Top Travel Memoir and Essay Ebook Best Sellers

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Ghost Train to the Eastern Star - Paul Theroux Cover Art

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star 28,000 Miles in Search of the Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

The acclaimed author of The Great Railway Bazaar retraces his legendary journey through Europe and Asia in this “funny, informative and lyrical” travelogue ( The Guardian , UK). Paul Theroux virtually invented the modern travel narrative by recounting his 25,000-mile journey by train through eastern Europe, central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, and Siberia. Three decades later, the world he recorded in The Great Railway Bazaar has undergone phenomenal change. 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. Now Theroux returns to capture the texture, sights, smells, and sounds of this new landscape. Theroux’s odyssey takes him from eastern Europe, still hung-over from communism. He experiences a tense but thriving Turkey, and a Georgia limping back toward feudalism while its neighbor Azerbaijan revels in oil-fueled capitalism. Through it all, Theroux travels as the locals do—by train, bus, taxi, and foot; he encounters fellow writers, including Orhan Pamuk, Haruki Murakami, and Arthur C. Clarke; and, as always, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail capture it all.

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Avalanche & Gorilla Jim - Albert Dragon Cover Art

Avalanche & Gorilla Jim

Avalanche & Gorilla Jim Appalachian Trail Adventures and Other Tales by Albert Dragon

This story of two friends hiking over 1,300 miles is “a worthy successor to Bill Bryson’s classic book . . . A Walk in the Woods ” ( The VVA Veteran ).   Avalanche and Gorilla Jim is a true picture of what it’s like to hike over 1,300 miles of fun-filled, gut-wrenching, awe inspiring trail, filled with the humor of two guys on a long trek over grueling terrain. It allows the reader to actually live and feel Appalachian Trail life and its excitement, adventure, and fun—and reveals how in a sometimes crappy world, you can meet people who enrich your faith in humanity.   This is the Appalachian Trail with all its beauty and flaws, an inspiring and often laugh-out-loud story of friendship and the incomparable experience of the outdoors.

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A Course Called Ireland - Tom Coyne Cover Art

A Course Called Ireland

A Course Called Ireland A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee by Tom 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.

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A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson Cover Art

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill 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

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Travels with Charley in Search of America - John Steinbeck & Jay Parini Cover Art

Travels with Charley in Search of America

Travels with Charley in Search of America by John 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.

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Tip of the Iceberg - Mark Adams Cover Art

Tip of the Iceberg

Tip of the Iceberg My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier by Mark Adams

**The National Bestseller** From the acclaimed, bestselling author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu , a fascinating, wild, and wonder-filled journey into Alaska, America's last frontier In 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman organized a most unusual summer voyage to the wilds of Alaska: He converted a steamship into a luxury "floating university," populated by some of America's best and brightest scientists and writers, including the anti-capitalist eco-prophet John Muir. Those aboard encountered a land of immeasurable beauty and impending environmental calamity. More than a hundred years later, Alaska is still America's most sublime wilderness, both the lure that draws one million tourists annually on Inside Passage cruises and as a natural resources larder waiting to be raided. As ever, it remains a magnet for weirdos and dreamers. Armed with Dramamine and an industrial-strength mosquito net, Mark Adams sets out to retrace the 1899 expedition. Traveling town to town by water, Adams ventures three thousand miles north through Wrangell, Juneau, and Glacier Bay, then continues west into the colder and stranger regions of the Aleutians and the Arctic Circle. Along the way, he encounters dozens of unusual characters (and a couple of very hungry bears) and investigates how lessons learned in 1899 might relate to Alaska's current struggles in adapting to the pressures of a changing climate and world.

