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In recent years, Los Angeles Times writer and editor Frank Clifford has journeyed along the Continental Divide, the hemispheric watershed that spans North America from the alkali badlands of southernmost New Mexico to the roof of the Rockies in Montana and into Canada. The result is The Backbone of the World, an arresting exploration of America's longest wilderness corridor, a harsh and unforgiving region inhabited by men and women whose way of life is as imperiled as the neighboring wildlife. With the brutal beauty and stark cadences of a Cormac McCarthy novel, The Backbone of the World tells the story of the last remnants of the Old West, America's mythic landscape, where past and present are barely discernible from one another and where people's lives are still intrinsically linked to their natural surroundings. Clifford vividly captures the challenges of life along the Divide today through portraits of memorable characters: a ranching family whose isolated New Mexico homestead has become a mecca for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers; a sheep herder struggling to make a living tending his flock in the mountains above Vail, Colorado: an old mule packer who has spent years scouring the mountains of northwest Wyoming for the downed plane of his son; a Yellowstone Park ranger on a lone crusade to protect elk and grizzly bears from illegal hunters; and a group of Blackfeet Indians in northern Montana who are fearful that a wilderness sanctuary will be lost to oil and gas development. In each of their stories, the tide of change is looming as environmental, economic, social, and political forces threaten this uniquely unfettered population. Clifford's participatory approach offers a haunting and immediate evocation of character and geography and an unsentimental eulogy to the people whose disappearance will sever a link with the defining American pioneer spirit. Set in a world of isolated ranches, trail camps, mountain bivouacs, and forgotten hamlets, The Backbone of the World highlights the frontier values that have both ennobled and degraded us, values that symbolize the last breath of our founding character. From the Hardcover edition.
The Backpacker's Field Manual has been the bible of the Princeton University Outdoor Action Program for more than a decade, field-tested by one of the most respected outdoor programs in the country. It is the most comprehensive backpacking guide available--broad in scope while still focused on the essential skills and information that backpackers need to travel safely and comfortably in the wilderness. Backpackers of all levels will find this book indispensable: before you start your trip, for deciding on an itinerary, selecting equipment, and figuring out what food, clothing, and other supplies to pack; once you're out in the wilderness, for choosing a campsite, setting up camp, navigating with map and compass, identifying trees and plants, and preparing meals (recipes included!); if something unexpected happens, for finding a lost person, seeking shelter in a lightning storm, and performing first aid for common injuries. More than 100 line drawings illustrate such useful skills as how to set up a tarp, repair your stove, wrap an injured ankle, predict the weather, and much more. And scattered throughout are Tricks of the Trail, additional tips for successful backcountry hiking. Any traveler knows that space in a backpack is limited, so on your next trip, pack the only guide you'll need--this one.
From the author of the very funny and successful Paranoid's Pocket Guide comes the ultimate self-help book for women. It is a guide to the open road that is strictly AAA -- that's attitude, adventure, and ass-kicking good times. Filled with indispensable information such as how to get out of a speeding ticket without crying and 14 ways to open a beer bottle on your car, The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road also gives the practical lowdown on what to do when your engine overheats, you get a flat, or you need a safe and legal place to spend the night in your car. The fabulous pocket format and indestructible cover make it perfect for flinging in the glove compartment (or stashing in your cubicle if you can't leave right away). For every woman who is about to break unless she gets a break, this hilarious book is the antidote to the doldrums whether work-, man-, or self-induced. The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road: because sometimes a girl's just gotta go.
The entries in this collection take us to the farthest extremes of travel with tales of danger, disorientation and bemused discomfort; combines reportage, fiction and poetry representing some of the best-known writers of our time.
