A Walk in the WoodsBill Bryson
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A Walk in the WoodsBill Bryson
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The classic chronicle of a “terribly misguided and terribly funny” ( The Washington Post ) hike of the Appalachian Trail, from the author of A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Body “The best way of escaping into nature.”— The New York Times Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes—and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. For a start there’s the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson’s acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America’s last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is a modern classic of travel literature. NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
Travels with Charley in Search of AmericaJohn Steinbeck & Jay Parini
An intimate journey across and in search of America, as told by one of its most beloved writers, in a deluxe centennial edition In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante. His course took him through almost forty states: northward from Long Island to Maine; through the Midwest to Chicago; onward by way of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana (with which he fell in love), and Idaho to Seattle, south to San Francisco and his birthplace, Salinas; eastward through the Mojave, New Mexico, Arizona, to the vast hospitality of Texas, to New Orleans and a shocking drama of desegregation; finally, on the last leg, through Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to New York. Travels with Charley in Search of America is an intimate look at one of America's most beloved writers in the later years of his life—a self-portrait of a man who never wrote an explicit autobiography. Written during a time of upheaval and racial tension in the South—which Steinbeck witnessed firsthand— Travels with Charley is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition also features French flaps and deckle-edged paper. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Colossus of Maroussi (Second Edition)Henry Miller
Henry Miller’s landmark travel book, now reissued in a new edition, is ready to be stuffed into any vagabond’s backpack. Like the ancient colossus that stood over the harbor of Rhodes, Henry Miller’s The Colossus of Maroussi stands as a seminal classic in travel literature. It has preceded the footsteps of prominent travel writers such as Pico Iyer and Rolf Potts. The book Miller would later cite as his favorite began with a young woman’s seductive description of Greece. Miller headed out with his friend Lawrence Durrell to explore the Grecian countryside: a flock of sheep nearly tramples the two as they lie naked on a beach; the Greek poet Katsmbalis, the “colossus” of Miller’s book, stirs every rooster within earshot of the Acropolis with his own loud crowing; cold hard-boiled eggs are warmed in a village’s single stove, and they stay in hotels that “have seen better days, but which have an aroma of the past.”
All Over the PlaceGeraldine DeRuiter
Some people are meant to travel the globe, to unwrap its secrets and share them with the world. And some people have no sense of direction, are terrified of pigeons, and get motion sickness from tying their shoes. These people are meant to stay home and eat nachos. Geraldine DeRuiter is the latter. But she won't let that stop her. Hilarious, irreverent, and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the years Geraldine spent traveling the world after getting laid off from a job she loved. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she now understands her Russian father better than ever before. She learned that what she thought was her mother's functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called "being Italian." She learned what it's like to travel the world with someone you already know and love -- how that person can help you make sense of things and make far-off places feel like home. She learned about unemployment and brain tumors, lost luggage and lost opportunities, and just getting lost in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned that sometimes you can find yourself exactly where you need to be -- even if you aren't quite sure where you are.
Long Way RoundEwan McGregor & Charley Boorman
'A highly readable and spiritually uplifting book about a dream come true' Wanderlust 'Touching and memorable ... one for armchair travellers and bike freaks' Daily Mail From London to New York , Ewan and Charley chased their shadows through Europe, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, across the Pacific to Alaska, then down through Canada and America. But as the miles slipped beneath the tyres of their big BMWs, their troubles started. Exhaustion, injury and accidents tested their strength. Treacherous roads, unpredictable weather and turbulent politics challenged their stamina. They were chased by paparazzi in Kazakhstan, courted by men with very large guns in the Ukraine, hassled by the police, and given bulls' testicles for supper by Mongolian nomads. And yet despite all these obstacles they managed to ride more than twenty thousand miles in four months, changing their lives forever in the process. As they travelled they documented their trip, taking photographs, and writing diaries by the campfire. Long Way Round is the result of their adventures - a fascinating, frank and highly entertaining travel book about two friends riding round the world together and, against all the odds, realising their dream.
The Temporary EuropeanCameron Hewitt
Write guidebooks, make travel TV, lead bus tours? Cameron Hewitt has been Rick Steves’ right hand for more than 20 years, doing just that. The Temporary European is a collection of vivid, entertaining travel tales from across Europe. Cameron zips you into his backpack for engaging and inspiring experiences: sampling spleen sandwiches at a Palermo street market; hiking alone with the cows high in the Swiss Alps; simmering in Budapest’s thermal baths; trekking across an English moor to a stone circle; hand-rolling pasta at a Tuscan agriturismo ; shivering through Highland games in a soggy Scottish village; and much more. Along the way, Cameron introduces us to his favorite Europeans. In Mostar, Alma demonstrates how Bosnian coffee isn’t just a drink, but a social ritual. In France, Mathilde explains that the true mastery of a fromager isn’t making cheese, but aging it. In Spain, Fran proudly eats acorns, but never corn on the cob. While personal, the stories also tap into the universal joy of travel. Cameron’s travel motto (inspired by a globetrotting auntie) is "Jams Are Fun"—the fondest memories arrive when your best-laid plans go sideways. And he encourages travelers to stow their phones and guidebooks, slow down, and savor those magic moments that arrive between stops on a busy itinerary. The stories are packed with inspiration and insights for your next trip, including how to find the best gelato in Italy, how to select the best produce at a Provençal market, how to navigate Spain’s confusing tapas scene, and how to survive the experience of driving in Sicily (hint: just go numb). And you’ll get a reality check for every traveler’s "dream job": researching and writing guidebooks; guiding busloads of Americans on tours around Europe; scouting and producing a travel TV show; and working with Rick Steves and his merry band of travelers. It’s a candid account of how the sausage gets made in the travel business—told with warts-and-all honesty and a sense of humor. For Rick Steves fans, or anyone who loves Europe, The Temporary European is inspiring, insightful, and fun.