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The Ancient Shore - Shirley Hazzard & Francis Steegmuller Cover Art

The Ancient Shore

The Ancient Shore Dispatches from Naples by Shirley Hazzard & Francis Steegmuller

Born in Australia, Shirley Hazzard first moved to Naples as a young woman in the 1950s to take up a job with the United Nations. It was the beginning of a long love affair with the city. The Ancient Shore collects the best of Hazzard’s writings on Naples, along with a classic New Yorker essay by her late husband, Francis Steegmuller. For the pair, both insatiable readers, the Naples of Pliny, Gibbon, and Auden is constantly alive to them in the present. With Hazzard as our guide, we encounter Henry James, Oscar Wilde, and of course Goethe, but Hazzard’s concern is primarily with the Naples of our own time—often violently unforgiving to innocent tourists, but able to transport the visitor who attends patiently to its rhythms and history. A town shadowed by both the symbol and the reality of Vesuvius can never fail to acknowledge the essential precariousness of life—nor, as the lover of Naples discovers, the human compassion, generosity, and friendship that are necessary to sustain it. Beautifully illustrated by photographs from such masters as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Herbert List, The Ancient Shore is a lyrical letter to a lifelong love: honest and clear-eyed, yet still fervently, endlessly enchanted. “Much larger than all its parts, this book does full justice to a place, and a time, where ‘nothing was pristine, except the light.’”— Bookforum “Deep in the spell of Italy, Hazzard parses the difference between visiting and living and working in a foreign country. She writes with enormous eloquence and passion of the beauty of getting lost in a place.”—Susan Slater Reynolds, Los Angeles Times “The two voices join in exquisite harmony. . . . A lovely book.”— Booklist , starred review

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Great Plains - Ian Frazier Cover Art

Great Plains

Great Plains by Ian Frazier

National Bestseller Most travelers only fly over the Great Plains--but Ian Frazier, ever the intrepid and wide-eyed wanderer, is not your average traveler. A hilarious and fascinating look at the great middle of our nation. With his unique blend of intrepidity, tongue-in-cheek humor, and wide-eyed wonder, Ian Frazier takes us on a journey of more than 25,000 miles up and down and across the vast and myth-inspiring Great Plains . A travelogue, a work of scholarship, and a western adventure, Great Plains takes us from the site of Sitting Bull's cabin, to an abandoned house once terrorized by Bonnie and Clyde, to the scene of the murders chronicled in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood . It is an expedition that reveals the heart of the American West.

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What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim - Jane Christmas Cover Art

What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim

What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago by Jane Christmas

To celebrate her 50th birthday and face the challenges of mid-life, Jane Christmas joins 14 women to hike the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Despite a psychic’s warning of catfights, death, and a sexy, fair-haired man, Christmas soldiers on. After a week of squabbles, the group splinters and the real adventure begins. In vivid, witty style, she recounts her battles with loneliness, hallucinations of being joined by Steve Martin, as well as picturesque villages and even the fair-haired man. What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim is one trip neither the author nor the reader will forget.

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Travels on my Elephant - Mark Shand Cover Art

Travels on my Elephant

Travels on my Elephant by Mark Shand

With the help of a Maratha nobleman, Mark Shand bought an elephant named Tara and rode her over six hundred miles across India to the Sonepur Mela, the world's oldest elephant market. From Bhim, a drink-racked mahout, Shand learned to ride and care for her. From his friend Aditya Patankar he learned Indian ways. And with Tara, his new companion, he fell in love. Travels on My Elephant is the story of their epic journey across India, from packed highways to dusty back roads where communities have remained unchanged for millennia. It is also a memorable, touching account of Tara's transformation from scrawny beggar elephant to star attraction. In this new edition Mark Shand explains how what began as an adventurous whim has developed, decades later, into a life of campaigning to provide vital migratory corridors for these magnificent creatures, whose habitat is under constant assault from man.

