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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"
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"
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"
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.
Amanda Lindhout reads her spectacularly dramatic memoir of a woman whose curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into 15 months of harrowing captivity in Somalia - a story of courage, resilience, and extraordinary grace. In August 2008, she traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia - "the most dangerous place on Earth." On her fourth day in the country, she and her photojournalist companion were abducted.
"Incredible story! Very well written and delivered"
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?
"another great piece of filth from john waters!"
In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.
"Bryson Not Reading Makes For a Rare Fail"
In the first of three essays included in this audiobook, Bill Bryson decides to move his wife and kids back to his homeland, the United States, after nearly two decades in Britain. But not before taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. The result is a hilarious social commentary.
"My second of three (so far) Bill Bryson books"
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.
"Wonderful book, but hardly abridged"
This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia Child embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.
"What a pleasure!"
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?
"I'm not sure it can get better than this"
Far from the glittering cities of Beijing and Shaghai, China's borderlands are populated by around one hundred million people who are not Han Chinese. For many of these restive minorities, the old Chinese adage "the mountains are high and the Emperor far away", meaning Beijing's grip on power is tenuous and its influence unwelcome, continues to resonate.
Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.
"extremely entertaining and informative"
You'll stop at Europe's most diverting and historic locales and view the Old World through Bryson's tourist eye view in this affectionate, blisteringly insightful, and riotously funny pilgrimage from the frozen wastes of Scandinavia to the chaotic tumult of Istanbul.
"I wish he were my neighbour."
Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life. Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German Filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration. The result is an engrossing audiobook, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.
"A great listen"
Hardly anyone ever leaves Des Moines, Iowa. But Bill Bryson did, and after 10 years in England he decided to go home, to a foreign country. In an ageing Chevrolet Chevette, he drove nearly 14,000 miles through 38 states to compile this hilarious and perceptive state-of-the-nation report on small-town America.
"Bill's sophmoric, condescending journey"
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!"
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.
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.
"Warning: You Will be Extremely Jealous"
Michael Brein’s Travel Tales Monthly Bookazine Issue No. 3 for September 2014 contains among the best travel stories from Michael’s huge collection of about 10,000 travel tales that he has gathered in interviews with nearly 1,750 world travelers and adventurers during his four decades of travel to more than 125 countries throughout the world. The 10 travel tales that are featured for September, as well as each following month, include a fascinating mix of travel stories as well as a few brief vignettes.
The A to Z of Spanish Culture reflects Spain as seen through the eyes of its author: a Spaniard who grew up in Madrid in the ‘80s and now keeps a close eye on the country from her London home. Presented in an informal style, each chapter addresses an aspect of Spanish culture: its society, traditions, history, gastronomy, art, and language.
In Extreme Wine
A series of chance occurrences and unexpected mishaps lead a curious young man to question not only himself and his own identity, but the fundamental nature of the universe and existence. Traveling three continents in pursuit of answers to life's biggest questions, all he seems to find is more questions.
Get ready to devour America. Adam Richman, the exuberant host of Travel Channel’s Man v. Food and Man v. Food Nation, has made it his business to root out unique dining experiences from coast to coast. Now, he zeroes in on some of his top-favorite cities - from Portland, Maine, to Savannah, Georgia - to share his uproariously entertaining food travel stories, top finds, and some invaluable (and hilarious) cautionary tales.
The 5,000+ mile route of the Loop Cruise follows historic seaport towns, natural wilderness and coastal fishing communities on a navigable protected waterway that make it an adventure of a lifetime for boaters who dream of seeing the United States and Canada from the helm of their own boat. We were lucky enough to make this journey on our 36-foot trawler, High Life, and chronicled our voyage.
Michael Brein's Travel Tales Collection: The USSR 1 features three wild travel tales of unbelievable things that could have happened to you during the old Cold War Soviet Union communist era. Of course, there are always the usual, typical, expected sorts of Eastern Europe (a la the Cold War) experiences. But there are also those incredible unexpected surprises that become all the more memorable just because they are so unique!
African Safaris 1 is the very first of the Collections travel tales series and contains among the best travel stories about African safaris from Michael's huge collection of travel tales that he has gathered in interviews with nearly 1,750 world travelers and adventurers during his four decades of travel to more than 125 countries throughout the world.
Archeology meets paleontology on the Sonoma Coast of California where State Parks archeologist, Breck Parkman and others have made discovers of the existence of Columbian mammoths, and sabertooth tigers, as the last ice age melted and humans moved in 15,000 years ago. Patricia Lawrence is exploring Sonoma State Park and Goat Rock Park with Breck Parkman.
Audio journalist Jessica Spain is in Hawaii exploring the Maritime Culture as she sails in a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe.
In 1879, due to its central location in the center of the country, Aberdeen became the hub of the Milwalkee Railroad. Patricia Lawrence is exploring Aberdeen with railroad men who lived some of that history.
Issue No. 1, Jul 2014 features such hilarious tales as "The Porno Prof Capers", which describes all the crazy, stupid sorts of trouble that a scurrilous scoundrel traveling to the former Soviet Union can possibly get himself into. And, if that is not enough, how about "The Mad Bomber", who cannot help getting himself into all sorts of embarrassing situations? You are going to laugh this month, but you will also see the unfortunately sad and serious sides to travel as well.
