What do most people think of Idaho? Well, see, that's the problem - they don't think of Idaho. Despite its breathtaking natural beauty and the fact that it's crammed to the gills with eccentrics and freethinkers, Idaho may as well be the moon as far as the rest of America is concerned. Jim Goad recently spent a week in Idaho mingling with state troopers, political extremists, collegiate progressives, and heartbreakingly friendly locals.
As a kid growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father they called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line and ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood there. Decades later, Helmreich teaches university courses about New York, and his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever. Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs - an astonishing 6,000 miles.
Why would a middle-aged businessman who had never even spent the night outdoors, attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail? Bill Walker, a former commodities trader in Chicago and London, and an avid walker, had developed a virtual obsession to hike this historic 2,175 mile footpath in one hiking season. In the spring of 2005 he set off from his home state of Georgia, hoping to make it to Mount Katahdin in northern Maine before the arrival of winter.
"Should the author always read?"
Daniel Gray is about to turn thirty. Like any sane person, his response is to travel to Luton, Crewe, and Hinckley. After a decade's exile in Scotland, he sets out to reacquaint himself with England via what he considers its greatest asset: football. Watching teams from the Championship (or Division Two as any right-minded person calls it) to the South West Peninsula Premier, and aimlessly walking around towns from Carlisle to Newquay, Gray paints a curious landscape forgotten by many.
"Not just a football book!"
A landmark in travel writing, this is the incredible true story of Heinrich Harrer's escape across the Himalayas to Tibet, set against the backdrop of the Second World War. Heinrich Harrer, already one of the greatest mountaineers of his time, was climbing in the Himalayas when war broke out in Europe. He was imprisoned by the British in India but succeeded in escaping and fled to Tibet.
"Fantastic a life we never see....."
In My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth, Wendy shares a glimpse of North Korea as it's never been seen before. Even though it's the scariest place on Earth, somehow Wendy forgot to check her sense of humor at the border. But Wendy's initial amusement and bewilderment soon turned to frustration and growing paranoia.
This collection offers two dozen essays and sketches about one of the passions of Salter's life, travel, a subject beloved by writers across the centuries. Over twenty years of skiing, hiking, climbing from Colorado to Japan to the Tyrol, from Austria and Switzerland to Germany and France, Salter is an engaging companion sharing his great enthusiasm and adventures.
A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet - then spends the rest of his life trying to atone for the violence by hand printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death. Nine people, nine lives; each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. William Dalrymple delves deep into the heart of a nation torn between the relentless onslaught of modernity and the ancient traditions that endure to this day.
Recounting the three weeks of blood, sweat, and tearsthat make up a 7,000 mile journey from the glitzy streets of Paris to the hinterland of northwestern Africa, this incredible tale highlights the most arduous and notorious off-road motorsports event on the planet, the Paris-Dakar Rally. Since its inception in 1979, the rally has attracted more than 3,000 participants from all walks of life.
"A must for Dakar fans"
Abounding in secluded, atmospheric parks, artists' studios, cafes, restaurants, and streets little changed since the 1800s, Paris exudes romance. The art and architecture, the cityscape, riverbanks, and the unparalleled quality of daily life are part of the equation. But the city's allure derives equally from hidden sources: querulous inhabitants, a bizarre culture of heroic negativity, and a rich historical past supplying enigmas, pleasures, and challenges.
In the heart of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this ever-evolving country, Fuling is heading down a new path of change and growth, which came into remarkably sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident.
"Great insight into rural China"
Whether your idea of travel at its finest is trekking through Europe with a backpack, a map and a foreign-language dictionary; road-tripping across America in a fully loaded RV; or cruising the Caribbean aboard a luxury liner, Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul celebrates the people you'll meet, the lands you'll discover and the lessons you'll learn. Like traveling itself, the stories in this book will take you on a journey of adventure, insight, and discovery. Through the real-life experiences of others, you'll see that regardless of the destination, it is the journey that provides the fondest memories.
Covering the country's history and culture, Sitwell's comprehensive study on Denmark features the country's buildings, landscape, and the people who are most characteristic - everything best worth seeing. To hear this account of Denmark is to visit the country with a new pair of eyes.
In the summer of 2001, Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver's license. For the next seven years, he traveled the country, tracking how the automobile and improved roads were transforming China.
"Ture China!--- in view of a ture Chinese"
After Justin and Linda Tyers lost everything in a devastating house fire, they rebuilt their lives by building a classic wooden yacht from scratch - starting by felling the trees. This story was told in their first book, Phoenix from the Ashes. This sequel follows their voyage from the Scottish Islands across to Ireland, down the Irish Sea to Cornwall and thence to Brittany, meeting interesting, curious and larger-than-life characters along the way.
