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.
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....."
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?"
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"
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.
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 ?"
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!"
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"
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.
Jill Paris realized at a young age that if she waited for "someone special" to take her away to far-off destinations, she'd have never left the sofa. In this volume of travel essays she reveals her curious sense of adventure and shows us that an unexpected encounter is often the best souvenir.
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.
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"
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.
Proving that sailing is not just the husband's pursuit, this charming narrative of one couple's first long distance voyage is told from the wife's perspective. Writing in a lively, humorous way, Sandra Clayton gives an entertaining account of her and husband David's maiden cruise from the UK, down the Atlantic coast and into the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Conscious that old age or poor health could prevent them from sailing away for much longer, they left the world of work behind to chase their dream of adventure.
"Interesting story, spoilt by narration"
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.
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"
A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today, the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China's transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people.
"brilliant! great read, interesting and enjoyable"
In Great Buddha Gym for All Mens and Womens, author Sallie Tisdale so richly evokes her pilgrimage to the four vital sites related to Buddha Shakyamuni's life and enlightenment that the listener feels as if she's tripping alongside Tisdale every crowded, colorful, and sensuous step of the way. The challenges of travel in modern India are daunting. The ancient sites are overrun with tourists and seekers. Merchants hawking spiritual goods are everywhere.
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.
When Doug Mack picked up a 1963 edition of Europe on Five Dollars a Day, he stumbled on an inspired idea: to boldly go where millions have gone before, relying only on the advice of a travel guide that's nearly a half century out-of-date. Add to the mix his mother's much- documented grand tour through Europe in the late 1960s, and the result is a funny and fascinating journey into a new (old) world, and a disarming look at the ways the classic tourist experience has changed- and has not-in the last generation.
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.
"Awful accent - buy the author-narrated version"
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
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.
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 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 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"
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.
Steinbeck and Capa's account of their journey through Cold War Russia is a classic piece of reportage and travel writing.Just after the Iron Curtain fell on Eastern Europe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck and acclaimed war photographer Robert Capa ventured into the Soviet Union to report for the New York Herald Tribune.
"Enjoyable easy listen not for historic buffs"
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.
It was 1956, and Eric Newby was earning an improbable living in the chaotic family business of London haute couture. Pining for adventure, Newby sent his friend Hugh Carless the now-famous cable - "Can you travel Nuristan June?" - setting in motion a legendary journey from Mayfair to Afghanistan and the mountains of the Hindu Kush, northeast of Kabul. Inexperienced and ill prepared (their preparations involved nothing more than some tips from a Welsh waitress), the amateurish rogues embark on a month of adventure and hardship.
This third volume in David Attenborough's "Early Years" trilogy recounts his expedition to Australia in search of more rare species.
As with the previous two titles, Zoo Quest for a Dragon and Quest in Paradise, it is read by Attenborough and provides an educative and entertaining account of his adventures.
"Brilliantly written and brilliantly read."
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"
Near Mount Etna in Sicily lies Casa Cuseni, a beautiful house built in golden stone - and the home which Daphne Phelps was astonished to find she had inherited in 1947. At the age of 34, war-weary from working as a psychiatric social worker, with barely any Italian, and precious little money, she plunged into a fascinating Sicilian world.
After their fantastic trip round the world in 2004, fellow actors and bike fanatics Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman couldn't shake the travel bug. Inspired by their UNICEF visits to Africa, they knew they had to go back and experience this extraordinary continent in more depth.
"A light boys book - but an annoying voice"
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.
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!"
This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia Child embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.