Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places. In part this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection -- the schoolboy currency of Beirut. These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern-day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places.
"Amusing, engaging and thought-provoking"
On the morning of 2 June 1953, the day of Queen Elizabeth's coronation, the first news ebbed through to the British public of a magnificent achievement: Everest had finally been conquered. Drawing on first-hand interviews and unprecedented access to archives, this is a groundbreaking new account of that extraordinary first ascent. In a thrilling tale of adventure and courage, Mick Conefrey reveals that what has gone down in history as a supremely well-planned attempt was actually beset by crisis and controversy, both on and off the mountain.
"Man! That story is epic!"
Dom Joly sets off round the world again, but this time he's not looking to holiday in a danger zone - he's monster hunting. In Scary Monsters and Super Creeps he heads to six completely different destinations to investigate local monster sightings.
"A great book that is a superb listen"
Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky presents an insider's view of Havana: the elegant, tattered city he has come to know over more than 30 years. Part cultural history, part travelogue, with recipes 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.
James Brabazon is narrating this story of war, violence, and political intrigue. He wanted a war. And, for his sins, he got one. James Brabazon was an ambitious young war reporter when he entered the chaos of the Liberian Civil War in 2002. Running with the infamous LURD rebels, he survived numerous deadly ambushes, the privations of dysentery and a dramatic two hundred-mile escape from Government troops through dense equatorial jungle. He even had a bounty put on his head.
As Ellie's 50th birthday approaches and her ambitions of a steady income, a successful career and an ascent of Everest seem as far away as ever, she begins to doubt she's capable of achieving anything at all. So when her best friend Mick suggests a gruelling cycle ride from Land's End to John o'Groats, she takes up the challenge. They opt for the scenic route which takes them along cycle paths, towpaths and the back roads and byways of Britain, unable to resist sampling beers in the pubs they pass along the way.
"What a shame."
John's trip to India starts badly when he finds himself looking at the sharp end of a knife in a train station cubicle. His life is saved by the enigmatic Rick, who persuades John to abandon his mundane plans for the future for much, much more. Fast forward to the Thai island of Koh Pha-Ngan where they pose as millionaire aristocrats in a hedonistic Eden of beautiful girls, free drugs and wild beach parties. Soon pursued by Thai Mafia, they escape to Indonesia, Australia, and Hong Kong, facing danger at every turn.
"Didn't live up to my expectations or other reviews"
In the fall of 1978, Ray Ordorica packed everything he thought he would need into his Toyota LandCruiser and drove north to Alaska. He came to a land he had never seen, to find something he wasn't even sure existed: a wilderness cabin he could use for a year or more to live, think, relax, read, and write. Ordorica found his cabin, fixed it up, and, although it was just an un-insulated 12- by 16-foot one-room log structure, he spent three winters in it in relative comfort.
"if you like Alaska the Final frontier try this"
Ian Moore is a stand-up comedian in the UK and a husband, father of three boys, farmhand and chutney-maker in France. He is a mod in both walks of life and most of his time is spent travelling grumpily between the two. Comedian, mod and professional grump Ian Moore has had enough. Tired of being unable to park anywhere near his cramped house in a noisy town he doesn't like, he hatches a plan to move his wife and young son to a remote corner of the Loire Valley in search of serenity and space.
"tale of ex pat Brit in France with a Parka & pets"
In 2001, martial arts-trained biker Glen Heggstad began a journey from California to the tip of South America on his motorcycle and made it as far as Colombia, where he was kidnapped by local rebels and held captive. Undeterred by more than a month of traumatic incarceration, the 'Striking Viking' finished his trip after being released. Three years later he set out into the world on his bike again, this time searching for truth on his own terms in a world that had become strangled by a climate of fear.
"If only other Americans would follow this path."
