Stalking the Wild Matt Lauer: Day 3

Categories: News, Travel

Matt Lauer, sighted this morning on the Malay Peninsula! He popped up in Kuala Lumpur (smartypants Al Roker totally guessed correctly!) where, though it was morning for those of us in Eastern Standard Time, Matt was readying for a night out on the town in Malaysia.

While Matt revealed his location on a skybridge connecting the two iconic Petronas Towers, Patricia Schultz, in the new 1000 Places to See Before You Die, highlights the foodie delights to be found in Kuala Lumpur, colloquially referred to as KL. “From streetside hawker stalls and brightly lit night markets to white-tablecloth restaurants with world-class chefs,” the authentic array of edible delights is a true feast to behold. Check out the stalls lining the Jalan Alor in the city’s Golden Triangle district, or take the elevator up to Seri Angkasa, the revolving restaurant atop the 1,380 foot KL Tower. And taste-test, they did, as Matt and fellow Todayster Amy Robach sampled some of the local Chinese-Malaysion fusion food. (Travel a halfhour outside the city center, to the edge of a rainforest, and they could have taken a cooking class with food writer and cook Rohani Jelani at her house-converted-to B&B, Bayan Indah!) They also rode in a rickshaw (technically a “trishaw”) festooned with brightly colored tassels and fake flowers, and Amy took us on a tour of an orangutan rehabilitation center.

Tune in tomorrow as we continue, page by page, to unravel the mysteries of “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” I don’t know about you, but my money’s on Japan.

PS: In the meantime, let’s hope there are no Matt Lauer-brainwashing schemes or DJs spinning Frankie Goes to Hollywood!

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Posted by at 12:20 pm
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¿Donde en el mundo está Matt Lauer?

Categories: News, Travel

It’s Day 2 of “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” and this morning Señor Lauer woke up in Madrid, Spain, otherwise known as page 266 (for all you armchair travelers!) in the new 1000 Places to See Before You Die.

Ernest Hemingway has said of Madrid, It has none of the look that you expect of Spain….Yet when you get to know it, it is the most Spanish of all cities, the best to live in, the finest people, month in, month out the finest climate. By day, it’s an elegant, formal city of museums (featuring work by Spanish artists Miró, Dalí, Juan Gris, and Antoni Tàpies — as well as Alexander Calder, Man Ray, and Jean Dubuffet),  palaces (visit what was the royal residence from 1764 to 1931!), and tapas (yum!). At night, the city comes alive — giving New York City, aka “the city that never sleeps,” a run for its money.

This morning, Matt confessed that he had to change his travel itinerary due to weather conditions, which makes me want to scour the global weather map to see what locations might have been affected by severe weather  — any guesses where he might end up later this week? Our own Patricia Schultz placed her guesses (rather, her recommended itinerary!) yesterday. Stay tuned to see if any of those destinations show up later this week — until then, we’ll be following along in the book!

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Posted by at 12:12 pm
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Where in the World is Matt Lauer? (And how’s he doing on his 1000 Places checklist?)

Categories: News, On blogs around the web

It’s that time of year–when, for a week, thanks to the Today Show, I can’t seem to get that Carmen Sandiego ditty of my PBS-watching youth out of my head. Today marked the first day of Matt Lauer’s 10th “Where in the World” trip, and he revealed his location to be the Skeleton Coast, Namibia.

Noted for its “haunting beauty and unconfined space,” our own Patricia Schulz describes the Skeleton Coast as “a little explored desert paradise of wide-open spaces–undeveloped, unpeopled, and far from civilization” in the new 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Its name btw, refers to the treacherous, barren shoreline, where shipwrecks and whale bones litter the fog shrouded beaches. But what else? There’s seal breeding ground (pups arrive in late November or December…maybe Matt should extend his stay!), awesome flocks of pink flamingos, and massive shifting dunes around granite shelves and veins of schist (if you saw the segment this morning, you saw Matt skiing down a sandy dune!).

Only Matt (and probably his producers) knows where he’ll end up next, but here’s the itinerary that Patricia Schultz would have recommended for his week on the go. (And, hey, maybe he’ll show up at one of these hot spots tomorrow!)

