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Bookshelf – NYTimes


All roads lead to Rome, but chief among them was the Via Appia, a storied path from the capital to the heel of Italy traveled by everyone from Cicero to Monty Python. Robert A. Kaster traces their footsteps in ‘‘The Appian Way’’ (University of Chicago Press, $23).

In ‘‘Desert Terroir’’ (University of Texas Press, $25), Gary Paul Nabhan forages in the borderlands, where he connects dishes like capirotada, a Mexican bread pudding, to the Levantine cuisine of his Arab ancestors.

‘‘High Street’’ (V&A Publishing, $35) is a facsimile of a rare book, published in Britain in 1938, that included gorgeous woodcut illustrations of many shops of the day, from an oyster bar in the Strand to an undertaker who preferred to be called a ‘‘funeral director’’ (he said there are too many jokes about undertakers).

‘‘Traveler of the Century’’ (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30), the prize-winning Spanish novel by Andrés Neuman, is about an itinerant romantic who holes up between Saxony and Prussia, joins a local literary salon and falls for a minor noblewoman: delicious philosophical debates ensue.





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