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A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. In maps still identified Montana as the Great American Desert. In that year Congress offered acre tracts of land to anyone bold or foolish enough to stake a claim to them. Countless homesteaders went west to make their fortunes. Most failed. In Bad Land, Jonathan Raban travels through the unforgiving country that was the scene of their dreams and undoing, and makes their stories come alive.
Horwitz was a foreign correspondent in the Middle East the late s. From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. This new edition includes six opinion pieces written by Robert Kaplan about the Balkans between l and Jamie Zeppa was 24 when she left a stagnant life at home and signed a contract to teach for two years in the Buddhist hermit kingdom of Bhutan.
Much more than just a travel memoir, Beyond the Sky and the Earth is the story of her time in a Himalayan village, immersed in Bhutanese culture and the wonders of new and lasting love. Bitter Lemons by Lawrence Durrell. Durrell tells the story of his experiences on Cyprus between and first as a visitor, then as a householder and teacher, and finally as Press Advisor to a government coping with armed rebellion.
He writes about the sunlit villages and people, the ancient buildings, mountains and sea-and the somber political tragedy that finally engulfed the island. Written on the brink of World War II, this examination of the history, people, and politics of Yugoslavia illuminates a region that is still a focus of international concern. A blend of travel journal, cultural commentary, and historical insight, this book probes the troubled history of the Balkans and the uneasy relationships among its ethnic groups.
Bound for Glory by Woody Guthrie. This is a road novel in the form of autobiography. When the Depression arrived, Guthrie hit the road and travelled round America. He became a folksinger, guitarist, merchant seaman, actor, artist and broadcaster. Guthrie incarnated for generations of Americans the artist as free spirit. This is the book that created the legend. Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Andrew X. Pham was born in Vietnam and raised in California. On 20th May the Indian summer monsoon begins to envelop the country in two great wet arms, one coming from the east, the other from the west.
They are united over central India around 10th July, a date that can be calculated within seven or eight days. Alexander Frater aims to follow the monsoon, sometimes behind it, sometimes in front of it, while watching the impact of this extraordinary phenomenon. Though he lasted only a few months before illness and personal crisis forced him home, Bissell found himself entranced by this remote land.
Five years later he returned to explore the shrinking Aral Sea, destroyed by Soviet irrigation policies. Entertaining, fascinating, and informative, City of Djinns is an irresistible blend of research and adventure. Coming into the Country by John McPhee. Coming into the Country is an account of Alaska and Alaskans.
It is a rich tapestry of vivid characters, observed landscapes, and descriptive narrative, in three principal segments that deal, respectively, with a total wilderness, with urban Alaska, and with life in the remoteness of the bush. Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole. In her fifteen years of flight experience she recounts crazy airline passengers and crew drama, overcrowded crashpads, and finding love at 35, feet. Part history, part philosophy, part travelogue, Claudio Magris tracks the Danube River, setting his finger on the pulse of Central Europe.
A journey through the history and culture of the Danube lands, from the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. In Nick Danziger started an month journey from Istanbul to Peking, following the old Silk route. With minimal gear and disguised as an itinerant Muslim, he hitch-hiked and walked through southern Turkey, and the Iran of the Ayatollahs, entering Afghanistan illegally in the wake of a convoy of Chinese weapons and then spent months dodging Russian helicopter gunships with the rebel guerillas.
Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? Kohnstamm unveils the underside of the travel industry and its often-harrowing effect on writers, travellers, and the destinations themselves. When Rosemary Mahoney, in , took a solo trip down the Nile in a seven-foot rowboat, she discovered modern Egypt for herself. As a rower, she faced crocodiles and testy river currents; as a female, she confronted deeply-held beliefs about foreign women while cautiously remaining open to genuine friendship; and, as a traveler, she experienced events that ranged from the humorous to the hair-raising.
Driving Mr Albert by Michael Paterniti. The true story of how in writer Michael Paterniti agreed to take a road trip from New Jersey to California, reuniting the preserved brain of Albert Einstein with his granddaughter Evelyn. I was recommended to read this book and was unaware of the hype, so I enjoyed it without any expectation. Once his tiny boat pushed off the banks of this mysterious river, Tayler realised he was in a place where maps and supplies would have no bearing on his survival.
Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K.
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Ernest K. He had flown in both peace and war and came close to death many times. The book recalls the characters he met and the dramas he experienced, portraying fate or death as a hunter constantly in pursuit of pilots. Hunter S. Emma Larkin tells of the year she spent traveling through Burma using the life and work of George Orwell as her compass. Following the route taken by British explorer Ivan Champion in , Salak travelled across Papua New Guinea by dugout canoe and on foot.
Along the way, she stayed in a village where cannibalism was still practiced behind the backs of missionaries, met the leader of the separatist guerrilla movement opposing the Indonesian occupation of Western New Guinea, and undertook an epic trek through the jungle. Living in Rome for a year, Doerr visits the piazzas and temples, attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II, and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. His family are embraced by the neighborhood merchants, whose stories and child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself.
George and Ben have three weeks to cycle miles from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland, but 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 bikes to beer.
For almost a year, Michael Palin travelled through 18 countries on the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean, in a journey of contrasts, drama and beauty. From head-hunters in Borneo to a meal of maggots in Mexico, his route takes him to some of the most politically volatile and physically demanding places on Earth.
Give Me the World by Leila Hadley. This sets her life on an entirely new course. After Manila, Hong Kong and Bangkok, their travels take an unexpected turn: she meets 4 young men sailing their boat around the world, and convinces them to let her and Kippy join them. Twenty miles south of the Arizona-Mexico border, the rugged Sierra Madre mountains is home to bandits, drug smugglers, and assorted outcasts.
Great Plains by Ian Frazier. Ian Frazier takes us on a journey of more than 25, miles up and down and across the vast and myth-inspiring Great Plains. Here is New York by E. Perceptive, funny, and nostalgic, E. It had never been done before. Not in years of Japanese recorded history had anyone followed the Cherry Blossom Front from one end of the country to the other.
Nor had anyone hitchhiked the length of Japan. But, heady on sakura and sake, Will Ferguson bet he could do both. Holidays in Hell by P. India is a place that has some people swearing never to return. That was the case with Sarah Macdonald, who went backpacking there when she was Twelve years later her new boyfriend — a correspondent for ABC Australia — is posted to New Delhi and she returns with him. Lauren Juliff quit her job and sold everything she owned to travel the world. This book is about following your dreams, getting out of your comfort zone, and falling in love with life on the road.
Iberia by James A. He not only reveals the celebrated history of bullfighters and warrior kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards, he also shares the intimate, often hidden country he came to know, where the congeniality of living souls is thrust against the dark weight of history. Overweight, overworked, and disenchanted, Kerkeling was an unlikely candidate to make the pilgrimage to the Spanish shrine of St.
James, but he decided to get off the couch and do it anyway. Lonely and searching for meaning along the way, he began the journal that turned into this engaging book. Shah travels Morocco to uncover mysteries hidden for centuries from Western eyes. As he wends his way through the labyrinthine medinas of Fez and Marrakech, traverses the Sahara sands, and samples the hospitality of ordinary Moroccans, Tahir collects a treasury of traditional wisdom stories which open the doors to layers of culture most visitors hardly realize exist.
He explores how they have been steered by the innumerable frictions present in Indian society—the contradictions and compromises of religious faith, the whim and chaos of random political forces. Indonesia, Etc. Author Elizabeth Pisani traveled 26, miles in search of the links that bind this disparate nation. In Morocco by Edith Wharton. This account explores the culture, history, and beauty of a Morocco, depicting the customs and manners, and written with the eye of a documentarian. In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin. In Patagonia was an instant classic upon publication in This is a chance at adventure in an exotic land she thinks she understands.
Instead she finds rejection and scorn in the places she believed would most embrace her, but also humour, honesty, loyalty and love. In , Allan Weisbecker sold his home and his possessions, loaded his dog and surfboards into his truck, and set off in search of his long-time surfing companion, Patrick, who had vanished in Central America. He describes the people he befriended, the bandits he evaded, the waves he caught while on his quest.
