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4 books for armchair travelers

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Has flying become more hassle than it's worth? No problem – just pick up a book and go. Here are four excellent picks for armchair travelers.

1. "My Life in France," by Julia Child (Knopf Doubleday, 368 pp., $15). Fill in the gaps left by “Julie & Julia” with this “delightful and ebulliently written” memoir by Julia Child about her “six-year stint (1948-54) in France” – “the most influential years in her career as well as the happiest of her life.” (CSM review 6/20/06)

2. "Shanghai Girls," by Lisa See (Random House, 36 pp., $15). Lisa See painstakingly re-creates both the Shanghai of the 1930s and ’40s and California life in the 1950s in this novel about “the almost life-giving strength women can gain from sisterhood – and the ways in which they can tear each other apart without even trying.“ (CSM review 6/5/09)

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