Goodbye to a RiverJohn Graves
In the 1950s, a series of dams was proposed along the Brazos River in north-central Texas. For John Graves, this project meant that if the stream’s regimen was thus changed, the beautiful and sometimes brutal surrounding countryside would also change, as would the lives of the people whose rugged ancestors had eked out an existence there. Graves therefore decided to visit that stretch of the river, which he had known intimately as a youth. Goodbye to a River is his account of that farewell canoe voyage. As he braves rapids and fatigue and the fickle autumn weather, he muses upon old blood feuds of the region and violent skirmishes with native tribes, and retells wild stories of courage and cowardice and deceit that shaped both the river’s people and the land during frontier times and later. Nearly half a century after its initial publication, Goodbye to a River is a true American classic, a vivid narrative about an exciting journey and a powerful tribute to a vanishing way of life and its ever-changing natural environment.
In PatagoniaBruce Chatwin
The masterpiece of travel writing that revolutionized the genre and made its author famous overnight An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwin’s exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through “the uttermost part of the earth”—that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome—in search of almost-forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy. An instant classic upon publication in 1977, In Patagonia is a masterpiece that has cast a long shadow upon the literary world.
Mexican DaysTony Cohan
Tony Cohan’s On Mexican Time , his chronicle of discovering a new life in the small Mexican mountain town of San Miguel de Allende, has beguiled readers and become a travel classic. Now, in Mexican Days , point of arrival becomes point of departure as—faced with the invasion of the town by tourists and an entire Hollywood movie crew, a magazine editor’s irresistible invitation, and his own incurable wanderlust—Cohan undertakes a richer, wider exploration of the country he has settled in. Told with the intimate, sensuous insight and broad sweep that captivated readers of On Mexican Time , Mexican Days is set against a changing world as Cohan encounters surprise and adventure in a Mexico both old and new: among the misty mountains and coastal Caribbean towns of Veracruz; the ruins and resorts of Yucatán; the stirring indigenous world of Chiapas; the markets and galleries of Oaxaca; the teeming labyrinth of Mexico City; the remote Sierra Gorda mountains; the haunted city of Guanajuato; and the evocative Mayan ruins of Palenque. Along the way he encounters expatriates and artists, shady operatives and surrealists, and figures from his past. More than an immensely pleasurable and entertaining travel narrative by one of the most vivid, compelling travel voices to emerge in recent years, Mexican Days is both a celebration of the joys and revelations to be found in this inexhaustibly interesting country and a searching investigation of the Mexican landscape and the grip it is coming to have in the North American imagination.
Twilight in ItalyD.H. Lawrence
The author of Sea and Sardinia and Mornings in Mexico shares essays on his travels to Germany, Austria, and Italy. D. H. Lawrence first left England in 1912 and almost immediately began recording his reaction to foreign cultures. Many of those writings became a series of travel articles intended to be published in newspapers; two of them are published here for the first time, deemed too anti-German at the time. Other essays were modified and added to even more observations for Lawrence’s first travel book, Twilight in Italy , published in 1916. Shaped by the atmosphere of the War, and its rampant anxieties, these essays are imbued with Lawrence’s intellectual daring and confidence, which raise them above a conventional travel book.
The Happy Ant-HeapNorman Lewis
Experience the far reaches of the world in this eclectic collection of travel essays by acclaimed writer Norman Lewis The Happy Ant-Heap is Norman Lewis’s powerful and stylish collection of decades’ worth of travel writing. Lewis’s deft social commentary captures life from all corners of the world—from the tales of a Cuban fighter pilot to the courtroom trial of the all-powerful Sicilian Mafia, and from oyster divers in Yemen to a flirtation with a possible murderess in Greece. Featuring some of his most remarkable adventures, The Happy Ant-Heap is a whirlwind tour around the globe from a writer at the pinnacle of his craft.
Riding the Rails with Paul TherouxPaul Theroux
The international bestselling author records his many insights and adventures traversing the world by train in these 3 classic travel memoirs. The Great Railway Bazaar In 1973, Paul Theroux embarked on his now-legendary journey from the United Kingdom through Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Asia's fabled trains—the Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Frontier Mail, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Mandalay Express, the Trans-Siberian Express—are the stars of a journey that takes Theroux on a loop eastbound from London's Victoria Station to Tokyo Central, then back from Japan on the Trans-Siberian. The Old Patagonia Express Starting with a rush-hour subway ride to South Station in Boston to catch the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, Paul Theroux takes a grand railway adventure first across the United States and then south through Mexico, Central America, and across the Andes until he winds up on the meandering Old Patagonian Express steam engine. Ghost Train to the Eastern Star Thirty years after the epic journey chronicled in The Great Railway Bazaar, Paul Theroux retraces his 25,000-mile journey to witness and experience a landscape drastically transformed by the intervening decades. The Soviet Union has collapsed and China has risen; India booms while Burma smothers under dictatorship; Vietnam flourishes in the aftermath of the havoc America was unleashing on it the last time Theroux passed through.