A new collection from Olama Rocketship is cause for celebration! Her exploration of Southeast Asia has provided inspiration for countless funny moments captured in this series of short stories. Whether she is accidentally frightening tourists at the "Fish Foot Spa", or searching the Cambodian countryside for a pajama party, no one can make food poisoning quite as funny as Olama. Not surprisingly, there is a lot of food poisoning.
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is the country's only floating museum. Patricia Lawrence explores two of the six ships with a park ranger: the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha and the 1890 steam ferryboat Eureka.
The plan is simple. George and Ben have three weeks to cycle 1000 miles from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. There's just one small problem - they have no bikes, no clothes, no food, and no money. Setting off in just a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts, they attempt to rely on the generosity of the British public for everything from food to accommodation, clothes to shoes, and bikes to beer.
China, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq...God is at work. Christians are testifying. The gospel is advancing. In this captivating travelogue, a veteran missions mobilizer leads listeners to experience global Christianity, exploring the faith and lives of Christians living in some of the world's most perilous countries. The incredible accounts recorded here - stories that span the globe from China to Afghanistan - highlight the bold faith and sacrificial bravery of God's people.
More than just travel guides, these state-by-state editions, dial-in to the locales, the events, the goods, the foods, sights, sounds, and characters you must experience if you want the right to say, "I've been there!" It is not a typical travel guide, in the sense that the focus is not about where to eat and where to stay, but rather on where to go and what to experience to get an authentic sense of Alaska. In this edition, Amber collaborates with a local Alaskan to pop the cork on America's true wild frontier.
What could go wrong when two young couples join a charter boat full of senior citizens on a trip to visit Fort Jefferson in the Florida Keys?
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.
Reunited in love after 35 years and suffering from a serious case of pre-retirement wanderlust, Lynne and Tim Martin made a life-altering decision: They sold their house and possessions and hit the road to live internationally full-time. Now tethered to nothing but their suitcases, each other, and their next exotic location, they've never looked back. From sky-high pyramids in Mexico to monkeys in Marrakech, this delightful, inspiring memoir is a romantic tale of derring-do for grown-ups and a road map for anyone who dreams of turning the idea of life abroad into a reality.
"Looking for Courage to Make a Change? LISTEN!!!"
In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room”. Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets - usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese.
"Amazing in so many ways"
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.
"Just passin' thru but wish I could have stayed"
In the heart of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this ever-evolving country, Fuling is heading down a new path of change and growth, which came into remarkably sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident.
"Peter Berkrot Again?"
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"
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"
In the summer of 2001, Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver's license. For the next seven years, he traveled the country, tracking how the automobile and improved roads were transforming China.
"Excellent book and narration"
As one of the world’s leading field biologists, George Schaller has spent much of his life traversing wild and isolated places in his quest to understand and conserve threatened species - from mountain gorillas in the Virunga to pandas in the Wolong and snow leopards in the Himalaya. Throughout his celebrated career, Schaller has spent more time in Tibet than in any other part of the world, devoting more than thirty years to the wildlife, culture, and landscapes that captured his heart and continue to compel him.
The life of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, has, with the passing of time, been magnified to the scale of myth, turning history into the stuff of legend. Known as the First Patriarch, Bodhidharma brought Zen from South India into China in 500 CE, changing the country forever. In Tracking Bodhidharma, Andrew Ferguson recreates the path of Bodhidharma, traveling through China to the places where the First Patriarch lived and taught. This sacred trail takes Ferguson deep into ancient China.
The best-selling author of Italian Neighbors returns with a wry and revealing portrait of Italian life - by riding its trains. In his first Italian travelogue in a decade, he deli0vers a charming and funny portrait of Italian ways by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy.
As a kid growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father they called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line and ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood there. Decades later, Helmreich teaches university courses about New York, and his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever. Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs - an astonishing 6,000 miles.
The Rio Grande is simultaneously one of the most watched and least understood rivers in the world. Some stretches of the Rio pass for endless miles through remote wilderness, boxed in by canyons hundreds of feet high and inhabited by only the hardiest animals and humans. That's why journalist Keith Bowden decided to become the first person to travel the entire length of the Rio as it forms the border between America and Mexico.
"Story of a unique trip"
While birding literature is filled with tales of expert observers spotting rare species in exotic locales, John Yow reminds us that the most fascinating birds can be the ones perched right outside our windows. In thirty-five engaging and sometimes irreverent vignettes, Yow reveals the fascinating lives of the birds we see nearly every day. Following the seasons, he covers forty-two species, discussing the improbable, unusual, and comical aspects of his subjects' lives.
"Yow is the Bees Knees"
Few books have captured the haunting world of music and rivers and of the sport they provide as well as A River Never Sleeps. Roderick L. Haig-Brown writes of fishing not just as a sport, but also as an art. He knows moving water and the life within it - its subtlest mysteries and perpetual delights. He is a man who knows fish lore as few people ever will, and the legends and history of a great sport. Month by month, he takes you from river to river, down at last to the saltwater and the sea.
Stories provide the connective tissue of the South. The intrepid Pamela Petro drives from the Carolinas to the Appalachians to the Atlantic seaboard, from Virginia's valleys to Louisiana's swamps to meet the mesmerizing guardians of its history: the storytellers, who often double as local, or national, treasures. A gifted listener, Petro records how stories originate as well as how they are passed down. She paints vivid portraits of the tellers while compiling tales about Jack the trickster, boo-hags and plat-eyes, ghosts, and singing turtles.