Fraser, Laura, 1961-
The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "The Italian Affair" buys readers the plane tickets and takes them in search of adventure and romance, as Fraser wonders whether it's possible, in midlife, to have it all.
Campbell, James, 1961-
Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to only a handful of people, is a harsh and lonely place. So when James Campbell's cousin Heimo Korth asked him to spend a summer building a cabin in the rugged Interior, Campbell hesitated about inviting his fifteen-year-old daughter, Aidan, to join him- Would she be able to withstand clouds of mosquitoes, the threat of grizzlies, bathing in an ice-cold river, and hours of grueling labor, peeling and hauling logs?
But once there, Aidan embraced the wild. She even agreed to return a few months later to help the Korths work their traplines and hunt for caribou and moose. Despite windchills of 50 degrees below zero, father and daughter ventured out daily to track, hunt, and trap. Under the supervision of Edna, Heimo's Yupik Eskimo wife, Aidan grew more confident in the woods.
Campbell knew that in traditional Eskimo cultures, some daughters earned a rite of passage usually reserved for young men. So he decided to take Aidan back to Alaska one final time before she left home. It would be their third and most ambitious trip, backpacking over Alaska's Brooks Range to the headwaters of the mighty Hulahula River, where they would assemble a folding canoe and paddle to the Arctic Ocean. The journey would test them, and their relationship, in one of the planet's most remote places- a land of wolves, musk oxen, Dall sheep, golden eagles, and polar bears.
At turns poignant and humorous, Braving It is an ode to America's disappearing wilderness and a profound meditation on what it means for a child to grow up--and a parent to finally, fully let go.
Kirkby, Bruce, 1968-
From the bestselling author ofSand Dance. Stuck in an engineer's cubicle, dutifully beginning the responsible adult life he was raised to undertake, Kirkby is tormented by doubts and boredom. In a fit of rebellion, he quits his job to bicycle the Karakoram Highway in northern Pakistan. He is twenty-two and absolutely clueless. Miraculously, hilariously, he survives -- and discovers his life's passion. Over the next fifteen years, Kirkby navigates an evermore uncertain and uncommon path, honing his skills on some of the most challenging expeditions the world has to offer. Whether it's gun fights and crocodile attacks while running Africa's Blue Nile Gorge, the rescue of a fallen sherpa on Mount Everest, evading capture in Myanmar's forbidden tropical paradise, or learning to embrace the wilderness on the Tatshenshini River of Canada's Arctic, Kirkby shares with the reader the excitement, doubts, insights, and even the uncomfortable self-knowledge that a life lived on the edge brings.
Canessa, Roberto, 1953- author
On October 12, 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying members of the "Old Christians" rugby team--and many of their friends and family members--crashed into the Andes Mountains. I Had to Survive offers a gripping and heartrending recollection of the harrowing brink-of-death experience that propelled survivor Roberto Canessa to become one of the world's leading pediatric cardiologists.
As he tended to his wounded teammates amidst the devastating carnage of the wreck, rugby player Roberto Canessa, a second-year medical student at the time, realized that no one on earth was luckier: he was alive--and for that, he should be eternally grateful. As the starving group struggled beyond the limits of what seemed possible, Canessa played a key role in safeguarding his fellow survivors, eventually trekking with a companion across the hostile mountain range for help.
This fine line between life and death became the catalyst for the rest of his life.
This uplifting tale of hope and determination, solidarity and ingenuity gives vivid insight into a world famous story. Canessa also draws a unique and fascinating parallel between his work as a doctor performing arduous heart surgeries on infants and unborn babies and the difficult life-changing decisions he was forced to make in the Andes. With grace and humanity, Canessa prompts us to ask ourselves: what do you do when all the odds are stacked against you?
Cowley, Deborah, 1937-
This is the inspiring story of a Canadian woman who transformed a simple afternoon of reading to a group of children in her backyard in Ghana, Africa, into seven large community libraries in poor areas of the country's capital, support for more than 200 smaller initiatives around Ghana and in other African countries, and a publishing venture that produces children's books in English and Swahili. Kathy Knowles now runs her volunteer-based Osu Children's Library Fund out of her Winnipeghome with twice-yearly trips to Ghana. Her work promoting libraries and literacy continues - construction is now underway on a three-storey library in the area of the capital known as Korle Gonno.
Brierley, Saroo, author
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, this #1 international best-seller tells the miraculous and triumphant story of a young man who rediscovers not only his childhood life and home...but an identity long-since left behind.
"Amazing stuff." -The New York Post
"So incredible that sometimes it reads like a work of fiction." -Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)
At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.
Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.