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Tuk-Tuk to the Road - Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent & Jo Huxster Cover Art

Tuk-Tuk to the Road

Tuk-Tuk to the Road by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent & Jo Huxster

AT A SPECIAL LOW PRICE FOR A LIMITED TIME Two girls, three wheels, one mission. If you've ever been to Bangkok you'll have most likely been catapulted through the streets in a tuk tuk, one of the city's ubiquitous three-wheeled taxis. With white knuckles and ringing ears you'll have stepped out at the end and vowed to take a regular taxi next time. But one summer Jo Huxster and Ants Bolingbroke-Kent decided to drive a tuk tuk that little bit further – to Brighton, a mere 12,561 miles away. Their mission: to raise £50 000 for the mental health charity Mind. Tuk Tuk to the Road is the inspirational story of the ultimate road trip – the countries they traverse, the people that help them, the nail-biting border crossings, the extremely friendly policemen… Every detail of their record-breaking tukathon is chronicled in colourful and often hilarious detail. Twelve countries, two continents, one earthquake and the odd snapped accelerator cable later, this is the entertaining, honest, and above all, remarkable story of two girls who proved that with a little bit of determination, anything is possible. Reviews ‘What a brave and marvellous adventure!’ Stephen Fry 'A wonderful idea… Mental illnesses are painful and often hidden diseases which afflict millions of people. Thank goodness that there are those who want to help and thereby transform the lives of so many suffering in silence and hiding.' Melvyn Bragg, President of Mind About the author Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent is a television producer, writer and co-author of a travel book on Canada. Following the suicide of a close friend, Antonia is passionate about raising money for Mind and increasing awareness about mental health issues. Jo Huxster is a medical student and lives in Brighton. A recovered self-harmer, Jo is an inspiration to everyone who has ever suffered from mental illness and thought 'Will I ever be normal again?' Jo loves ferrets and currently has ten furry friends. Ting Tong is a beautiful bright pink, three-wheeled mean machine. Added extras include special brakes, extra suspension, protected undercarriage and sound system.

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Turn Right at Machu Picchu - Mark Adams Cover Art

Turn Right at Machu Picchu

Turn Right at Machu Picchu Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark 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?

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The Temporary European - Cameron Hewitt Cover Art

The Temporary European

The Temporary European Lessons and Confessions of a Professional Traveler by Cameron 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.

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Full Tilt - Dervla Murphy Cover Art

Full Tilt

Full Tilt Ireland to India with a Bicycle by Dervla 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.

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The Lost Continent - Bill Bryson Cover Art

The Lost Continent

The Lost Continent Travels in Small Town America by Bill 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.

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Tales of a Female Nomad - Rita Golden Gelman Cover Art

Tales of a Female Nomad

Tales of a Female Nomad Living at Large in the World by Rita 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.

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The Colossus of Maroussi (Second Edition) - Henry Miller Cover Art

The Colossus of Maroussi (Second Edition)

The Colossus of Maroussi (Second Edition) by 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.”

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Americana - Hampton Sides Cover Art

Americana

Americana Dispatches from the New Frontier by Hampton Sides

Harley-Davidson bikers . . . Grand Canyon river rats. . . Mormon archaeologists . . . Spelling bee prodigies . . . For more than fifteen years, best-selling author and historian Hampton Sides has traveled widely across the continent exploring the America that lurks just behind the scrim of our mainstream culture. Reporting for Outside , The New Yorker , and NPR, among other national media, the award-winning journalist has established a reputation not only as a wry observer of the contemporary American scene but also as one of our more inventive and versatile practitioners of narrative non-fiction. In these two dozen pieces, collected here for the first time, Sides gives us a fresh, alluring, and at times startling America brimming with fascinating subcultures and bizarre characters who could live nowhere else. Following Sides, we crash the redwood retreat of an apparent cabal of fabulously powerful military-industrialists, drop in on the Indy 500 of bass fishing, and join a giant techno-rave at the lip of the Grand Canyon. We meet a diverse gallery of American visionaries— from the impossibly perky founder of Tupperware to Indian radical Russell Means to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. We retrace the route of the historic Bataan Death March with veterans from Sides’ acclaimed WWII epic, Ghost Soldiers . Sides also examines the nation that has emerged from the ashes of September 11, recounting the harrowing journeys of three World Trade Center survivors and deciding at the last possible minute not to "embed" on the Iraqi front-lines with the U.S. Marines. Americana gives us a sparkling mosaic of our country, in all its wild and poignant charm.

