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Month: August 2014

Steep Trails

Steep Trails by John Muir

Steep Trails by John Muir

A collection of Muir’s previously unpublished essays, released shortly after his death. “This volume will meet, in every way, the high expectations of Muir’s readers. The recital of his experiences during a stormy night on the summit of Mount Shasta will take rank among the most thrilling of his records of adventure. His observations on the dead towns of Nevada, and on the Indians gathering their harvest of pine nuts, recall a phase of Western life that has left few traces in American literature. … The landscapes that Muir saw … will live in good part only in his writings, for fire, axe, plough, and gunpowder have made away with the supposedly boundless forest wildernesses and their teeming life.”

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Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes

Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson

Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson

Travels With a Donkey is regarded as a classic of travel writing and an early inspiration for the idea of long-distance walking for pleasure – many a modern traveler follows the Stevenson Trail, now part of France’s national network of long-distance walking routes.

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The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures by John Henry Patterson

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures by John Henry Patterson

In 1898, during the construction of river-crossing bridge for the Uganda Railway at the Tsavo River, as many as 135 railway workers were attacked at night, dragged into the wilderness, and devoured by two male lions.

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo is the autobiographical account of Royal Engineer Lt. Col. J.H. Patterson’s African adventures. Among them, his hunt for the two man-eaters.

This book was the basis for the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness.

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The Wreck of the Titan

The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson

The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson

This novel was published a full 14 years before the sinking of the Titanic, but listeners may be surprised at how many parallels this fictional tale has with subsequent true events.

The Titan is the largest and most technologically advanced steamship of her time. She is considered unsinkable. Her full speed crossings of the Northern Lane Route carry her rich passengers in the highest standards of luxury and comfort. The less well-off travel in rougher quarters but still benefit from the speed of travel. These crossings, however, are fraught with navigational hazards, the greatest of which is ice.

Unlike the ship, one member of her crew is not of the highest standard. At least, not anymore. John Rowland is a broken man who drinks to forget his past. However, when the Titan crashes into an iceberg during her attempt to break a speed record, he is forced to confront his past. Can he overcome his enemies and escape as the ship begins to sink? And can he make his way back to civilization and find self-respect once more? Adventure and soul-searching await Rowland, with a surprise ending.

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Beasts, Men and Gods

Beasts, Men and Gods by Ferdinand Ossendowski

Beasts, Men and Gods by Ferdinand Ossendowski

Ferdinand Ossendowski was a Pole who found himself in Siberia and on the losing side during the Bolshevik Revolution. To escape being rounded up and shot, he set out with a friend to reach the Pacific, there to take ship back to Europe. During his journey he fell in with dozens of other military men who shared the same objective… but nearly every one of them perished on the way.

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