The Sweet Life in ParisDavid Lebovitz
From the New York Times bestselling author of My Paris Kitchen and L'Appart, a deliciously funny, offbeat, and irreverent look at the city of lights, cheese, chocolate, and other confections. Like so many others, David Lebovitz dreamed about living in Paris ever since he first visited the city and after a nearly two-decade career as a pastry chef and cookbook author, he finally moved to Paris to start a new life. Having crammed all his worldly belongings into three suitcases, he arrived, hopes high, at his new apartment in the lively Bastille neighborhood. But he soon discovered it's a different world en France . From learning the ironclad rules of social conduct to the mysteries of men's footwear, from shopkeepers who work so hard not to sell you anything to the etiquette of working the right way around the cheese plate, here is David's story of how he came to fall in love with—and even understand—this glorious, yet sometimes maddening, city. When did he realize he had morphed into un vrai parisien ? It might have been when he found himself considering a purchase of men's dress socks with cartoon characters on them. Or perhaps the time he went to a bank with 135 euros in hand to make a 134-euro payment, was told the bank had no change that day, and thought it was completely normal. Or when he found himself dressing up to take out the garbage because he had come to accept that in Paris appearances and image mean everything. Once you stop laughing, the more than fifty original recipes, for dishes both savory and sweet, such as Pork Loin with Brown Sugar–Bourbon Glaze, Braised Turkey in Beaujolais Nouveau with Prunes, Bacon and Bleu Cheese Cake, Chocolate-Coconut Marshmallows, Chocolate Spice Bread, Lemon-Glazed Madeleines, and Mocha–Crème Fraîche Cake, will have you running to the kitchen for your own taste of Parisian living.
The Yellow EnvelopeKim Dinan
What Would You Do with a Yellow Envelope? After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they’re given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don’t overthink it; share your experiences; don’t feel pressured to give it all away. Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and beyond, Kim and Brian face obstacles, including major challenges to their relationship. As she distributes the gift to people she encounters along the way she learns that money does not have a thing to do with the capacity to give, but that giving—of ourselves—is transformational.
On the Back RoadsBill Graves
Do you like small towns, places off the beaten path, trips down memory lane? Ever wonder if old-fashioned values are still alive in America? Then kick back, unwind, and hop onboard with travel writer Bill Graves as he takes you On the Back Roads. Graves has a knack for finding the quirky, the offbeat in some of the most obscure, yet fascinating, small towns on the map. Among the places and faces he discovers: a town where it's against the law not to own a gun, a town famous for its split pea soup, the wise 83-year-old Emmy who camps alone in the dessert, and a man who hunts live ants for a living. The list goes on! Retired and free to roam in his motorhome, the “RV Author,” Bill Graves, logs 40,000 miles through the western states of California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming.
The Lady and the MonkPico Iyer
When Pico Iyer decided to go to Kyoto and live in a monastery, he did so to learn about Zen Buddhism from the inside, to get to know Kyoto, one of the loveliest old cities in the world, and to find out something about Japanese culture today -- not the world of businessmen and production lines, but the traditional world of changing seasons and the silence of temples, of the images woven through literature, of the lunar Japan that still lives on behind the rising sun of geopolitical power. All this he did. And then he met Sachiko. Vivacious, attractive, thoroughly educated, speaking English enthusiastically if eccentrically, the wife of a Japanese "salaryman" who seldom left the office before 10 P.M., Sachiko was as conversant with tea ceremony and classical Japanese literature as with rock music, Goethe, and Vivaldi. With the lightness of touch that made Video Night in Kathmandu so captivating, Pico Iyer fashions from their relationship a marvelously ironic yet heartfelt book that is at once a portrait of cross-cultural infatuation -- and misunderstanding -- and a delightfully fresh way of seeing both the old Japan and the very new.
At the Edge of IrelandDavid Yeadon
In recent years, Ireland has enjoyed a newfound prosperity as Europe's most affluent nation. But tucked away in a far corner of the so-called "Celtic Tiger," that other enduring and authentic country—that small, hidden place of simple magic and romance—still exists. Acclaimed travel writer David Yeadon and his wife, Anne, set out to find it. On the Beara Peninsula of southwest Ireland, the Yeadons discovered their own "little lost world," an enticing Brigadoon of soaring mountain ranges and spectacular coastal scenery, far removed from the touristic hullabaloo of Dublin, Killarney, and the Ring of Kerry. Here is the fabled "Old Ireland," alive and well with music seisuins, hooley dances, and seanachai storytellers—a haven for searchers, healers, artists, and poets hardy enough to have braved the same narrow and winding mountain roads that keep the package-tour coaches out. Bursting with color and life, At the Edge of Ireland is an intrepid wanderer's celebration of a magical, unspoiled, and unforgettable Éire.
Bill Bryson's African DiaryBill Bryson
From the author of A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Body comes a travel diary documenting a visit to Kenya. All royalties and profits go to CARE International. In the early fall of 2002, famed travel writer Bill Bryson journeyed to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world. He arrived with a set of mental images of Africa gleaned from television broadcasts of low-budget Jungle Jim movies in his Iowa childhood and a single viewing of the film version of Out of Africa . (Also with some worries about tropical diseases, insects, and large predators.) But the vibrant reality of Kenya and its people took over the second he deplaned in Nairobi, and this diary records Bill Bryson’s impressions of his trip with his inimitable trademark style of wry observation and curious insight. From the wrenching poverty of the Kibera slum in Nairobi to the meticulously manicured grounds of the Karen Blixen house and the human fossil riches of the National Museum, Bryson registers the striking contrasts of a postcolonial society in transition. He visits the astoundingly vast Great Rift Valley; undergoes the rigors of a teeth-rattling train journey to Mombasa and a hair-whitening flight through a vicious storm; and visits the refugee camps and the agricultural and economic projects where dedicated CARE professionals wage noble and dogged war against poverty, dislocation, and corruption. Though brief in compass and duration, Bill Bryson’s African Diary is rich in irreverent, poignant, and morally instructive observation. Like all of this author’s work, it can make the reader laugh, think, and especially, feel all at the same time.
