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Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond

$26.95

For centuries the Alps have seen the march of armies, the flow of pilgrims and Crusaders, the feats of mountaineers, and the dreams of engineers?and some 14 million people live among their peaks today. In The Alps, Stephen O'Shea takes readers up and down these majestic mountains, battling his own fear of heights to journey through a 500-mile arc across France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia.

O'Shea, whose style has been hailed for its "engaging combination of candid first-person travel writing and absorbing historical narrative" (Chicago Sun-Times), whisks readers along more than 2,000 years of Alpine history. As he travels pass-by-pass through the mountains, he tells great stories of those (real and imagined) who have passed before him, from Hannibal to Hitler, Frankenstein's monster to Sherlock Holmes, Napoleon to Nietzsche, William Tell to James Bond. He explores the circumstances behind Hannibal and his elephants' famous crossing in 218 BCE; he reveals how the Alps have profoundly influenced culture from Heidi to The Sound of Music; and he visits iconic sites, including the Reichenbach Falls, where Arthur Conan Doyle staged Sherlock Holmes's death scene with Professor Moriarty; Caporetto, the bloody site of the Italians' retreat in World War I; and the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's aerie of a vacation home.

O'Shea delves into Alpine myths and legends, such as the lopsided legs of the dahu, the fictitious goatlike creature of the mountains, and reveals why the beloved St. Bernard dog is so often depicted with a cask hanging below its neck. Throughout, he immerses himself in the communities he visits, engagingly recounting his adventures with contemporary road trippers, watchmakers, salt miners, cable-car operators, and yodelers.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393246858
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Atlas Obscura

$35.00
It's time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world.

Talk about a bucket list: here are natural wonders--the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that's so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan's 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England.

Created by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, ATLAS OBSCURA revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveler as the die-hard adventurer.

Anyone can be a tourist. ATLAS OBSCURA is for the explorer.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780761169086
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Atlas Obscura Explorer's Journal

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$17.95
Let your curiosity be your compass! Created by the same brilliant, intrepid team who wrote the #1 bestseller Atlas Obscura and reinvented the travel book for a new generation, comes a traveler's journal that belongs in every backpack, carry-on, messenger bag--or, when not abroad, on the desk, open for keeping notes for the next journey.

This ruggedly handsome and sturdy blank journal features a lay-flat binding and a storage pocket in the back (just right for ticket stubs, receipts, boarding passes, and more). The paper is high quality and printed with a variety of lines and grids, perfect for keeping track of itineraries, writing down impressions, making lists, sketching maps and sites, noting discoveries, and more.

In addition, the journal includes practical reference, like time zones, weights and measures, and seasonal climate charts. And there's an appendix of inspiration--a brief guide, with maps, to finding the hidden magic in a dozen of the world's most interesting cities, New York to Shanghai to Budapest to Tokyo to Cairo.

Don't get off the beaten track without it.


ISBN/SKU: 
9781523501731
Publication Date: 
2017-10-17
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Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys Across a Changing Russia

$25.99

**One of Bustle's 17 of the Best Nonfiction Books Coming in January 2017 and Men's Journal's 7 Best Books of January**

"Brilliant, real and readable." --former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

**A USA Today "New and Noteworthy" Book**

Lisa Dickey traveled across the whole of Russia three times--in 1995, 2005 and 2015--making friends in eleven different cities, then coming back again and again to see how their lives had changed. Like the acclaimed British documentary series Seven Up!, she traces the ups and downs of ordinary people's lives, in the process painting a deeply nuanced portrait of modern Russia.

From the caretakers of a lighthouse in Vladivostok, to the Jewish community of Birobidzhan, to a farmer in Buryatia, to a group of gay friends in Novosibirsk, to a wealthy family in Chelyabinsk, to a rap star in Moscow, Dickey profiles a wide cross-section of people in one of the most fascinating, dynamic and important countries on Earth. Along the way, she explores dramatic changes in everything from technology to social norms, drinks copious amounts of vodka, and learns firsthand how the Russians really feel about Vladimir Putin.

Including powerful photographs of people and places over time, and filled with wacky travel stories, unexpected twists, and keen insights, Bears in the Streets offers an unprecedented on-the-ground view of Russia today.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781250092298
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Black Dragon River

$17.00
Black Dragon Riveris a personal journey down one of Asia s great rivers that reveals the region s essential history and culture. The world s ninth largest river, the Amur serves as a large part of the border between Russia and China. As a crossroads for the great empires of Asia, this area offers journalist Dominic Ziegler a lens with which to examine the societies at Europe's only borderland with east Asia. He follows a journey from the river's top to bottom, and weaves the history, ecology and peoples to show a region obsessed with the past and to show how this region holds a key to the complex and critical relationship between Russia and China today.
One of Asia s mightiest rivers, the Amur is also the most elusive. The terrain it crosses is legendarily difficult to traverse. Near the river s source, Ziegler travels on horseback from the Mongolian steppe into the taiga, and later he is forced by the river s impassability to take the Trans-Siberian Railway through the four-hundred-mile valley of water meadows inland. As he voyages deeper into the Amur wilderness, Ziegler also journeys into the history of the peoples and cultures the river s path has transformed.
The known history of the river begins with Genghis Khan and the rise of the Mongolian empire a millennium ago, and the story of the region has been one of aggression and conquest ever since. The modern history of the river is the story of Russia's push across the Eurasian landmass to China. For China, the Amur is a symbol of national humiliation and Western imperial land seizure; to Russia it is a symbol of national regeneration, its New World dreams and eastern prospects. The quest to take the Amur was to be Russia s route to greatness, replacing an oppressive European identity with a vibrant one that faced the Pacific. Russia launched a grab in 1854 and took from China a chunk of territory equal in size nearly to France and Germany combined. Later, the region was the site for atrocities meted out on the Russian far east in the twentieth century during the Russian civil war and under Stalin.
The long shared history on the Amur has conditioned the way China and Russia behave toward each other and toward the outside world. To understand Putin s imperial dreams, we must comprehend Russia s relationship to its far east and how it still shapes the Russian mind. Not only is the Amur a key to Putinism, its history is also embedded in an ongoing clash of empires with the West."
ISBN/SKU: 
9780143109891
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Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

