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The South Pole

The South Pole by Roald Amundsen

The South Pole by Roald Amundsen

In contrast to Scott’s South Pole expedition, Amundsen’s expedition benefited from good equipment, appropriate clothing, and a fundamentally different primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs) Amundsen had a better understanding of dogs and their handling, and he used of skis more effectively. He pioneered an entirely new route to the Pole and they returned. In Amundsen’s own words: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.” Short accounts by other members of the party are appended.

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Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life

Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life by Lafcadio Hearn

Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life by Lafcadio Hearn

In an introductory paragraph, Lafcadio Hearn declares his intention: “The papers composing this volume treat of the inner rather than of the outer life of Japan, for which reason they have been grouped under the title Kokoro (heart). Written with the above character, this word signifies also mind, in the emotional sense; spirit; courage; resolve; sentiment; affection; and inner meaning, just as we say in English, “the heart of things.”” The result is a highly eclectic collection of stories, diary entries, cultural essays, and collected traditional texts that illustrate not only the state of Japanese society in the 1890s but also the endlessly fascinating issue of the intersection of cultures as demonstrated in a Westerner’s interpretations of what he observed in Japan. As much is revealed about the Western mind as the Japanese mind whenever such an intersection occurs.

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Parnassus on Wheels

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

Parnassus on Wheels is about a fictional traveling book-selling business. The original owner of the business, Roger Mifflin, sells it to 39-year-old Helen McGill, who is tired of taking care of her ailing older brother, Andrew. (summary from wikipedia)

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A Narrative of the Expedition to Dongola and Sennaar

A Narrative of the Expedition to Dongola and Sennaar by George Bethune English

A Narrative of the Expedition to Dongola and Sennaar by George Bethune English

As a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps during the War of 1812 assigned to Marine Corps headquarters, English sailed to the Mediterranean, and was among the first citizens of the United States known to have visited Egypt. Shortly after arriving in Egypt he resigned his commission, converted to Islam and joined Isma’il Pasha in an expedition up the Nile River against Sennar in 1820, winning distinction as an officer of artillery. He published his Narrative of the Expedition to Dongola and Sennaar (London 1822) regarding his exploits.

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On a Chinese Screen

On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham

On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham

This is a non-fiction collection of Maugham’s observations of life in Asia in the early 20th Century.

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Around the World on a Bicycle – Volume 1

Around the World on a Bicycle - Volume 1 by Thomas Stevens

Around the World on a Bicycle – Volume 1 by Thomas Stevens

Thomas Stevens was the first person to circle the globe by bicycle, a large-wheeled Ordinary. His journey started in April 1884 in San Francisco from where he cycled to Boston to take a steamer to England. Crossing England, France, Central Europe and Asia Minor before he was turned back at the borders of Afghanistan. He returned part of the way to take a ship to Karachi, from where he crossed India. Another steam ship brought him from Calcutta to Hong Kong, and from Shanghai he set over to Japan, finally ending his journey after actually cycling 13.500 miles in Yokohama, December 1886.

This is the first volume of his travel experiences, detailing the part of the journey from San Francisco to Teheran, where he spent the winter.

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Invisible Links

Invisible Links by Selma Lagerlöf

Invisible Links by Selma Lagerlöf

Invisible Links is a collection of short stories with an underlying theme about the links that influence and guide people’s actions and lives. The stories are often set in Lagerlöf’s Vaermland, but they also depict legends and history of Sweden, and some have connections to other works by Lagerlöf.

Selma Lagerlöf was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

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The Last of the Plainsmen

The Last of the Plainsmen by Zane Grey

The Last of the Plainsmen by Zane Grey

The Last of the Plainsman is about the outstanding true account of a trip made in 1909 by Zane Grey and a plainsman, Buffalo Jones, through the Grand Canyon to lasso a cougar. This part of the west was relatively wild and untamed at this time. Wolves, wild horses, buffalo and other wildlife were quite prevalent, and the Indians were not that friendly.

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Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail

Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail by Ezra Meeker

Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail by Ezra Meeker

Ezra Meeker…was an early pioneer who traveled the Oregon Trail by ox cart as a young man. Beginning in his 70s, he worked tirelessly to memorialize the trail, repeatedly retracing the trip of his youth. This book is a memoir of those days.

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Historic Waterways

Historic Waterways by Reuben Gold Thwaites

Historic Waterways by Reuben Gold Thwaites

This volume is the record of six hundred miles of canoeing experiences on historic waterways in Wisconsin and Illinois during the summer of 1887. There has been no attempt at exaggeration, to color its homely incidents, or to picture charms where none exist. It is intended to be a simple, truthful narrative of what was seen and done upon a series of novel outings through the heart of the Northwest. If it may induce others to undertake similar excursions, and thus increase the little navy of healthy and self-satisfied canoeists, the object of the publication will have been attained.

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