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Female Nomad and Friends - Rita Golden Gelman Cover Art

Female Nomad and Friends

Female Nomad and Friends Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World by Rita Golden Gelman

In 1987, Rita, newly divorced, set out to live her dream. She sold all her possessions and became a nomad. She wrote a book about her ongoing journey and, in 2001, insisted on putting her personal e-mail address in the last chapter—against all advice. It turned out to be a fortuitous decision. She has met thousands of readers, stayed in their homes, and sat around kitchen tables sharing stories and food and laughter. In this essay collection, Gelman includes her own further adventures, as well as those of writers and readers telling tales of the shared humanity they experienced in their travels. The stories are funny and sad, poignant and tender, familiar and bizarre. They will make you laugh and cry and maybe even send you off on your own adventure. Also included are fabulous international recipes such as vegetarian dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), chiles en nogada (stuffed poblano chiles topped with a white cream sauce with walnuts and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds), and ho mok (an extraordinary fish-coconut custard from Thailand). Happy reading—and bon appétit, selamat makan, buen provecho!

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The Travels - Marco Polo Cover Art

The Travels

The Travels by Marco Polo

Marco Polo was the most famous traveller of his time. His voyages began in 1271 with a visit to China, after which he served the Kubilai Khan on numerous diplomatic missions. On his return to the West he was made a prisoner of war and met Rustichello of Pisa, with whom he collaborated on this book. The accounts of his travels provide a fascinating glimpse of the different societies he encountered: their religions, customs, ceremonies and way of life; on the spices and silks of the East; on precious gems, exotic vegetation and wild beasts. He tells the story of the holy shoemaker, the wicked caliph and the three kings, among a great many others, evoking a remote and long-vanished world with colour and immediacy.

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White Sands - Geoff Dyer Cover Art

White Sands

White Sands Experiences from the Outside World by Geoff Dyer

From “one of our most original writers” (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine) comes an expansive and exacting book—firmly grounded but elegant, often hilarious, and always inquisitive—about travel, unexpected awareness, and the questions we ask when we step outside ourselves.   Geoff Dyer’s restless search— for what? is unclear, even to him—continues in this series of fascinating adventures and pilgrimages: with a tour guide who may not be a tour guide in the Forbidden City in Beijing; with friends in New Mexico, where D. H. Lawrence famously claimed to have had his “greatest experience from the outside world”; with a hitchhiker picked up on the way from White Sands; with Don Cherry (or a photo of him, at any rate) at the Watts Towers in Los Angeles.   Weaving stories about places to which he has recently traveled with images and memories that have persisted since childhood, Dyer tries “to work out what a certain place—a certain way of marking the landscape—means; what it’s trying to tell us; what we go to it for.” With 4 pages of full-color illustrations.

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Noodling for Flatheads - Burkhard Bilger Cover Art

Noodling for Flatheads

Noodling for Flatheads Moonshine, Monster Catfish, and Other Southern Com by Burkhard Bilger

The Old South is slow to give up its secrets. Though satellite dishes outnumber banjo players a thousand to one, most traditions haven't died; they've just gone into hiding. Cockfighting is illegal in forty-eight states, yet there are three national cockfighting magazines and cockpits in even the most tranquil communities. Homemade liquor has been outlawed for more than a century, yet moonshiners in Virginia still ship nearly one million gallons a year. Some of these pastimes are ancient, others ultramodern; some are illegal, others merely obscure. But the people who practice them share an undeniable kinship. Instead of wealth, promotion, or a few seconds of prime time, they follow dreams that lead them ever deeper underground. They are reminders, ultimately, that American culture isn't as predictable as it seems-that the weeds growing between its cracks are its most vital signs of life. In these masterfully crafted essays, Burkhard Bilger explores the history and practice of eight such clandestine worlds. Like John McPhee and Ian Frazier, he introduces us to people whose spirit of individualism keeps traditions alive, from a fifty-something female coon hunter who spends 340 nights a year in the woods to a visionary frog farmer and a man whose arms are scarred by the eighty-pound catfish he catches by hand. A fluid combination of adventure, history, and humor, Noodling for Flatheads is evocative, intelligent, and wonder-fully weird-a splendid antidote to the sameness of today's popular culture.

