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The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arctic
Edward Beauclerk Maurice
0618517510
November 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Maurice was a 16-year-old boy from a struggling British family when a missionary from the Canadian Arctic paid a visit to his boarding school in 1930. Impressed by an accompanying film about life in the frozen territories, Maurice immediately sought employment as an apprentice with the Hudson's Bay Company and was sent to a remote trading post, where news from the outside world was often limited to a short weekly radio broadcast. He was so young, the local Inuit tribe nicknamed him "The Boy," but, as revealed over the course of this charming memoir, he was gradually able to win their trust and admiration. Eventually placed in charge of his own post, Maurice—having already learned the Inuit language—became increasingly involved in the daily lives of the local tribe members. His accounts of their...


Endurance
Alfred Lansing
078670621X
Apr 1999
(Paperback) - Revised Ed.
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Book Review
In the summer of 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off aboard the Endurance bound for the South Atlantic. The goal of his expedition was to cross the Antarctic overland, but more than a year later, and still half a continent away from the intended base, the Endurance was trapped in ice and eventually was crushed. For five months Shackleton and his crew survived on drifting ice packs in one of the most savage regions of the world before they were finally able to set sail again in one of the ship's lifeboats. Alfred Lansing's Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage is a white-knuckle account of this astounding odyssey. Through the diaries of team members and interviews with survivors, Lansing reconstructs the months of terror and hardship the Endurance crew suffered. In October of 1915, there "were no...


The Explorer King: Adventure, Science, and the Great Diamond Hoax--Clarence King in the Old West
Robert Wilson
0743260252
February 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Clarence King (1842–1901) was the Indiana Jones of the 19th century. His dangerous 1864 passage across the Sierra Nevadas in California was hailed as ushering in "a new era in American mountaineering," during which his discovery of metamorphosed fossils helped determine the age of the Sierra Nevada gold belt—time-saving information for prospectors. In 1872, his debunking of fantastic claims of a "diamond field" in northwestern Colorado made him a national hero. King also wrote several landmark studies of mining, geology and mountaineering. American Scholar editor Wilson has produced an affectionate account of King's life that emphasizes the inevitable hardship of exploration as much as King's scientific achievements. King represented "a new paradigm of the western adventurer... the scientist-explorer,...


Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Aron Ralston
074349282X
Aug 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Ralston's story is one of the most gut-wrenching and compelling real-life adventures in recent years: in early 2003, the avid rock-climber and outdoorsman became trapped in a Utah mountain canyon when an 800-pound boulder pinned his right arm. He spent six days there, fighting both the physical challenges of pain and dehydration, and the psychological horror that eroded his hope and energy. Eventually, he amputated his own arm with his pocket knife in order to gain his freedom. It's a truly remarkable story, and hearing Ralston retell it is alternately fascinating and unbearable. After a brief setup that details his life as an adventurer, he arrives at his moment of horror, walking the listener in painstaking detail through everything he felt and thought; his honest and blunt language (" 'What are you doing,...


Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
Robert Kurson
0375508589
June 2004
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
This superlative journalistic narrative tells of John Chatterton and Rich Kohler, two deep-sea wreck divers who in 1991 dove to a mysterious wreck lying at the perilous depth of 230 feet, off the coast of New Jersey. Both had a philosophy of excelling and pushing themselves to the limit; both needed all their philosophy and fitness to proceed once they had identified the wreck as a WWII U-boat. As Kurson, a writer for Esquire, narrates in this debut, the two divers next undertook a seven-year search for the U-boat's identity inside the wreck, in a multitude of archives and in a host of human memories. Along the way, Chatterton's diving cost him a marriage, and Kohler's love for his German heritage helped turn him into a serious U-boat scholar. The two lost three of their diving companions on the wreck and their...


