"The Canadaland Guide to Canada"
Since the cover of this new book by Jesse Brown (host of the "Canadaland" podcast) features an illustration of the Canada-born musician Drake nuzzling a moose, potential readers will understand before they even see the first page that humor is the idea here. Packed with short entries chronicling quirky things peculiar to Canada, the book offers endless smiles and many laugh-out-loud moments as Brown riffs on everything from ways to fix hockey fighting ("If a player appears to be in serious danger during a fight, the referee should step in to help deal the finishing blow") to Canada's reputation for friendliness ("It might be because we manufacture most of North America's MDMA") and the amusing "Canadasutra" guide which illustrates how to [have sex like] a Canadian. Unlikely anyone, Canadian or otherwise, will be offended; it's all in good fun and good fun it is. Vicky Mochama and Nick Zarzycki also contribute. Published by Simon & Shuster's Touchstone division. details here
"The Streets of Paris"
This new book by Susan Cahill explores the very popular travel destination of Paris, France in a rather unusual way; through the "footsteps" of some of the city's most noted residents over the last 800-years or so. Chapters are grouped by what part of the city the luminaries lived in, so readers will find the chapter on singer and actress Edith Piaf in the Bastille and Northeastern Paris offering, while those interested in Louis IX or Henry IV will want to flip to the Ile de la Cite segment. Incredibly detailed but not so much as to be a stuffy read, chapters like the one on Chopin tells the story of his time in Northern Paris and Montmarte and particularly the places he liked to go with his lover George Sand, allowing fans with a notion of romance to follow a similar path. The Parisian life of Maria Sklowdowska, better known as Marie Curie, is explored too; the museum honoring her is near the Sorbonne where Curie studied and eventually taught. Some of the other famous Parisians feature here include Honore Daumier, Simone Weil, Albert Camus, Francis Poulenc and Patrick Modiano. Marion Ranoux contributes photos. From St. Martin's Press details here
The Alfond Inn
Here's a gift idea you can really bark about! Or at least the canine members of your family can. If you plan on being in the Orlando area around the holidays and you don't want to leave Fido in a kennel, go ahead and take your pet with you to the Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Florida. Not only does the boutique hotel have everything to make mom and dad's visit special, but the four-legged kids can enjoy a special two-night pup-friendly VIP stay that includes a special dog bowl, tennis balls to play with, treats and toys and a ThunderShirt for the dog. Package price includes the normal $50 pet fee, and the Alfond Inn will also make a donation to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando for each package purchased. The Alfond Inn is conveniently located about 15-minutes from downtown Orlando and about a half an hour from the airport and Mickey and his pals at Walt Disney World. More information can be found here