Especially during confinement, books can take you on a trip through time and space without stepping out of the door. We selected 12 diverting editions with the best of art, travel, culture, and history for you!
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This month, March of 2020, we are experiencing an unprecedented restriction on our freedom of movement due to the corona virus pandemic. For our own safety and to protect our fellow human beings, we avoid leaving the house unnecessarily while making our time at home as comfortable as possible. With this in mind, we have searched and found twelve book treasures at Taschen Verlag that expand our horizons with impressive pictures and inspiring texts: whether by learning an unusual way of enjoying wine or a completely new, artistic manner of appreciating a magnificent city, whether by looking over the shoulders of historical figures or experiencing the lifestyle of entire countries through people’s everyday lives, we discover with these editions entire new worlds without even having to take a step out of the door!
Scroll down and get an overview of this extraordinary selection. Please notice that all editions are available online with just one click on the product image!
Dalí. The Wines of Gala
Surreal, sensual, delicious … these words are not enough to express the sensations awaken by this extraordinary work of art and enology! Here Salvador Dalí presents his favorite wines “based on the sensations that they trigger deep inside” with labels such as “Wines of Lust”, “Wines of Joy“, or “Wines of Light”. The 140 illustrations displayed in this edition leave nothing to be desired as well: as surrealist adaptations of classic works of art, they have an almost seductive effect on our senses! Basic oenological information is of course also included in this winner of the 2018 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards!
Gaudí. The Complete Works
If you can’t travel at the moment and still want to lose yourself in the artistic magic of a great city, you should definitely snatch this gorgeous XL volume. Antoni Gaudí shaped Barcelona with a unique modernist aesthetic, which is today the hallmark of the city. From the Hispano-Arabic matrix of Casa Vicens to the shimmering textures of Casa Batlló, in Gaudí’s work, very different influences merge, from natural forms and new materials to Orientalism and Catholicism. Brand new photos, historical images, Gaudí’s self-made drawings and plans as well as a detailed appendix to all of his works such as buildings, furniture, and decor make this volume the best edition of Gaudí’s entire oeuvre!
The Magic of Handwriting. The Corrêa do Lago Collection
Brazilian writer, publisher, and collector Pedro Corrêa do Lago collected the handwriting of historical figures from nine centuries, which ultimately made up a selection of 100,000 autographs over 50 years. This volume shows the most original of them: letters from Lucrezia Borgia, Vincent van Gogh, and Franz Kafka, annotated sketches by Michelangelo, Jean Cocteau, Henri Matisse, and Jackson Pollock, signed photographs by Oscar Wilde, Rasputin, Emiliano Zapata, Sun Yat-sen, Josephine Baker, and Allen Ginsberg as well as manuscripts by Giacomo Puccini, Jorge Luis Borges, and Marcel Proust are only a part of the 140 testimonials contained therein. We just can’t get any closer to these remarkable historical figures!
Theodore de Bry. America
The engraver and publisher Theodore de Bry (about 1527-1598), born in Liège and based in Strasbourg, Antwerp, London, and eventually in Frankfurt, offered his contemporaries the most up-to-date images and fantastic reports of an America still unknown to the world at that time. His sources: travel reports from colonists, explorers and adventurers such as Thomas Harriot, Girolamo Benzoni, Sir Walter Raleigh, and many more. The diverse sources gave a complex, heterogeneous picture of a new world populated by idealized noble savages, barbarian indigenous people, and competing colonial powers. This XXL volume enables us to better understand the images that have shaped the European perception of both Americas for centuries.
The New York Times. 36 Hours USA & Canada.
This travel guide by The New York Times is the perfect companion for those looking for great ideas in anticipation of an unforgettable future trip. Well-researched route suggestions for 150 weekend trips across North America lead from New York City to Kansas City, from Big Sur to the Grand Canyon and on less developed terrain, such as to the houses of the star architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Pennsylvania or to the industrial cities in the rust belt of the States. Called “the literary alternative to the classic travel guide” by the German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk Kultur, this completely revised and updated edition offers almost 1,000 photos, great illustrations, detailed city maps, and entertaining columns about many travel destinations!