A Long Way Home is a moving, poignant, and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.
Ellis, Jackie Kai,, author
On the surface, Jackie Kai Ellis's life was the one that every woman wanted. She was in her late twenties and married to a handsome man, she had a successful career as a designer, and a home that she shared with her husband. But instead of feeling fulfilled, happy, and loved, each morning she'd wake up dreading the day ahead, searching for a way out. Depression clouded every moment. In this darkness, she could only find one source of light: the kitchen. It was the place where Jackie escaped, finding peace, comfort, and acceptance. This is the story of how, armed with nothing but a love of food and the words of the great 20th century food writer M.F.K. Fisher, one woman begins a journey - from France to Italy, then the Congo and back again - to find herself.
A deep-seated questioning of her inherited religion resurfaces when Myrna Kostash chances upon the icon of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica. A historical, cultural and spiritual odyssey that begins in Edmonton, ranges around the Balkans, and plunges into a renewed vision of Byzantium in search of the Great Saint of the East delivers the author to an unexpected place-the threshold of her childhood church. An epic work of travel memoir, Prodigal Daughter sings with immediacy and depth, rewarding readers with a profound sense of an adventure they have lived. This book will appeal to readers interested in Ukrainian-Canadian culture, the Eastern Church, and medieval history, as well as to fans of Kostash's bold creative nonfiction.
Brockes, Emma, author
"One of those memoirs that remind you why you liked memoirs in the first place... It has the density of a very good novel... As you do with the best writers, you feel lucky to be in Ms. Brockes's company." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times
A chilling work of psychological suspense and forensic memoir, She Left Me the Gun is a tale of true transformation: the story of a young woman who reinvented herself so completely that her previous life seemed simply to vanish, and of a daughter who transcends her mother's fears and reclaims an abandoned past.
"One day I will tell you the story of my life," promises Emma Brockes's mother, "and you will be amazed." Brockes grew up hearing only pieces of her mother's past--stories of a rustic childhood in South Africa, glimpses of a bohemian youth in London--and yet knew that crucial facts were still in the dark. A mystery to her friends and family, Paula was clearly a strong, self-invented woman; glamorous, no-nonsense, and frequently out of place in their quaint English village. In awe of Paula's larger-than-life personality, Brockes never asked why her mother emigrated to England or why she never returned to South Africa; never questioned the source of her mother's strange fears or tremendous strengths.
Looking to unearth the truth after Paula's death, Brockes begins a dangerous journey into the land--and the life--her mother fled from years before. Brockes soon learns that Paula's father was a drunk megalomaniac who terrorized Paula and her seven half-siblings for years. After finally mustering the courage to take her father to court, Paula is horrified to see the malevolent man vindicated of all charges. As Brockes discovers, this crushing defeat left Paula with a choice: take her own life, or promise herself never to be intimidated or unhappy again. Ultimately she chooses life and happiness by booking one-way passage to London--but not before shooting her father five times, and failing to kill him. Smuggling the fateful gun through English customs would be Paula's first triumph in her new life.
She Left Me the Gun carries Brockes to South Africa to meet her seven aunts and uncles, weighing their stories against her mother's silences. Brockes learns of the violent pathologies and racial propaganda in which her grandfather was inculcated, sees the mine shafts and train yards where he worked as an itinerant mechanic, and finds in buried government archives the court records proving his murder conviction years before he first married. Brockes also learns of the turncoat stepmother who may have perjured herself to save her husband, dooming Paula and her siblings to the machinations of their hated father.
Most of all, She Left Me the Gun reveals how Paula reinvented herself to lead a full, happy life. As she follows her mother's footsteps back to South Africa, Brockes begins to find the wellsprings of her mother's strength, the tremendous endurance which allowed Paula to hide secrets from even her closest friends and family. But as the search through cherished letters and buried documents deepens, Brockes realizes with horror that her mother's great success as a parent was concealing her terrible past--and that unearthing these secrets threatens to undo her mother's work.
A beguiling and unforgettable journey across generations and continents, She Left Me the Gun chronicles Brockes's efforts to walk the knife-edge between understanding her mother's unspeakable traumas and embracing the happiness she chose for her daughter.
In this New York Times bestseller, follow the author of The Notebook as he travels the world with his brother learning about faith, loss, connection, and hope.
As moving as his bestselling works of fiction, Nicholas Sparks's unique memoir, written with his brother, chronicles the life-affirming journey of two brothers bound by memories, both humorous and tragic. In January 2003, Nicholas Sparks and his brother, Micah, set off on a three-week trip around the globe. It was to mark a milestone in their lives, for at thirty-seven and thirty-eight respectively, they were now the only surviving members of their family.