A wondrous, uproarious, and surprisingly informative account of a year spend surfing, Caught Inside marks the arrival of an exuberant new voice of the outdoors. This remarkable narrative of Daniel Duane's life on the water is enhanced by good-humored explanations of the physics of wave dynamics, the intricate art of surfboard design, and lyrical, sharp-eyed descriptions of the flora and fauna of the Pacific wilderness.
Catching all the fascination and humour of travel in out-of-the-way places, One's Company is Peter Fleming's account of his journey through Russia and Manchuria to China when he was Special Correspondent to The Times in the 1930s. Fleming spent seven months with the "object of investigating the Communist situation in South China" at a time when, as far as he knew, "no previous journey had been made to the anti-communist front by a foreigner", and on its publication in 1934, One's Company won widespread critical acclaim.
Guided by a Kazakh aphorism - "To understand the wolf, you must put the skin of a wolf on and look through its eyes" - adventurer Tim Cope undertook a journey not successfully completed since the days of Genghis Khan: He traveled by horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from the ancient capital of Mongolia to the Danube River in Hungary.
Fuelled by a degree of mid-life crisis and the need to escape, albeit temporarily, the dull routine of modern life, David and Rob set out to walk from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, taking in French villages, beautiful scenery, and one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in Europe. Just about perfect - if you can put aside the inevitable conflict, drama, and unexpected tedium that results from two men spending over seven solid weeks in each other's company!
"The Hairy Hikers"
This is an incredible story of adventure, human ingenuity, persistence, and resilience that shows firsthand what it is to adventure as a woman in the most dangerous of circumstance, what it is to be truly alone in the wild, and why someone would challenge themselves with an expedition others would call crazy. For Marquis, her story is about freedom, being alive and wild by nature.
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT )is the perfect place for an average person to do something extraordinary. Bill Walker ("Skywalker"), who stands 6'11", might seem like anything but average. Yet in a brutally honest tone, he lays to bare all his considerable weaknesses and fears. Among these are crushing weight loss and fatigue, along with a fear of getting lost or a bear stealing his food. Nonetheless, he is bound and determined to hike the PCT which - at 2,663 miles - runs all the way from Mexico to Canada.
"Makes you want to put on your boots and walk!"
In Climbing Days, Dan Richards is on the trail of his great-great-aunt, Dorothy Pilley, a prominent and pioneering mountaineer of the early 20th century. For years Dorothy and her husband, I. A. Richards, remained mysterious to Dan, but the chance discovery of her 1935 memoir, Climbing Days, leads him on a journey. Perhaps in the mountains he can meet them halfway.
"Not what I expected "
Just when Chris and Shelagh think nothing more could possibly go wrong, they discover that Chris's identity has been stolen and their life savings - all the money from their house sale in England that was going to finance their new life in France - had disappeared. A bank account had been opened in Chris's name in Spain to take the proceeds. Then they're abandoned by the police forces of four countries who all insist the crime belongs in someone else's jurisdiction.
Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia's landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.
"1970s adventure across Australia - different times"
In early 2003, a young Wall Street investment banker named Bo Parfet set out to accomplish something very few had done before - climbing the highest mountain on every continent. He was not a professional climber, but what began as a casual interest would soon become a lifelong passion and in just over four years, Bo would overcome the odds and conquer all of the mountains - Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Denali, Vinson Massif, Elbrus, Carstenz Pyramid, Kosciusko, and Everest - with courage, unbridled passion, and determination.
"More humorous than other mountain books"
The Appalachian Trail covers 14 states and over 2,000 miles, snaking through some of the most spectacular landscapes in America. Reluctant adventurer Bryson recounts his gruelling hike along the longest continuous footpath in the world.
"A walk in the woods"
Twenty years ago Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation's heart and became the best-selling travel book ever and was voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain. Now, to mark the 20th anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey around Britain to see what has changed.
"I think Bill would rather have stayed at home."
