Somerset Maugham's success as a writer enabled him to indulge his adventurous love of travel, and he recorded the sights and sounds of his wide-ranging journeys with a unique urbane, wry style. The Gentleman in the Parlour is an account of the author's trip through what was then Burma and Siam, ending in Haiphong, Vietnam. Whether by river to Mandalay, on horse through the mountains and forests of the Shan States to Bangkok, or onwards by sea, Maugham's vivid descriptions bring a lost world to life.
At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.
"Glad I Took the Trip"
Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life - from six weeks to four months to two years - to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel.
"Loved it! - Great resource"
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself.
"A Book that Never Left Me"
The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America - majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way - and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).
"What a treat"
Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.
"Witty and Wonderful"
The definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of Into the Wild. Read by the author. Also, hear a Fresh Air interview with Krakauer conducted shortly after his ordeal.
"An incredible book, beautifully performed"
From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.
"Devout Fan Disappointed"
At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.
"River of Doubt"
Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion on the Appalachian Trail resulted in the best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now, we follow him "Down Under" to Australia with this delectably funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance that combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. More from Bill Bryson.
"Laugh out loud funny"
A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon. After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to find out what happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z.
"A Worthy Read for Armchair Explorers"
Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men - John Chatterton and John Mattera - are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. While he was at large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the 17th century, Bannister's exploits would have been more notorious than Blackbeard's, more daring than Kidd's, but his story and his ship have been lost to time.
After running an ultramarathon through the Copper Canyons of Mexico, Christopher McDougall finds his next great adventure on the razor-sharp mountains of Crete, where a band of Resistance fighters in World War II plotted the daring abduction of a German general from the heart of the Nazi occupation.
"A solid follow-up"
In September 1960, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America, from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. Travels with Charley is animated by Steinbeck’s attention to the specific details of the natural world and his sense of how the lives of people are intimately connected to the rhythms of nature—to weather, geography, the cycles of the seasons. His keen ear for the transactions among people is evident, too, as he records the interests and obsessions that preoccupy the Americans he encounters along the way.
"Needed a Vacation took one with Charlie"
To geologists, rocks are beautiful, roadcuts are windowpanes, and the earth is alive, a work in progress. The cataclysmic movement that gives birth to mountains and oceans is ongoing and can still be seen at certain places on our planet. One of these is the Basin and Range region centered in Nevada and Utah.
Steven Rinella won a lottery to hunt for a wild buffalo in the Alaskan wilderness. One of only four hunters that year who succeeded in killing a buffalo, he carried the carcass down a snow-covered mountainside and floated it four miles down a white-water canyon while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years' worth of buffalo hunters in North America and the place of the buffalo in the American consciousness.
"Intriguing, fun, full of information."
Hundreds of hardy people have tried to carve a living in the Alaskan bush, but few have succeeded as consistently as Heimo Korth. Originally from Wisconsin, Heimo traveled to the Arctic wilderness in his feverous 20s. Now, more than four decades later, Heimo lives with his wife approximately 200 miles from civilization - a sustainable, nomadic life bounded by the migrating caribou, the dangers of swollen rivers, and the very exigencies of daily existence.
"Impressive life story!"
After her plane crashes, a 17-year-old girl spends 11 days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?
"Fascinating 1st Half, Cynical 2nd Half."
At the opening of his third novel in an ongoing adventure series by Patrick O'Brian, Jack Aubrey is cruising off Cape Sicie when his friend Stephen Maturin (more serenely situated in Sussex) is informed of the Board's decision regarding Aubrey's prize money, taken after victorious engagement with a Spanish squadron at Cape Santa Maria. The money, five million pieces of eight, is not, as is the custom of war, to be divided among the crews of the four victorious vessels.
"India as thorough as Conrad"
Step inside this captivating account of Paulo Coehlo's pilgrimage along the road to Santiago. This fascinating parable explores the need to find one's own path. In the end, we discover that the extraordinary is always found in the ordinary and simple ways of everyday people. Part adventure story, part guide to self-discovery, this compelling tale delivers the perfect combination of enchantment and insight.
