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Travel & Adventure > Adventure & Exploration

Adventure & Exploration

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John S.

John S. Seattle, WA United States Member Since 2005
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  • "If you're into maritime adventure"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is the book for YOU! I bought it as a general interest travel narrative, and it does work as that, although at some points better than others.

    Part 1 struck me as the least "general interest" section, as the author spends much of that time alone on the high seas in the middle of nowhere, although there are (eventually) stops in the Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, etc.

    Part 2 is largely concerned with Australia, both sightseeing on land, and sailing its vast coast, finishing up with the trip to Arabia, with a lengthy stopover in Sri Lanka.

    Part 3 covers the most in terms of miles - Arabia to California, via the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Panama Canal. Starts out with adventures in avoiding pirates (he never really is threatened, though friends have a lot less luck) from Arabia to Israel, through the Suez Canal. Stops, including sightseeing trips, in Israel, Italy, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, and Trinidad, until the not-so-simple Canal crossing, and home to San Diego.

    Michael's a really nice fellow, without being particularly sappy about it, making lots of friends along the way; he uses the convention of referring to them by their boats' names ("Beatrice" etc.) and as he meets up with some after a long absence from the story, that did get a tad confusing at times. He's also quite a foodie, so it wasn't exactly hardtack and sardines for him; at one point he has so much surplus fish he makes a quantity of "fish jerky" out of it all! He did a terrific job in picking out the highlights of the trip, so things never really dragged for me, as I'd feared they might.

    Parker's narration works quite well in terms of maintaining enthusiasm, although I wish he'd done (more) prep work in getting place names correct, as at times it was almost painful to hear him get some wrong.

    Final verdict: definitely recommended!

    More

    Islands, Oceans, and Dreams: The True Story of a Sailor's Seven Year Solo Voyage Around the World

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Michael Salvaneschi
    • Narrated By Andrew Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (38)

    Islands, Oceans, and Dreams is a true story of a man who, at the age of 33, began dreaming of voyaging with his wife to the South Pacific. He wasn't an adventurer or daring by nature, but he bought a boat and began learning the ways of the sea. Twenty years later, racked with the pain of divorce and still aching to live out his dream, he set off alone for Tahiti. After reaching French Polynesia, he continued cruising for seven years and wound up solo sailing around the world. Islands, Oceans, and Dreams takes the listener on that voyage.

    John S. says: "If you're into maritime adventure"
  • "How much can one say about Gabon?"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I haven't read Kingsley's book, but admire Alexander's planning in following the literary trail she left behind. Still, if you're expecting historical footsteps as the primary focus here, it doesn't quite work that way. Roughly half of the book is a modern travel narrative, having little or nothing to do with Kingsley, which was fine by me, but that writer's fans may find the footsteps angle a bit thin. Also, Alexander spends a fair amount of time on a side story of a missionary physician whom Kingsley had met on her journey. Overall, a pleasant read, where not much really happens of note - no wildly challenging monkey wrenches typical of other African adventures: she goes places (some Kingsley-related, others not), meets people, reports what she finds, and moves on to the next location. Lecat's narration came across as a bit more ... patrician, and seems a bit more mature, than I'd expected of Alexander herself, giving the story the air of a Womens' Institute talk from local gentry; however, as there aren't really any truly dramatic moments, that wasn't such a bad fit.

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    One Dry Season: In the Footsteps of Mary Kingsley

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Caroline Alexander
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    When she first read of Victorian explorer Mary Kingsley’s travels in the French colony of Gabon, Alexander knew she had to experience the present-day nation for herself. Soon she is retracing Kingsley’s route - struggling through tangled vines in humid rain forests, chugging up the churning Ogooué River in a packed steamer, and fending off gigantic cockroaches. The country she discovers is a challenging mixture of Africa’s exotic past and its practical present

    John S. says: "How much can one say about Gabon?"
  • "Here's what you need to know before..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The cycling aspect is almost incidental to the content: Bennett is no Josie Dew nor Bettina Selby, though she's quite upfront about it. Instead, there's rather interesting travel narrative concerning the scenery of the areas she and Mick visit, as well as notes on the historical importance of many places. And then there's the pubs, mention of each one of the many they stopped at, and exactly which beers they quaffed. Regular entries along the lines of "Wolfsbane Corner has one pub, The Curious Cretin, where we dropped in after making dinner at the campground next door. They had offerings from the craft brewers Henchman & Son, so Mick enjoyed a Saucy Sally witbier, while I tried their Leering Lout stout; we agreed that mine was the better product ...." abound; I appreciated those items, but if you feel that sounds tedious, this ain't the book for you! I did have a little bit of trouble figuring out their relationship, which is implied to be travel buddies, nothing more. Bennett's writing was great in terms of balancing the serious nonfiction geographical aspects, and the self-deprecating humor of their mishaps. I'd look forward to raeding anything else she'd write. Nicola MacKenzie's narration made a perfect fit, as though it were Bennett herself speaking directly to the reader.

