Archive for December, 2010

Dec 23 2010

Last minute gift ideas from The Boston Globe

General | Dec 23, 2010

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The Boston Globe’s Travel section featured a range of gift ideas for the traveller last Sunday:

photo by Christopher Klein, The Boston Globe

THE GLOBE CORNER BOOKSTORE
Harvard Square is New England’s international crossroads, which makes it the perfect home for this Cambridge store. Travel junkies can easily spend  hours browsing the world inside this globetrotter’s nirvana. What makes the store such a gem is its comprehensive geographic scope and diverse selection. Sure, the shelves are full of such staples as Fodor’s and Lonely Planet guidebooks, but they stand spine to spine with specialty titles covering everything from London architecture to Pakistani birds to Czech beer. You can find histories of the Panama Canal, tomes on Middle East geopolitics, and novels by Steinbeck and Joyce. Driving, hiking, or biking anywhere in the world? There are scores of road, topographic, and city maps from Alaska to the Cotswolds to Tehran. The store doesn’t just cater to jet-setters; there’s an entire section devoted to Boston. Armchair travelers will discover compelling travelogues, international cookbooks, CD courses for mastering new languages, and globes and wall maps for interior decoration. If everything inside catches your eye, why not buy it all? The owners recently put the store up for sale.  90 Mt. Auburn St., 617-497-6277, www.globecorner.comChristopher Klein

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Dec 18 2010

OPERATION: TARTLETTE

General | Dec 18, 2010

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MISSION: Pool the staff’s lunch money to secure sugary goodness from local Baking Goddess Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery, or, Operation: Tartlette.

LOCATION: Central Square, Cambridge, MA. U.S. of A.

THREAT LEVEL: HIGH.

ACTION PLAN: Operative Lisa – code name “Snickerdoodle” – is to scour Joanne Chang’s cookbook Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe; she will determine which tartlettes to procure in order to cover the three previously agreed upon flavors: lemony, chocolaty, and anything else that looks really, really good.

Operative Will – code name “Country Ham Quiche” – is to call the bakery and find out the exact circumference of the various tartlettes in order to meet the agreed upon target: “most sugary-goodness-per-dollar.” Also, he will get exact directions to the bakery.

Operative Nastia – code name “Meringue Cloud” – is to be dispatched to the bakery to purchase the decided-upon tartlettes: LEMON LUST TART, HAZELNUT-ALMOND DACQUOISE, and HOMEMADE OREOS. She must get back to work in time to start her shift. (SOP)

MISSION STATUS: Delicious. Continue Reading »

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Dec 14 2010

Ulla Turns 2

General | Dec 14, 2010

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This Wednesday, December 15th, the Globe Corner Bookstore will be celebrating a very special day! It’s the second birthday of Ulla, our official greeter and store dog, and the GCB would like to invite all of our customers (and fans of the incomparable Ulla) to come down and join in the fun. Show up at the right time and you just might be treated to the sight of our rather embarrassed staff singing “Happy Birthday” to a golden retriever wearing a large bow while she wolfs down some sort of pastry. Belly rubs will be accepted in lieu of gifts. (N.B. the last applies to Ulla, not the staff.)

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Dec 09 2010

New York Times Notable Books 2010

General | Dec 09, 2010

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As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect…on the best books of the year.  The New York Times has released its list of “100 Notable Books,” fiction and nonfiction chosen from all of the books reviewed this year.  Many of these chosen few happen to be travel related.  Our list also sweeps up those titles that the Times has highlighted in their Holiday Gift Issue.  Below are a few of the selections.  The list of travel related books carried in our store is available on a special page devoted to the NYT list.

. . .

How to Read the Air, by Dinaw Mengestu

Mengestu’s own origins inform this tale of an Ethiopian-American tracing the uncertain road once taken by his parents.

. . .
. . .

Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff

It’s dizzying to contemplate the ancient thicket of personalities and propaganda Schiff penetrates to show the Macedonian-Egyptian queen in all her ambition, audacity and formidable intelligence.

. . .
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Dec 08 2010

Dog Not Included–or–Calling All Buyers

General | Dec 08, 2010

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Patrick Carrier, the president of The Globe Corner Bookstore, has announced plans to sell the 28-year-old Harvard Square landmark travel book & map specialty store due to a recent health issue. He requested that prospective buyers contact him directly for information about the sale.

Carrier explained that the health issue is likely to be very manageable over time, but is the impetus for initiation of an “exit strategy” in order to focus (for the short-term) on health rather than business issues. He has already begun to respond to inquiries and hopes that the store will thrive under new ownership.

Carrier noted that “It has been an immensely rewarding 28 years for me at The Globe Corner. It has been a privilege to work with such wonderful staff, customers, and friends in the book and publishing industry, and of course the great books and maps.” He looks forward to taking on new challenges once this health issue is resolved.

The Globe Corner Bookstore currently operates a travel book and map store in Cambridge, Massachusetts and an Internet/Web catalog, www.globecorner.com. The company was one of the pioneers of travel specialty retailing and remains dominant in this niche today.

The company is renowned internationally for an unrivaled breadth of travel reference materials: travel guides, maps, atlases, language reference products, globes and other books about geographic places (e.g., history, cooking, architecture, nature guides, photography, literature). The store and Web catalog represent a one-stop reference center for independent travellers, outdoor adventurers and nature enthusiasts, educators and students, and people who like to dream about faraway places.

In 1982, the original Globe Corner Bookstore opened in downtown Boston as one of the first travel book and map specialty stores in the United States. Today, the company operates its travel store with its iconic Art Nouveau bookcases in Harvard Square. The company’s retail store is often cited by industry observers and national media as a state-of-the-art model of specialty bookselling. The company has operated retail locations in Boston and Cambridge over the past 28 years and is a well-established brand name within the metro Boston and New England market.

Patrick Carrier can be contacted at 617-649-5700 (x25) or at pcarrier@gcb.com.

Media coverage:

Publisher’s Weekly

The Boston Phoenix

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe Travel Feature — Holiday Issue

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Dec 07 2010

“All Over The Map” Book Review

Book Reviews | Dec 07, 2010

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All Over the MapTold simply and beautifully, Laura Fraser’s memoir “All Over the Map” spans nearly ten years of her life and numerous trips around the globe.  Fraser experiences various forms of travel from leisurely food tasting trips in the Aeolian Islands to uncovering the lingering trauma of the Rwandan genocide.  Throughout it all, Fraser’s wanderlust guides her from one spectacular adventure to the next.  But when her post-divorce love tells her in Oaxaca that he intends to marry another, Fraser realizes that it may not be so easy to balance the thrills of travel with the need for companionship.

Single and over forty, she continues both exploring the world and searching for love.  When in Samoa, however, Fraser has a terrible experience that makes her fear one of her greatest passions in life: travel.  Only the comfort of family and friends and the passage of time helps rekindle Fraser’s desire to journey through foreign lands.  Gradually, she picks up where she left off, and soon her life is again full of exotic places and interesting encounters.

During the course of the book, Fraser is constantly learning more about herself, the world, and her own niche within it.  She adjusts her life accordingly, and at last finds the equilibrium she has sought all along.  It does not come from any external source or a new romance.  Instead, it comes from deep inside her, constructed out of the bits of wisdom Fraser has acquired over the years from people and places all over the map.

In reading this book it is possible to learn about fascinating cultures around the world and the universal experiences of the writer’s personal life.  Fraser does not attempt to be overly charming or amusing with funny travel tales and jokes.  Her tone is completely natural, and her story is real and thoughtfully rendered.  Recently, I have been reading a number of travel books by female authors, and so far this one is my favorite!

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