Lost JapanAlex Kerr
An enchanting and fascinating insight into Japanese landscape, culture, history and future. Originally written in Japanese, this passionate, vividly personal book draws on the author's experiences in Japan over thirty years. Alex Kerr brings to life the ritualized world of Kabuki, retraces his initiation into Tokyo's boardrooms during the heady Bubble Years, and tells the story of the hidden valley that became his home. But the book is not just a love letter. Haunted throughout by nostalgia for the Japan of old, Kerr's book is part paean to that great country and culture, part epitaph in the face of contemporary Japan's environmental and cultural destruction. Winner of Japan's 1994 Shincho Gakugei Literature Prize. Alex Kerr is an American writer, antiques collector and Japanologist. Lost Japan is his most famous work. He was the first foreigner to be awarded the Shincho Gakugei Literature Prize for the best work of non-fiction published in Japan.
Guru in Your Golf SwingEd Hanczaryk
A PGA pro’s trip to teach golf in Bhutan becomes a journey of self-discovery on which he learns an ancient meditation practice. PGA of Canada pro Ed Hanczaryk blends golf and the art of meditation in this travelogue based on his true story of a five-month golf-teaching assignment in the hidden Kingdom of Bhutan. One day he taught a monk how to improve his game, and the next day, the monk taught him to tame his unruly mind . . . A personal story of “zen and the art of the golf swing” for readers of Joseph Parent’s Zen Golf .
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: THE NEW YORK TIMES • NPR • THE GUARDIAN From pole to pole and across decades of lived experience, National Book Award-winning author Barry Lopez delivers his most far-ranging, yet personal, work to date. Horizon moves indelibly, immersively, through the author’s travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica. Along the way, Lopez probes the long history of humanity’s thirst for exploration, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today’s ecotourists in the tropics. And always, throughout his journeys to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.
The New American Road Trip MixtapeBrendan Leonard
When your life plan explodes, you ask yourself the big questions: What do I really need in life? How can I make my life a work of art? Should I buy a house? Have kids? What is a life? Following in Kerouac and Steinbeck's tire tracks, a 32-year-old, post-breakup Brendan Leonard hits the road in search of healing and a new, post-economic-downturn American Dream. Sleeping in the back of a beat-up station wagon, he seeks answers—and hopefully, the occasional shower—in the postcard-worthy places of the American West. Part ballad to the romance of the road and part heart-searching treatise on the American Dream, The New American Road Trip Mixtape is Leonard's raw, often hilarious, barstool storytelling at its best.
Full TiltDervla Murphy
When Dervla Murphy was ten, she was given a bicycle and an atlas, and within days she was secretly planning a trip to India. At the age of thirty-one, in 1963, she finally set off and this book is based on the daily diary she kept while riding through Persia, Afghanistan and over the Himalayas to Pakistan and India. A lone woman on a bicycle (with a revolver in her trouser pocket) was an almost unknown occurrence and a focus of enormous interest wherever she went. Undaunted by snow in alarming quantities, and using her .25 pistol on starving wolves in Bulgaria and to scare lecherous Kurds in Persia, her resourcefulness and the blind eye she turned to personal danger and extreme discomfort were remarkable.
The Last Train to Zona VerdePaul Theroux
The acclaimed author of Dark Star Safari journeys across western Africa in this “thoroughly engrossing [and] at times tragic” travelogue ( Washington Post ). Paul Theroux’s best-selling Dark Star Safari chronicled his epic overland voyage from Cairo to Cape Town, providing an insider’s look at modern Africa. Now, with The Last Train to Zona Verde , he returns to discover how both he and Africa have changed in the ensuing years. Traveling alone, Theroux sets out from Cape Town, going north through South Africa, Namibia, then into Angola, encountering a world increasingly removed from tourists’ itineraries and the hopes of postcolonial independence movements. After covering nearly 2,500 arduous miles, Theroux cuts short his journey, a decision he chronicles with unsparing honesty in a chapter titled “What Am I Doing Here?” Vivid, witty, and beautifully evocative, The Last Train to Zona Verde is a fitting final African adventure from the writer whose gimlet eye and effortless prose have brought the world to generations of readers. “If this book is proof, age has not slowed Theroux or encouraged him to rest on his achievements . . . Gutsy, alert to Africa's struggles, its injustices and history.” — San Francisco Chronicle
A Walk for SunshineJeff Alt
Jeff Alt takes you along every step of his 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail adventure filled with humorous, frightening, and inspirational stories including bears, bugs, blisters, captivating characters, skunk bed mates, and hilarious food cravings. As Alt walked more than 5 million steps through freezing temperatures, driving rain, and sunny skies, he was constantly buoyed by the knowledge that his walk was dedicated to his brother who has cerebral palsy. Alt's adventure inspired an annual fundraiser which has raised over $500,000 for Sunshine, the home where his brother lives. This is the 20th anniversary edition. As you walk along with Alt, experience the success of turning dreams into goals and achieving them. Alt's lessons from the trail celebrate family, stewardship of the earth, good health, and the American spirit. less
My Car in ManaguaForrest D. Colburn
Histories of revolutions often focus on military, political, or economic upheavals but sometimes neglect to connect these larger events to the daily lives of "ordinary" people. Yet the peoples' perception that "things are worse than before" can topple revolutionary governments, as shown by the recent defeat of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and the governments of Eastern Europe. Providing the kind of prosaic, revealing details that more formal histories have excluded, My Car in Managua offers an objective, often humorous description of the great difficulties and occasional pleasures of life in Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution. During a year's work (1985-1986) at the Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas (INCAE), Forrest Colburn purchased a dilapidated car—and with it an introduction to everyday life in Nicaragua. His discoveries of the length of time required to register the car (approximately six weeks), the impossibility of finding spare parts (except when U.S. dollars were applied to the search), and the fact that "anyone getting into a car in Managua can be charged a small fee [for car watching] by anyone else" all suggest the difficulties most Nicaraguans faced living in a devastated economy. Drawing on experiences from visits throughout the revolutionary period (1979-1989), Colburn also sheds light on how the Revolution affected social customs and language, gender roles and family relationships, equality and authority, the availability of goods and services, the status of ethnic minorities, and governmental and other institutions. Illustrations by Nicaragua's celebrated political cartoonist Róger Sánchez Flores enliven the lucid text.
