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A Sense of Place: Stories about Travel: 

A Sense of Place: Stories about Travel In the BEHS Library

UNITED STATES: 

UNITED STATES

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson: 

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson Bryson’s hilarious account of attempting to hike the Appalachian Trail. Paired with an out of shape hiking partner, he soon learns the dangers and difficulties of avoiding trailside traumas such as obnoxious hikers, overweight backpacks, and irritating, pesky creatures.

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson: 

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson A travelogue by Bill Bryson is as close to a sure thing as funny books get. The Lost Continent is no exception. Following an urge to rediscover his youth (he should know better), the author leaves his native Des Moines, Iowa, in a journey that takes him across 38 states. Lucky for us, he brought a notebook. With a razor wit and a kind heart, Bryson serves up a colorful tale of boredom, kitsch, and beauty when you least expect it.

Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horowitz: 

Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horowitz Horowitz travels the American South and East Coast, visiting Civil War battlefields and reporting on the unusual people he meets.

Road Swing by Steve Rushin: 

Road Swing by Steve Rushin Rushin, a reporter for Sports Illustrated, describes the year he took off from his job to visit famous and obscure sports sites throughout the U.S.

Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon: 

Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon William Least Heat Moon tells of the time he spent traveling the "blue highways"--backroads--of American from the East to West Coasts, and the unusual people met along the way.

Travels With Charley In Search of America by John Steinbeck: 

Travels With Charley In Search of America by John Steinbeck Steinbeck traveled from coast to coast at sixty years of age with his French poodle, Charley, and made observations about nature and culture across America.

Bad Land: An American Romance by Jonathan Raban: 

Bad Land: An American Romance by Jonathan Raban Examines the westward migration of homesteaders into the Montana and Dakota plains looking at the people who settled the area and the hardships they endured.

Travels With Lizbeth by Lars Eighner: 

Travels With Lizbeth by Lars Eighner The author recounts his experiences with homelessness and the struggles that he and his dog faced in their life on the street.

Dharma Girl by Chelsea Cain: 

Dharma Girl by Chelsea Cain Cain, a lifelong Bellingham resident and the daughter of two former hippies, travels across the U.S. with her mother to discover her roots and revisit the commune where she spent her early years.

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Time and Place by Terry Tempest Williams: 

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Time and Place by Terry Tempest Williams When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Williams looks to the wilderness for answers about how to cope and find peace. She found solace in Utah, where the natural landscape, beautiful and peaceful, was being threatened by global warming.

I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson: 

I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson The author, a U.S. born citizen who lived in England for twenty years, describes the experiences he had when he returned to America to live with his family. In a series of very funny essays, he comments on a variety of aspects of life in America and the differences between the U.S. and Britain.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt: 

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this city. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of non-fiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case. It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the 'soul of pampered self-absorption'; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city is certain to become a modern classic. (Barnes and Noble.com).

Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain by Michael Paterniti: 

Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain by Michael Paterniti Paterniti follows up on a story he once heard that Einstein’s brain has been stored, since his death, in a Tupperware container, in a basement in New Jersey. When he learns the story is true, he tracks down the man who is storing the brain, and the two of them decide to travel across the country to deliver it to Einstien’s last living relative.

The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill: 

The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill Julia Butterfly Hill spend a year living in an ancient cedar tree named “Luna” to try to stop the Maxaam Corporation from chopping down the tree as part of their clear-cutting. Hill’s story is one about environmentalism, courage, and the rescue of the natural Californian landscape.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer: 

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer Krakauer retraces the steps across the American West that were followed by Chris McCandless, a young man from a well-to-do family who mysteriously forfeited his inheritance to live alone in the wilderness of Alaska but was found dead only months after beginning his journey.

All Over But the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg: 

All Over But the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg Rick Bragg tells of his mother, who single-handedly raised three sons while working as a cotton-picker and ironing woman in the South. Bragg attributes his success as a journalist (he has won the Pulitzer Prize) to his mother’s sacrifices, which allowed him to go to school rather than work, and then edge his way up the ladder of success in his profession.