5 suggested destinations in various regions of the world where Matt has not been:

1) Lake Bled, Slovenia An emerald-green glacial lake, Bled was the favorite getaway of Tito, former president of Yugoslavia. The restaurant at Tito’s former residence is one of the area’s best (and you can spend the night)with views of the Julian Alps, and the tiny island with an 11th century castle at the lake’s center.

2) Hanoi, Vietnam In the narrow, crowded tree-lined streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarterone of the city’s most charming neighborhoodsflag down a cyclo (a pedal-powered rickshaw) to navigate the enjoyable chaos. Streets are lined with hole-in-the-wall merchants stores, food stands, traditional cafes and the occasional centuries-old temple.

3) Sepik River, Papua New Guinea An expedition down this mysterious river leads to the world’s last unspoiled reservoir of nature, culture and tribal art. In villages reachable only by boat, life has only just emerged from millenia-long isolation.

4) Bruges, Belgium The “Venice of the North” is a romantic stuck-in-time city of medieval architecture and willow-lined canals was once a prosperous trading hub — today a beautifully preserved city of important small museum and atmospheric inns and restaurants.

5) Iquitos and the Peruvian Amazon Brazil may get most of the attention, but Peru is one of the best places to experience the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon — at the point where they claim the river originates, 2,400 miles from where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

I don’t know about you, but I would gladly hop a plane to any of these destinations (I’m just saying, if anyone’s offering), but what about you? Where do YOU want to get your next passport stamp?

And, did you know that every place that Matt has been over the past 10 years is one of the 1000 Places to See Before You Die? (That’s an impressive checklist he’s got going — though he might want to step up the pace from just 5 places each year!) Check out this gorgeous slideshow of destinations via the Today Show, of highlights from Matt’s past trips.

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Posted by at 5:12 pm
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1,000 Places Cookie Break

Categories: News

This fall, a brand new edition of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die will hit shelves. As the book makes its way to publication, we’ve been working hard to dot every i and cross every t (not to mention double-dotting some vowels and crossing some o’s in those tricky European countries), and today we took a break to celebrate with some cookies.  Because we eat, sleep, and breathe 1000 Places, they’re 1000 Places cookies: sugary little ones and zeros.  And they’re in bright colors too, just like the photos in the new 2nd edition.  Thank you to author Patricia Schultz for a much appreciated treat.

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Posted by at 12:50 pm
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Call Me Ishmael

Categories: Holiday

Having realized that June and July have come and gone and I’ve still not left town, I recently decided to round up a few friends and hit the road. Where to, you ask? Miami? Montauk? No, the Nantucket Whaling Museum!

I understand that a repository of cetacean mammals might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but I’ve been fascinated with belugas, humpbacks, and sperm whales ever since I read Moby Dick in 7th grade. However, I would have never known there was an actual Whaling Museum if I hadn’t come across the following entry in Patricia Schultz 1,000 Places to See Before You Die in the United States & Canada:

A Remote World All Its Own



The island’s Wampanoag Indian name means “faraway land,” and Nantucket seems just that. It’s only 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, but the 49-square-mile island floats in its own insular world of time and space. Some 10,000 year-round residents accommodate more than five times that many visitors each summer, yet the island retains an unspoiled atmosphere. Here the descendant of the practical Yankee sea captain meets the cultured offspring of New England old money—and increasingly, new money. They bond over their shared affection for the windswept island, with its abundant salt marshes and pristine beaches.

Stringent zoning laws help maintain the traditional New England appearance of the “Little Gray Lady of the Sea”—so named for the color of its cedar-shingled houses muted by exposure to the sea air. Movie-set-perfect Nantucket is one of the country’s finest protected historic districts, with more than 800 Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival Houses and Quaker sea captains homes, constructed between 1740 and 1840.

Nantucket was once the whaling capital of the world and the small but interesting Whaling Museum preserves Nantucket’s eminence in the “blubber boiling” industry. Displays include a skeleton of 46-foot finback whale, a whaleboat, a collection of 19th century scrimshaw, and artifacts from the Essex, sunk by a sperm whale in 1820, inspiring the story recounted in Moby-Dick.

