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Down South, or Yacht Adventures in Florida

Down South, or Yacht Adventures in Florida by Oliver Optic

Down South, or Yacht Adventures in Florida by Oliver Optic

“Down South” is the fifth and last volume but one of the “Great Western Series.” The action of the story is confined entirely to Florida; and this fact may seem to belie the title of the Series. But the young yachtsman still maintains his hold upon the scenes of his earlier life in Michigan, and his letters come regularly from that State. If he were old enough to vote, he could do so only in Michigan; and therefore he has not lost his right to claim a residence there during his temporary sojourn in the South. Besides, half his ship’s company are Western boys, who carry with them from “The Great Western” family of States whatever influence they possess in their wanderings through other sections of the grand American Union.

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Meridiana: The Adventure of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa

Meridiana: The Adventure of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa by Jules Verne

Meridiana: The Adventure of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa by Jules Verne

Three Englishmen and Three Russians travel across the width of South Africa to measure a meridian. The outbreak of the Crimean War makes the Russians enemy agents in an English colony.

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The Night the Mountain Fell

The Night the Mountain Fell by Edmund Christopherson

The Night the Mountain Fell by Edmund Christopherson

A severe earthquake, centered in the vacation area of West Yellowstone, Montana, shook the ground and its inhabitants and visitors on August 17, 1959, at 11.37 pm. A mountainside fell, a lake formed, roads and houses disappeared, people were trapped, people died. The author of this narrative went to the area the day after the quake, took first-hand stories of the catastrophe, researched in the following months, and wrote this account within a year of the shaking. The printed source has many informative photographs.

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Cycling in the Alps

Cycling in the Alps by C. L. Freeston

Cycling in the Alps by C. L. Freeston

A guide to cycling in the European Alps in the days before surfaced roads and automobile tourism. As the author explains, the spectacular views are well worth the effort of pushing your bicycle up the passes and perfectly safe as long as your cycle is equipped with brakes.

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The Ins and Outs of Paris

The Ins and Outs of Paris by Julie de Marguerittes

The Ins and Outs of Paris by Julie de Marguerittes

Paris has been often described, by travelers, by artists, by savants, by friends and by enemies, yet it was after reading most of the works descriptive of Paris that I felt how much there was still to be written, if not about Paris, at least about the Parisians.

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Stories From the Adirondacks

Stories From the Adirondacks by Albert A. Young

Stories From the Adirondacks by Albert A. Young

A collection of five stories all of which take place in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, and most which contain elements of some mystery hidden deep within the forests.

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Carpenter’s Geographical Reader: Asia

Carpenter's Geographical Reader: Asia by Frank G. Carpenter

Carpenter's Geographical Reader: Asia by Frank G. Carpenter

Through travelogues, lifestyle descriptions and cultural notes the reader will visit China, Japan, India, Korea, parts of the Holy Land and Turkey as they were in the early 20th century.

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Fast in the Ice

Fast in the Ice by R. M. Ballantyne

Fast in the Ice by R. M. Ballantyne

At the age of 16 Ballantyne went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His rule in writing, being in every case, was to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described.

In this book he details the lives of the crew as they must overwinter in the frozen north including their meetings with Eskimos and bears and their struggles with disease. This is a realistic account of what life was like for the explorers of the Arctic.

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The Mariner of St. Malo

The Mariner of St. Malo by Stephen Leacock

The Mariner of St. Malo by Stephen Leacock

Jacques Cartier grew up as a sailor, married well and became an agent of exploration for King Francis I of France. In April, 1534, he sailed for the New World. Before sailing, his men took an oath that they would “behave themselves truly and faithfully in the service of the Most Christian King.” Jacques’ name was made immortal by the faithfulness with which he and his men carried out that oath.

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Diary of a U-Boat Commander

Diary of a U-Boat Commander by Sir Stephen King-Hall

Diary of a U-Boat Commander by Sir Stephen King-Hall

Captain Karl von Schenk of the Kaiser’s Navy is a stereotypical German nobleman – supremely self-confident, touchy about the divisions of class and any infringement on his place. He thinks he is handsome, has a suitably manly physique, an excellent singing voice, and a facility with writing. His wartime service related in his diary is a series of triumphs over harrowing circumstances, bringing his boat back in spite of the best efforts of the Royal Navy to stop him.

His one vulnerability is a young lady he meets on leave in Bruges, Belgium. Although she is the trophy girlfriend of a German colonel who could cause him much harm if he were to find out, von Schenk pursues his Zoe with Teutonic straightforwardness. And both he and the reader are entirely blind-sided by the unexpected thunderclap that puts an end to the sweet affair.

Stephen King-Hall, a Royal Navy officer during the war and writing as “Etienne”, penned this book as if he had simply discovered it on a surrendered submarine. In fact, some editions of the book list the author as “anonymous.” King-Hall’s knowledge of naval affairs lend authority to this yarn of men that go to the sea in ships that sink… on purpose.

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