Although the weather has finally turned cold, and you may not be out and about as much, you can still do a little traveling, albeit from a comfy chair with a hot drink and a great book. I can help you out with the latter, offering these worthy reads to satisfy your armchair wanderlust and maybe inspire you to plan your own unique travel adventures.

Have dog, will travel

Although I am not currently a dog owner, I love dogs. But I have to admit that packing “Fifi” up with my toiletries, shoes and passport would probably never surface in my realm of consciousness.

But in “Dog Trots Globe—To Paris and Provence (A Sheltie Goes to France),” author Sheron Long, with the help of her beloved Sheltie, Chula, uses France as a vehicle to empower dog owners to experience the joy of bringing their faithful companion on their next vacation.

The book, part travelogue and part dog memoir, shares the joys and misadventures they have by combining a modicum of text with vibrant color photographs and clever illustrations designed to entice readers to fall in love with France.

www.amazon.com/Dog-Trots-Globe-Provence-Sheltie/dp/1936951002

Food is so much more than a meal

I barely got past the title “A Fork in the Road” before I knew that I just had to devour it!

For a wanderlusting girl like me who is also a foodie at heart, this book—a collection of 34 original stories by the world’s most acclaimed chefs, food writers and novelists focusing on how travel and eating combine to shape and inspire our lives—cuts straight to my heart and soul.

Of the essays in the book, editor James Oseland says, “Each of them says something ineffable about how we process and remember tastes and sensations, and about how they alter our view of the world. The stories encompass a vast mosaic of experience—from bitter, to sweet, to everything in between—and an equally vast range of voices. Some are rough, some are intensely refined. But they all have one thing in common: They chronicle food and eating in a deeply personal way.” Aaaah! He had me at “tastes and sensations.”

Although a petite, almost pocketbook-size book, “A Fork in the Road” is chock full of life-changing culinary adventures inextricably linked to the way we view travel.

www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planet-Fork-Travel-Literature/dp/1743218443

Another side of New York

I’m a big fan of traveling somewhere new in your own backyard, as it’s so easy within the rigors of everyday life to get trapped within the confines of a X-mile radius of our homes.

Well, William B. Helmreich, “A life-long New Yorker,” took that close-to-home travel concept one step further, going on adventures that would become the stories he writes about in “The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City.”

Who knew that a childhood game called “Last Stop” that he would play at age 9—which involved his literally taking a subway to the last stop and exploring the area on foot—would spark a life-long love of the hidden corners of the five boroughs? According to Helmreich, “Four years + seven pairs of shoes + 6,000 miles = an epic journey in New York City.”

But the story extends much further than simply walking every block of each borough. It’s a story of Helmreich’s encounters with hundreds of New Yorkers from every walk of life and from every part of the globe, including Mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. His observations—all touching on various aspects of the multifarious lives of the estimated 8.3 million people wgi live, work, survive and thrive in the world’s greatest metropolitan city—are poignant and insightful, heartfelt and charming.

www.amazon.com/The-New-York-Nobody-Knows/dp/0691144052

Cruisin’ on a Sunday (and Monday, Tuesday …) afternoon

If you’re gonna have an addiction, make it a good one. And that’s just what author Gary Bembridge—an avid cruise fan and self-confessed ship geek—does in his new book, “The Cruise Traveler’s Handbook.”

As with air travel, safaris, zip-lining and other types of travel adventures, there are always pervasive myths and objections out there regarding any form of travel. According to Bembridge, he himself fell prey to the myths and objections of cruising until 10 years ago, when he reluctantly went on a ship-bound business conference that led him to discover his love for being at sea. Since then, he has been hooked.

“Cruising as a vacation choice is now my preferred way of exploring the world. It has taken me to places I would never have gone to otherwise and revealed experiences and sights I would have missed if I had stuck to doing land-based vacations only,” he said. “I’m now hoping to calm people’s fears and inspire them to jump aboard!”

In the book, Bembridge addresses numerous cruise-related topics, including the reality behind cruising myths; how to chose the right type of cruise, cruise line and cabin; which type of cruising is suited to different types of travelers; and in which cases cruising is better than land-based vacations, just to name a few. He also says his handbook is great for regular cruise fans who desire to learn more about the ins and outs of the cruise industry.

www.amazon.com/Cruise-Travelers-Handbook-Gary-Bembridge/dp/1927557046

Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including serving as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com, and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at lallmanbaldwin@kc.rr.com.