Against the backdrop of the wonders of the world and often overtaken by their feelings, daredevil Micah and the more serious, introspective Nicholas recalled their rambunctious childhood adventures and the tragedies that tested their faith. And in the process, they discovered startling truths about loss, love, and hope.
Narrated with irrepressible humor and rare candor, and including personal photos, THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER reminds us to embrace life with all its uncertainties...and most of all, to cherish the joyful times, both small and momentous, and the wonderful people who make them possible.
Watson, Jessica, 1993-
On May 15, 2010, after 210 days at sea and more than 22,000 nautical miles, 16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed her 33-foot boat triumphantly back to land. She had done it. She was the youngest person to sail solo, unassisted, and nonstop around the world.
Jessica spent years preparing for this moment, years focused on achieving her dream. Yet only eight months before, she collided with a 63,000-ton freighter. It seemed to many that she'd failed before she'd even begun, but Jessica brushed herself off, held her head high, and kept going.
Told in Jessica's own words, True Spirit is the story of her epic voyage. It tells how a young girl, once afraid of everything, decided to test herself on an extraordinary adventure that included gale-force winds, mountainous waves, hazardous icebergs, and extreme loneliness on a vast sea, with no land in sight and no help close at hand. True Spirit is an inspiring story of risk, guts, determination, and achievement that ultimately proves we all have the power to live our dreams--no matter how big or small.
Marshall, John, 1965- author
For readers of Three Cups of Tea; Eat, Pray, Love; and Wild comes the inspiring story of an ordinary American family that embarks on an extraordinary journey. Wide-Open World follows the Marshall family as they volunteer their way around the globe, living in a monkey sanctuary in Costa Rica, teaching English in rural Thailand, and caring for orphans in India. There's a name for this kind of endeavor-- voluntourism --and it might just be the future of travel.
Oppressive heat, grueling bus rides, backbreaking work, and one vicious spider monkey . . . Best family vacation ever!
John Marshall needed a change. His twenty-year marriage was falling apart, his seventeen-year-old son was about to leave home, and his fourteen-year-old daughter was lost in cyberspace. Desperate to get out of a rut and reconnect with his family, John dreamed of a trip around the world, a chance to leave behind, if only just for a while, routines and responsibilities. He didn't have the money for resorts or luxury tours, but he did have an idea that would make traveling the globe more affordable and more meaningful than he'd ever imagined: The family would volunteer their time and energy to others in far-flung locales.
Wide-Open World is the inspiring true story of the six months that changed the Marshall family forever. Once they'd made the pivotal decision to go, John and his wife, Traca, quit their jobs, pulled their kids out of school, and embarked on a journey that would take them far off the beaten path, and far out of their comfort zones.
Here is the totally engaging, bluntly honest chronicle of the Marshalls' life-altering adventure from Central America to East Asia. It was no fairy tale. The trip offered little rest, even less relaxation, and virtually no certainty of what was to come. But it did give the Marshalls something far more valuable: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conquer personal fears, strengthen family bonds, and find their true selves by helping those in need. In the end, as John discovered, he and his family did not change the world. It was the world that changed them.
Praise for Wide-Open World
"Marshall's use of rich details locates readers firmly in each time and place, enabling them to sense the adventure, wonder and joy he experienced in his surroundings and in watching his children grow into hardworking, more responsible teens, as well as the frustrations and disappointments he and his family inevitably encountered along the way. A great armchair adventure that should inspire others to consider voluntourism as a way to help others and see the world." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Each new location combines beautiful scenery with a dose of sentiment, a good deal of humor, and some heartfelt consideration of the human condition. . . . His philosophy may not fit everyone and the ending is bittersweet, but this is an enticing call to service." -- Publishers Weekly
" Wide-Open World is an adventure made up of countless small moments of human connection. It's an armchair travelogue that may well inspire you to do good off the beaten path." -- BookPage
"For anyone who has ever imagined what it would be like to pack up, unplug, pull the kids out of school, and travel around the world, this volunteer adventure is your ticket. Wide-Open World will move, engage, and inspire you, even if you never leave the couch." --Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
Strayed, Cheryl, 1968- author
Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection.
A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State--and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.
Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Marquis, Sarah, 1972- author
10,000 miles on foot
8 pairs of hiking boots
3,000 cups of tea
1,000 days and nights
"The only way to survive three years of walking was to embrace the moment of now."--from Wild by Nature
Not since Cheryl Strayed gifted us with her adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail in her memoir, Wild, has there been such a powerful epic adventure by a woman alone. In Wild by Nature, National Geographic Explorer Sarah Marquis takes you on the trail of her ten-thousand-mile solo hike across the remote Gobi desert from Siberia to Thailand, at which point she was transported by boat to complete the hike at her favorite tree in Australia.