$25.95
A girl, a laptop, and a waddle of penguins. In this witty and genre-defying memoir, a young writer can travel anywhere she wants to finally finish her novel--and ends up on a frozen island at the bottom of the world.
Twenty-seven-year-old Nell Stevens was determined to write a novel, but life kept getting in the way. Then came a game-changing opportunity: she won a fellowship that would let her live, all expenses paid, anywhere in the world to research and write a book. Would she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Not exactly. Nell picked Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock in the Falklands. There, in a guesthouse where she would be the only guest, she could finally rid herself of distractions and write. Before the spring thaw, surely she'd have a novel.
And indeed, other than sheep, penguins, paranoia, and the weather, there aren't many distractions on Bleaker. Nell gets to work on a charming Dickensian fiction she calls Bleaker House--only to discover that total isolation and 1,085 calories a day are far from ideal conditions for literary production. With deft humor, the memoir traces Nell's island days and slowly reveals details of the life and people she has left behind in pursuit of her writing. They pop up in her novel, too, and in other fictional pieces that dot the book. It seems that there is nowhere Nell can run--an island or the pages of her notebook--to escape the big questions of love, art and ambition.
Terrifically smart, full of wry writing advice, and with a clever puzzle of a structure, Bleaker House marks the arrival of a fresh new voice in creative nonfiction.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780385541558
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Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan-American Highway

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$16.99
The Drive follows Teresa Bruce on her 2003 road trip through Mexico and onto the Pan American Highway, in a rickety camper with her old dog and new husband in tow. Bruce first set off on the exact same route in 1973, her parents at the helm and their two young daughters in tow, as a reaction to the accidental death of their youngest child, Bruce's brother John John. Her attempt to follow the route, using her mother's travel journal as an anecdotal guide, is as much about her need for exploration as it is about trying to understand her parents and their pain, and to finally begin to heal her own wounds over the accident.

Bruce is immensely talented in bringing scenery of Central and South America to life--countries from Mexico and Guatemala to Bolivia and Argentina are detailed with her innate attention to detail and sense of storytelling. The Drive details a really incredible journey through these beautiful, at times corrupt and war-torn countries, across roads that are as likely to be barricaded by guerrillas or washed out by floods as they are to be passable.

The Drive is travel writing at its best, combining moments of deep heartbreak with unimaginable joy over a panoply of unforgettable settings.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781580056519
Publication Date: 
2017-06-13
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Havana: A Subtropical Delirium

$26.00

A city of tropical heat, sweat, ramshackle beauty, and its very own cadence--a city that always surprises--Havana is brought to pulsing life by New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky.

Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky presents an insider's view of Havana: the elegant, tattered city he has come to know over more than thirty years. Part cultural history, part travelogue, with recipes, historic engravings, photographs, and Kurlansky's own pen-and-ink drawings throughout, Havana celebrates the city's singular music, literature, baseball, and food; its five centuries of outstanding, neglected architecture; and its extraordinary blend of cultures.

Like all great cities, Havana has a rich history that informs the vibrant place it is today--from the native Taino to Columbus's landing, from Cuba's status as a U.S. protectorate to Batista's dictatorship and Castro's revolution, from Soviet presence to the welcoming of capitalist tourism. Havana is a place of extremes: a beautifully restored colonial city whose cobblestone streets pass through areas that have not been painted or repaired since long before the revolution.

Kurlansky shows Havana through the eyes of Cuban writers, such as Alejo Carpentier and Jose Marti, and foreigners, including Graham Greene and Hemingway. He introduces us to Cuban baseball and its highly opinionated fans; the city's music scene, alive with the rhythm of Son; its culinary legacy. Through Mark Kurlansky's multilayered and electrifying portrait, the long-elusive city of Havana comes stirringly to life.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781632863911
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Hour of Land

$18.00

Longlisted for an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence
A Washington Post Notable Book of the Year

America's national parks are breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why more than 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now Terry Tempest Williams, the New York Times bestselling author of the environmental classic Refuge and the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks and an exploration of what they mean to us and what we mean to them.

From the Grand Tetons in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas, Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and a manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781250132147
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IN PATAGONIA

$17.00
The masterpiece of travel writing that revolutionized the genre and made its author famous overnight

An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwin's exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through "the uttermost part of the earth"--that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome--in search of almost-forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy. An instant classic upon publication in 1977, In Patagonia is a masterpiece that has cast a long shadow upon the literary world.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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9780142437193
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