Venturing alone into the dark heart of war, Kevin Sites covered virtually every major global hot spot as the first Internet correspondent for Yahoo! Beginning his journey with in Somalia in September and ending with the Israeli-Hezbollah war in the summer of , Sites talks with the people on every side, including those caught in the cross fire. For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono smuggled out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the U.
Yet Pistono did not originally intend to fight for social justice in Tibet-he had gone there as a Buddhist pilgrim. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.
How McCandless came to die is the story of Into the Wild. Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman. In , Salzman flew off to teach English in Changsha, China. He writes of bureaucrats, students and Cultural Revolution survivors, stripping none of their complexity and humanity. Though he writes of history and of classical lore, this is mostly a personal tale. Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene. His mind crowded with vivid images of Africa, Graham Greene set off in to discover Liberia, a remote and unfamiliar republic founded for released slaves. Crossing the red-clay terrain from Sierra Leone to the coast of Grand Bassa with a chain of porters, he came to know one of the few areas of Africa untouched by colonization.
Simon rode a motorcycle around the world in the seventies, when such a thing was unheard of. In four years he covered 78, miles through 45 countries, living with peasants and presidents, in prisons and palaces, through wars and revolutions. This book has inspired many to travel, including Ewan McGregor.
But Kevin had promised his homesick Irish mother that he would explore the whole of the Old Country and bring back the sights and the stories to their home in Massachusetts. Poring over a map of the world one afternoon, Ewan McGregor noticed that it was possible to ride all the way round the world, with just one short hop across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska. So he picked up the phone and called his fellow actor-slash-biker friend Charley Boorman and told him it was time to hit the road.
Lost City of the Incas by Hiram Bingham. Early in the 20th century, Bingham ventured into the wild and then unknown country of the Eastern Peruvian Andes—and in came upon the fabulous Inca city that made him famous: Machu Picchu. In the space of one short season he went on to discover two more lost cities, including Vitcos, where the last Incan Emperor was assassinated.
Torre is terrified of deep water but decides to follow the man of her dreams and join him on his journey. Ranulph Fiennes has travelled to the most dangerous and inaccessible places on earth. He discovered the lost city of Ubar in Oman and attempted to walk solo and unsupported to the South Pole. He was the first man to reach both poles by surface travel and the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. Fiennes describes here in his own words his incredible journey through life. The book is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale.
This city biography is written from the perspective of Bombay native, Suketu Mehta, who returns to his home city since renamed Mumbai after living in the US for 21 years. The book covers tensions between Hindus and Muslims gangs, the sex industry, and life in Bollywood. The story of an around-the-world bicycle trip taken by Barbara and Larry Savage, which took two years through 25 countries. Along the way, the cyclists encountered warm-hearted strangers, bicycle-hating drivers, rock-throwing Egyptians, over-protective Thai policemen, and great personal joys.
After losing his brother to cancer and a divorce that left him in charge of two children, environmental reporter Daniel Glick needed some rejuvenation. He offers intimate reflection on life, fatherhood, change, and the fragile health of our planet. In Eric Hansen was shipwrecked on a desert island in the Red Sea. He tells of the seas that stranded him and of his efforts to retrieve his buried journals when he returned to Yemen ten years later. We have travel books and books about travelling for food, but how often do you stop to think about how much travel your food has done? Moveable Feasts tell the story of how food has been transported over the centuries, such as the ancient Romans shipping olive oil around the Mediterranean, and the Berlin airlift of To reach Lhasa, she used her fluency of Tibetan dialects and culture, disguised herself as a beggar with yak hair extensions and inked skin and tackled some of the roughest terrain in the World.
She was the first Western woman to have been received by any Dalai Lama. In the early seventies, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe—in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. Twenty years later, he decided to retrace his journey.
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The journey took seven months and covered about 3, miles. Born in St. Occupants by Henry Rollins. Henry Rollins has searched out the most desolate corners of the Earth and shows that the greatest statements can be made with the simplest of acts: to just bear witness, to be present. The book pairs his photographs with writings that not only provide context but also lift them to the level of political commentary. Choosing to shun scamming, smuggling or fruit-picking in favor of creative and artistic means to earn his living he kept some cash in his pocket.