The Lady and the Panda
Vicki Constantine Croke
0375507833
July 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. During the Great Depression, inexpensive entertainment could be had at any city zoo. The exploits of the utterly macho men who bagged the beasts also made good adventure-film fodder. Yet one of the most famous animals ever brought to America—the giant panda—was captured by a woman, Ruth Harkness. Vicki Constantine Croke, the "Animal Beat" columnist for the Boston Globe, became fascinated by bohemian socialite Harkness, who was left alone and in difficult financial straits in 1936 after her husband died trying to bring a giant panda back from China. Instead of mourning, Harkness took on the mission. Arriving in Hong Kong with "a whiskey soda in one hand and a Chesterfield in the other," she soon found herself up against ruthless competitors, bandits, foul weather and warfare....


Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
Robert Kurson
0375760989
May 2005
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Kurson's chronicle of an extraordinary deep-sea discovery makes for a captivating audio experience. In 1991, divers John Chatterton and Rich Kohler came across the buried remains of a German submarine just off the coast of New Jersey. Unable to identify the ship and mystified as to its origins, the two men became obsessed with learning where the U-boat came from and what brought it to the bottom of the sea. Although the story's set-up, which comprises most of the first disc, drags, the pace picks up when the partners begin traveling the world, digging up clues. Reader Scott uses character voices but keeps them subdued, even when dealing with the salty language of the seamen. This is a wise move, since there's plenty of drama inherent in the text; lengthy and detailed passages describing deep-water dives, and the...


Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
Robert Kurson
0345482476
May 2005
Mass Market Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Kurson's chronicle of an extraordinary deep-sea discovery makes for a captivating audio experience. In 1991, divers John Chatterton and Rich Kohler came across the buried remains of a German submarine just off the coast of New Jersey. Unable to identify the ship and mystified as to its origins, the two men became obsessed with learning where the U-boat came from and what brought it to the bottom of the sea. Although the story's set-up, which comprises most of the first disc, drags, the pace picks up when the partners begin traveling the world, digging up clues. Reader Scott uses character voices but keeps them subdued, even when dealing with the salty language of the seamen. This is a wise move, since there's plenty of drama inherent in the text; lengthy and detailed passages describing deep-water dives, and the...


Alive
Piers Paul Read
038000321X
Dec 2002
Paperback
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-- Philadelphia Inquirer
"A GREAT BOOK ... AN INCREDIBLE SAGA. Read's accomplishment in recording a struggle both physical and spiritual is superb."

-- John Barkham Reviews
"THIS BOOK WILL EXCITE YOU, shock you, at times revolt you, but you are not likely to forget it."

See all Editorial Reviews


Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
Tony Horwitz
0641681321

Paperback
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The Grizzly Maze
Nick Jans
0525948864
July 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Jans (Tracks of the Unseen, etc.) presents a fast-paced, thoughtful and evenhanded account of the life and death of self-appointed bear guardian Timothy Treadwell, who, along with a girlfriend, was killed and eaten by grizzlies in Alaska's Katmai National Park in 2003. Treadwell had for 13 summers befriended the bears, camping in territory that includes a labyrinth of trails known as the "grizzly maze." No one knows why the grizzlies, normally tolerant of humans, turned on him. Two bears had to be shot, and many people felt vindicated by his death, because bear biologists and Park Service officials had for years criticized his activities, believing that contact with humans is not in the bears' best interest. Jans is ambivalent about Treadwell (whom he never met), sympathizing with his desire to communicate with...


Off the Map: Tales of Endurance and Exploration
As Told by Fergus Fleming
0871138999
September 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
No activity embraces risk like exploration. Success means glory and wealth; failure most likely entails an undocumented demise thousands of miles from home. This sturdy work recounts the memorable circumstances of history's greatest journeys of discovery. Former Time-Life Books editor Fleming (Killing Dragons) has mastered the craft of imparting huge swaths of information in an accessible way. Thematically(and sensibly) divided into three sections covering "Reconnaissance," "Inquiry" and "Endeavour," the book's 45 accounts lie at the intersection of individual obsessiveness and collective, often imperial, ambition. Whether elaborating on von Humboldt's accidental exploitation of guano (bird manure fertilizer), Henry Hudson's encounter with a mermaid or the French search for a Saharan field of emeralds, Fleming's...