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Granada - Steven Nightingale Cover Art

Granada

Granada A Pomegranate in the Hand of God by Steven Nightingale

Andalusia: ancient homeland of the mysterious Iberians, birthplace of Roman emperors, seedbed of modern Anarchism, and unmarked gravesite of Spain's greatest lyric poet. Perhaps most importantly, Andalusia is home to the city of Granada, where a hybrid culture composed of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian traditions gave rise to an intellectual vanguard whose achievements can be compared only with those of classical Athens, Ming China, or Renaissance Italy. Granada resident Steven Nightingale excavates the rich past of his adopted city and its surrounding countryside, finding there a lavish story of utopian ecstasy, political intrigue, and finally anguish. Part of that region in southern Spain named by its Islamic rulers "Al–Andalus," medieval Granada witnessed a flourishing of poetry in several languages, the first modern translations of Greek philosophy, the birth of algebra, and the construction of architectural masterpieces such as the Alhambra and the Generalife. Yet with Ferdinand and Isabella's sack of Granada in 1492, regarded as the culmination of the Reconquista, which sought to reclaim Spain for the Vatican, a Catholic mythology of Spain began to erode Granada's centuries–old reputation as an artistically vital haven for multiple ethnic and religious groups. Linking the disastrous afterlife of the Reconquista to the Catholic nationalism of the Franco regime—whose execution of Granadan poet Federico Garcia Lorca symbolizes the suppression of Andalusia's cultural heritage—Nightingale demonstrates the extent to which this Catholic triumphalism also obscured the source of much cultural wealth bequeathed by Al–Andalus to Christian Europe. Nightingale's own account of the region's medieval zenith recovers the intellectual pageantry and aesthetic splendor of this astounding period in Western history and the marvelous city that was its cultural center.

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She Explores - Gale Straub Cover Art

She Explores

She Explores Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild by Gale Straub

For every woman who has ever been called outdoorsy comes a collection of stories that inspires unforgettable adventure. Beautiful, empowering, and exhilarating, She Explores is a spirited celebration of female bravery and courage, and an inspirational companion for any woman who wants to travel the world on her own terms. Combining breathtaking travel photography with compelling personal narratives, She Explores shares the stories of 40 diverse women on unforgettable journeys in nature: women who live out of vans, trucks, and vintage trailers, hiking the wild, cooking meals over campfires, and sleeping under the stars. Women biking through the countryside, embarking on an unknown road trip, or backpacking through the outdoors with their young children in tow. Complementing the narratives are practical tips and advice for women planning their own trips, including: • Preparing for a solo hike • Must-haves for a road-trip kitchen • Planning ahead for unknown territory • Telling your own story A visually stunning and emotionally satisfying collection for any woman craving new landscapes and adventure.

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The Best American Travel Writing 2021 - Padma Lakshmi & Jason Wilson Cover Art

The Best American Travel Writing 2021

The Best American Travel Writing 2021 by Padma Lakshmi & Jason Wilson

“The beauty of good writing is that it transports the reader inside another person’s experience in some other physical place and culture,” writes Padma Lakshmi in her introduction, “and, at its best, evokes a palpable feeling of being in a specific moment in time and space.” The essays in this year’s Best American Travel Writing are an antidote to the isolation of the year 2020, giving us views into experiences unlike our own and taking us on journeys we could not take ourselves. From the lively music of West Africa, to the rich culinary traditions of Muslims in Northwest China, to the thrill of a hunt in Alaska, this collection is a treasure trove of diverse places and cultures, providing the comfort, excitement, and joy of feeling elsewhere.   THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING 2021 INCLUDES  KIESE MAKEBA LAYMON • LESLIE JAMISON • BILL BUFORD •  JON LEE ANDERSON • MEGHAN DAUM LIGAYA MISHAN • PAUL THEROUX and others

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World Travel - Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever Cover Art