Against nearly insurmountable odds and relying on hunting and her own wits, Sarah Marquis survived the Mafia, drug dealers, thieves on horseback who harassed her tent every night for weeks, temperatures from subzero to scorching, life-threatening wildlife, a dengue fever delirium in the Laos jungle, tropic ringworm in northern Thailand, dehydration, and a life-threatening abscess.
This is an incredible story of adventure, human ingenuity, persistence, and resilience that shows firsthand what it is to adventure as a woman in the most dangerous of circumstance, what it is to be truly alone in the wild, and why someone would challenge themselves with an expedition others would call crazy. For Marquis, her story is about freedom, being alive and wild by nature.
Bown, Mike Spencer, author
"This is the account of twenty-three years of wilderness wandering, sea voyages and overland treks to survey the earth, with no home or possessions other than what fit in my trusty backpack. There was no specific destination in mind except to visit countries, not the airports and luxury hotels but the country itself, to experience local culture and ways of life. This entailed sleeping in tribesmen's huts and cheap hostels and using local transportation whenever possible: traversing jungle roads packed eighteen souls to a single Peugeot station wagon in Guinea-Bissau, boating the length of the Amazon snacking on roasted piranha, and hitchhiking across Iraq during the war. I've floated on dilapidated ferries across surging estuaries, ridden horseback or in military trucks across deserts and plains, followed the course of rivers, crossed wastelands, bused and trekked through deep jungle, traversed mountain ranges and lounged on the remotest beaches. I adopted local customs and ate local food: roasted goat's eye as the guest of honour at a Mongolian tribal feast, alligator nuggets, mystery kabobs, 'bush meat' ubiquitous to certain regions of Africa ... but drew the line at wheelbarrows brimming over with smoked monkey corpses. A man's got to know his limitations." --Mike Spencer Bown
In 1990, Calgary-born Mike Spencer Bown packed a backpack and began a journey that would eventually take him through each of the world's 195 countries and span more than two decades. From relaxing on the white sand beaches of Bali to waiting out blizzards in Tibetan caves, Bown trekked from country to country, driven by a desire to see the world in the most authentic way possible, not to just collect stamps on his passport. Eventually, he began to earn international recognition for some of his more unconventional destinations--such as a memorable trip to war-torn Mogadishu.
The World's Most Travelled Man is an eye-opening account of the universal human experience as seen from each corner of the changing world. Blending a romantic connection to nature through solitude and the social examination of culture, Bown fully immerses himself in each experience, however diverse, dangerous or dirty, veering way, way off the backpacker circuit to see the world through an unparalleled perspective. The World's Most Travelled Man is a journey of global proportions shared with the humility of a man who simply wants to satisfy his own curiosity and live life to the fullest.
Mayes, Frances, 1941-
The author who unforgettably captured the experience of starting a new life in Tuscany in bestselling travel memoirs expands her horizons to immerse herself--and her readers--in the sights, aromas, and treasures of twelve new special places.
A Year in the World is vintage Frances Mayes--a celebration of the allure of travel, of serendipitous pleasures found in unlikely locales, of memory woven into the present, and of a joyous sense of quest. An ideal travel companion, Frances Mayes brings to the page the curiosity of an intrepid explorer, remarkable insights into the wonder of the everyday, and a compelling narrative style that entertains as it informs.
With her beloved Tuscany as a home base, Mayes travels to Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, and to the Mediterranean world of Turkey, Greece, the South of Italy, and North Africa. In Andalucía, she relishes the intersection of cultures. She cooks in Portugal, gathers ideas in the gardens of England and Scotland, takes a literary pilgrimage to Burgundy, discovers an ideal place to live in Mantova, and explores the essential Moroccan city of Fez. She rents houses among ordinary residents, shops at neighborhood markets, wanders the back streets, and everywhere contemplates the concept of home. While in Greece, she follows the classic Homeric voyage across the Aegean, lives in a bougainvillea-draped stone house in Crete, and then drives deep into the Mani. In Turkey with friends, she sails the ancient coast, hiking to archaeological sites and snorkeling over sunken Byzantine towns. Weaving together personal perceptions and informed commentary on art, architecture, history, landscape, and social and culinary traditions of each area, Mayes brings the immediacy of life in her temporary homes to the reader. An illuminating and passionate book that will be savored by all who loved Under the Tuscan Sun, A Year in the World is travel writing at its peak.