AFRICA: 

AFRICA

The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa by Rick Ridgeway: 

The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa by Rick Ridgeway The author shares the story of his experiences while on a five-hundred-kilometer walking tour of East Africa from Mt. Kilimanjaro to the shores of the Indian Ocean; and discusses some of the environmental issues that are threatening the land.

Looking for Lovedu: Days and Nights in Africa by Ann Jones: 

Looking for Lovedu: Days and Nights in Africa by Ann Jones When Ann Jones decided to travel overland from Tangier to the southern tip of Africa with an Englishman she barely knew, she lived firsthand the worst and best of travel. Muggleton, at 28 half Jones's age and twice her size, turns out to be a road warrior with a foul temper who insists on charging headlong across a continent with practically no roads. The chasms of mud and water that cover the "roads" of Zaire cause the duo innumerable hardships and frustrations. Muggleton comes down with malaria, Jones's feet turn gray and her toenails fall off, the jeep falls to pieces--all to cover in five days what passing Africans walk in two.

Malaria Dreams: An African Adventure. By Stuart Stevens  : 

Malaria Dreams: An African Adventure. By Stuart Stevens  Malaria Dreams is a tale of high adventure across Africa, recounted with the wit and humor that delighted readers of Night Train to Turkistan, Stuart Stevens's highly praised first book. The story begins when a "geologist" friend mentions to Stevens that he has a Land Rover in the Central African Republic which he'd like to get back to Europe. It's only later, when Stevens discovers that half of Africa thinks his friend is a spy and the other half is convinced he's a diamond smuggler, that the intrepid author begins to realize he should have asked a few more questions before leaving home. And then there's the small problem of the Land Rover's seizure by the minister of mines, who has appropriated it as his personal car. It is a new Land Rover. The minister likes it very much. Three months later, Stevens and his twenty-three-year-old companion (the only woman to ever transfer from Bryn Mawr to the University of Oklahoma) have somehow managed to drive-though not in the ill-fated Land Rover-across the wildest part of Africa, emerging scathed but still alive on the shores of the Mediterranean. Malaria Dreams takes readers along on close encounters with killer ants in Cameroon, revolutionary soldiers in the middle of Lake Chad (a huge mudhole lacking any water), and strangely frenzied Peace Corps parties in Niger. There's a long search for a functional set of springs in Timbuktu and near disastrous bouts with sickness and automotive malfunctions in the middle of the Sahara. Through it all, Stevens and his ex-fashion model companion battle the odds, and often each other, to return home to tell this unlikely, highly amusing tale.

The Names of Things: A Passage in the Egyptian Desert by Susan Brind Morrow: 

The Names of Things: A Passage in the Egyptian Desert by Susan Brind Morrow Susan Brind Morrow takes readers from her magical and sometimes troubled childhood in New York State, to the austere splendors of the Egyptian desert. Written with a keen understanding of language, Brind Morrow traces the routes of ideas and images through word origins and time, bringing forth an inner life of words. (Publisher’s notes).

Take Me With You by Brad Newsham: 

Take Me With You by Brad Newsham After two decades of travels around the world, Brad Newsham decides to pack his bags again to return the gift of magic that travel has brought into his life. His plan is to give a little of that back to someone he meets along the way--to invite a new untraveled friend to visit him, all-expenses paid, in America. Over the course of 100 days through the Philippines, India, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, he asks, "What would these [people] make of my culture?

AUSTRALIA: 

AUSTRALIA

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson: 

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson Australia, Bryson informs us in his hilarious travelogue, has more things that can kill you than any other continent—and then he goes about telling us stories of various travelers and their unfortunate encounters with these dangers. In the meantime, he also tells a very funny story of his own journey through the land down under.