World Travel

World Travel An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever

A guide to some of the world’s most fascinating places, as seen and experienced by writer, television host, and relentlessly curious traveler Anthony Bourdain Anthony Bourdain saw more of the world than nearly anyone. His travels took him from the hidden pockets of his hometown of New York to a tribal longhouse in Borneo, from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Paris, and Shanghai to Tanzania’s utter beauty and the stunning desert solitude of Oman’s Empty Quarter—and many places beyond. In World Travel, a life of experience is collected into an entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of his favorite places—in his own words. Featuring essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid, World Travel provides essential context that will help readers further appreciate the reasons why Bourdain found a place enchanting and memorable. Supplementing Bourdain’s words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place, including sardonic accounts of traveling with Bourdain by his brother, Christopher; a guide to Chicago’s best cheap eats by legendary music producer Steve Albini, and more. Additionally, each chapter includes illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook. For veteran travelers, armchair enthusiasts, and those in between, World Travel offers a chance to experience the world like Anthony Bourdain.

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Carsick - John Waters Cover Art

Carsick

Carsick John Waters Hitchhikes Across America by John Waters

Carsick is the New York Times bestselling chronicle of a cross-country hitchhiking journey with America's most beloved weirdo. John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads "I'm Not Psycho," he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash? Before he leaves for this bizarre adventure, Waters fantasizes about the best and worst possible scenarios: a friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? His real-life rides include a gentle eighty-one-year-old farmer who is convinced Waters is a hobo, an indie band on tour, and the perverse filmmaker's unexpected hero: a young, sandy-haired Republican in a Corvette. Laced with subversive humor and warm intelligence, Carsick is an unforgettable vacation with a wickedly funny companion—and a celebration of America's weird, astonishing, and generous citizenry.

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My Twenty-Five Years in Provence - Peter Mayle Cover Art

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence Reflections on Then and Now by Peter 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.

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The Great Railway Bazaar - Paul Theroux Cover Art

The Great Railway Bazaar

The Great Railway Bazaar By Train Through Asia by Paul Theroux

The acclaimed author recounts his epic journey across Europe and Asia in this international bestselling classic of travel literature: “Compulsive reading” (Graham Greene).   In 1973, Paul Theroux embarked on a four-month journey by train from the United Kingdom through Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. In The Great Railway Bazaar , he records in vivid detail and penetrating insight the many fascinating incidents, adventures, and encounters of his grand, intercontinental tour.   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. Brimming with Theroux's signature humor and wry observations, this engrossing chronicle is essential reading for both the ardent adventurer and the armchair traveler.

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Long Way Round - Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman Cover Art

Long Way Round

Long Way Round by Ewan 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.

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Fly-Fishing the 41st - James Prosek Cover Art

Fly-Fishing the 41st

Fly-Fishing the 41st From Connecticut to Mongolia and Home Again: A Fisherman's Odyssey by James Prosek

“James Prosek has eloquently demonstrated that angling is a kind of universal language. . . . he has taken us on an unforgettable journey.” — Thomas McGuane, author of The Cadence of Grass and The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing The New York Times has called James Prosek "the Audubon of the fishing world," and in Fly-Fishing the 41st, he uses his talent for descriptive writing to illuminate an astonishing adventure. Beginning in his hometown of Easton, Connecticut, Prosek circumnavigates the globe along the 41st parallel, traveling through Spain, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, China, and Japan. Along the way he shares some of the best fishing in the world with a host of wonderfully eccentric and memorable characters.

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The Yellow Envelope - Kim Dinan Cover Art

The Yellow Envelope

The Yellow Envelope One Gift, Three Rules, and A Life-Changing Journey Around the World by Kim 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.

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How the World Makes Love - Franz Wisner Cover Art

How the World Makes Love

How the World Makes Love . . . And What It Taught a Jilted Groom by Franz Wisner

The bestselling author of Honeymoon with My Brother hits the road again to learn about love and finally finds it closer to home When you've been jilted at the altar and forced to take your pre-paid honeymoon with your brother, it's fair to say you could learn a thing or two about love. And that's what Franz Wisner sets out to do—traveling the globe with a mission: to discover the planet's most important love lessons and see if they can rescue him from the ruins of his own love life. Even after months on the road, he's still not sure he's found the secret. But a disastrous date with a Los Angeles actress and single mom keeps popping into Franz's head. While researching ideal love, could he have missed a bigger truth: that something unplanned and implausible could actually make him happy? Uproarious, tender, and studded with eye-opening insights on love, How the World Makes Love is the story of one average man's search for happiness—a search that turns into an improbable love story in the author's own backyard.