Never Look a Polar Bear in the EyeZac Unger
In this humorous mix of travelogue and memoir, a writer temporarily moves his California family north to Canada’s Polar Bear Capital of the World. Welcome to Churchill, Manitoba. Year-round human population: 943. Yet despite the isolation and the searing cold here at the arctic’s edge, visitors from around the globe flock to the town every fall, driven by a single purpose: to see polar bears in the wild. Churchill is “The Polar Bear Capital of the World.” And for one unforgettable “bear season,” Zac Unger, his wife, and his three children moved from Oakland, California, to make it their temporary home. But they soon discovered that it’s really the polar bears who are at home in Churchill, roaming past the coffee shop on the main drag, peering into garbage cans, scratching their backs against fence posts and front doorways. Where kids in other towns receive admonitions about talking to strangers, Churchill schoolchildren get “Let’s All Be Bear Aware” booklets to bring home. (Lesson number 8: Never explore bad-smelling areas.) Zac Unger takes readers on a spirited and often wildly funny journey to a place as unique as it is remote, a place where natives, tourists, scientists, conservationists, and the most ferocious predators on the planet converge. In the process he becomes embroiled in the controversy surrounding “polar bear science”—and finds out that some of what we’ve been led to believe about the bears’ imminent extinction may not be quite the case. But mostly what he learns is about human behavior in extreme situations . . . and also why you should never even think of looking a polar bear in the eye.
Neither here nor thereBill Bryson
In the early seventies, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe—in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. He was accompanied by an unforgettable sidekick named Stephen Katz (who will be gloriously familiar to readers of Bryson's A Walk in the Woods). Twenty years later, he decided to retrace his journey. The result is the affectionate and riotously funny Neither Here Nor There.
Bicycle DiariesDavid Byrne
"...an engaging book: part diary, part manifesto." The Guardian A round-the-world bicycle tour with one of the most original artists of our day. Urban bicycling has become more popular than ever as recession-strapped, climate-conscious city dwellers reinvent basic transportation. In this wide-ranging memoir, artist/musician and co-founder of Talking Heads David Byrne--who has relied on a bike to get around New York City since the early 1980s--relates his adventures as he pedals through and engages with some of the world's major cities. From Buenos Aires to Berlin, he meets a range of people both famous and ordinary, shares his thoughts on art, fashion, music, globalization, and the ways that many places are becoming more bike-friendly. Bicycle Diaries is an adventure on two wheels conveyed with humor, curiosity, and humanity.
The Voyage of the BeagleCharles Darwin
The riveting firsthand account of the historic voyage that led to the theory of evolution When the HMS Beagle set sail in 1831, the science of biology was not far removed from the Dark Ages. When the ship returned to England nearly five years later, Charles Darwin had the makings of a theory that would revolutionize our understanding of the natural world. From volcanoes in the Galapagos to the coral reefs of Australia, The Voyage of the Beagle documents the young naturalist’s encounters with some of the earth’s most stunning features. Darwin’s observations of the people, places, and events he experienced make for compelling reading and offer a fascinating window into the intellectual development of his ideas about natural selection. A brilliant travelogue and a revealing glimpse into the Victorian mindset, The Voyage of the Beagle is an indispensable companion volume to On the Origin of Species . This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
Turn Right at Machu PicchuMark Adams
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING TRAVEL MEMOIR What happens when an unadventurous adventure writer tries to re-create the original expedition to Machu Picchu? In 1911, Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and “discovered” Machu Picchu. While history has recast Bingham as a villain who stole both priceless artifacts and credit for finding the great archeological site, Mark Adams set out to retrace the explorer’s perilous path in search of the truth—except he’d written about adventure far more than he’d actually lived it. In fact, he’d never even slept in a tent. Turn Right at Machu Picchu is Adams’ fascinating and funny account of his journey through some of the world’s most majestic, historic, and remote landscapes guided only by a hard-as-nails Australian survivalist and one nagging question: Just what was Machu Picchu?
The Geography of BlissEric Weiner
Part travel memoir, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader across the globe to investigate not what happiness is, but WHERE it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Qatar, awash in petrodollars, find joy in all that cash? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina so damn happy? In a unique mix of travel, psychology, science and humor, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.
Around the World in 80 DaysJules Verne
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne is a classic adventure novel that follows Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout as they attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days to win a bet that would be worth over $2,000,000 today.
To Build a FireJack London
To Build a Fire and Other Stories is a collection of essential short stories by Jack London. The title tale is the best known of the London short works with its reflection of his experience in the frigid Northwestern Yukon territory with a husky wolf-dog.