For 10 years, Louis Theroux has been making programmes about off-beat characters on the fringes of US society. Now he revisits America and the people who have most fascinated him to try to discover what motivates them, why they believe the things they believe, and to find out what has happened to them since he last saw them.
"One of my favourite downloads so far"
After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson, the acclaimed author of such best sellers as The Mother Tongue and Made in America, decided it was time to move back to the United States for a while. This was partly to let his wife and kids experience life in Bryson's homeland, and partly because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another. It was thus clear to him that his people needed him.
"A Note From A Small Islander"
Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold, and the sun nearly always shines.
Hardly anyone ever leaves Des Moines, Iowa. But Bill Bryson did, and after 10 years in England he decided to go home, to a foreign country. In an ageing Chevrolet Chevette, he drove nearly 14,000 miles through 38 states to compile this hilarious and perceptive state-of-the-nation report on small-town America.
"The road trip you're dying to take"
From the bestselling author of Walking the Nile, explorer Levison Wood begins his next challenging adventure - walking the length of the Himalayas. Levison Wood's most challenging expedition yet begins along the Silk Road route of Afghanistan and travels through five countries. Following in the footsteps of the great explorers, Levison walks the entire length of the Himalayas in an adventure of survival and endurance.
"Grrrreattt audio book"
In Neither Here nor There Bill Bryson brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia.
Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life - from six weeks to four months to two years - to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel.
Believing that a good, interesting life is marked by quality, not quantity, John Steinbeck took note of his itchy feet and prepared to travel. He was accompanied by his French poodle, Charley, diplomat and watchdog, across the states of America from Maine to California. Moving through woods and forests, dirt tracks and highways to large cities and wildernesses, Steinbeck observed America and the Americans with a humorous and sometimes sceptical eye.
In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.
For the '70s child, summer holidays didn't mean the joy of CentreParcs or the sophistication of a Tuscan villa. They meant being crammed into a car with Grandma and heading to the coast. With just a tent for a home and a bucket for the necessities, we would set off on new adventures each year stoically resolving to enjoy ourselves. For Emma Kennedy, and her mum and dad, disaster always came along for the ride no matter where they went.
Remember when you were a kid, and you used to go round to a friend's house to see if they were playing? Well, as adults we're not supposed to do that. Which is a shame... because Dave Gorman likes playing. He REALLY likes games. So he knocked on the biggest door you could ever imagine - the internet - and asked 76,000 people if they fancied a game. This is the story of what happened next.
"funny words but flat narration"
Travelling to Work is the third volume of Michael Palin's widely acclaimed diaries. After the Python years and a decade of filming, writing and acting, Palin's career takes an unexpected direction into travel, which will shape his working life for the next 25 years. Yet, as the diaries reveal, he remained ferociously busy on a host of other projects throughout this whirlwind period.
"Unremittingly nice and lots of lovies"
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself.
"Inspiring and cautionary."
After moving back to the States, Bryson started to write a column for The Mail on Sunday Night and Day magazine. This is a collection of these column entries. Bryson writes about everything from everyday chores, to suing people, the beach, TV, movies, air conditioners, college, Americana, injury dangers, wasting resources, and holiday seasons.
"Bitter or Sweet ? I'm not sure !"
Starting in November 2013 in a forest in Rwanda, where a modest spring spouts a trickle of clear, cold water, Levison Wood set forth on foot, aiming to become the first person to walk the entire length of the Nile. He followed the river for nine months, over 4,000 miles, through six nations - Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, the Republic of Sudan, and Egypt - to the Mediterranean coast.
The third and most ambitious of Michael Palin's adventures is a voyage of epic proportions - the circumnavigation of the Pacific Rim. He travels for almost a year through the 18 countries that border the world's largest ocean, and is forced to negotiate mountains, plunging gorges, cross glaciers and dodge icebergs. Volcanoes also mark Palin's journey. He climbs one which has freshly erupted and follows great rivers like the Yangtze and the Amazon to some of the most remote places on earth.