Travel Books Can Take You There

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN NEW ENGLAND

Photographs by Len Rubenstein

Thames and Hudson

208 pp., $40

FOOD MARKETS OF THE WORLD

By Neilli Sheffer

and Mimi Sheraton

Harry N. Abrams

204 pp., $35

GREECE FROM THE AIR

Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Harry N. Abrams

157 pp., $45

IN FOCUS

By Carleton Watkins

J. Paul Getty Museum

144 pp. $16.95

DREAMLAND: AMERICA AT THE DAWN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

By Michael Lesy

New Press

202pp., $40

THE BRITISH CENTURY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS

By Brian Moynahan

Random House

300 pp., $65

There's a reason travel books are among the most popular of gift books. We all enjoy being transported to faraway locales from the comfort of our own homes. Other times, the photos can be fresh expressions of places familiar and close by. Here are some books that will bring the world to readers.

Photographers love to train their lenses on New England. Len Rubenstein's postcard views illustrate The Most Beautiful Villages in New England, as selected by writer Tom Shachtman.

Capsule historical notes accompany panoramic as well as intimate scenes of more than 20 towns, divided into sections such as coasts, meadowlands, and rivers - all timeless images of the six-state region.

Part travel book, part cookbook, Food Markets of the World would be as much at home in the kitchen as in the living room.

Food critic Mimi Sheraton takes readers on a world tour of markets and recipes, while Nelli Sheffer's photos handsomely portray people caught up in culinary activity in Asia, North Africa, and Latin America, among others. Food never looked so good.

The cradle of democracy is seen from above in Greece From the Air, by aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, with captions by Janine Trotereau.

This is a true picture book, with white-washed villages, impossible cliff-hugging houses, craggy Mediterranean seacoasts, lush olive fields, and ancient temples and amphitheaters juxtaposed with the modern cityscape of Athens.

All that's missing is a map of Greece to provide a locator for these splendid views, a minor quibble.

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