Where: 70 miles southeast of Boston. Ferries from Hyannis and Harwich Port on Cape Cod. Visitor info: Tel 508-228-1700;

Whaling Museum: Tel 508-228-1894; When: mid-May—mid-Oct.


Don’t feel sorry for my buddies. I’m sure we’ll get some beach time in between all the scrimshaw and baleen.

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Posted by at 9:00 am
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The List: A Love Story in 781 Chapters

Categories: Fiction, Humor, News

Though no one likes a to-do list (until everything is checked off, or you lose the list), there is a certain joy in keeping lists. And we at Workman couldn’t agree more. After all, we do claim a few rather extensive lists ourselves. Like The Wish List. And 1000 Places to See Before You Die. And 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. And Dream It, List it, Do it.  Why, just look at that list I’ve come up with! But it’s all in effort to get to talking about a charming little book called The List: A Love Story in 781 Chapters whose innovative short chapter form came well before its time (well, hello there, Twitter).

Its “an honest, funny look at the way we love, like, lust, and…list” (says Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada). And here’s an excerpt, to give you a taste:

  1. You will dream about meeting Mr. Right.
    1. You’ll be eleven.
    2. Twelve.
    3. Forty-six.
  2. Your first Mr. Right will be a rock star.
  3. Your first Mr. Wrong will be a musician.
  4. You will not learn from this.
  5. You will get advice about men from your mother.
    1. “It’s as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.”
    2. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
    3. “Good luck.”
  6. You’ll decide your mother has no idea what she’s talking about.
    1. Until you’re her age.
  7. You’ll go out with a girlfriend, hoping to meet Mr. Right.
    1. You’ll be twenty.
    2. Thirty.
    3. Your mother’s age.
  8. You’ll meet a man in a bar.
    1. The bartender.
    2. The bouncer.
    3. A banker.
    4. A man who’s wearing a T-shirt that says: Eat Me.

AND, To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we invited seven members of the Workman staff to each write “The Short List”–his or her own love story in just 5 to 7  numbered “chapters.” Stay tuned today as we post one original story each hour!

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Posted by at 9:15 am
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Introducing: Workman Shorts!

Categories: Baking, e-books, Grilling, How-to, News, Workman Shorts

Itching to load up the Kindle, Nook, iPad, or other e-reading device Santa brought you this holiday season? Look no further than the first installment of Workman Shorts, a new line of e-books we’re launching this week. These shorties offer up e-bites from the Workman oeuvre, oh-so-conveniently outfitted for the widest possible range of devices and tastily priced between $2.99 and $4.99. Yum!

Whatever your New Year’s resolution, we’ve got the roadmap, and the bestselling author, to help you set it in motion:

Looking to get more quality time with your buddies? Don’t sit and watch the game by your lonesome on your high-def gewgaw with your nonworking remote, people! It’s time to TAILGATE with the man Oprah called “the gladiator of grilling.” Yup, it’s Raichlen’s Tailgating! 31 Righteous Recipes for On-the -Go Grilling, by Steven Raichlen, who personally curated 31 perfect tailgating recipes from his bestselling Barbecue Bible cookbooks for your mobile grilling pleasure. Download it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other e-book retailers.

Newly engaged brides and grooms:  Once the mists of rrrrrrooomance have cleared and you’re ready to get down and dirty with some planning, do your and your family’s wallets a favor by checking out Your Dream Wedding on a Budget: 47 Cost-Cutting Secrets from America’s Favorite Wedding Planner by Mindy Weiss, featuring a goldmine of tips compiled from her be-all-end-all wedding planning resource, The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day. Mindy may be known for her blowout celebrity to-dos (favorite piece of Mindy news from last year = story of Hilary Duff and the lost tooth!) but now that she’s planning her son’s wedding, you can bet she has budget on the brain! Barnes and Noble,Amazon, and other e-book retailers.

Say no to store-bought cakes, and a hearty yes to making loved ones of all ages feel ultra special on their birthdays. Bring on the balloons, the streamers, and the kazoos! Then get to (not so much) work by whipping up one of the tasty treats from The Cake Mix Doctor’s 25 Best Birthday Cakes: Easy Luscious Layer Cakes, Plus Frostings, Icings, Tips, and More by Anne Byrn. The doyenne of cake mix guarantees your guests won’t be able to guess it came from a box–but we defy you to resist the temptation of announcing it to all and sundry! Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other e-book retailers.