The Lost Tribe: A Harrowing Passage into New Guinea’s Heart of Darkness by Edward Marriott: 

The Lost Tribe: A Harrowing Passage into New Guinea’s Heart of Darkness by Edward Marriott The author shares his experiences searching for the Liawep tribe, a group of less than one hundred natives found living in the deep jungle of Papua New Guinea in 1993, and discusses what happened to the small society of primitive people when they were confronted with modern life.

ANTARCTICA: 

ANTARCTICA

Mrs. Chippy’s Last Expedition by Caroline Alexander: 

Mrs. Chippy’s Last Expedition by Caroline Alexander A fact-based memoir in which Mrs. Chippy, a male cat belonging to the ship on which Sir Ernest Shackleton set out to explore Antarctica in 1914, discusses his role in keeping the expedition on the right track.

The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander: 

The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander Provides an account of the Shackleton expedition of 1914, during which explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven set out to cross the Antarctic continent on foot, only to have their ship, Endurance, break up eighty-five miles short of their destination, leaving them stranded for close to two years. Includes a photographic record of the adventure.

The Artarctic Challenged by Admiral Lord Mountevans: 

The Artarctic Challenged by Admiral Lord Mountevans Mountevans is the only living survivor of an expedition to Antarctica made by Scott in the International Geophysics Year (1956-9). He reviews all that is known about the Antarctic down to the 1956 expeditions and summarizes the dangerous features of the continent, the hardships there, and the possible valuable discoveries that were yet to be made.

THE MIDDLE EAST and ASIA: 

THE MIDDLE EAST and ASIA

Honeymoon in Purdah by Alison Wearing: 

Honeymoon in Purdah by Alison Wearing A collection of essays in which Canadian Alison Wearing reflects on the experiences she had while traveling through Iran and the wide variety of people she met while she was there. Her essays offer a humorous, insightful perspective on the land, people, culture, and politics of the country.

Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer: 

Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer Originally published in 1953, this adventure classic recounts Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer's 1943 escape from a British internment camp in India, his daring trek across the Himalayas, and his happy sojourn in Tibet, then, as now, a remote land little visited by foreigners. Warmly welcomed, he eventually became tutor to the Dalai Lama, teenaged god-king of the theocratic nation. The author's vivid descriptions of Tibetan rites and customs capture its unique traditions before the Chinese invasion in 1950, which prompted Harrer's departure. A 1996 epilogue details the genocidal havoc wrought over the past half-century.

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiesen: 

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiesen In the autumn of 1973, the writer Peter Matthiessen set out in the company of zoologist George Schaller on a hike that would take them 250 miles into the heart of the Himalayan region of Dolpo, "the last enclave of pure Tibetan culture on earth." Their voyage was in quest of one of the world's most elusive big cats, the snow leopard of high Asia, a creature so rarely spotted as to be nearly mythical; Schaller was one of only two Westerners known to have seen a snow leopard in the wild since 1950.

All the Way to Heaven by Stephen Alter: 

All the Way to Heaven by Stephen Alter Stephen Alter chronicles the experiences he had as he spent his childhood living at a hill station in the Himalayas and discusses how he and his brothers combined their American heritage with the Indian culture.

Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman: 

Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman The author recalls, in a series of humorous and serious essays, his experiences living in China, where he was a teacher of English and a student of martial arts.

Big Snake: The Hunt for the World’s Longest Python by Robert Twigger: 

Big Snake: The Hunt for the World’s Longest Python by Robert Twigger Poet Robert Twigger sets out in East Asia to claim a prize established by Theodore Roosevelt to reward anyone who captured alive the longest snake in the world. In the 86 years that the prize went unclaimed, the money grew from $1000 to $50,000 and Twigger was determined to earn it, so he set off to find the snake—without experience or a strategy.

Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China’s Ancient Silk Road by Stuart Stevens: 

Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China’s Ancient Silk Road by Stuart Stevens A very funny account of Stevens’ journey to Chinese Turkistan, which had been closed to visitors since 1949.

Talking to High Monks in the Snow: An Asian American Odyssey by Lydia Minatoya: 

Talking to High Monks in the Snow: An Asian American Odyssey by Lydia Minatoya Lydia Minatoya, a Japanese American, returns to her ancestral village in Japan, where her "reunion" with distant family members is both hilarious and moving.

Within Reach: My Everest Story by Mark Pfetzer: 

Within Reach: My Everest Story by Mark Pfetzer The author describes how he spent his teenage years climbing mountains in the United States, South America, Africa, and Asia, with an emphasis on his two expeditions up Mount Everest.

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer: 

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer In the spring of 1996, twelve climbers perished on Mount Everest. Some were experienced mountaineers, but several were not—they were wealthy individuals who had paid for the opportunity to summit the world’s most formidable mountain. Krakauer, a climber in another group, was nevertheless a part of the tragedy and in this account of the events, he admits guilt over what happened, and wonders whether he could have something that would have prevented the tragedy.

FRANCE: 

FRANCE

Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France by Peter Mayle: 

Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France by Peter Mayle After returning briefly to the United States, the author goes back to his home in Southern France and resumes his life as a permanent guest of the French people. His tales of life abroad paint a humorous picture of the French people and culture.

ITALY: 

ITALY

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes: 

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes Frances Mayes starts off by saying "I am about to buy a house in a foreign country. A house with the beautiful name of Bramasole." Tall, square and apricot-colored with faded green shutters, the lovely old farm house that Frances and her husband buy is in Tuscany. They return every summer, they tend the olives and grapes, they plant potatoes and build a stone wall. The book has Tuscan soil under its fingernails, Tuscan sun on its back and the flavor of Tuscany throughout.

Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes: 

Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes Following up on her bestselling novel, Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes returns to her beloved villa in the small hill town of Cortona, Italy. Welcomed back like an old friend, she is soon puttering in the garden, and as Mayes devotees might expect, busy in the kitchen as well. As Mayes rediscovers her taste for la dolce vita, she embarks on a journey of cultural awakening and embraces a newfound romance with the Italian language and people. (www.amazon.com)

SOUTH AMERICA: 

SOUTH AMERICA

Along the Inca Road: A Woman’s Journey into an Ancient Empire by Karin Muller: 

Along the Inca Road: A Woman’s Journey into an Ancient Empire by Karin Muller Amazon.com What's an American woman doing shaking a pink cape at a bull on a hillside in Peru? Ask Karin Muller, a self-described vagabond who is game for anything, especially if it's a traditionally male task in strictly sex role-divided South America. After years of contemplating the thin red line of the Inca Road on her map of the world, Muller takes off with a grant from the National Geographic Society (which also supplied a cameraman) for a six-month jaunt through Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Chile. Along the way, she searches for remnants of the ancient stone-paved road and jumps headfirst into whatever adventure she can find. First stop, a cuy doctor whacks her on the back and head with a whimpering guinea pig, then offers her a diagnosis based on the quality of the animal's intestines. She's tear-gassed in an indigenous antigovernment protest, and dresses in an orange cloak, gold sparkles, and black face paint (a concoction made of tar and animal fat) to pull a 200-pound roast pig during the Festival of Mama Negra. In a surreal moment, she witnesses the mysterious crash of a Brazilian military helicopter in the Andean highlands, and in a horrific one, crawls through a mole-like tunnel deep into a mountainside where men spend years digging for gold, leaving only to eat, wash, and haul their ore 423 steps to a giant crushing machine. She even watches a military crew clear live mines planted by Peruvians during the Ecuador-Peruvian border war. Throughout her adventures, Muller weaves a lively history of the rise and fall of the Incan empire.

