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 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"
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"
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"
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."
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"
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."
Where's the Next Shelter? is the true story of three travelers on the Appalachian Trail, a 2,000-mile hike that stretches from Georgia to Maine, told from the perspective of Gary Sizer, a seasoned backpacker and former marine who quickly finds himself humbled by the endeavor. If you long for the horizon or to sleep under the stars, then come along for the hike of a lifetime. All you have to do is take the first step.
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.
"A humorist in the Mark Twain tradition."
In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction.
"Overdramatic narrator for my taste"
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!"
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"
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"
In January 2003, Nick Sparks and his brother Micah set off on a three-week trip around the world. It was to mark a milestone in their lives, for at 35 and 36, respectively, they were now the only surviving members of their family. As Nick and Micah travel the globe, the intimate story of their tragic family legacy unfolds in the details of the untimely deaths of their parents and only sister.
On October 6, 1973, Ted Simon knew there was no going back. He loaded up his 500cc Triumph Tiger in the pouring rain and said good-bye to London. Over four years he rode 64,000 miles round the world. Breakdowns, revolutions, war, a spell in prison, and a Californian commune were all part of his experience, which was colored variously by utter despair and unimaginable joy. He was treated as a spy, a god, a welcome stranger and a curiosity
"Eloquently Written ~ Exquisitely Told"
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.
Building on the success of The Yarn Whisperer, Clara Parkes' rich personal essays invite listeners and devoted crafters on excursions to be savored, from a guide who quickly comes to feel like a trusted confidante. In Knitlandia, she takes listeners along on 17 of her most memorable journeys across the globe over the last 15 years, with stories spanning from the fjords of Iceland to a cozy yarn shop in Paris' 13th arrondissement.
"Not what I expected but even better"
Keen to move out of the elephant's stomach, that stew of gray mists called weather in Wales, Jean Gill offered her swimming certificate to a bemused Provençale estate agent and bought a house with good stars and its own spring water. Or, rather, as it turns out, a neighbor's spring water that is the only supply to the kitchen, which, according to the nice men from the Water Board, is emptying its dirty water directly and illegally onto the main road.... And there's worse....
Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness". This uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is.
"Brew your coffee, get some cookies"
This is a true story of living and learning - being confused and comforted - with the excluded Ashkali people of Kosovo; an account of the challenges and delights of what happens when you find your community but it's a long way from home.
Teresa O'Kane had always longed to see the world. She owned scads of travel books and maps and was about to buy yet another bookcase to hold the many Lonely Planet guides and travel essays that she had accumulated over the years when she turned to her husband and said, "I'm tired of storing our dreams. Let's live them!" Within a month, they bought one-way tickets to Morocco, leased out their home, and set out on a journey of the African continent top to bottom from Casablanca to Cape Town.
Europe holds the westernmost part of the Eurasian continent. To the north there lies the icy Arctic Ocean, to the west there is the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. In the south Europe is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. The Ural and Caucasus Mountains are considered the border of Asia and Europe. Millions of tourists visit various cities within Europe. There are many attractions located there. In fact, several of the wonders of the world are located in Europe.
In the summer of 1980, a maverick young doctor gave it all up, to hitchhike around the world. The first part of his odyssey took him through South America and up through Africa, accompanied by his mythical hunter companion, Orion. His vision quest continued around the second cartwheel of the European Grand Tour.
Are you ready to discover everything you need to know to get the most out of your holiday to Australia? If so you've come to the right place!
A true story of courage and survival, South to Alaska carries listeners from the heartland of America to the last frontier... the hard way. Born in the dusty heart of Oklahoma in 1916, 10-year-old Melvin sees a photograph of a cabin in the Alaska wilderness in his fourth-grade geography book and dreams of living there. Nearly 50 years later he builds a 47-foot boat in his Arkansas backyard, launches it on the Arkansas River, and cruises 10,000 miles to Alaska by way of the Panama Canal. Melvin has never been south of the United States/Mexico border.
This book, one of Mark Twain's first, is a hilarious, sometimes biting account of the author's travels through France, Italy, Greece, Russia, Palestine, Turkey, and Egypt. His wry observations pepper the narrative with humor, while at the same time making pertinent comments on the human condition.
The Final Cartwheel is the story of a young doctor's return home, after a five-year hitchhiking odyssey around the world. Through East Asia, Indonesia, and around the Antipodes, the circle becomes unbroken.
Drive Nacho Drive tells the hilarious and sometimes harrowing story of what happens when Brad and Sheena Van Orden trade in the American dream for a year on the roads of Central and South America aboard “Nacho”, their quirky and somewhat temperamental Volkswagen van. As a result of questionable decision-making skills and intermittent bad luck, Brad and Sheena repeatedly find themselves in over their heads.
"The first of many 5 star reviews I'm sure."
This is a short nonfiction piece about a disheveled man following me through the streets at night in a tropical ghost town.
This book is loaded with tips and tricks to plan the best cruise ship vacation ever! It's laced with personal stories that will have you grinning. It's all you need to know to plan a once-in-a-lifetime cruise vacation, even if you're still in the just-dreaming-about-it stage.