Kevin and I in IndiaFrank Kusy
Acclaimed as one of the funniest and true to life stories about India ever written, this 'diary of disaster' was an instant bestseller upon publication in 1986 and remains a firm favourite with readers today. "Relentlessly honest, refreshingly uncontrived, this diary really works." ( The Sunday Tribune ) "India, at low-budget tourist level, is buffeting and bullying. But over four months travelling, Frank Kusy remains indefatigably and irrepressibly jocular." ( The Mail on Sunday ) "Easy to read, interesting and funny, you feel you are there with Frank and Kevin, cooped up in trains, starving for days and then going on massive binges, going thirsty and then drinking coffee, only to find that it's been sweetened with baboon's milk." ( The Surrey Mercury ) When Frank and Kevin first met in an empty Arab airport lounge on their way to India, it was the beginning of a friendship which would take them together across the length and breadth of the Indian sub-continent, ending up in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal. 'Kevin and I in India' is the unexpurgated, often outrageous, diary of their travels – from the hill-stations of the deep south to the Taj Mahal in the north, from the Goan beaches of the west to the sacred Ganges and the Bodhi Tree in the east. Full of anecdotes, observations and travellers' tales, the two Englishmen weave a crazy, erratic path through a variety of adventures and misadventures, in constant battle against officialdom, insects, heat, dust, ticket-queues and mad traffic. Here is the real India – stripped of illusion, but adorned with humour and exuberance. Here is a kaleidoscopic potpourri of fascinating sights, scenes and people, with each day of the journey more exciting, more packed with incident, than the last.
Blue HighwaysWilliam Least Heat-Moon
Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation's backroads. William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about "those little towns that get on the map -- if they get on at all -- only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi." His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.
Tales of a Female NomadRita Golden Gelman
The true story of an ordinary woman living an extraordinary existence all over the world. “Gelman doesn’t just observe the cultures she visits, she participates in them, becoming emotionally involved in the people’s lives. This is an amazing travelogue.” — Booklist At the age of forty-eight, on the verge of a divorce, Rita Golden Gelman left an elegant life in L.A. to follow her dream of travelling the world, connecting with people in cultures all over the globe. In 1986, Rita sold her possessions and became a nomad, living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, sleeping with sea lions on the Galapagos Islands, and residing everywhere from thatched huts to regal palaces. She has observed orangutans in the rain forest of Borneo, visited trance healers and dens of black magic, and cooked with women on fires all over the world. Rita’s example encourages us all to dust off our dreams and rediscover the joy, the exuberance, and the hidden spirit that so many of us bury when we become adults.
The Lost ContinentBill Bryson
“The kind of book Steinbeck might have written if he’d traveled with David Letterman.” —New York magazine An inspiring and hilarious account of one man’s rediscovery of America and his search for the perfect small town. Following an urge to rediscover his youth, Bill Bryson left his native Des Moines, Iowa, in a journey that would take him across 38 states. Lucky for us, he brought a notebook. With a razor wit and a kind heart, Bryson serves up a colorful tale of boredom, kitsch, and beauty when you least expect it. From Times Square to the Mississippi River to Williamsburg, Virginia, Bryson's keen and hilarious search for the perfect American small town is a journey straight into the heart and soul of America.
A Course Called IrelandTom Coyne
An epic Celtic sojourn in search of ancestors, nostalgia, and the world?s greatest round of golf In his thirties, married, and staring down impending fatherhood, Tom Coyne was well familiar with the last refuge of the adult male: the golfing trip. Intent on designing a golf trip to end all others, Coyne looked to Ireland, the place where his father had taught him to love the game years before. As he studied a map of the island and plotted his itinerary, it dawned on Coyne that Ireland was ringed with golf holes. The country began to look like one giant round of golf, so Coyne packed up his clubs and set off to play all of it. And since Irish golfers didn?t take golf carts, neither would he. He would walk the entire way. A Course Called Ireland is the story of a walking- averse golfer who treks his way around an entire country, spending sixteen weeks playing every seaside hole in Ireland and often battling through all four seasons in one Irish afternoon. Coyne plays everything from the top-ranked links in the world to nine-hole courses crowded with livestock. Along the way, he searches out his family?s roots, discovers that a once-poor country has been transformed by an economic boom, and finds that the only thing tougher to escape than Irish sand traps are Irish pubs. By turns hilarious and poetic, A Course Called Ireland is a magnificent tour of a vibrant land and a paean to the world?s greatest game.
My Twenty-Five Years in ProvencePeter Mayle
From the moment Peter Mayle and his wife, Jennie, uprooted their lives in England and crossed the Channel permanently, they never looked back. Here the beloved author of A Year in Provence pays tribute to the most endearing and enduring aspects of his life in France—the charming and indelible parade of village life, the sheer beauty, the ancient history. He celebrates the café and lists some of his favorites; identifies his favorite villages, restaurants, and open-air markets; and recounts his most memorable meals. A celebration of twenty-five years of Provençal living—of lessons learned and changes observed—with his final book Mayle has crafted a lasting love letter to his adopted home, marked by his signature warmth, wit, and humor.