Acclaim for ROBERT D. KAPLAN'S BALKAN GHOSTS "Kaplan is a striking and evocative writer, and the Balkans offer him all the richness of a Garcia Marquez world, where the fantastic is everyday life." -San Francisco Examiner "With remarkable clarity, [Kaplan] explains problems that all sides have lived with throughout the long history of the Balkan peninsula. . . . Mr. Kaplan succeeds in presenting the everyday experience of different Balkan communities in a vivid and significant way. Balkan Ghosts offers the complexity, brutality and beauty in traveling in both the past and the present." -Seattle Times "A timely field guide to the ethnic and religious passions of 'Europe's forgotten rear door.' Few writers surpass Kaplan in the ability to pack useful information into a small space." -San Francisco Chronicle "An often rewarding odyssey filled with vivid writing." -Wall Street Journal "Historical perspective makes Kaplan a superb observer. ... He artfully blends his reporter's notes with rich historical reflection." -Business Week "A well-documented account of the Balkans' past and present. . . . Kaplan . . . forcefully illustrates that the irreconcilable differences among Serbs, Croatians and Bosnians are only one part of the seething ethnic, religious and cultural tensions tearing at a much larger region." -Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Mike Tidwell knew nothing of the disappearing bayou country when he first visited the Cajun coast of Louisiana, but the evidence was all around him: the skeletons of oak trees killed by the salinity of the groundwater, whole cemeteries sinking into swampland and out of sight, telephone poles in deep, standing water. Thanks to human hands, the storied Louisiana coast was eroding, subsiding, and joining the Gulf of Mexico---making it the fastest disappearing landmass on Earth. Yet no one seemed to know how to talk about the problem. Tidwell, a celebrated travel and environmental writer, decided to begin the much-needed conversation, and this vivid, elegiac book is the result. Tidwell introduces us to the surprisingly varied population of the area: the Cajun men and women who work the seasonal shrimp harvest, the Vietnamese fishermen, the Houma Indians driven to the farthest ends of the bayou by the first European settlers. He describes the food, the music, the culture, and the life of all those who live along the bayous. And under his keenly observant eye, the bayou itself becomes a compelling character---reminding us of how much we stand to lose if we fail to address the problems facing this most vibrant of places. Part travelogue, part environmental exposé, Bayou Farewell is the richly evocative chronicle of the author's travels through a place and a way of life that are vanishing virtually before our eyes.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch. In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould.
This is a book about Thubron's journey through Red China of the 1980s. He visits both ends of the Great Wall and meanders around this vast country.
The stories offer a vicarious tour through modern Beijing and a long view of Chinese history. The reader flies through the book, chuckling over one character's trickery, moved by another's plight, and horrified at another's unwitting actions, until reaching the culminating novella, which brings the whole book and its take on China back to the Western reader with a stunning immediacy. Americans' newly minted fascination with China, stoked by the 2008 Olympics, can find both intellectual and artistic satisfaction in this collection.
In this study, Harrison (anthropology, Trent U., Canada) conducted a series of 32 lengthy interviews with Canadians who regularly travel for pleasure to foreign countries. The study investigates why people engage in tourism, how they view and interact with local people when abroad, how they plan their travels, and how their travels affect their view of home.
The book recounts Dr. Breindel's professorship in Beirut in 1982, how fighting broke out, and how he and others were daptured. The book shows how the experience changed his life. Really interesting. "This book has been a long time in formulation. It has been an idea gestating in my mind and in those of many dear friends who wanted to hear the story of my third and final trip to the American University of Beirut. It was well known by many that I kept detailed diaries during those early days of international travel. Because of that, many have been requesting the publication of the diary from that fateful trip 23 years ago. But I was not ready to share my story, nor the significance that those days in Beirut in the spring of 1982 had on my life. I was still an "open book," naive and looking for meaning in life, after I got back home. What I found in Beirut was not apparent to me until many years later when good hindsight brought into better perspective the life-changing experience of Beirut. I went to Beirut as a young visiting assistant professor to teach a short course in health planning. I returned still the same professional, but with a different worldview, a budding sense of God in my life, and a new hunger for understanding and wisdom that was unparalleled in my prior life. Before Beirut, I was "putting in time," existing, not being particularly satisfied, yet not dissatisfied. Not knowing the possibilities available in my life, I was unaware that there were other possibilities, other realities."
Continuing Frances Mayes's account of her love affair with Italy, Bella Tuscany presents the author now truly at home there, meeting the challenges of learning a new language and touring regions outside Tuscany, including castle towns, fishing villages, and islands. With fresh adventures and updates on the characters introduced in Under the Tuscan Sun, Mayes also explores new themes in this wondrous corner of the world, delving into gardening, wine-making, and the experience of primavera - a season of renewed possibility. And Mayes reveals more simple pleasures from her Tuscan kitchen in a section devoted to recipes. In the sensuous, vivid prose that has become her hallmark, Bella Tuscany celebrates Mayes's deepening connection to the land and her flourishing friendships in a newfound haven of idyllic living.
Nobody writes travelogues about Germany. The country spurs many anxious volumes of investigative reporting--books that worry away at the "German problem," World War II, the legacy of the Holocaust, the Wall, reunification, and the connections between them. But not travel books, not the free-ranging and impressionistic works of literary nonfiction we associate with V. S. Naipaul and Bruce Chatwin. What is it about Germany and the travel book that puts them seemingly at odds? With one foot in the library and one on the street, Michael Gorra offers both an answer to this question and his own traveler's tale of Germany.Gorra uses Goethe's account of his Italian journey as a model for testing the traveler's response to Germany today, and he subjects the shopping arcades of contemporary German cities to the terms of Benjamin's Arcades project. He reads post-Wende Berlin through the novels of Theodor Fontane, examines the role of figurative language, and enlists W. G. Sebald as a guide to the place of fragments and digressions in travel writing.Replete with the flaneur's chance discoveries--and rich in the delights of the enduring and the ephemeral, of architecture and flood--The Bells in Their Silence offers that rare traveler's tale of Germany while testing the very limits of the travel narrative as a literary form.