"A different path of the Peaceful Warrior"
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, northeast 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 1967, veteran travel writer Eric Newby and his heroic wife, Wanda, fulfilled their dream of a return to life in the Italian hills where they first met during World War II. But this fulfillment would not come easy. The dream materialised in the form of I Castagni ('The Chestnuts'), a small, decrepit farmhouse with no roof, an abandoned septic tank and its own indigenous wildlife reluctant to give up their home. But in the foothills of the Apuan Alps on the border of Liguria and Northern Tuscany, this ramshackle house would soon become a hub of love, friendship and activity.
For centuries the Alps have seen the march of armies, the flow of pilgrims and Crusaders, the feats of mountaineers and the dreams of engineers - and some 14 million people live among their peaks today. In The Alps, Stephen O'Shea takes listeners up and down these majestic mountains, journeying through their 500-mile arc across France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia.
In the summer of 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler, a 28-year-old marine biologist, was backpacking with her fiancé and love of her life, Sean. Sean was a tall, blue-eyed, warmhearted Australian, and he and Shannon planned to return to Australia after their excursion to Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand. Their plans, however, were devastatingly derailed when a box jellyfish wrapped around Sean's leg, stinging and killing him in a matter of minutes as Shannon helplessly watched.
When a woman wants to celebrate her divorce, she invites her mother to France. She's ready to a ticket to flit through Paris, but her mother blithely mentions the Chunnel Train and drifting down the Grand Canal of Venice. What?! Hence, the roundabout trip begins.
Sullivan's classic account of his 65 day, 1,361-mile solo backpacking trek across Oregon has been chosen by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission as one of Oregon's "100 Books", the most significant literary works in state history. Sullivan recounts adventures with blizzards, bears, and poisonous mushrooms, but he also spices his journal with notes on history, geology, and the people he meets along the way.
Everyone knows that the United States of America is made up of 50 states and, uh...some other stuff. The territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands are often neglected, but they are filled with American flags and national parks and US post offices and some four million people, many of whom are as proudly red-white-and-blue as any Daughter of the American Revolution.
You really gotta travel abroad! Just look at what it did for Andrew Bushard: it totally changed his life. Through this travels to the Southern Africa region (especially South Africa,Swaziland, and Zimbabwe), he reaped the deepest personal transformations and fulfillment. You too can reap the same fulfillment if you travel abroad.
In 1995, three intrepid adventure seekers travel by small sailboat and kayaks risking death in rough seas to find the Painted Cave of Santa Cruz Island.
They rescued five horses from an unknown fate. They sold everything they had. Jackie and Noel trained the lost and confused horses, and forced their own unfit bodies to meld into one team. Life became horses, trail, endurance, and camping: all seven reliant on one another as they trekked along part of Australia's majestic Bicentennial National Trail. The beauty of the trail didn't lessen its dangers; with minimal support and all their worldly possessions on horseback, Jackie and Noel made mistakes and, with humour, learned the hard way.
Back in the mid-1980s when I was teaching in Warren College at the University of California, San Diego, we were required to use Mark Twain's famous book, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in our classes. However, we were cautioned beforehand that certain words that were in common usage in the 19th century (such as the n-word) were no longer acceptable either in speech or print today.
Erik Weihenmayer is the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Descending carefully, he and his team picked their way across deep crevasses and through the deadly Khumbu Icefall; when the mountain was finally behind him, Erik knew he was going to live. His expedition leader slapped him on the back and said something that would affect the course of Erik's life: "Don't make Everest the greatest thing you ever do."
A very short 101 on how to fly, lessons learned, money saved, and a program I used to cut all the nonsense down to 30 days on getting my license.
Do you have wanderlust? Really want to see something different? Imagine how cool it would be if you know exactly the best places to go in Chiang Mai? This guide will be your passport to the most up to day and relevant advice on where to go, what to see, and what to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand! I want you to really absorb Chiang Mai to its fullest.