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The Sweet Life in Paris - David Lebovitz Cover Art

The Sweet Life in Paris

The Sweet Life in Paris Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City by David 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.

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The Geography of Bliss - Eric Weiner Cover Art

The Geography of Bliss

The Geography of Bliss One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric 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.

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Neither here nor there - Bill Bryson Cover Art

Neither here nor there

Neither here nor there Travels in Europe by Bill 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.

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Blue Highways - William Least Heat-Moon Cover Art

Blue Highways

Blue Highways A Journey into America by William 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.

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In Patagonia - Bruce Chatwin Cover Art

In Patagonia

In Patagonia by Bruce 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. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 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.

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To Build a Fire - Jack London Cover Art

To Build a Fire

To Build a Fire And Other Stories by Jack 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.

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Bill Bryson's African Diary - Bill Bryson Cover Art

Bill Bryson's African Diary

Bill Bryson's African Diary by Bill 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.

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The Log from the Sea of Cortez - John Steinbeck & Richard Astro Cover Art

The Log from the Sea of Cortez

The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck & Richard Astro

A Penguin Classic In the two years after the 1939 publication of Steinbeck’s masterful The Grapes of Wrath , Steinbeck and his novel increasingly became the center of intense controversy and censorship. In search of a respite from the national stage, Steinbeck and his close friend, biologist Ed Ricketts, embarked on a month long marine specimen-collecting expedition in the Gulf of California, which resulted in their collaboration on the Sea of Cortez . In 1951, after Ricketts’ death, Steinbeck reissued his narrative portion of the work in memory of his friend and the inspiration for Cannery Row ’s “Doc”. This exciting day-by-day account of their journey together is a rare blend of science, philosophy, and high-spirited adventure. This edition features an introduction by Richard Astro. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 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.

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Travels in Siberia - Ian Frazier Cover Art

Travels in Siberia

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier

A Dazzling Russian travelogue from the bestselling author of Great Plains In his astonishing new work, Ian Frazier, one of our greatest and most entertaining storytellers, trains his perceptive, generous eye on Siberia, the storied expanse of Asiatic Russia whose grim renown is but one explanation among hundreds for the region's fascinating, enduring appeal. In Travels in Siberia , Frazier reveals Siberia's role in history—its science, economics, and politics—with great passion and enthusiasm, ensuring that we'll never think about it in the same way again. With great empathy and epic sweep, Frazier tells the stories of Siberia's most famous exiles, from the well-known—Dostoyevsky, Lenin (twice), Stalin (numerous times)—to the lesser known (like Natalie Lopukhin, banished by the empress for copying her dresses) to those who experienced unimaginable suffering in Siberian camps under the Soviet regime, forever immortalized by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago . Travels in Siberia is also a unique chronicle of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union, a personal account of adventures among Russian friends and acquaintances, and, above all, a unique, captivating, totally Frazierian take on what he calls the "amazingness" of Russia—a country that, for all its tragic history, somehow still manages to be funny. Travels in Siberia will undoubtedly take its place as one of the twenty-first century's indispensable contributions to the travel-writing genre.