Twelev Soviet and American adventurers set out from Siberia in mid-winter 1989 on an epic trek across 1,000 miles of arctic tundra. Their mission - to touch the lives of people, to change the course of nations. They captured the attention of the world's superpowers and dramatically brought their countries together at the International Date Line.
The world may be getting smaller, but that doesn't mean it's any less varied, surprising, or exotic--as is made evident by the 25 essays collected in the inaugural edition of the Best American Travel Writing series. In search of America's sharpest, most original, and often, most curious travel writers, editor Bill Bryson and series editor Jason Wilson sifted through hundreds of stories. What the resulting collection demonstrates is that, as Wilson writes, travel stories matter: Having a travel writer report on particular things, small things, the specific ways in which people act and interact, is perhaps our best way of getting beyond the clichés that we tell each other about different places and cultures, and about ourselves.
Already a best-selling addition to the series, this year's Best American Travel Writing is a far-flung collection chosen by travel writer extraordinaire Paul Theroux, who has selected pieces about "the spell in the wilderness, the letter home from foreign parts, the dangerous adventure, the sentimental journey, the exposé, the shocking revelation, the eyewitness report, the ordeal, the quest . . . Travel is an attitude, a state of mind." Theroux's most recent novel is Hotel Honolulu.
The Best American Travel Writing 2002 is edited by Frances Mayes, the author of Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany and the master of "running away to live in the place of one"s dreams" (Los Angeles Times). Giving new life to armchair travel for 2002 are David Sedaris on God and airports, Kate Wheeler on a most dangerous Bolivian festival, André Aciman on the eternal pleasures of Rome, and many more.
The articles in this collection tell about places from Patagonia to Ivory Coast, describing different modes of transport across America and other places such as the Congo forests.
"Travel is not about finding something. It's about getting lost -- that is, it is about losing yourself in a place and a moment. The little things that tether you to what's familiar are gone, and you become a conduit through which the sensation of the place is felt." The twenty pieces in this year's collection showcase the best travel writing from 2006. George Saunders travels to India to witness firsthand a fifteen-year-old boy who has been meditating motionless under a tree for months without food or water, and who many followers believe is the reincarnation of the Buddha. Matthew Power reveals trickle-down economics at work in a Philippine garbage dump. Jason Anthony describes the challenges of everyday life in Vostok, the coldest place on earth, where temperatures dip as low as -129 degrees and where, in midsummer, -20 degrees is considered a heat wave. David Halberstam, in one of his last published essays, recalls how an inauspicious Saigon restaurant changed the way he and other reporters in Vietnam saw the world. Ian Frazier analyzes why we get sick when traveling in out-of-the-way places. And Kevin Fedarko embarks on a drug-fueled journey in Djibouti, chewing psychotropic foliage in "the worst place on earth." Closer to home, Steve Friedman profiles a 410-pound man who set out to walk cross-country to lose weight and find happiness. Rick Bass chases the elusive concept of the West in America, and Jonathan Stern takes a hilarious Lonely Planet approach to his small Manhattan apartment.
"Easy to read and hard to put down, these essays capture with fine detail the extraordinary wonder of travel" (Chicago Sun Times). Contributors include Bill Buford, David Sedaris, Paul Theroux, Calvin Trillin, Catherine Watson, and others.
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected - and most popular - of its kind.
Many of the castles featured offer a wealth of things to see and do, from their beautiful settings and manicured gardens, to museum collections and re-enactment events. Not only does the book give you essential information for visiting the castles, but it also provides background information on the roles castles played and other interesting facts to make your visit more enjoyable. This book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of the castles.
This collection contains 35 stories by women travel writers who tell about their experiences in countries from Mexico to Papa New Guinea, emphasizing themes of serendipity, spiritual growth, adventure, romance, exoticism, and others. McCauley writes travel essays and is editor of other Travelers' Tales Anthologies.
It's the trip of a lifetime. Betsey Ray, 21 years old, is heading off for a solo tour of Europe. From the moment she casts off, her journey is filled with adventure--whether she's waltzing at the captain's ball, bartering for beads in Madeira, or sipping coffee at a bohemian cafe in Munich. It's rich fodder for a budding young writer, and Betsy's determined to make the most of the experience. If only she could stop thinking about her ex-sweetheart, Joe Willard. Then a handsome, romantic Italian goes overboard for Betsy, and she has a big decision to make. Marco Regali is passionate, fascinating, and cultured. Could it be that Betsy's heart belongs in Europe instead of Minnesota? Betsy's childhood dream is finally coming true--she's off to Europe just like she and Tacy planned so long ago. Despite her travels and many adventures, Betsy's heart won't let her forget Joe Willard, her high school sweetheart.
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