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    Mud, Sweat and Gears: Cycling From Land's End to John O'Groats (via the Pub)

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ellie Bennett
    • Narrated By Nicola MacKenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    As Ellie’s 50th birthday approaches and her ambitions of a steady income, a successful career and an ascent of Everest seem as far away as ever, she begins to doubt she’s capable of achieving anything at all. So when her best friend Mick suggests a gruelling cycle ride from Land’s End to John o’Groats, she takes up the challenge. They opt for the scenic route which takes them along cycle paths, towpaths and the back roads and byways of Britain, unable to resist sampling beers in the pubs they pass along the way.

    John S. says: "Here's what you need to know before starting"
  1. Islands, Oceans, and Drea...
  2. One Dry Season: In the Fo...
  3. Mud, Sweat and Gears: Cyc...
  4. .

A Peek at Melinda's Bookshelf

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Kaysville, UT, United States 1 REVIEWS / 9 ratings Member Since 2009 12 Followers / Following 1
 
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Don Lance

Don Lance Murfreesboro, TN United States 12-17-09 Member Since 2008
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  • "Outstanding narrative, recommended"

    2 of 2 helpful votes

    I was not aware of this South American exploration by former President Roosevelt, and I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative. The author provided very good background information on the historical backdrop of Roosevelt prior to the expedition, on the people, and on the Amazon itself. The narrator also presented the story in a way that kept you listening. Once I started this book, I found it difficult to stop.

    The tale will make you think twice if you have ever considered taking part in an Amazon expedition. Let's just say that I will never "relieve myself" in a river again. The unique challenges of an Amazon expedition are described in detail, and these help you understand what a monumental achievement the men accomplished. Roosevelt may not have died in the Amazon, but it's clear he carried the effects with him for his short years afterwards. I also very much liked the addition of an epilogue, which tells what followed in the years after the expedition.

    Recommended for anyone who loves a true tale of exploration!

    More

    The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1850)
    Performance
    (819)
    Story
    (832)

    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.

    Stephen says: "River of Doubt"

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    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
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    Overall
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    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Kurson
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    Overall
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    • Narrated By Robert Powell
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
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    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Jon Krakauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1982)
    Performance
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    • Narrated By Rinker Buck
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    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Performance
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    Story
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    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Philip Franklin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1304)
    Performance
    (517)
    Story
    (521)

    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.

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    Into Thin Air

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Jon Krakauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1982)
    Performance
    (806)
    Story
    (822)

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    David says: "Being There"
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UNABRIDGED) by Rolf Potts Narrated by Rolf Potts

    Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rolf Potts
    • Narrated By Rolf Potts
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (137)

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    Andrew says: "Legendary"
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UNABRIDGED) by John Steinbeck Narrated by Gary Sinise

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    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Gary Sinise
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (255)

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    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Andrea Lankford
    • Narrated By Julia Motyka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (95)

    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.

    Marvin says: "A must read"
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    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Hampton Sides
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: The North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever." The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship.

  • The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey (






UNABRIDGED) by Candice Millard Narrated by Paul Michael

    The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1850)
    Performance
    (819)
    Story
    (832)

    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.

    Stephen says: "River of Doubt"
  •  
  • Lost Empire (






UNABRIDGED) by Clive Cussler Narrated by Scott Brick

    Lost Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
    (390)
    Story
    (384)

    While scuba diving in Tanzania, Sam and Remi Fargo come upon a relic belonging to a long-lost Confederate ship. An anomaly about the relic sets them off chasing a mystery-but unknown to them, a much more powerful force is engaged in the same chase. Mexico's ruling party, the ultranationalist Mexica Tenochca, is intent on finding that artifact as well, because it contains a secret that could destroy the party utterly.

    Joanna says: "Lost Along the Way"
  • A Walk in the Woods (






ABRIDGED) by Bill Bryson Narrated by Bill Bryson

    A Walk in the Woods

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2298)
    Performance
    (550)
    Story
    (563)

    After 20 years in Britain, Bryson returned to the U.S. and decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. This is his humorous, inspiring account.

    Jeff says: "Wonderful book, but hardly abridged"
  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (






UNABRIDGED) by Nathaniel Philbrick Narrated by Scott Brick

    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (627)
    Performance
    (268)
    Story
    (273)

    The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the 19th century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the 20th. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with 20 crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival.

    Kimberly says: "Good book, poor editing ..."
  • Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert Kurson Narrated by Michael Prichard

    Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Kurson
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2061)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (543)

    In 1991, acting on a tip from a local fisherman, two scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat, complete with its crew of 60 men, not too far off the New Jersey coast. The divers, realizing the momentousness of their discovery, began probing the mystery. Over the next six years, they became expert and well-traveled researchers, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew.