The Land of Little RainMary Austin
A stirring tribute to the unique beauty of the American Southwest In the region stretching from the High Sierras south of Yosemite to the Mojave Desert, water is scarce and empty riverbeds hint at a lush landscape that has long since vanished. But the desert is far from lifeless. For those who know where to look, the “land of little rain” is awash in wonders. In this exquisite meditation on the people, flora, and fauna of the American desert, Mary Austin introduces readers to the secret treasures of the landscape she loved above all others. Her lyrical essays profoundly influenced the work of nature writers and conservationists, among them Edward Abbey and Terry Tempest Williams, and have inspired generations of readers to visit some of the country’s most stunning national parks, including Death Valley and Joshua Tree. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
Honeymoon with My BrotherFranz Wisner
This is the true story of Franz Wisner, a man who thought he had it all- a high profile career and the fiancée of his dreams- when suddenly, his life turned upside down. Just days before they were to be married, his fiancée called off the wedding. Luckily, his large support network of family and friends wouldn't let him succumb to his misery. They decided Franz should have a wedding and a honeymoon anyway- there just wouldn't be a bride at the ceremony, and Franz' travel companion would be his brother, Kurt. During the "honeymoon," Franz reconnected with his brother and began to look at his life with newfound perspective. The brothers decided to leave their old lives behind them. They quit their jobs, sold all their possessions, and traveled around the world, visiting fifty-three countries for the next two years. In Honeymoon With My Brother , Franz recounts this remarkable journey, during which he turned his heartbreak into an opportunity to learn about himself, the world, and the brother he hardly knew.
I'm Off ThenHape Kerkeling
I'm Off Then has sold more than three million copies in Germany and has been translated into eleven languages. The number of pilgrims along the Camino has increased by 20 percent since the book was published. Hape Kerkeling's spiritual journey has struck a chord. Overweight, overworked, and disenchanted, Kerkeling was an unlikely candidate to make the arduous pilgrimage across the Pyrenees to the Spanish shrine of St. James, a 1,200-year-old journey undertaken by nearly 100,000 people every year. But he decided to get off the couch and do it anyway. Lonely and searching for meaning along the way, he began the journal that turned into this utterly frank, engaging book. Filled with unforgettable characters, historic landscapes, and Kerkeling's self-deprecating humor, I'm Off Then is an inspiring travelogue, a publishing phenomenon, and a spiritual journey unlike any other.
Roughing ItMark Twain
The Wild West as Mark Twain lived it In 1861, Mark Twain joined his older brother Orion, the newly appointed secretary of the Nevada Territory, on a stagecoach journey from Missouri to Carson City, Nevada. Planning to be gone for three months, Twain spent the next “six or seven years” exploring the great American frontier, from the monumental vistas of the Rocky Mountains to the lush landscapes of Hawaii. Along the way, he made and lost a theoretical fortune, danced like a kangaroo in the finest hotels of San Francisco, and came to terms with freezing to death in a snow bank—only to discover, in the light of morning, that he was fifteen steps from a comfortable inn. As a record of the “variegated vagabondizing” that characterized his early years—before he became a national treasure— Roughing It is an indispensable chapter in the biography of Mark Twain. It is also, a century and a half after it was first published, both a fascinating history of the American West and a laugh-out-loud good time. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
Strange StonesPeter Hessler
Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a far-ranging, thought-provoking collection of Peter Hessler’s best reportage—a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of his work. Over the last decade, as a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three books, Peter Hessler has lived in Asia and the United States, writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider in these two very different regions. This unusual perspective distinguishes Strange Stones, which showcases Hessler’s unmatched range as a storyteller. “Wild Flavor” invites readers along on a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China. One story profiles Yao Ming, basketball star and China’s most beloved export, another David Spindler, an obsessive and passionate historian of the Great Wall. In “Dr. Don,” Hessler writes movingly about a small-town pharmacist and his relationship with the people he serves. While Hessler’s subjects and locations vary, subtle but deeply important thematic links bind these pieces—the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between apparently opposing cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds.
Leave Only FootprintsConor Knighton
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A delightful sampler plate of our national parks, written with charisma and erudition.”—Nick Offerman, author of Paddle Your Own Canoe From CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Conor Knighton, a behind-the-scenery look at his year traveling to each of America's National Parks, discovering the most beautiful places and most interesting people our country has to offer NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY OUTSIDE When Conor Knighton set off to explore America's "best idea," he worried the whole thing could end up being his worst idea. A broken engagement and a broken heart had left him longing for a change of scenery, but the plan he'd cooked up in response had gone a bit overboard in that department: Over the course of a single year, Knighton would visit every national park in the country, from Acadia to Zion. In Leave Only Footprints, Knighton shares informative and entertaining dispatches from what turned out to be the road trip of a lifetime. Whether he's waking up early for a naked scrub in a historic bathhouse in Arkansas or staying up late to stargaze along our loneliest highway in Nevada, Knighton weaves together the type of stories you're not likely to find in any guidebook. Through his unique lens, America the Beautiful becomes America the Captivating, the Hilarious, and the Inspiring. Along the way, he identifies the threads that tie these wildly different places together—and that tie us to nature—and reveals how his trip ended up changing his views on everything from God and love to politics and technology. Filled with fascinating tidbits about our parks' past and reflections on their fragile future, this book is both a celebration of and a passionate case for the natural wonders that all Americans share.
Queen of the RoadDoreen Orion
A pampered Long Island princess hits the road in a converted bus with her wilderness-loving husband, travels the country for one year, and brings it all hilariously to life in this offbeat and romantic memoir. Doreen and Tim are married psychiatrists with a twist: She’s a self-proclaimed Long Island princess, grouchy couch potato, and shoe addict. He's an affable, though driven, outdoorsman. When Tim suggests “chucking it all” to travel cross-country in a converted bus, Doreen asks, “Why can’t you be like a normal husband in a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?” But she soon shocks them both, agreeing to set forth with their sixty-pound dog, two querulous cats—and no agenda—in a 340-square-foot bus. Queen of the Road is Doreen’s offbeat and romantic tale about refusing to settle, about choosing the unconventional road with all the misadventures it brings (fire, flood, armed robbery, and finding themselves in a nudist RV park, to name just a few). The marvelous places they visit and delightful people they encounter have a life-changing effect on all the travelers, as Doreen grows to appreciate the simple life, Tim mellows, and even the pets pull together. Best of all, readers get to go along for the ride through forty-seven states in this often hilarious and always entertaining memoir, in which a boisterous marriage of polar opposites becomes stronger than ever.
