The Philippines. Kuwait. Two countries that aren't often linked, but that here serve as the setting for this tremendous story. We follow the protagonist, born of a Filipina mother and Kuwaiti father, in his struggle to determine who he is and where he belongs. These two countries aren't just exotic locales for this tale. They are real places that come alive. You will feel the rich texture of everyday life in Manila and Kuwait City. Peppered throughout are vivid moments of joy, beauty, pain, and loneliness that any one of us would recognize
Reading the Atlas of Cursed Places (Black Dog & Leventhal, $24.99), by inveterate sailor, cartographer, and journalist Olivier Le Carrer, makes you feel like you’ve stumbled on a secret, ancient tome that chronicles the world’s haunted regions. Readers might expect entries based on places’ connections to supernatural phenomena or some enduring dark myth. But Le Carrer has a broader view of “cursed places” and presents those whose habitability is threatened by both natural events and human activities. Thanks to this expansiveness, Le Carrer takes readers to places both predicable and surprising; each entry serves as a window to a region whose difficulties are at once astonishing, riveting, and intriguing. Another great joy of this atlas is its sheer beauty as an object; the insightful profiles are complemented by intricate illustrations, including detailed reproductions of old maps. Get ready for your next misadventure!