And finally, January brings the undeniable urge to start plotting the year’s escapes. Get cracking! In Perfect Island Getaways from 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: The Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda, discerning travelista Patricia Schultz gives you a foolproof access card to 53 destinations in paradise. Why waste hours, nay, days, combing through endless travelers’ reviews on the web when you can grab the authoritative, vetted, to-die-for bucket list with the click of a mouse? Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other e-book retailers.

Because a launch isn’t a launch without a P-A-R-T-Y, we’re going to be feting these shorties and their fab authors with a virtual pub party featuring (virtual) cocktails, cake, bbq, and more! Stay tuned for details.

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How Patricia Schultz Won My Trivia Team $50 (Yes, Really!)

Categories: Crafts and hobbies

Everyone loves a rousing round of bar trivia—and employment at Workman, where you’re surrounded by books proffering their rich knowledge of everything from vino to babies to mouthsounds, certainly gives you an edge over the competition. And it was a Workman title that gave me that edge last week, culminating in a thrilling cash win for my team!

Composed of my roommates and our friends, our team has just begun competing in the weekly game at a bar in our neighborhood. We weren’t among the top three point-earners last week, but we still had an opportunity to win cold, hard cash if we answered the “instant gratification” question correctly. For a $100 pot, our trivia host began his query: “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland is partly modeled after a castle in…”

He didn’t even have to finish. I knew the rest of the question and the answer. I started bouncing up and down in my seat, whispering frantically to my friends: “I know the answer! It’s Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany!!!”

We wrote it down on the response sheet (our spelling was a shot in the dark, I’ll admit), turned it in, and broke into celebratory hoots and hollers when our host confirmed that Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was, in fact, partly modeled after the fairy-tale-like Neuschwanstein. We raked in $50 for our braininess (unfortunately, another intellectually well-endowed team turned in the correct response, too).

My friends were incredulous. “How did you know that?” they asked. How did I know that?, I wondered. Then it slowly came back to me: Hmm, I bet I read it in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, Patricia Schultz’s behemoth, best-selling compendium of the locales and experiences that should occupy a space on every traveler’s bucket list.

So when I got home, I looked up the castle in the index (I still couldn’t fathom the spelling, though I had a Germanic hunch that it began with the letters Neu). There it was, on page 154: “Neuschwanstein was one of three castles created by [eccentric king] Ludwig [II], and by far his most ambitious and theatrical extravagance. Set on an isolated rock ledge amid heart-stopping scenery, it is the turreted prototype that inspired the castle in Sleeping Beauty and later at Disneyland.”

With last week’s trivia coup under my belt, I think the next step is obvious: It’s time to hop a plane to Bavaria and see Ludwig’s ostentatious digs for myself!

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Posted by at 3:53 pm
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Workman Picture Puzzle

Categories: News

1000 Places OLD JPG1000 Places To See JPG

What’s the difference between these two books?*  Look carefully because it’s a matter of hundreds of hours of painstaking work! Our bestselling travel guide has just been updated with current information for 2010–including prices, web addresses, and phone numbers. We went through each entry with a fine-tooth comb to make sure everything is as accurate as possible. The new edition is now in stores, and we’re ready to hit the road and start exploring!

*The change is in the “sticker” on the top right, where in addition to mentioning that the book is a # 1 New York Times Bestseller, it notes the updated prices and websites.

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Posted by at 2:10 pm
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Meet travel author Patricia Schultz

Categories: News

Meet Patricia Schultz, author of the 1000 Places to See Before You Die series, at the Adventures in Travel Expo in New York City, October 10 at 2:30 PM. The Adventures in Travel Expo is located at Jacob Javits Convention Center and runs October 10-11.

There will be a presentation with Patricia Schultz followed by a book signing. For more information, visit

To purchase tickets to the expo, visit Use promo code: SCHZ for $5 off the ticket price.

Click here for a preview of 1000 Places to See Before You Die

Posted by at 2:29 pm
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