This month, Yale University Press London staff voted for their favourite book on the theme of ‘Travels’. Find out which books they recommended and why.
August Staff Pick: The Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums
The Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums by Sophie Richard received the most votes from our staff and is this month’s Staff Pick.
An indispensable guide to Japan’s most fascinating museums and galleries
Office Manager, James Evans highly recommends this book with its ‘invaluable insider’s account‘ of more than 100 Japan’s most distinctive and inspiring museums.
This book really highlights Japan’s extraordinary culture both past and present with its ‘diverse and excellent collections.’
Senior Marketing and Campaigns Manager, Heather Nathan also voted for The Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums. In fact, she used this book to plan her trip to Japan in 2019. She said, ‘it was perfect for planning our itinerary, Japan has so many beautiful museums.’
She adds that, ‘Having spent time travelling regularly to Japan for the past 16 years, the author Sophie Richard is a superb guide to the country’s exceptional museums. The book is also gorgeously illustrated throughout.’
‘If you haven’t been to Japan before and want to see some of the best museums the country has to offer, this is the perfect book to plan your itinerary’.
Fortuny: Time, Space, Light by Wendy Ligon Smith
Editorial Director, Mark Eastment selected Fortuny: Time, Space, Light as his ‘Travel’ recommendation.
‘Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, although born in Spain, represents all that is good about Italian art, design and fashion. Fortuny is Venice and Venice is Fortuny. It is hard to imagine one existing without the other.’ Mark recommends anyone visiting Venice should read more of Fortuny and visit his house which is now a museum.
‘Fortuny, after the death of his Father, the celebrated Spanish painter, moved with his mother and sister to Venice where their house is now a museum celebrating the numerous skills of this polymath which include stage design, lighting, photography and what perhaps he is best known for – the most incredible fashion and textile design. On the Giudecca itself is the Fortuny Textile factory which still produces many of his beautiful textiles and is celebrating its centenary this year.‘
‘There is so much to do and see in Venice but knowing the background to this incredible man and seeing his home and studio now fully restored can only add to the total joy that everybody has in visiting Venice.‘
On his experience working with the author, Mark says, ‘The book’s author, Wendy Ligon Smith spent time as an intern at the Fortuny Museum, a Renaissance Palazzo which has recently reopened after major restoration following the 2019 floods. Wendy had special access to material never previously published about Fortuny’s life and working methods.’
Scotland by Murray Pittock
Senior Commissioning Editor, Joanna Godfrey recommends Scotland: The Global History: 1603 to the Present
‘I took Murray Pittock’s global history of Scotland on my summer break in the Angus Glens – an unusually warm and dry week by Scottish standards! The book is a great introduction to Scotland’s long history with a particular focus on Scotland’s interactions with the wider world, especially in the age of empire. It’s also particularly good on Scottish romanticism, the creation of a national image and the growth of the tourist industry in the 19th century with fascinating snippets on the construction of the myth of the highlands and the history of Auld Lang Syne.‘
Northern Silence by Andrew Mellor
Marketing Campaigns Executive, Maria Zygogianni recommends Northern Silence:Journeys in Nordic Music and Culture.
She recommends this book because ‘Music and landscape, this is more than a travel book, it gives you a soundtrack for the journey.‘
Speaking about the author Maria says, ‘The author, a new dad when Northern Silence came out, has a wonderful, personal way to talk about Scandinavian music.’