afarWe are excited to start this new weekly feature with one of our favorite travel magazines Afar, “Skift+Afar travel reads of the week” which are weekly deep-read picks by Afar editorial staff. Watch out for these picks every Friday.

The Top Ten Most Influential Travel Books,” Smithsonian
AFAR contributor Tony Perrottet lists his ten most influential travel books of all time. Might make you want to pick up that dog-eared copy of Herodotus’s Histories you’ve got lying around. And it helps explain why I, like millions before me, am going to Provence this summer. —Jeremy Saum 

A Day Out in Orkney’s Distant Past,” Traveling Savage
The distant, windswept Orkney Islands are terribly appealing to me, and I feel an enduring sadness that on a trip to Scotland in 2008, I didn’t go the distance (but the Isle of Skye was incredible). This piece by Keith Savage stokes my desire to return to Scotland and “feel that sweet Orkney turf beneath [my] feet.” —Davina Baum

The Far Less Enviable Side of Paradise,” The Wall Street Journal
Travel writers have it made. All they do is explore interesting places, try new foods, and then put it all on paper, right? Not so, says British writer James Lasdun, who has penned two walking-and-eating guidebooks in Europe with his wife. What readers of their guides don’t see are the hours spent searching for untapped territory in familiar places, frustrating detours caused by outdated maps, and 2 a.m. excursions to avoid unbearable daytime heat. But it can’t be all that bad. If Lasdun could uproot his family and hit the road again, he’d do it in a heartbeat, he says. —Lara Takenaga

How the West Really Looked,” Daily Mail Online
This image gallery isn’t new. In fact, these photos are really old; they’re some of the first shots ever taken of the American West. They did give me a new appreciation for these Western landscapes—in Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, and Colorado—and the feats of early photography. (Can you imagine towing around a “darkroom wagon”?) —Serena Renner

Slow Food Quickens the Pace,” Opinionator, New York Times
Mark Bittman checks in with Carlo Petrini on the fundamentals—and evolution—of Slow Food six years after the movement made its “Puebla Declaration.” They might be broader, more egalitarian, and more internationally applicable than you think. —Derk Richardson

In the Studio with Wendy MacNaughton,” KQED
In this engaging video, Wendy Macnaughton, a talented illustrator whosework has appeared in AFAR magazine, talks about how she discovers and reports the compelling stories she illustrates, including a recent project about people at the San Francisco Public Library. —Davina Baum


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