The Mongols of the 13th century, under the leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. The book, published in , recounts events of the seventeen years when she made her home in Kenya, then called British East Africa. The book is about life on her coffee plantation, and a tribute to the people in her life there.
It also provides a glimpse of African colonial life in the last decades of the British Empire. Outposts by Simon Winchester. Helena are so remote that few people visit. Half of the adventure is getting there and the backstory of why these places are still British is interesting as well. The ancient Romans were responsible for many remarkable achievements but one of their lesser-known contributions was the creation of the tourist industry. The first people in history to enjoy safe and easy travel, Romans embarked on the original Grand Tour.
Intrigued by the possibility of re-creating the tour, Perrottet, accompanied by his pregnant girlfriend, sets off to discover life as an ancient Roman. Posing as a wandering dervish, Burton gained admittance to the holy Kaabah and to the tomb of the prophet at Medina and participated in all the rituals of the Hadj pilgrimage. A treasury of material on Arab life, beliefs, manners and morals. Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks. The loser of the bet has to strip naked on Balham High Road and sing the Moldovan national anthem. Psychogeography by Will Self. Matt Goulding journeys through the noodle shops, tempura temples, and teahouses of Japan, navigating the intersection between food, history, and culture.
His article on Hiroshima is a great taste of his writing on Japan. In Postcards from Europe, Rick Steves takes you on a private tour through the heart of Europe — introducing you to his local friends and sharing his favorite travel moments — from the Netherlands through Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, with a grand Parisian finale.
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Like many other small cities in China, Fuling is heading down the path of change and growth. Peter Hessler came to teach English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the complex processes of understanding that take place when one is immersed in a radically different society. Tim Cahill reports on the road trip to end all road trips: a journey that took him from Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in a record-breaking twenty three and a half days.
As a journalist stationed in the insular Arabian capital of Riyadh, Theroux sharply etches what it is like to be an American when speaking Arabic virtually brands one a spy and reading Saudi novels is a forbidden pleasure. A colorful picture of a complex society teeming with contradictions. Sea and Sardinia by D. Sea and Sardinia is a travel book by the English writer D. It describes a brief excursion undertaken in January by Lawrence and Frieda, his wife aka Queen Bee, from Taormina in Sicily to the interior of Sardinia.
Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer. The adventure classic about life in Tibet just before the Chinese Communist takeover. After fifteen years spent exploring China and its food, Fuchsia Dunlop finds herself in an English kitchen, deciding whether to eat a caterpillar she has accidentally cooked in some home-grown vegetables. How can something she has eaten readily in China seem grotesque in England? Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. Paul Bowles examines the ways in which Americans apprehend an alien culture—and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them. The story of three American travelers adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, it etches the limits of human reason and intelligence—perhaps even the limits of human life—when they touch the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert.
The book takes the reader through China and Mongolia the first of 80 countries visited. The twenty-first century has relegated airplane flight—a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity—to the realm of the mundane. Mark Vanhoenacker, a pilot who left academia and a career in the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flight, asks us to reimagine what we—both as pilots and as passengers—are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery.
Peter Rudiak-Gould moved to Ujae, a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands, where he taught English at the island school. The atoll is home to just people and can be walked around in an afternoon. It is apparent straight away that Ujae is not an idyllic tropical paradise island, yet Peter lasted a year and writes about his own personal life on the island intertwined with insights to the Marshall Islands.
At the age of 48, on the verge of a divorce, Rita left an elegant life in L. In she sold her possessions and became a nomad, living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, sleeping with sea lions on the Galapagos Islands, and residing everywhere from thatched huts to regal palaces. Sara Wheeler spent seven months in Antarctica, living with its scientists and dreamers. It is the coldest, windiest, driest place on earth, an icy desert of unearthly beauty and stubborn impenetrability.
For centuries, Antarctica has captured the imagination of our greatest scientists and explorers, lingering in the spirit long after their return. Terra Incognita is a classic of polar literature. Alain de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.