Are you ready to discover everything you need to know to get the most out of your holiday to NZ? If so you've come to the right place!
Bolivia is a place of natural beauty with a landscape that is rugged, raw, and complex. Its snowy mountains, exotic forests and rolling hills will throw you straight into a painting you'll never want to leave. With flora and fauna unique to the region hidden just inside the virgin rainforests, every tree offers up a glimpse at a new world.
Written in plain English, this guide will walk you through Brazil's sex scene and give advice and tips for finding the best spots and clubs in some of Brazil's most beloved cities and tourist destinations. Get a rundown on the best time of year to visit Brazil to meet girls, the most cost-effective way to scout different venues, and which cities to hit up on your tour.
Bangkok is one of the most exciting cities in the world. It has much to offer, from its delicious and plentiful food to its rich cultural history and bustling street life, and of course its abundance of beautiful women. In the past to find out how to get around Bangkok on a budget and enjoy its many salacious wonders you would need to buy your respectable guide that would tell you where to get the best Pad Thai and when all the temples opened and then consult unconvincing three year old online guides to meeting Thai girls.
You only get to live once. One life meant for a multitude of adventures, memories, experiences, and captured moments. One life to see the world for what it is, the beauty that it holds, and the simplicity it brings. Today, many of us live for the next best thing. We live in a fast-paced, stressful, and materialistic society. A society that demands more from us than it offers us in return. In the hustle and bustle of modern-day life, days go by, culminating in a lifetime of occasional adventures but many stressors.
Have you dreamed about backpacking through Europe but feel like you don't have the money? In this book, you will learn tips and tricks about how to backpack in Europe without breaking the bank. From hostels to restaurants to packing your bag, there are ways to save money and experience all the wonders of a continent that has a deep and rich history. Don't put off your dream. Make it a reality by doing some research and being responsible with your money.
The history of Spain took many turns between the sixth and 15th centuries. The Visigoths of Germanic origin first claimed Spain, and they remained unchallenged for at least three centuries. The Moors, an Arabic people from northern Africa, eventually conquered Spain. At this point in time, Spain was changed forever, and to this day you can see the influence of the Moorish occupation in the ancient cathedrals, mosques, churches, and buildings that are still standing in modern Spain.
Since the beginning of time, food is what brought us all together. But as the human race evolved over time, our desire for unique culinary experiences grew to an insatiable intrigue to be transported to exotic places and enjoy a rich tapestry of taste. A taste sparked by the leaders of the culinary renaissance of their times, a taste that has been maintained through history, a taste that emerged into a tradition and was perfected from generation to generation.
In Something as Big as a Mountain, the author describes her fledgling efforts at mountaineering while trying to understand her motivation for undertaking such a risky and physically demanding journey above the tree line. Having recently completed yet another arduous journey, one through a cancer diagnosis and treatment, her return to physical activity escalates from mere walking to training for a significant climb.
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"
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!"
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"
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.
"In defense of the narrator"
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 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?"
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.
"Similar to a college course on New York"
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."
Recounting the three weeks of blood, sweat, and tearsthat make up a 7,000 mile journey from the glitzy streets of Paris to the hinterland of northwestern Africa, this incredible tale highlights the most arduous and notorious off-road motorsports event on the planet, the Paris-Dakar Rally. Since its inception in 1979, the rally has attracted more than 3,000 participants from all walks of life.
"Great tale, not great narration"
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.
In September of 2005, the Peace Corps sent Michael Levy to teach English in the heart of China's heartland. His hosts in the city of Guiyang found additional uses for him: resident expert on Judaism, romantic adviser, and provincial basketball star, to name a few. His account of overcoming vast cultural differences to befriend his students and fellow teachers is by turns poignant and laugh-out-loud funny.
"Not quite his target audience I guess"
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"
In the 17 wide-ranging essays collected for the first time in Love and Other Ways of Dying, he brings his full literary powers to bear, pondering happiness and grief, memory and the redemptive power of human connection. In the remote Ukranian countryside, Paterniti picks apples (and faces mortality) with a real-life giant; in Nanjing, China, he confronts a distraught jumper on a suicide bridge.
"This was just so so for me..."
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.
A North Country Life is the story of author Sydney Lea’s powerful connection to his family, friends, and the northern outdoors. Loosely organized by the changing of seasons, different sections feature essays on such topics as childhood family fishing trips in the wilds of Maine, trophy fly-fishing the northern reaches of the Connecticut River, the opening day of turkey hunting season in Vermont, and getting lost in the deep woods while deer hunting. The essays are introspective and dramatic.
A pampered Long Island princess hits the road in a converted bus with her wilderness-loving husband, travels the country for one year, and brings it all hilariously to life in this offbeat and romantic memoir. Doreen and Tim are married psychiatrists with a twist: She’s a self-proclaimed Long Island princess, grouchy couch potato, and shoe addict. He's an affable, though driven, outdoorsman.
"What a fun listen"
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"