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Lost on Planet China - J. Maarten Troost Cover Art

Lost on Planet China

Lost on Planet China The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid by J. Maarten Troost

The bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals returns with a sharply observed, hilarious account of his adventures in China—a complex, fascinating country with enough dangers and delicacies to keep him, and readers, endlessly entertained. Maarten Troost has charmed legions of readers with his laugh-out-loud tales of wandering the remote islands of the South Pacific. When the travel bug hit again, he decided to go big-time, taking on the world’s most populous and intriguing nation. In Lost on Planet China, Troost escorts readers on a rollicking journey through the new beating heart of the modern world, from the megalopolises of Beijing and Shanghai to the Gobi Desert and the hinterlands of Tibet. Lost on Planet China finds Troost dodging deadly drivers in Shanghai; eating Yak in Tibet; deciphering restaurant menus (offering local favorites such as Cattle Penis with Garlic); visiting with Chairman Mao (still dead, very orange); and hiking (with 80,000 other people) up Tai Shan, China’s most revered mountain. But in addition to his trademark gonzo adventures, the book also delivers a telling look at a vast and complex country on the brink of transformation that will soon shape the way we all work, live, and think. As Troost shows, while we may be familiar with Yao Ming or dim sum or the cheap, plastic products that line the shelves of every store, the real China remains a world—indeed, a planet--unto itself. Maarten Troost brings China to life as you’ve never seen it before, and his insightful, rip-roaringly funny narrative proves that once again he is one of the most entertaining and insightful armchair travel companions around.

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Goodbye to a River - John Graves Cover Art

Goodbye to a River

Goodbye to a River A Narrative by John 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.

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Bicycle Diaries - David Byrne Cover Art

Bicycle Diaries

Bicycle Diaries by David 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.

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Holy Cow - Sarah Macdonald Cover Art

Holy Cow

Holy Cow An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald

In her twenties, journalist Sarah Macdonald backpacked around India and came away with a lasting impression of heat, pollution and poverty. So when an airport beggar read her palm and told her she would return to India—and for love—she screamed, “Never!” and gave the country, and him, the finger. But eleven years later, the prophecy comes true. When the love of Sarah’s life is posted to India, she quits her dream job to move to the most polluted city on earth, New Delhi. For Sarah this seems like the ultimate sacrifice for love, and it almost kills her, literally. Just settled, she falls dangerously ill with double pneumonia, an experience that compels her to face some serious questions about her own fragile mortality and inner spiritual void. “I must find peace in the only place possible in India,” she concludes. “Within.” Thus begins her journey of discovery through India in search of the meaning of life and death. Holy Cow is Macdonald’s often hilarious chronicle of her adventures in a land of chaos and contradiction, of encounters with Hinduism, Islam and Jainism, Sufis, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians and a kaleidoscope of yogis, swamis and Bollywood stars. From spiritual retreats and crumbling nirvanas to war zones and New Delhi nightclubs, it is a journey that only a woman on a mission to save her soul, her love life—and her sanity—can survive.

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Honeymoon with My Brother - Franz Wisner Cover Art

Honeymoon with My Brother

Honeymoon with My Brother A Memoir by Franz 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.

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Horizon - Barry Lopez Cover Art

Horizon

Horizon by Barry Lopez

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.

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I'm Off Then - Hape Kerkeling Cover Art

I'm Off Then

I'm Off Then Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago by Hape 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.

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Off the Road - Jack Hitt Cover Art

Off the Road

Off the Road A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route into Spain by Jack Hitt

When Jack Hitt set out to walk the 500 miles from France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, he submitted to the rigorous traditions of Europe's oldest form of packaged tour, a pilgrimage that has been walked by millions in the history of Christendom. Off the Road is an unforgettable exploration of the sites that people believe God once touched: the strange fortress said to contain the real secret Adam learned when he bit into the apple; the sites associated with the murderous monks known as the Knights Templar; and the places housing relics ranging from a vial of the Virgin Mary's milk to a sheet of Saint Bartholomew's skin. Along the way, Jack Hitt finds himself persevering by day and bunking down by night with an unlikely and colorful cast of fellow pilgrims -- a Flemish film crew, a drunken gypsy, a draconian Belgian air force officer, a man who speaks no languages, a one-legged pilgrim, and a Welsh family with a mule. In the day-to-day grind of walking under a hot Spanish sun, Jack Hitt and his cohorts not only find occasional good meals and dry shelter but they also stumble upon some fresh ideas about old-time zealotry and modern belief. Off the Road is an engaging and witty travel memoir of an offbeat journey through history that turns into a provocative rethinking of the past.

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