Rich with humor and natural history, this memoir describes 25 summers of back-to-the-earth adventure as author William L. Sullivan and his wife Janell build a log cabin by hand along a roadless river deep in the wilds of Oregon's Coast Range. Along the way they confront beaver in the refrigerator, raise a family, and puzzle out a murder mystery that had haunted their homestead site. Cabin Fever takes listeners to a warm world of kerosene lamplight, wood stoves, and ghost stories that may be true.
Wisconsin had a big party in 1998. It was a roll-out-the-barrel, slice-the-cheese, strike-up-the-polka-band wing-ding that promised to roust every last badger out of state burrows and into the streets to dance with guests.
"A quick, feel-good story."
The final guide for free and discounted food, accommodations, museums, sightseeing, outdoor activities, attractions, events, music, theater, and rides. This is the best guide for freebies and discounts available in the most beautiful and interesting cities in Europe.
Are you ready to discover everything you need to know to get the most out of your holiday to Paris? If so you've come to the right place!
Since the publication of her prize-winning memoir, Craft for a Dry Lake, writer and artist Kim Mahood has been returning to the Tanami desert country in far north-western Australia where, as a child, she lived with her family on a remote cattle station. The land is timeless, but much has changed: the station has been handed back to its traditional owners, the mining companies have arrived and Aboriginal art has flourished.
A lyrical documentary about one of the oldest neighborhoods in Singapore. Essays and short stories about Peranakan food, Southeast Asian history, traditional coffee shops, and more.
A landmark in travel writing, this is the incredible true story of Heinrich Harrer’s escape across the Himalayas to Tibet, set against the backdrop of the Second World War. Heinrich Harrer, already one of the greatest mountaineers of his time, was climbing in the Himalayas when war broke out in Europe. He was imprisoned by the British in India but succeeded in escaping and fled to Tibet.
The “mountain men” were the hunters and trappers who fiercely strode the Rocky Mountains in the early to mid-1800s. They braved the elements in search of the skins of beavers and other wild animals, to sell or barter for goods. The lifestyle of the mountain men could be harsh, existing as they did among animals, and spending most of their days and nights living and camping out in the great unexplored wilds of the Rockies.
"Good for boys"
Like a well-crafted stage play, Just Passin' Thru delivers one suspenseful scene after another. But in this historic setting a store on the Appalachian Trail called Mountain Crossings the characters who show up are no fictional creations. Like any good drama, there are the good guys (and gals) and the weirdos, too. Some show up once (and that’s enough), and some appear again and again. But all are united by two things: the author’s story-capturing talent, and whatever it is that lures them to attempt (or conquer) a 2,200-mile path that climbs and plummets from Georgia to Maine.
"Well Worth it!"
When Edmund Hillary first conquered Mt. Everest, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was at his side. Indeed, for as long as Westerners have been climbing the Himalaya, Sherpas have been the unsung heroes in the background. In August 2008, when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2, the world’s most dangerous peak, two Sherpas survived. They had emerged from poverty and political turmoil to become two of the most skillful mountaineers on earth. Based on unprecedented access and interviews, Buried in the Sky reveals their astonishing story for the first time.
"Great Storytelling/ Story"
Trapped in a job he hated and up to his neck in debt, Guy Grieve’s life was going nowhere. But with a stroke of luck, his dream of escaping it all to live in remote Alaska suddenly came true. Miles from the nearest human being and armed with only the most basic equipment, Guy built a log cabin from scratch and began carving a life for himself through fishing, hunting, and diligently avoiding bears. Packed with adventure, humor, and insight, this is the gripping story of an ordinary man learning the ways of the wild.
"Maybe not really kinda true?"
The real stories behind the scenery of America’s national parks. For 12 years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes. Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.
Bewitched by Indonesia for twenty-five years, Elizabeth Pisani recently traveled 26,000 miles around the archipelago in search of the links that bind this impossibly disparate nation. Fearless and funny, Pisani shares her deck space with pigs and cows, bunks down in a sulfurous volcano, and takes tea with a corpse. Along the way, she observes Big Men with child brides, debates corruption and cannibalism, and ponders "sticky" traditions that cannot be erased.
"Bill Bryson channels Margaret Mead"
A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today, the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China's transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people.