Over the Edge of the World
Laurence Bergreen
006093638X
Nov 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Bergreen, who has penned biographies of James Agee, Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin and Al Capone, superbly recreates Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan's obsessive 16th-century quest, an ill-fated journey that altered Europe's perception of the planet: "It was a dream as old as the imagination: a voyage to the ends of the earth.... Mariners feared they could literally sail over the edge of the world." In 2001, Bergreen traveled the South American strait that bears Magellan's name, and he adds to that firsthand knowledge satellite images of Magellan's route plus international archival research. His day-by-day account incorporates the testimony of sailors, Francisco Albo's pilot's log and the eyewitness accounts of Venetian scholar Antonio Pigafetta, who was on the journey. Magellan's mission for...


The Last Voyage of Columbus
Martin Dugard
0316828831
June 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
"For a guy who's been dead five centuries," says Dugard, "Columbus was very much a physical presence as I wrote this book." The author's Columbus—who engages in swashbuckling deeds of derring-do as he explores the Caribbean and Central America in his fourth and final voyage (1502–1504)—is a guy's guy. Spurning views of Columbus as a harbinger of genocide, Dugard (Into Africa, etc.) senses virile, visionary boldness, a man "fuelled by focus and challenge." Unsullied by too much modern scholarship, this book is at heart a recasting of Washington Irving and Samuel Eliot Morison updated to appeal to readers of GQ and Sports Illustrated (for which Dugard has written). His is a sexy tale: Columbus flirts with the (much romanticized) queen Isabella; nautical mapmaking is "one of the world's sexiest new...


A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: The Life of William Dampier: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer
Diana Preston
042520037X
April 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
The pirate genius who inspired Darwin, Defoe, and Cook.

Seventeenth-century pirate genius William Dampier sailed around the world three times when crossing the Pacific was a major feat, was the first explorer to visit all five continents, and reached Australia eighty years before Captain Cook. His exploits created a sensation in Europe. Swift and Defoe used his experiences in writing Gulliver's Travels and Robinson Crusoe. Darwin incorporated his concept of "sub-species" into the theory of evolution. Dampier's description of breadfruit was the impetus for Captain Bligh's voyage on the Bounty. He was so influential that today he has more than one thousand entries in the Oxford English Dictionary, including such words as chopsticks, barbecue, and kumquat. Anthropologists still use his...


Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness
Donald L. Barlett
0393326020
September 2004
Paperback
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Robert Sherrill, Nation
The perfect biography of the weirdest, most fascinating, most god-awful corporate creature you will ever encounter in broad daylight.

John Justin Smith, Chicago Sun-Times
A dazzlingly reported, hard-nosed account...[A] fat, beautifully researched book.

See all Editorial Reviews


Arctic Homestead
Norma Cobb
0312283792
Feb 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Cobb holds a little-known but significant place in American history. As the last woman to claim land under the Homestead Act, in the 1970s, she was America's "last official woman pioneer." Using a direct, honest style that gives her writing an authentic frontier feel, Cobb, writing with Sasser (Fire Cops), relates the story of how she and her family of six "proved" their claim in northern Alaska. Over the course of the book, Cobb is transformed from a small-town girl into the driving force behind a courageous, isolated family braving the dangers of the Arctic wilderness. Through their ingenuity, determination and faith, the Cobbs endured the five years allotted by the government to improve their land, surviving harsh winters, bear and wolf attacks, money problems and degenerate neighbors who tried to kill them....


Shadow Divers
Robert Kurson
0739320831
May 2005
Audio Compact Disc - Abridged
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Kurson's chronicle of an extraordinary deep-sea discovery makes for a captivating audio experience. In 1991, divers John Chatterton and Rich Kohler came across the buried remains of a German submarine just off the coast of New Jersey. Unable to identify the ship and mystified as to its origins, the two men became obsessed with learning where the U-boat came from and what brought it to the bottom of the sea. Although the story's set-up, which comprises most of the first disc, drags, the pace picks up when the partners begin traveling the world, digging up clues. Reader Scott uses character voices but keeps them subdued, even when dealing with the salty language of the seamen. This is a wise move, since there's plenty of drama inherent in the text; lengthy and detailed passages describing deep-water dives, and the...


Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
Tony Horwitz
064161456X

Hardcover
·
 

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