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 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"
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"
While birding literature is filled with tales of expert observers spotting rare species in exotic locales, John Yow reminds us that the most fascinating birds can be the ones perched right outside our windows. In thirty-five engaging and sometimes irreverent vignettes, Yow reveals the fascinating lives of the birds we see nearly every day. Following the seasons, he covers forty-two species, discussing the improbable, unusual, and comical aspects of his subjects' lives.
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.
"Not unusual enough to interesting"
In a remote kingdom hidden in the Himalayas, there is a trail said to be the toughest trek in the world-24 days, 216 miles, 11 mountain passes, and enough ghost stories to scare an exorcist. In 2007 Kevin Grange decided to acquaint himself with the country of Bhutan by taking on this infamous trail, the Snowman Trek. He was 33, at a turning point in life, and figured the best way to go when at a crossroad was up.
"Maybe a different reader"
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.
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.
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 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.
Take a trip to old Japan with William Scott Wilson as he travels the ancient Kiso Road, a legendary route that remains much the same today as it was hundreds of years ago. The Kisoji, which runs through the Kiso Valley in the Japanese Alps, has been in use since at least 701 CE. In the 17th century, it was the route that the daimyo (warlords) used for their biennial trips - along with their samurai and porters - to the new capital of Edo (now Tokyo).
Mount Kilimanjaro is sometimes called "Everyman's Everest" because it is possible for a novice climber to reach the summit. And every year, more than 30,000 adventure tourists try. But for each person who goes to the mountain, there are thousands more who chat about it at parties, making plans to go...someday. That's how Daniel Dorr got started: flirting with a beautiful brunette and spouting impressive plans. Six months later, he was lying on the gravel trail at 18,000 feet, panting and hacking in the darkness.
"Thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro ?"
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"
Most New Yorkers, even famous ones, have cherished rituals and favorite places that connect them to their city in unique ways. They have their beloved restaurants, museums, parks, galleries, landmarks, haunts, and hideaways. It may be watching tango dancers on Saturday nights in Central Park. Or riding a bike over the Brooklyn Bridge for a slice of Grimaldi's pepperoni pizza and a view of the Manhattan skyline from across the East River.
"Essential listening before a fabulous trip to NYC"
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.
This charming account of the voyage of two men in a small boat half way round the world from Plymouth to New Zealand in 1953 is a rare insight into a time, not long ago, when sailors had no GPS, electronics, radio or any of the mod cons that we take for granted today. Without lifejacket or a life raft, they 'just took what came along', hand steering all the way, navigating by sextant, hand-cranking their engine and using oil lamps for light at night and for navigation. Sailors will be staggered how primitive conditions were only a few decades ago, even though it was the norm at the time.
Written in the irreverent style that made How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read a critical and commercial success, Pierre Bayard takes listeners on a trip around the world, giving us essential guidance on how to talk about all those fantastic places we've never been. Practical, funny, and thought provoking, How to Talk About Places You've Never Been will delight and inform armchair globetrotters and jet-setters, all while never having to leave the comfort of the living room.
This is not a book about trains but about the variety of Spain. The best-selling author Christopher Howse makes 10 great railway journeys that explore the interior of the peninsula, its astonishing landscapes and ancient buildings. The focus is the way the Spanish live now: their habits, streets, characters, stories - and quite a bit about their eating and drinking.
The life of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, has, with the passing of time, been magnified to the scale of myth, turning history into the stuff of legend. Known as the First Patriarch, Bodhidharma brought Zen from South India into China in 500 CE, changing the country forever. In Tracking Bodhidharma, Andrew Ferguson recreates the path of Bodhidharma, traveling through China to the places where the First Patriarch lived and taught. This sacred trail takes Ferguson deep into ancient China.
"Excellent in every way."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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"
Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham's canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her book is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care?
"A small beautiful journey of discovery"
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.
Building on the success of The Yarn Whisperer, Clara Parkes' rich personal essays invite listeners and devoted crafters on excursions to be savored, from a guide who quickly comes to feel like a trusted confidante. In Knitlandia, she takes listeners along on 17 of her most memorable journeys across the globe over the last 15 years, with stories spanning from the fjords of Iceland to a cozy yarn shop in Paris' 13th arrondissement.
Where's the Next Shelter? is the true story of three travelers on the Appalachian Trail, a 2,000-mile hike that stretches from Georgia to Maine, told from the perspective of Gary Sizer, a seasoned backpacker and former marine who quickly finds himself humbled by the endeavor. If you long for the horizon or to sleep under the stars, then come along for the hike of a lifetime. All you have to do is take the first step.
It's two decades since Chris Stewart moved to his farm on the wrong side of a river in southern Spain and his daughter Chlöe is preparing to leave for university. We find Chris, a local literary celebrity, using his fame to help his old sheep-shearing partner find work on a raucous road trip; cooking a TV lunch for visiting British chef, Rick Stein; and, most movingly, visiting famine-stricken Niger for Oxfam.
Inspired by breathtaking views, and dreaming of finding love and romance in the mountains, Tony Hawks impulsively buys a house in the French Pyrenees. Here he imagines he will finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, untroubled by the problems of the world. However, Tony's account of stumbling into the world of overseas home ownership is perhaps best heard as a useful manual of how not to go about buying a house abroad.
"Truly a true story!"
Hello. It's Todd Barry. Yes, the massively famous comedian. I have billons of fans all over the world, so I do my fair share of touring. While I love doing shows in the big cities (New York, Chicago, Cleveland), I also enjoy a good secondary market (Rochester, Springfield, Toledo). There's something great about performing in a place where they don't expect to see you.
"5 Star REVIEW you must HEAR this AUDIOBOOK"
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 Cruise Confidential, Brian David Bruns spills the dirt - or, in this case, the dirty water - on those romantic, fun-filled vacations at sea. His hilarious chronicle of the year he spent working for Carnival Cruise Lines takes listeners down into the areas where the crew works and lives, leaving listeners gasping with laughter as they're assaulted nonstop with events that range from the absurd to the utterly bizarre. Stewards fighting over food. Cutlery allowances and other nonsensical rules.
"Informative behind the scenes revelations"
Peter, Matthew, Thomas, John: Who were these men? What was their relationship to Jesus? Tom Bissell provides rich and surprising answers to these ancient, elusive questions. He examines not just who these men were (and weren't) but also how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia.
"Reaching a higher plain"
A Northerner in exile, Stuart Maconie goes on a journey in search of the North, attempting to discover where the clichés end and the truth begins. He travels from Wigan Pier to Blackpool Tower and Newcastle's Bigg Market to the Lake District to find his own Northern Soul, encountering along the way an exotic cast of chippy Scousers, pie-eating woollybacks, topless Geordies, mad-for-it Mancs, Yorkshire nationalists and brothers in southern exile.
"The best ever"
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"