    Douglas says: "GRIPPING!"
  • Scotland's Argyll, Loch Lomond, & Beyond (






UNABRIDGED) by Martin Li Narrated by Jack Chekijian

    Scotland's Argyll, Loch Lomond, & Beyond

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Martin Li
    • Narrated By Jack Chekijian
    Overall
    (0)
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    Argyll is the strikingly beautiful and unspoiled mountainous region that separates the Scottish Highlands from the Lowlands. Sea lochs break up its deeply indented and exceptionally scenic Atlantic coastline. Inland shimmer numerous freshwater lochs, including world-famous Loch Lomond, Loch Awe, and the picturesque Loch Katrine.

  • Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation (






UNABRIDGED) by Elizabeth Pisani Narrated by Jan Cramer

    Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Pisani
    • Narrated By Jan Cramer
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    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.

  • California's Wine Country: The Napa Valley (






UNABRIDGED) by Lisa Manterfield Narrated by Leesa Williams

    California's Wine Country: The Napa Valley

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lisa Manterfield
    • Narrated By Leesa Williams
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    The valley is just 25 miles long from Napa in the south to Calistoga in the north. Highway 29 runs up the west side of the valley, with the Silverado Trail running parallel to the east, and dozens of small roads connecting the two. The bulk of the 400-plus wineries in the region are neatly gathered along these routes and in the surrounding hills, so you can easily visit any number in a day.

  • Western Colorado: Grand Junction, Durango, Telluride, Mesa Verde & Beyond (






UNABRIDGED) by Curtis Casewit Narrated by Wayne Hughes

    Western Colorado: Grand Junction, Durango, Telluride, Mesa Verde & Beyond

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Curtis Casewit
    • Narrated By Wayne Hughes
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    Vast expanses of wild, rugged hills make up this country. The city of Grand Junction - so named for the confluence of two rivers - is the gateway to the wilderness and Utah's rugged terrain. Just east of Junction is Palisade, a valley lush with peaches and pears that abuts the 50-mile-wide flat-topped Grand Mesa, bursting with recreational activities. To the north are the Book Cliffs and eventually Dinosaur National Monument. Grand Mesa National Forest boasts 300 lakes and reservoirs.

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  • The Top 10 Things to Do in Paris: The Ultimate Guide to Make Sure Your Trip to the City of Lights Includes the Best in Culture, Site Seeing, Shopping, Eating, Souvenirs, and More! (






UNABRIDGED) by Xavier Zimms Narrated by Emily A. Tuckman

    The Top 10 Things to Do in Paris: The Ultimate Guide to Make Sure Your Trip to the City of Lights Includes the Best in Culture, Site Seeing, Shopping, Eating, Souvenirs, and More!

    • UNABRIDGED (18 mins)
    • By Xavier Zimms
    • Narrated By Emily A. Tuckman
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    The Top 10 Things to Do in Paris is your ultimate guide to explore the City of Lights and world capital of shopping and style. It is an easy to understand tour guide to one of the enthralling and sprawling cities of the world. Every traveler needs to prioritize his options and time whether he is visiting Paris for one day or for one month, and this guide helps tourists to do exactly the same by providing information about must-see places in the city and top class activities to partake in.

  • The Virgin Islands: A Walking & Hiking Guide (






UNABRIDGED) by Leonard Adkins Narrated by JoBe Cerny

    The Virgin Islands: A Walking & Hiking Guide

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Leonard Adkins
    • Narrated By JoBe Cerny
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    From easy walks along sandy beaches to rugged overnight hikes to quick uphill treks with stunning vistas en route, this guide has something to suit every member of your family. Walking times for each hike are given, along with descriptions of the route. Points of interest are highlighted, including plant and animal life you might see. An introduction to each island offers tidbits of the island's history, tourist information offices, air travel details, and hiking organizations you can contact ahead of time.

  • The Best Hikes in Italy: A Insider's Guide (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Sedge Narrated by Brandon Ruiter

    The Best Hikes in Italy: A Insider's Guide

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Sedge
    • Narrated By Brandon Ruiter
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    If the ups and downs of mountain trails and picturesque forests lure you, Italy will seem a land of fantasy. Hiking, backpacking, and trekking ventures in this exciting country are not your usual organized tours with bus transportation, first-rate hotels, meals and guides. What you will get here is the freedom of a true down-to-earth, under-the-stars, roughing-it adventure - though there are also hundreds of easy one-day walking routes to be found as well.

  • St. Petersburg, Florida, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, and Beyond (






UNABRIDGED) by Chelle Koster Walton Narrated by Bob Milhoan

    St. Petersburg, Florida, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, and Beyond

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Chelle Koster Walton
    • Narrated By Bob Milhoan
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    Based on our much larger guide to Tampa Bay and, Florida's West Coast, this zeroes in on New Port Richey, Tarpon Springs and Dunedin, Clearwater and Clearwater Beach, the Sand Key Communities, Treasure Island, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg. This audiobook is packed with practical information and enticing facts that make it fun to listen to.