminating the rediscovery of ancient wisdom that, in turn, has inspired a spiritual reawakening in architecture.

In the past, building in harmony with nature was essential for survival. Today, our sense of ecological responsibility combines with a renewed understanding of the built environment’s influence on personal health and spiritual warmth to create a new type of architecture which reclaims that ancient harmony with nature. David Pearson, the renowned author of The New Natural House Book, has traveled the world in his quest to discover buildings that exemplify the three themes of this “natural architecture”: ecology, health, and spiritual awareness.

Drawing on his background as an architect specializing in housing, environmental issues, and holistic design, Pearson compiles a collection of “environmentally clean” and “spiritually healthy” buildings from around the world and across the centuries. Some are environmentally sound, some congenial to human well-being, and others spiritually powerful. He divides his discussion of these buildings, which are illustrated with 146 stunning full-color photographs and eighteen drawings, into six thematic chapters. The first chapter explains how ancient architectural forms like yurts and teepees reflect archetypes of human spirituality, while the second explores the rejuvenating qualities of today’s healing architecture. The third chapter focuses on ecologically aware building principles, the fourth on the lessons of traditional folk architecture, and the fifth on the culturally vibrant architecture of developing countries. The final chapter describes how all these architectural influences have led to a new awakening, which is embodied in architects’ organic designs for contemporary structures ranging from farmhouses to department stores.

Together the six chapters, which are augmented by a bibliography, a glossary, and a resource list giving contact information for the featured designers, comprise a provocative architectural journey, a must-read for anyone interested in designing or living in environmentally sound buildings that are in harmony with the landscape and the human spirit.

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International Design Yearbook 20

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Now in its twentieth year, this unique showcase remains the most authoritative guide to contemporary domestic design.

In this, the twentieth edition of the leading international showcase of domestic design, guest editor and acclaimed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders surveys the world of design and identifies new, original and interesting work in the areas of furniture, lighting, tableware, textiles and products. His eclectic selection ranges from packaging for lipsticks and disposable underwear to a loft cube and inflatable mobile office space. The latest technologies are also featured, including a washing machine from Dyson, Apple’s mini iPod, a new robotic dog from Sony, and the world’s first intelligent shoe, created by Adidas.

Each object is illustrated with the superb photography that has helped earn the series its excellent reputation. In addition, full technical information is provided for each entry. The reference section provides readers with a comprehensive list of suppliers’ names and addresses, as well as biographies of the designers. New to this year’s edition will be an illustrated feature highlighting key events in the design world in the last twelve months, as well as quotes from well-known designers about their favorite designs of the year. As always, introductions by the editors, Hudson and Wanders, provide insight into this year’s collection and the issues currently influencing the design world.

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New Country Houses

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A richly illustrated overview of fresh contemporary trends in the residential architecture of the countryside.

The thirty houses featured in this beautifully illustrated volume range from a Portuguese vacation home whose granite facade blends seamlessly into an ancient system of agricultural terraces to a Japanese family residence whose translucent walls glow like a paper lantern in the nighttime, but they all embody the same contemporary architectural trend: a radical shift in thinking about the residential architecture of the countryside. An increasing exodus from the stresses of urban living has brought a positive and powerful design consciousness out of the cities into new and challenging environments. New Country Houses explores how architects today seek to reinvent the country house and develop a new rural architecture for the twenty-first century, rather than simply remodeling or recreating the methods and manners of the past.

Exercising his keen eye for architectural style, the author divides the book thematically into four chapters which correspond to contemporary architects’ primary approaches to the challenge of designing for the countryside: organic, vernacular, contemporary, and experimental. The individual case studies within these chapters include insights from the architects themselves and are augmented by both detailed plans and elevations and no fewer than 175 full-color interior and exterior photographs. A full complement of supplementary features—an introduction tracing the history of the country house, a bibliography, and an index—ensures that this book will serve as a guide and inspiration to architects, their clients, and all readers who are interested in the aesthetically groundbreaking, flexible, and ecologically conscious way of living represented by today’s new country houses.

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The World's Great Adventure Treks

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A strikingly illustrated guide to twenty of the world’s most exciting long-distance hikes.

The twenty hikes featured in this lavishly illustrated guide cover every inhabited continent and range from a daring passage along the glaciers of the Karakorum to an age-old pilgrimage route through northern Spain, but they do have one thing in common: adventure. All the treks are of at least five days’ duration and present formidable challenges, like the hazards of extreme terrain or the need for self-sufficiency in landscapes traversed only by hardy locals. Hikers who successfully meet these challenges are rewarded with the sights and experiences of a lifetime: a breathtaking vista of the ruins of Machu Picchu, a delicious meal in a remote Greek mountain village, or even an encounter with New Zealand’s kea, the world’s only species of alpine parrot.

Compiled by passionate trekkers who know their respective regions intimately, these accounts reveal the best routes and side trips along the world’s most exciting trails, from the lofty, rugged spine of America’s Continental Divide to the snowy craters of Mount Kilimanjaro. Supplementary descriptions with detailed maps, equipment recommendations, and contact addresses will give enterprising hikers all the information they need to plan their own expeditions, while more than 200 full-color photographs of lush valleys, windswept plains, and jagged peaks will thrill armchair travelers.

Whether you intend to undertake an adventure trek yourself or just relish one vicariously, this book will extend the limits of your experience with nature and bring you closer to the great outdoors.

 

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Bicycling

Along the World's Most Exceptional Routes

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This exceptional guide presents twenty-five great bicycling vacations around the world for riders of all abilities, on routes selected for their unique locations, dramatic scenery, varying terrain, and fascinating wildlife.

In this new guide, excursions range from an easy ride through the Loire Valley in France, with stops along the way to taste local wines, to a more challenging trail through Tibet into Nepal. Among the other destinations is a route into northwest Ireland, which winds through an unspoiled landscape of lakes and rivers, and a trip beginning in Tallinn, Estonia—where you'll have time to explore the city’s historic streets and squares before heading out into the countryside—and ending in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Included in this book is a holiday to suit everyone’s interest and ability. The trips last between seven and fourteen days and are easy to organize yourself. Alternatively, the author provides information about specialist travel companies who will make all the reservations for you. You can opt to travel with a group or ride independently at your own pace, following a set of detailed notes and maps. Ground operators are on hand along the way to service your bike and make any repairs needed. Whether you prefer the countryside with long, winding downhill runs or being dropped off on a mountaintop to admire the view before riding down through the terrain, this book will help you discover an extraordinary outdoors vacation.

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