Right now, Syria isn't so much a place that people jet off to as it is a place they escape from. Even so, armchair travelers can visit via award-winning foreign correspondent Janine di Giovanni's latest book. Taking readers on an eye-opening journey to the troubled country ruled by a dictator and riven by civil war, di Giovanni describes the brutality of post-Arab Spring life here. Having been based in the Middle East for over two decades, she knows Syria and evocatively shows it to readers through the stories of everyday people, including doctors, nuns, activists, a baker, a musician, and a student. A "brilliant, necessary book" says Kirkus Reviews.