Three great reads. Two omnibus volumes from NatGeo and a third recounting a rowing trip of some 6,000 miles in the USA. If the price of gas keeps you home enjoy your vacation in these pages.


Worlds to explore : classic tales of travel & adventure from National Geographic   edited by Mark Jenkins Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society, c 2006  Voyages and travels Hardcover. xxv, 438 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

Polar fleece, titanium, and GPS have forever changed the face of exploration. Today an explorer can make a phone call from the top of Mount Everest and geo-locate himself in the thickest rain forest or the widest desert. Yet despite these advances, few modern adventures get close to the charm and romance of “The Desert Road to Turkestan,” “Mysterious Temples of the Jungle,” and “Airplanes Come to the Isles of Spice.”

In those bygone days, the pages of National Geographic were as close as most people could get to high adventure and faraway lands-and here’s a chance to recapture them. Alongside noteworthy names like Robert Peary, Amelia Earhart, and Teddy Roosevelt, other less famous travelers take us on long-forgotten trips to places few Americans had gone. We follow as “An American Girl Cycles Across Transylvania,” trek “A Thousand Miles Along the Great Wall of China,” and glide “By Felucca Down the Nile.”

Introduced by brief essays that provide context and perspective, these engaging, engrossing selections speak for themselves – and trace the National Geographic Society’s growth as it explored the unknown and brought it to readers eager for knowledge of “the world and all that is in it.”

Living with cannibals and other women’s adventures Michele Slung ; foreword by Reeve Lindbergh ; illustrations by Elizabeth Traynor Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society, c 2000  Women explorers, Voyages and travels Hardcover. ix, 243 p. : ill. ; 20 cm. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

The spirit of adventure sweeps through the chapters of this exciting volume as we encounter the inspiring, sometimes tragic, often humorous tales of adventurous women — from the 18th century to the 21st century.

Selected from National Geographic’s rich archives, this colorful group portrait pairs female adventurers of the past with their contemporary counterparts — in a “then and now” approach.

You’ll meet Arctic explorers — an American heiress who crisscrossed ice fields seven decades ago, along with a celebrated New Zealander who skied alone to both North and South Poles in the 1990s. You’ll also join in the atmospheric exploits of Shannon Lucid and Amelia Earhart as they take off on those daring flights that wrote a new pages in the annals of aviation.

Tour the world with women who defied Victorian convention to venture alone among the headhunters of Borneo or to see first hand the hidden corners of Africa, India, and Japan. Witness world record-breaking moments by such latterday legends as Sylvia Earle, whose explorations of the ocean floor earned her the nickname, “Her Royal Deepness,” and Catherine Destivelle, the beautiful French superstar of modern mountaineering.

Featuring photographs, art, and period illustrations, as well as an introduction by Reeve Lindbergh and a 1,500-year time line of women’s adventuring, Living With Cannibals offers vivid testimony to the wanderlust, daring, and determination of these intrepid journeyers.

Whether kayaking remote Tibetan rivers or bottle-feeding baby orangutans, bicycling to India or battling icebergs off the coast of Greenland, each woman profiled here demonstrates her unswerving devotion to a dream.
On the water : discovering America in a rowboat    Nathaniel Stone ; illustrations by Elizabeth Stone New York : Broadway Books, 2002  Boats and boating United States Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. x, 323 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.  Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Few people have ever considered the eastern United States to be an island, but when Nat Stone began tracing waterways in his new atlas at the age of ten he discovered that if one had a boat it was possible to use a combination of waterways to travel up the Hudson River, west across the barge canals and the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, and back up the eastern seaboard. Years later, still fascinated by the idea of the island, Stone read a biography of Howard Blackburn, a nineteenth-century Gloucester fisherman who had attempted to sail the same route a century before. Stone decided he would row rather than sail, and in April 1999 he launched a scull beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to see how far he could get. After ten months and some six thousand miles he arrived back at the Brooklyn Bridge, and continued rowing on to Eastport, Maine.

Retracing Stone’s extraordinary voyage, On the Water is a marvelous portrait of the vibrant cultures inhabiting American shores and the magic of a traveler’s chance encounters. From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where a rower at the local boathouse bequeaths him a pair of fabled oars, to Vanceburg, Kentucky, where he spends a day fishing with Ed Taylor — a man whose efficient simplicity recalls The Old Man and the Sea — Stone makes his way, stroke by stroke, chatting with tugboat operators and sleeping in his boat under the stars. He listens to the live strains of Dwight Yoakum on the banks of the Ohio while the world’s largest Superman statue guards the nearby town square, and winds his way through the Louisiana bayous, where he befriends Scoober, an old man who reminds him that the happiest people are those who’ve “got nothin’.” He briefly adopts a rowing companion — a kitten — along the west coast of Florida, and finds himself stuck in the tidal mudflats of Georgia. Along the way, he flavors his narrative with local history and lore and records the evolution of what started out as an adventure but became a lifestyle.

An extraordinary literary debut in the lyrical, timeless style of William Least Heat-Moon and Henry David Thoreau, On the Water is a mariner’s tribute to childhood dreams, solitary journeys, and the transformative powers of America’s rivers, lakes, and coastlines.

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