With The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Maarten Troost established himself as one of the most engaging and original travel writers around. Getting Stoned with Savages again reveals his wry wit and infectious joy of discovery in a side-splittingly funny account of life in the farthest reaches of the world. After two grueling years on the island of Tarawa, battling feral dogs, machete-wielding neighbors, and a lack of beer on a daily basis, Maarten Troost was in no hurry to return to the South Pacific. But as time went on, he realized he felt remarkably out of place among the trappings of twenty-first-century America. When he found himself holding down a job--one that might possibly lead to a career--he knew it was time for him and his wife, Sylvia, to repack their bags and set off for parts unknown.
Getting Stoned with Savages tells the hilarious story of Troost's time on Vanuatu--a rugged cluster of islands where the natives gorge themselves on kava and are still known to "eat the man." Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles against typhoons, earthquakes, and giant centipedes and soon finds himself swept up in the laid-back, clothing-optional lifestyle of the islanders. When Sylvia gets pregnant, they decamp for slightly-more-civilized Fiji, a fallen paradise where the local chiefs can be found watching rugby in the house next door. And as they contend with new parenthood in a country rife with prostitutes and government coups, their son begins to take quite naturally to island living--in complete contrast to his dad.
Within our state's borders you'll find such exotic place names as Amor and Darling, Fertile and Conception, Comfort and Happyland, Looneyville and Nimrod, Flour Lake and the Diarrhoea River, Great Scott and Eureka, Home and Nowhere, Moonshine and Whiskey Creek, Stringtown and Pig's Eye, Snowball and North Pole, Embarrass and Kiester, Coin and Money Creek, and Chickentown and Bull Moose. But how did these places get such unusual names? Wonder no longer as author Michael Fedo relates the curious and prosaic ways in which a place gets named.
Place names tell a rich history of how our state was settled. This compact guide presents the fascinating stories behind over 1,200 Minnesota place names. Included are all the names you'd expect--counties, larger towns and cities, major lakes and rivers--as well as the curious and odd. Culled from over 20,000 entries in the classic work Minnesota Place Names by Warren Upham, this concise guide is the perfect companion for anyone who travels the highways and waterways of the North Star state.
The acclaimed author of Motoring with Mohammed brings us a compelling adventure into the remarkable world of the orchid and the impossibly bizarre array of international characters who dedicte their lives to it.The orchid is used for everything from medicine for elephants to an aphrodisiac ice cream. A Malaysian species can grow to weigh half a ton while a South American species fires miniature pollen darts at nectar-sucking bees. But the orchid is also the center of an illicit international business: one grower in Santa Barbara tends his plants while toting an Uzi, and a former collector has been in hiding for seven years after serving a jail sentence for smuggling thirty dollars worth of orchids into Britain. Deftly written and captivatingly researched, Orchid Fever is an endlessly enchanting and entertaining tour of an exotic world. "A wonderful book, I've been up all night reading it, laughing and crying out in horror and clucking at the vivid images of bureaucracy with the bit in its teeth." --Annie Proulx "An extraordinary, well-told tale of botany, obsession and plant politics. Hansen's vivid descriptions of the complex techniques some orchids use to pollinate themselves will raise your eyebrows at nature's sexual ingenuity." --USA Today
Top outdoor and nature writers share favorite tales of life in the woods, fields, waters and wilds of Minnesota. Featuring: Bob Cary, Sam Cook, Jim Klobuchar, Dennis Anderson, Steve Grooms, Peter Leschek, Richard Massey, Kent Cowgill, Sigurd Olson, Doug Stange, Shawn Perich and 17 others.
From May 1804 to September 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark undertook one of the great adventures of modern man. Their government-sponsored exploration of the wilderness between the Mississippi River and the Pacific covered, in total miles, a distance equal to one-third the circumference of the earth and took its participants through what is now mapped as Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Washington State, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. It was an epoch-making expedition through one of the most magnificent geographical areas of the world.
The story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is America's national epic. Both men proved themselves not only intrepid pioneers but also acute observers and top-flight journalists. Their day-to-day journal filled thousands of pages with the most complete and authentic record of any exploring venture in history. But the world had to wait years for the story. In 1814, the only authorized history of the expedition, a personal narrative pieced together by Nicholas Biddle from the journal manuscript, finally appeared. While undeniably exciting, that publication left a lot to be desired. Only with the appearance, in 1893, of the four-volume Elliott Coues edition was the story told in such a way as to be both a thrilling narrative and a valuable document for students of Americana, historians, and all others interested in this vital chapter in the opening up of the American West.
Now that four-volume set is reprinted in its entirety in a three-volume edition. Here is the whole story as summarized by Biddle: encounters with dozens of Indian tribes; descriptions of their political and social organization, dress, living habits, and ways; personal anecdotes of courage and stamina; vivid descriptions of staggering natural wonders that no white man had ever seen. Here, too, is all the material that Coues added: chapter synopses; critical footnotes that clarify hundreds of obscure references, add important biological data, provide modern locations of camp and exploration sites, bring into account additional material from the manuscript journal, and correct countless errors; a bibliographical introduction; brief Memoirs of Clark and the expedition's sergeant, Patrick Gass; a modern map to supplement Lewis and Clark's originals; and a much-needed index.
Intended not only to further knowledge of North American geography but also to see the extension of American commerce, the Lewis and Clark Expedition marked the beginning of major growth in the United States. Partly because of this and partly because of its inherent excitement, this firsthand account should be read by every student of American history as well as by all who enjoy the adventure of exploration.
Writing a love letter to Great Britain, the America author celebrates badger-watching in the countryside, the London theatre, ghost-hunting, tour guiding students, and other pleasures of traveling through England. Reprint.
This book is a dictionary and guide to 1,000 words which look alike in French and English but are faux amis -- false friends indeed. Thus the French word colon means a colonial settler, patron can be a pattern (as for a dress) or an employer, while defiance means distrust, une bombe can mean art insect spray or also an elaborate dessert And impotent is not necessarily sexually impotent, which in French is impuissant, but seriously crippled. The individual entries also provide the wide social and cultural context within which the words are used in French. This book is very instructive as well as great fun.
Tim Parks' first bestseller, "Italian Neighbors," chronicled his initiation into Italian society and cultural life. Reviewers everywhere hailed it as a bravissimo performance. Now he turns to his children -- born and bred in Italy -- and their milieu in a small village near Verona.
With the splendid eye for detail, character, and intrigue that has brought him acclaim as a novelist, he creates a fascinating portrait of Italian family life, at school, at home, in church, and in the countryside. This panoramic journey winds up with a deliciously seductive evocation of an Italian beach holiday that epitomizes everything that is quintessentially Italian. Here is an insider's Italy, re-created by "one of the most gifted writers of his generation" (Jonathan Yardley, "The Washington Post")
In the 1890s Captain Joshua Slocum, an ageing Massachussetts merchantman, was the first man to circumnavigate the globe single-handed. He did so in a 37-foot sailboat he had rebuilt from a derelict oyster sloop. He set down the story of his odyssey in this volume.