"Another Excellent Work"
Within the dark corners of America’s forests grow culinary treasures. Chefs pay top dollar to showcase these elusive and beguiling ingredients on their menus. Whether dressing up a filet mignon with smoky morels or shaving luxurious white truffles over pasta, the most elegant restaurants across the country now feature an abundance of wild mushrooms. Langdon Cook embeds himself in this shadowy subculture, reporting from both rural fringes and big-city eateries.
"Intriguing and full of fun!"
In 2001, martial arts-trained biker Glen Heggstad began a journey from California to the tip of South America on his motorcycle and made it as far as Colombia, where he was kidnapped by local rebels and held captive. Undeterred by more than a month of traumatic incarceration, the 'Striking Viking' finished his trip after being released. Three years later he set out into the world on his bike again, this time searching for truth on his own terms in a world that had become strangled by a climate of fear.
"A must read for someone attempting a distance ride"
Gerald Asher, who served as Gourmet's wine editor for 30 years, has drawn together this selection of his essays, published in Gourmet and elsewhere, for the collective insight they give into why a wine should always be an expression of a place and a time. Guiding the reader through 27 diverse wine regions in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and California, he shows how every wine worth drinking is a reflection of its terroir - in the broadest sense of that untranslatable word.
"An adventure of wine and where it is made"
This is an incredible story of adventure, human ingenuity, persistence, and resilience that shows firsthand what it is to adventure as a woman in the most dangerous of circumstance, what it is to be truly alone in the wild, and why someone would challenge themselves with an expedition others would call crazy. For Marquis, her story is about freedom, being alive and wild by nature.
"A good book but .....read before purchasing"
Why would a middle-aged businessman who had never even spent the night outdoors, attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail? Bill Walker, a former commodities trader in Chicago and London, and an avid walker, had developed a virtual obsession to hike this historic 2,175 mile footpath in one hiking season. In the spring of 2005 he set off from his home state of Georgia, hoping to make it to Mount Katahdin in northern Maine before the arrival of winter.
"Liked the story, but the recording quality was fair."
Mount Kilimanjaro is sometimes called "Everyman's Everest" because it is possible for a novice climber to reach the summit. And every year, more than 30,000 adventure tourists try. But for each person who goes to the mountain, there are thousands more who chat about it at parties, making plans to go...someday. That's how Daniel Dorr got started: flirting with a beautiful brunette and spouting impressive plans. Six months later, he was lying on the gravel trail at 18,000 feet, panting and hacking in the darkness.
"I love happy endings"
In My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth, Wendy shares a glimpse of North Korea as it's never been seen before. Even though it's the scariest place on Earth, somehow Wendy forgot to check her sense of humor at the border. But Wendy's initial amusement and bewilderment soon turned to frustration and growing paranoia.
"Hilarious Yet Real"
What is the best way for the average person to authentically experience the world's greatest mountain range - the Himalayas? Fortunately, there is now a good answer. The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is the most popular footpath in Asia. Its genius lies in its design. Trekkers wind their way around and along some of the world's greatest peaks, ultimately getting near 18,000 feet, without ever having to do any 'technical climbing'.
"Hearing it made me feel like I was there."
Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves’ insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance.
"Travel for Love and Love of Travel"
Elisabeth Tova Bailey tells the intimate and inspiring story of her year-long encounter with a snail. While an illness keeps her bedridden, she becomes an astute and amused observer of the snail's surprising nocturnal adventures as it lives in a flowerpot on her nightstand. Intrigued by the snail’s clear decision making abilities, hydraulic locomotion, mysterious courtship, and molluscan anatomy, Bailey takes the listener deep into the life of this tiny amazing animal. With wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating recounts a remarkable journey of human and gastropod survival and resilience, and shows how the natural world illuminates our own human existence. Winner of the William Saroyan International Prize for Nonfiction, the John Burrough Medal Award for Natural History, and a National Outdoor Book Award. If you enjoyed Wesley the Owl, The Guest Cat, and Marley & Me, you'll enjoy this unique interspecies audiobook listen.
"3.5 Stars—But Quite Enjoyable"
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.