Pass the Butterworms by Tim Cahill: 

Pass the Butterworms by Tim Cahill "Outside" magazine editor Tim Cahill tells of his adventures and exotic dining experiences in remote areas of the world such as Honduras, Peru, Iranian Jaya, and the North Pole.

Road Fever: A High-Speed Travelogue by Tim Cahill: 

Road Fever: A High-Speed Travelogue by Tim Cahill If you define "adventure travel" as anything that's more fun to read about than to live through, then Tim Cahill's Road Fever is the adventure of a lifetime. Along with professional long-distance driver Garry Sowerby, Cahill drove 15,000 miles from the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego to the northernmost terminus of the Dalton Highway in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, from one end of the world to another, in a record-breaking 23 1/2 days. Just like the authors' camper-shelled GMC Sierra truck, the narrative bounces along at a relentless pace. Along the way Cahill and Sowerby cope with mood swings, engine trouble, Andean cliffs, obstinate bureaucracies, slick highways, armed and uncomprehending soldiery (not to mention the challenges of securing O.P.M., or Other People's Money--the sine qua non of adventure, Cahill observes). Author of such off-the-wall travelogues as Pass the Butterworms and Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, Cahill is equipped with the correct amalgam of chutzpah and dementia to survive what can only be called "The Road Trip From Hell." Readers, however, will thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Running the Amazon by Joe Kane: 

Running the Amazon by Joe Kane In 1985 a team of hand-picked adventurers, including writer Joe Kane, embarked on a journey that would take them to the remote headwaters of the Amazon Basin. But that was just the beginning of the trip. Their goal: to navigate the world's longest river from source to mouth, a feat never before recorded. After reaching (via a goat trail) a glacial trickle above 17,000 feet--debatably the farthest source of the Amazon--the team descends to a point where kayaks can be deployed. From there the trip entails kayaking through one of the nastiest white-water canyons on the planet, a stretch of water that has previously claimed the lives or quickly halted the plans of all who attempted to conquer it; navigating an unmapped gorge known affectionately as the Abyss; sneaking through the "Red Zone," an area closed to foreigners and occupied by the notorious Shining Path rebels; and, finally, paddling to the Atlantic by sea kayak through 3,000 miles of hot jungle. Hired initially to chronicle the project from dry land, Kane quickly assumes a more integral role as a much-needed paddler, and as such he is able to provide vivid, first-hand descriptions of the treacherous water encountered. But in many ways the water is the least imposing obstacle to success. Along the way the team is beset by financial difficulties, a crisis of leadership, attacks from armed rebels, and the defection of team members. Kane's account of this six-month ordeal is much more than a travelogue of athletic endeavor--it's a fascinating portrait of the planning, politics, and personal struggles involved in mounting a modern-day expedition through a vast expanse of largely uncharted territory.

American Chica by Marie Arana: 

American Chica by Marie Arana The author, who grew up in Peru in the 1950s, was surrounded by native servants who filled her with magical legends and tales of fearsome spirits; when she moved to New Jersey with her family in 1959, the author found herself slipping between cultures and choosing when to be American and when to be Peruvian.

My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn by David Hays and Daniel Hays: 

My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn by David Hays and Daniel Hays The account of a father and son's voyage from New London, Connecticut, around Cape Horn, and back in a 25 foot boat.

SPAIN: 

SPAIN

Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart: 

Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart When English sheep shearer Chris Stewart (once a drummer for Genesis) bought an isolated farmhouse in the mountains outside of Granada, Spain, he was fully aware that it didn't have electricity, running water, or access to roads. But he had little idea of the headaches and hilarity that would follow (including scorpions, runaway sheep, and the former owner who won't budge). This rip-roaringly funny book about seeking a place in an earthy community of peasants and shepherds gives a realistic sense of the hassles and rewards of foreign relocation. Stewart's hilarious and beautifully written passages are deep in their honest perceptions of the place and the sometimes xenophobic natives, whose reception of the newcomers ranges from warm to gruff.