National Geographic Infographics
You’d think the National Geographic Infographics were just designed for long hours at home with the kids. Endless questions like Who invented skiing? How do birds make music? What is the secret of our sleep? are answered in an entertaining and informative way. The magazine’s best infographics from the past 128 years playfully explain complex topics such as the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the phenomenon of global warming, or the decoding of our genetic code. The seven sections History, The Planet, Being Human, World of Animals, World of Plants, Science & Technology, and Space offer utterly interesting facts and figures for readers of all ages!
The Grand Tour. The Golden Age of Travel
A tour of the past couldn’t be more nostalgic than with travel companions like Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Six of the most popular travel tours of past eras are brought to life with a travel culture that no longer exists: far from mass tourism, close to discovering new places of longing. The Golden Age of Travel leads us to the educational journeys of the old world – a traditional initiation rite of young European nobles – and beyond, to the “Far East”, at that time almost untouched by western influences, and to the New World beyond the Atlantic. Old travel posters, tickets, advertising slips, brochures, menus, and reports bring us incredibly close to this long gone, exciting travel experience!
National Geographic. The United States of America
With this XXL edition, National Geographic takes us on a journey across North America over the course of a century. Several hundred impressive images illustrate the change and growth of the United States over the past hundred years, from Alabama to Wyoming, from Alaska to Wisconsin. With an introductory essay by photojournalist David Walker, forewords to each individual state, and captions that tell the exciting story behind each picture, this volume illustrates people’s lifestyles, their history, and the beauty of their diverse, contrasting country: a must-have for everyone, who wishes to experience the everyday culture and nature of the United States from the comfort of the home!
Paris. Portrait of a City
With Paris. Portrait of a City, Taschen Verlag offers a visual companion to the city of love. Hundreds of carefully curated images by famous photographers such as Daguerre, Marville, Atget, Lartigue, Brassaï, Kertész, Ronis, Doisneau, and Cartier-Bresson as well as snapshots of strangers tell the story of a city with a distinctive atmosphere: the poetry of its streets and its lights, the longings of its people and its artists, the unrestrained everyday life of this vibrant metropolis are illustrated in artistic images over a period of over a hundred years. It just doesn’t get more nostalgic… and romantic!
The Sartorialist. India
Famous American photographer and blogger Scott Schuman, better known as The Sartorialist, has captured the distinctive style of the people of India in hundreds of shots for over ten years. From all walks of life and age groups, from ravers, transsexuals, wrestlers, surfers, grandfathers, and fashionistas to children and workers, everyone is represented in their everyday life and in all their splendor: in markets, music festivals, streets and cricket grounds, in cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai, and Mumbai, Schuman documented the unmistakable aesthetics of a diverse, colorful culture. The volume is complemented by an introduction by the renowned fashion writer Bandana Tewari, Editor-at-large at Vogue India, and is a great introduction of the way of life of an entire subcontinent.
Steve McCurry. Afghanistan
Disguised in traditional costume, American photographer Steve McCurry first traveled to Afghanistan in 1979, at a time when the Soviet Union was intervening in the country’s national conflicts. McCurry reported on the Mujahedin’s struggle against occupiers and government-loyal troops, and was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal for his photographs of this conflict in 1980. Over a period of forty years, he visited the country in the Hindu Kush often to report about his people and their everyday life. The result: portraits and landscapes of impressive scenic quality. McCurry’s recordings are accompanied by the texts of the Scottish historian, critic, curator and writer William Dalrymple, and bring the overwhelming beauty of Afghanistan back to life, despite all destruction and despair.
What Great Paintings Say. 100 Masterpieces in Detail
What better job could there be than to rigorously unveil some of the most famous masterpieces in art history? Here we focus on the subtle elements that reveal the turbulent times of origin of a piece of art: sometimes it is a man wearing a beret, sometimes an inconspicuous dance scene that still exposes the aftermath of a war. Details about people, politics, love affairs, intrigue, clothing, and opinions allow us to look at well-known masterpieces in a totally new light. The authors, the Swiss historian and Romanist Rose-Marie Hagen and the Hamburger literary and theater scholar Rainer Hagen quickly infect the readers with their refreshing, art-historical passion with this work!
What do you think? Do you know any other inspiring publications that should definitely be included in our list? Share them with us!