Voyages and Travels
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 0767919378
From one of the world's most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s.

Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century--1951--in the middle of the United States--Des Moines, Iowa--in the middle of the largest generation in American history--the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighborhood with an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons)--in his head--as "The Thunderbolt Kid."

Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality--a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and of his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson's earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends.

Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown
Dark Star Safari
Overland from Cairo to Capetown
Paperback      ISBN: 0618446877

The author recounts his odyssey down the length of Africa, from Cairo to South Africa, describing the bad food, many delays, discomforts, and dangers of his trip, along with the people and places of the real Africa.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
The Sex Lives of Cannibals
Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
Paperback      ISBN: 0767915305

At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost--who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs--decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals tells the hilarious story of what happens when Troost discovers that Tarawa is not the island paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles through relentless, stifling heat, a variety of deadly bacteria, polluted seas, toxic fish--all in a country where the only music to be heard for miles around is "La Macarena." He and his stalwart girlfriend Sylvia spend the next two years battling incompetent government officials, alarmingly large critters, erratic electricity, and a paucity of food options (including the Great Beer Crisis); and contending with a bizarre cast of local characters, including "Half-Dead Fred" and the self-proclaimed Poet Laureate of Tarawa (a British drunkard who's never written a poem in his life).

With The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Maarten Troost has delivered one of the most original, rip-roaringly funny travelogues in years--one that will leave you thankful for staples of American civilization such as coffee, regular showers, and tabloid news, and that will provide the ultimate vicarious adventure.
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
Over the Edge of the World
Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
Paperback      ISBN: 0062890484

In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Seville, Spain in search of valuable spices; he brought along a fleet of five ships and more than two hundred men. When the expedition returned home three years later, the fleet was reduced to one ship and only eighteen men; Magellan himself had been killed during the journey. However, the group had found the spices it had sought -- and a way to circumnavigate the globe.

Laurence Bergreen brings this historic journey to life in Over the Edge of the World; it is at once a travelogue of a remarkable journey into unknown territory, an examination of the European worldview as it moved from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, and the chronicle of a desperate grab for commercial and political power. Magellan's voyage was filled with violence, death and danger, but it ultimately changed the way explorers would navigate the oceans, along with many long-held assumptions about the world.

Laurence Bergreen is the author of many books, including Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life, Capone: The Man and the Era, As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, and Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth. A graduate of Harvard University, he lives in New York City.

"It's all here in wondrous detail ... A first-rate historical page turner." -- New York Times Book Review--New Zealand Herald
Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea
Adrift
Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea
Paperback      ISBN: 0618257322

Before The Perfect Storm, before In the Heart of the Sea, Steven Callahan's dramatic tale of survival at sea was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than thirty-six weeks. In some ways the model for the new wave of adventure books, Adrift is an undeniable seafaring classic, a riveting firsthand account by the only man known to have survived more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his life in an inflatable raft after his small sloop capsized only six days out. "Utterly absorbing" (Newsweek), Adrift is a must-have for any adventure library.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
A Memoir
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 076791936x
From one of the most beloved and bestselling authors in the English language, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s

Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century--1951--in the middle of the United States--Des Moines, Iowa--in the middle of the largest generation in American history--the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighborhood with an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons)--in his head--as "The Thunderbolt Kid."

Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality--a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and OF his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson's earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends.

Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.

Ilf and Petrov's American Road Trip: The 1935 Travelogue of Two Soviet Writers
Ilf and Petrov's American Road Trip
The 1935 Travelogue of Two Soviet Writers
Hardcover      ISBN: 1568986009

In 1935, Russian satirical writers Ilia Ilf and Eugeny Petrov came to the US as special correspondents. They drove across country and back on a ten-week trip, recording their impressions of roads, Hollywood, small towns, Native Americans, advertising, and more.

Dude Making a Difference: Bamboo Bikes, Dumpster Dives and Other Extreme Adventures Across America
Dude Making a Difference
Bamboo Bikes, Dumpster Dives and Other Extreme Adventures Across America
Paperback      ISBN: 0865718075

How far would you go to save the planet? One man's cross-country journey to radical sustainability.

You want to do something for the planet, but what? Change a light bulb, install a low-flow faucet, eat organic? How about ride 4,700 miles across America on a bamboo bicycle, using only water from natural sources, avoiding fossil fuels almost completely, supplying your few electrical needs with solar power and creating nearly zero waste?

