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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
HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    (54)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (42)

    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.

    More

    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.

    More

    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
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    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 Marci's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
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portland, OR, United States 109 REVIEWS / 246 ratings Member Since 2006 177 Followers / Following 8
 
Marci's greatest hits:
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    "I Miss Her"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Now that the book is over, I miss Cheryl Strayed. I loved having her in my life for 13 hours. She is so honest. She shares her dirty laundry and the good times too for the world to judge. I have a ton of respect for her. I was so impressed with every aspect of this book. I laughed and cried and gasped from shock.

    Not everyone will love this book. It's very raw and without the fluff and floweryness of something like "Eat, Pray, Love."

  • Touching the Void

    "Wonderfully told true story"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Too often, books written based on a true story include too much hyperbole in turning the main character into a hero that did nothing wrong. This story is raw, and honest, and believable, and really well told.

    The best part about this story is that it's true. No really, it's true. As you join Simpson in this tale, you'll find yourself saying "no way," but wow, it really happened.

    The end of this story wrapped it up so well for me. I won't spoil anything in case you don't already know what happens, but I'll say, that any questions I had were answered by the end.

    Whether you are a skier, a hiker, a mountaineer, or just love a great story about human strength and endurance, you'll love this story.

  • On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads

    "Fascinating, inspiring story"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I discovered this book when I attended the traveling version of the Banff Film Festival, which is all about "outdoor" themed films and literature. This book won several awards, and it deserved them.
    Tim Cope is a writer who takes this journey, not a dude who stumbles through the desert and then writes about it. The fact that he is a writer makes this book good. The fact that it is such a personal story makes it great.
    This story is raw. Cope is super passionate about the nomads and the countries he visits. He really puts everything on the line for this experience.
    I loved how he writes about the people he meets, his relationships with his animals, and his personal life. He also throws in a lot of historical facts about the regions he visits. The great thing is how they all work together. Some of the topics, like what the horses eat every day, could get dry, but he mixes it up with the other topics and it all just comes together so fluidly.

    The narrator only gets three stars because he's way too dry. Cope's passion, and fears, and joys were sometimes lost in this reading. I think I would have enjoyed this story more if I'd read it instead of listening to it.

McCoffee

McCoffee Saratoga, CA, United States 10-26-13 Member Since 2010

I like history and biography, novels too. I do have a thing for zombie books as well. I need crappy thrillers now and then.

HELPFUL VOTES
13
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  • "Adventure travel is human harassment"

    4 of 4 helpful votes

    Very good book. Phil Harwood comes across as a reasonable and friendly badass. He's ready with a smile and a handshake, but he's not going to be pushed around. There's not a lot of nature encounters in the book: it is mostly a tale of alternating harassment from venal officials and kindness from fishermen and their families. But Harwood does a good job capturing the feel of the river--while convincing you that no matter who cool this trip sounds, you don't really want to do it.

    More

    Canoeing The Congo: First Source to Sea Descent of the Congo River

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Phil Harwood
    • Narrated By Gareth Armstrong
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    Canoeing the Congo narrates the journey of Phil Harwood, who undertook an epic five-month solo attempt to canoe the Congo River in war-torn Central Africa. It was a historic 'first descent' from the true source in the highlands of Zambia. Just short of 3,000 miles long, the Congo River is the eighth longest in the world and the deepest river in the world, with a flow rate second only to the Amazon. Along the way, Phil encountered numerous waterfalls, huge rapids, man-eating crocodiles, hippos, aggressive snakes...

    McCoffee says: "Adventure travel is human harassment"

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    Performance
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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
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    Performance
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    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.

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    • By Candice Millard
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    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1884)
    Performance
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    Story
    (865)

    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.

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ABRIDGED) by Bill Bryson Narrated by Bill Bryson

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    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2314)
    Performance
    (565)
    Story
    (578)

    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"
  •  
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UNABRIDGED) by Nathaniel Philbrick Narrated by Scott Brick

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    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
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    Overall
    (643)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (288)

    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 ..."
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UNABRIDGED) by Paulo Coelho Narrated by Sean Runnette

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    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Paulo Coelho
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
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    Story
    (88)

    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.

    Benjamin Lupton says: "Hard-hitting and amazing"
  • Blue Highways: A Journey into America (






UNABRIDGED) by William Least Heat-Moon Narrated by Joe Barrett

    Blue Highways: A Journey into America

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By William Least Heat-Moon
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (63)

    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.

