"For The Love of Europe" and "Europe's Top 100 Masterpieces" arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. For The Love is a collection of 100 short essays largely based on observations from Ricks' early notebooks, expanded, and updated. It's good stuff, written to be read at leisure or perhaps read aloud. Because I am not traveling till 2023, these two volumes are filling up down time with entertaining anecdotes and background information about classic artworks. Highly recommended. However, there's not much in either book you have not already seen in eleven years of Rick Steves Europe's TV programs. Committing to buy requires carefully reading the reviews and deciding they would definitely fill some void in your travel library.
I have both books and enjoy them periodically. The art book I will look up artworks from destinations I’m interested in visiting or have visited.
The other I listen to on my phone while out walking. I agree they are not entirely new if you watch his programs or listen to his podcasts.
I love the 100 Masterpiece book. It is perfect for the more casual art lovers.
RS also did small books describing holiday traditions in Europe. There is one for Christmas and one for Easter. We enjoy them.
I believe the two new books are also part of a PBS pledge package, premiums for folks donating to their local station. As a member already, I didn’t make an additional pledge in the most recent round of funding specials, but the books were an additional incentive for new or renewing folks during the showing of Rick’s latest “Europe Awaits” program.
Rick’s got a huge vault of travel and destination information available, including his notes, recordings, and memories. His collaboration with Gene Openshaw and others has added art and history highlights, and allowed repackaging of all that into new formats and themes. New content is surely upcoming, while current books continue his outstanding offerings.
I purchased the 100 Masterpieces and Art 101. I read and enjoyed both books immensely. Now, if I could only remember and retain all I read it will help when we travel again.