Sound crazy? Maybe. But not if you're Rob Greenfield. Then it sounds like a pretty amazing way to bring your message to as many people as possible, and to have a great time doing it. Dude Making a Difference is Rob's first-person account of his incredible adventure in radical sustainability. Join him as he pedals from coast to coast in 3-1/2 months while:

  • Creating only 2 pounds of trash
  • Using just 160 gallons of water
  • Eating 284 pounds of food from grocery store dumpsters.

This one-of-a-kind travelogue will inspire you to reexamine your relationship with the earth's resources. Rob's captivating stories of life on the low-impact road are rounded out by practical guides to help you reduce your personal ecological footprint and plan your own larger-than-life adventures. Author's proceeds from the sale of Dude Making a Difference will be donated to 1% for the Planet.

The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure
The Last Wild Men of Borneo
A True Story of Death and Treasure
Hardcover      ISBN: 0062439022

A 2019 EDGAR AWARDS NOMINEE (BEST FACT CRIME) - A BANFF MOUNTAIN BOOK AWARDS FINALIST

Two modern adventurers sought a treasure possessed by the legendary "Wild Men of Borneo." One found riches. The other vanished forever into an endless jungle. Had he shed civilization--or lost his mind? Global headlines suspected murder. Lured by these mysteries, New York Times bestselling author Carl Hoffman journeyed to find the truth, discovering that nothing is as it seems in the world's last Eden, where the lines between sinner and saint blur into one.

In 1984, Swiss traveler Bruno Manser joined an expedition to the Mulu caves on Borneo, the planet's third largest island. There he slipped into the forest interior to make contact with the Penan, an indigenous tribe of peace-loving nomads living among the Dayak people, the fabled "Headhunters of Borneo." Bruno lived for years with the Penan, gaining acceptance as a member of the tribe. However, when commercial logging began devouring the Penan's homeland, Bruno led the tribe against these outside forces, earning him status as an enemy of the state, but also worldwide fame as an environmental hero. He escaped captivity under gunfire twice, but the strain took a psychological toll. Then, in 2000, Bruno disappeared without a trace. Had he become a madman, a hermit, or a martyr?

American Michael Palmieri is, in many ways, Bruno's opposite. Evading the Vietnam War, the Californian wandered the world, finally settling in Bali in the 1970s. From there, he staged expeditions into the Bornean jungle to acquire astonishing art and artifacts from the Dayaks. He would become one of the world's most successful tribal-art field collectors, supplying sacred works to prestigious museums and wealthy private collectors. And yet suspicion shadowed this self-styled buccaneer who made his living extracting the treasure of the Dayak: Was he preserving or exploiting native culture?

As Carl Hoffman unravels the deepening riddle of Bruno's disappearance and seeks answers to the questions surrounding both men, it becomes clear saint and sinner are not so easily defined and Michael and Bruno are, in a sense, two parts of one whole: each spent his life in pursuit of the sacred fire of indigenous people. The Last Wild Men of Borneo is the product of Hoffman's extensive travels to the region, guided by Penan through jungle paths traveled by Bruno and by Palmieri himself up rivers to remote villages. Hoffman also draws on exclusive interviews with Manser's family and colleagues, and rare access to his letters and journals. Here is a peerless adventure propelled by the entwined lives of two singular, enigmatic men whose stories reveal both the grandeur and the precarious fate of the wildest place on earth.

--Christian Science Monitor
See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy
See You in the Piazza
New Places to Discover in Italy
Large Print    Paperback      ISBN: 1984846787
The bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun discovers the hidden pleasures of Italy in a sumptuous travel narrative that crisscrosses the country, with inventive new recipes celebrating Italian cuisine.

Don't miss Frances Mayes in PBS's Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special

"Reading this book is a vacation in itself."--The New York Times Book Review (Best Travel Books of the Summer)

The Roman Forum, the Leaning Tower, the Piazza San Marco: these are the sights synonymous with Italy. But such landmarks only scratch the surface of this magical country's offerings. In See You in the Piazza, Frances Mayes introduces us to the Italy only the locals know, as she and her husband, Ed, eat and drink their way through thirteen regions--from Friuli to Sicily. Along the way, she seeks out the cultural and historic gems not found in traditional guidebooks.

Frances conjures the enchantment of the backstreets, the hubbub of the markets, the dreamlike wonder of that space between lunch and dinner when a city cracks open to those who would wander or when a mind is drawn into the pages of a delicious book--and discloses to us the secrets that only someone who is on intimate terms with a place could find.