Noo Saro-Wiwa was brought up in England, but every summer she was dragged back to Nigeria - a country she viewed as an annoying parallel universe where she had to relinquish all her creature comforts and sense of individuality. Then her father, activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was murdered there, and she didn't return for 10 years. Recently, she decided to rediscover and come to terms with the country her father loved.
"Intriguing return to the motherland"
Far from the glittering cities of Beijing and Shaghai, China's borderlands are populated by around one hundred million people who are not Han Chinese. For many of these restive minorities, the old Chinese adage "the mountains are high and the Emperor far away", meaning Beijing's grip on power is tenuous and its influence unwelcome, continues to resonate.
Many dream of dropping everything and just traveling around the world. It's a common dream, but few imagine embarking on that journey by bicycle. Exposed to the elements, legs burning, all your possessions strapped to you and your bicycle - it doesn't paint a relaxing picture, but this is just what Pierre-Yves Tremblay did.
The prolific drummer for the rock band Rush travels through African villages, both large and small, and relates his story through journal entries and tales of adventure, while simultaneously addressing issues such as differences in culture, psychology, and labels. Literary and artistic sidekicks such as Aristotle, Dante, and Van Gogh join Peart and his cycling companions, reminding the listener that this is not just another travel book - it is a story of both external and introspective discovery and adventure.
Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves' insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance.
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."
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.
On October 6, 1973, Ted Simon knew there was no going back. He loaded up his 500cc Triumph Tiger in the pouring rain and said good-bye to London. Over four years he rode 64,000 miles round the world. Breakdowns, revolutions, war, a spell in prison, and a Californian commune were all part of his experience, which was colored variously by utter despair and unimaginable joy. He was treated as a spy, a god, a welcome stranger and a curiosity
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.
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell, read by Bill Nighy. 'I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time.' Tom Michell is in his roaring 20's: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure.
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.
In The Old Ways, Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove-roads, and sea paths that form part of a vast network of routes crisscrossing the British landscape and its waters, and connecting them to the continents beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, of pilgrimage and ritual, and of song lines and their singers. Above all this is a book about people and place.
"Not easy but worth the effort."
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.
The plan is simple. George and Ben have three weeks to cycle 1000 miles from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. There's just one small problem - they have no bikes, no clothes, no food, and no money. Setting off in just a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts, they attempt to rely on the generosity of the British public for everything from food to accommodation, clothes to shoes, and bikes to beer.
"Very engrossing and funny"
Stuck in a job he no longer found fulfilling, journalist Mike McIntyre felt his life was quickly passing him by. So one day he hit the road to trek from one end of the country to the other with little more than the clothes on his back and without a single penny in his pocket. Through his travels, he found varying degrees of kindness in strangers from all walks of life - and discovered more about people and values and life on the road in America than he'd ever thought possible.
"wow loved it"
The solemn, rhythmic intonation of the shipping forecast on BBC radio is as familiar as the sound of Big Ben chiming the hour. Since its first broadcast in the 1920s, it has inspired poems, songs, and novels, in addition to its intended objective of warning generations of seafarers of impending storms and gales. In Attention All Shipping, Charlie Connelly wittily explores the places behind the voice, those mysterious regions whose names seem often to bear no relation to conventional geography.
Drive Nacho Drive tells the hilarious and sometimes harrowing story of what happens when Brad and Sheena Van Orden trade in the American dream for a year on the roads of Central and South America aboard "Nacho", their quirky and somewhat temperamental Volkswagen van. As a result of questionable decision-making skills and intermittent bad luck, Brad and Sheena repeatedly find themselves in over their heads.
In April 2008, Jon Faine and his son Jack closed the door on their Melbourne home and, leaving jobs, studies, family and friends, took six months and went overland to London in their trusty 4-wheel-drive. This intelligent and funny recount of the countries they visited, people they met, and trouble they got into, is also the story of a tender father-son relationship.
"Rollicking yarn - bettered being read by Jon Faine"
In Hope and Glory, Stuart goes in search of the places, people and events of the century we have just left behind that have shaped the look and character of modern Britain. From the death of Victoria to the demise of New Labour, he takes a single event from each decade of the 20th century that offers up a defining moment in our history and then goes in search of its legacy today.
As a lover of both history and the countryside, urbanite couch-potato Charlie Connelly decides to rectify this and sets out on foot along some famous routes, journeying alongside Bodica's chariot in Norfolk, reliving Bonnie Prince Charlie's flight to Skye, and taking the same tragic route as the starving famine walkers of Connemara. It's a tale that features broken toes, dead poets, a couple of ghosts, and rain. Lots and lots of rain.
"Those feet were made for walking"
Film star Ewan McGregor travels around the world by motorcycle with his best friend, actor Charley Boorman. A unique and fascinating travel/adventure book.
"Very good for a long journey"