    Mr. says: "A new Mark Twain... this is a great book"
  • Post Captain: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Patrick O'Brian Narrated by Simon Vance

    Post Captain: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (187)

    Post Captain is the second novel in Patrick O'Brian's beloved adventure series. In 1803 Napoleon smashes the Peace of Amiens, and Captain Jack Aubrey, Royal Navy, taking refuge in France from his creditors, is interned. He escapes from France, from debtors' prison, from a possible mutiny, and pursues his quarry straight into the mouth of a French-held-harbor.

    Debbie in Plano says: "Narrator preference"
  • Munich & the Bavarian Alps: Travel Adventures (






UNABRIDGED) by Krista Dana Narrated by Sally Martin

    Munich & the Bavarian Alps: Travel Adventures

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Krista Dana
    • Narrated By Sally Martin
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Here is a guide to the best sights and adventures in the mountainous regions of Alpine Germany. Based on experience gained through more than a decade of living in, traveling around, and writing about the Alps, we spotlight the best gateway cities, the best sightseeing bases, and the best outdoor adventures. Here, we cover the places where you're likely to end up when crossing the European Alps and the places that you shouldn't miss in-between, even if you have only a few days or a week to spend.

  • Fiji: Travel Adventures (






UNABRIDGED) by Thomas Booth Narrated by Chiquito Crasto

    Fiji: Travel Adventures

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Thomas Booth
    • Narrated By Chiquito Crasto
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This is the most comprehensive guide to these islands. Where to stay, where to eat, how to get around, what to see and do. All of the practical information you need is spelled out in detail. And hundreds of color photos bring the islands alive!

  • Mission Ridge Ski Resort: Wenatchee Washington  by Patricia Lawrence Narrated by Patricia Lawrence, EJ Barney

    Mission Ridge Ski Resort: Wenatchee Washington

    • ORIGINAL (28 mins)
    • By Patricia Lawrence
    • Narrated By Patricia Lawrence, EJ Barney
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Mission Ridge Ski Resort near Wenatchee Washington is one of the most popular ski destinations in the world. It’s also a 1944 crash site of a B-24 bomber on a secret mission. Patricia Lawrence is exploring Mission Ridge; she assends on a tram up the tall mountain and decends in a courtesy toboggan.

  • Northern Italy's Wine Country: Prosecco, Soave, Bardolino, Valpolicella & Beyond (






UNABRIDGED) by Marissa Fabris Narrated by Chris Andrew Ciulla

    Northern Italy's Wine Country: Prosecco, Soave, Bardolino, Valpolicella & Beyond

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Marissa Fabris
    • Narrated By Chris Andrew Ciulla
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This guide tells you about the wine-growing regions, especially: the Euganean Hills, Prosecco, Soave, Cistoza, Bardolino, Valpolicella, Bassano del Grappa - how to visit the vineyards, taste the wines, trying the best restaurants, and the best places to stay in each region. All of the details you need to know are here so your trip will be unforgettable.

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  • Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback (






UNABRIDGED) by Robyn Davidson Narrated by Angie Milliken

    Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Robyn Davidson
    • Narrated By Angie Milliken
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia's landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.

  • St. Tropez, Frejus, St. Raphael & the Western Cote d'Azur (






UNABRIDGED) by Ferne Arfin Narrated by Sally Martin

    St. Tropez, Frejus, St. Raphael & the Western Cote d'Azur

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ferne Arfin
    • Narrated By Sally Martin
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Covered in depth are the Mauresque Coast, including St. Tropez, Le Lavandou, Grimaud, Ste Maxime, then on to Fréjus, Saint Raphael, the Massif du Tanneron, and the Esterel. All the places to stay are described, as well as the places to eat, the history, sights to see, plus adventures on foot, on horseback, and on water.

  • The Thirty-Nine Steps (






UNABRIDGED) by John Buchan Narrated by Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot

    The Thirty-Nine Steps

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By John Buchan
    • Narrated By Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    FNH Audio presents an unabridged reading of The Thirty-Nine Steps. In May 1914 Richard Hannay finds himself caught up in an international intrigue that has the sole objective of starting a world wide war. Hannay's enemies have committed murder and set Hannay up to take the fall. Now he's on the run from the secretive Black Stone and the police, yet he's the only one who can save England!