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Armchair Travel June 2014
"There was something intrinsically melancholy, a sudden sharp intimation, like a warning tap on the shoulder, of the fleetingness of everything, in bidding goodbye to people who had been kind, as nearly everyone was, and knowing that, in all likelihood, I would never see them again."
~ Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011), British author, scholar, and soldier, The Broken Road
New and Recently Released!
The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos - by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/04/2014
Share The Broken Road%3a From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos ISBN-13: 9781590177549
ISBN-10: 1590177541
Finally arriving on bookshelves is the long-awaited last travelogue in a trilogy that traces the year-long sojourn across 1933 Europe by 18-year-old Patrick Leigh Fermor, who then "thought himself a failure" but later became one of the best travel writers the world has known. Using Fermor's almost-finished manuscript, which melds lush descriptions with history and fascinating adventures, biographer Artemis Cooper and travel author Colin Thubron edited this book after Fermor's death at the age of 96. Erudite readers and lovers of lyrical language will embrace this delightful read, which covers Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece; those who haven't read Fermor will want to pick up A Time of Gifts, about the 1st leg of his eye-opening journey that began in Holland.
Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail - by Ben Montgomery
Publisher: Independent
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/01/2014
Share Grandma Gatewood ISBN-13: 9781613747186
ISBN-10: 1613747187
Though she had reached the age of 67 in 1955, the woman known as Grandma Gatewood was not content to rest on her (mountain) laurels. Not only did this mother of 11 and grandmother of 23 hike the Appalachian Trail solo once (the first woman to ever do so), she did it three times (becoming the first person, man or woman, to repeat and three-peat). Conducting interviews with those who knew Gatewood and drawing on her diaries and correspondence, journalist Ben Montgomery gives readers a "quiet delight of a book" (Kirkus Reviews) and shines a welcome light on the amazing Emma Gatewood's life, exploring why she did what she did and looking at her efforts to bring public attention to the poorly maintained 2,050 mile trail.
Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home  - by Boyd Varty
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/11/2014
Share Cathedral of the Wild%3a An African Journey Home ISBN-13: 9781400069859
ISBN-10: 1400069858
Lions, tigers, and baboons, oh my! Growing up at the Londolozi private game reserve in South Africa, Boyd Varty's childhood included plenty of excitement (hosting Nelson Mandela after his 1990 release from prison) and danger (such as a black mambo slithering over his 11-year-old legs). And there was also a lot of love from his fascinating family, made up of a visionary, conservation-minded father, a renowned filmmaking uncle, a caring but not-easily-shaken mother, and a sister who was his beloved companion and playmate. In this dramatic memoir, Varty reflects on his time with Mandela, shares campfire stories of his family and their adventures, and documents his own tale of personal evolution, which saw him travel around the world only to come back home again.
Life Is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America - by Bruce Weber
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/18/2014
Share Life Is a Wheel%3a Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America ISBN-13: 9781451695014
ISBN-10: 1451695012
After turning 57, entertaining author Bruce Weber decided to bike the United States from coast to coast...again. Having already made the journey back in 1993 when he was 39, he set out for the second time in 2011. Based on the author's popular New York Times series about his adventure, Life Is a Wheel chronicles Weber's ups and downs, both literal and figurative, as he discusses the physical path he is traveling as well as his thoughts and emotions about life. Anyone approaching late-middle age will certainly appreciate Weber's insights, and fans of Bill Bryson's books will appreciate Weber's witty way with words.
War, Conflict, Repression
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - by Ishmael Beah
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/13/2007
Share A Long Way Gone%3a Memoirs of a Boy Soldier ISBN-13: 9780374105235
ISBN-10: 0374105235
Children should not have to see the horrors of war, much less commit them. But as conflict rages in hot spots around the world, children are always affected, and in some heart-wrenching cases, they are actually forced to become solders who do terrible things. In this powerful, candid autobiography, Ishmael Beah, now a human rights activist, tells how he went from a mischievous 12-year-old schoolboy to a hardened 13-year-old government soldier carrying an AK-47 and fighting in the civil war that raged in Sierra Leone in the 1990s before he was rescued by UNICEF and pulled himself back from violence.
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - by Barbara Demick
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/29/2009
Share Nothing to Envy%3a Ordinary Lives in North Korea ISBN-13: 9780385523905
ISBN-10: 0385523904
Examining North Korea under the regime of "dear leader" Kim Jong-il (father of current leader, Kim Jong-un), journalist Barbara Demick spent seven years extensively interviewing six North Koreans who had managed to escape from the repressive regime. She tells how the country's schoolchildren sang anthems praising their leader even as many of them suffered from malnutrition, some to the point of dying, and how everyone guarded their secrets and complaints lest the government put them in horrific labor camps. This grim though "strongly written and gracefully structured" (Wall Street Journal) book offers an eye-opening look at a land most of us will never set foot in.
Love thy Neighbor: A Story of War - by Peter Maass
Publisher: Vintage Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/01/1997
Share Love thy Neighbor%3a A Story of War ISBN-13: 9780679763895
ISBN-10: 0679763899
During the Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995, horrible atrocities occurred, including torture, rape, murder, and genocide -- sometimes committed by those in charge, sometimes committed by neighbors against neighbors who'd been friendly just hours before. In this book that won The Los Angeles Times book prize for nonfiction, war correspondent Peter Maass offers a stunning portrait of that time, from the battlefield of Sarajevo (host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics), to the shocking crimes that occurred, to the lives of innocents caught in the crossfire. Though this "angry, stinging, profanely eloquent and often painful book" (The New York Times) isn't light reading, it is compassionate and certainly worthwhile.
Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War - by Megan K. Stack
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/14/2011
Share Every Man in This Village Is a Liar%3a An Education in War ISBN-13: 9780767930345
ISBN-10: 0767930347
When Megan K. Stack was still a child, she already knew (thanks to a family friend who was a marine) that people affected by war could "survive and not survive, both at the same time." In this evocative account, she herself goes to war as a young reporter. Covering the time between September 11, 2001 and the end of 2006, this book describes her encounters with warlords, CIA operatives, and regular people as well as how she witnessed death and carnage, dealt with innocent people being killed, and heard government officials lie to the public. Traveling throughout the Middle East, Stack visited Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel, among other places, and this eloquent, personal book, which was a National Book Award finalist, provides much food for thought about a strife-filled region that continues to make the news.
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