360 Degrees LongitudeJohn Higham
Much more than a travel narrative 360 Degrees Longitude: One Family’s Journey Around the World is a glimpse at what it means to be a “global citizen”—a progressively changing view of the world as seen through the eyes of an American family of four. After more than a decade of planning, John Higham and his wife September bid their high-tech jobs and suburban lives good-bye, packed up their home and set out with two children, ages eight and eleven, to travel around the world. In the course of the next 52 weeks they crossed 24 time zones, visited 28 countries and experienced a lifetime of adventures. Making their way across the world, the Highams discovered more than just different foods and cultures; they also learned such diverse things as a Chilean mall isn’t the best place to get your ears pierced, and that elephants appreciate flowers just as much as the next person. But most importantly, they learned about each other, and just how much a family can weather if they do it together. 360 Degrees Longitude employs Google’s wildly popular Google Earth as a compliment to the narrative. Using your computer you can spin the digital globe to join the adventure cycling through Europe, feeling the cold stare of a pride of lions in Africa, and breaking down in the Andes. Packed with photos, video and text, the online Google Earth companion adds a dimension not possible with mere paper and ink. Fly over the terrain of the Inca Trail or drill down to see the majesty of the Swiss Alps—without leaving the comfort of your chair.
A Short Walk in the Hindu KushEric Newby
Some of the maps in this title are best viewed on a tablet device. A classic of travel writing, A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush is Eric Newby’s iconic account of his journey through one of the most remote and beautiful wildernesses on earth. It was 1956, and Eric Newby was earning an improbable living in the chaotic family business of London haute couture. Pining for adventure, Newby sent his friend Hugh Carless the now-famous cable – CAN YOU TRAVEL NURISTAN JUNE? – setting in motion a legendary journey from Mayfair to Afghanistan, and the mountains of the Hindu Kush, north-east of Kabul. Inexperienced and ill-prepared (their preparations involved nothing more than some tips from a Welsh waitress), the amateurish rogues embark on a month of adventure and hardship in one of the most beautiful wildernesses on earth – a journey that adventurers with more experience and sense may never have undertaken. With good humour, sharp wit and keen observation, the charming narrative style of A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush would soon crystallise Newby's reputation as one of the greatest travel writers of all time. One of the greatest travel classics from one of Britain's best-loved travel writers, this edition includes new photographs, an epilogue from Newby's travelling companion, Hugh Carless, and a prologue from one of Newby's greatest proponents, Evelyn Waugh. Reviews 'The master storyteller. He transformed travel writing' Independent 'One of the most enjoyable reads of the last century' Herald Tribune 'The most successful travel writer of his generation. It's impossible to read this book without laughing aloud' Observer 'Endlessly entertaining and self-deprecating' Daily Mail 'Full of serendipity and surprise' The Economist 'A total success' New Yorker 'Notable addition to the literature of unorthodox travel … tough, extrovert, humorous and immensely literate' Times Literary Supplement '”A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” established him as a traveler who not only journeyed fruitfully but had the ability to bring his readers with him' William Trevor, Guardian 'I still think the last few sentences of “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” the funniest ending to any book I have read' Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Times 'The book that made [Newby's] reputation … typically ironic in its understatement' Observer 'Newby is easily the best of the bunch' Sunday Times 'All the lyricism, and spirit of adventure and discovery [in] Newby's work' The Times 'As good as its hype' Wanderlust About the author Eric Newby was born in London in 1919. In 1938, he joined the four-masted Finnish barque Moshulu as an apprentice and sailed in the last Grain Race from Australia to Europe, by way of Cape Horn. During World War II, he served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section. In 1942, he was captured and remained a prisoner-of-war until 1945. He subsequently married the girl who helped him to escape, and for the next fifty years, his wife Wanda was at his side on many adventures. After the war, he worked in the fashion business and book publishing but always travelled on a grand scale, sometimes as the Travel Editor for the Observer. He was made CBE in 1994 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001. Eric Newby died in 2006.
Fugitives and RefugeesChuck Palahniuk
Want to know where Chuck Palahniuk’s tonsils currently reside? Been looking for a naked mannequin to hide in your kitchen cabinets? Curious about Chuck’s debut in an MTV music video? What goes on at the Scum Center? How do you get to the Apocalypse Café? In the closest thing he may ever write to an autobiography, Chuck Palahniuk provides answers to all these questions and more as he takes you through the streets, sewers, and local haunts of Portland, Oregon. According to Katherine Dunn, author of the cult classic Geek Love , Portland is the home of America’s “fugitives and refugees.” Get to know these folks, the “most cracked of the crackpots,” as Palahniuk calls them, and come along with him on an adventure through the parts of Portland you might not otherwise believe actually exist. No other travel guide will give you this kind of access to “a little history, a little legend, and a lot of friendly, sincere, fascinating people who maybe should’ve kept their mouths shut.” Here are strange personal museums, weird annual events, and ghost stories. Tour the tunnels under downtown Portland. Visit swingers’ sex clubs, gay and straight. See Frances Gabe’s famous 1940s Self-Cleaning House. Look into strange local customs like the I-Tit-a-Rod Race and the Santa Rampage. Learn how to talk like a local in a quick vocabulary lesson. Get to know, I mean really get to know, the animals at the Portland zoo. Oh, the list goes on and on.