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Free Air

Free Air by Sinclair Lewis

Free Air by Sinclair Lewis

This road trip novel is set in the early twentieth century and follows the experiences of an aristocratic New Englander and her father as they travel by automobile from Minneapolis to Seattle. She is wooed and won by a noble but simple commoner she meets along the way. Lewis is at his usual wryly humorous self, poking fun at the upper class and treating the common people only slightly better.

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The Road

The Road by Jack London

The Road by Jack London

Jack London credited his skill of story-telling to the days he spent as a hobo learning to fabricate tales to get meals from sympathetic strangers. In The Road, he relates the tales and memories of his days on the hobo road, including how the hobos would elude train crews and his travels with Kelly’s Army.

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Travels in West Africa

Travels in West Africa by Mary H. Kingsley

Travels in West Africa by Mary H. Kingsley

Mary Henrietta Kingsley (13 October 1862 – 3 June 1900) was an British explorer and writer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and its people. Kingsley was an outspoken critic of European colonialism, a champion for indigenous customs, and a dedicated campaigner for a revised British policy which supported traders and merchants over the needs of settlers and missionaries.

Her adventures were extraordinary and fascinating. Among other things she fought with crocodiles, fell into native spear traps and was caught in a tornado on the slopes of Mount Cameroon. She traveled in West Africa wearing the same clothes she always wore in England: long, black, trailing skirts, tight waists, high collars and a small fur cap. These same clothes saved her life when she fell into a game pit, the many petticoats protecting her from being impaled on the stakes below.

This is her story in her own words of her adventures and the people and culture of West Africa.

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Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Mecca Volume 2

Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Mecca Volume 2 by Sir Richard Francis Burton

Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Mecca Volume 2 by Sir Richard Francis Burton

Sir Richard Francis Burton was an English explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, ethnologist, linguist, poet, hypnotist, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia and Africa as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian, and African languages.

Burton’s best-known achievements include traveling in disguise to Mecca, his seven years in India gave Burton a familiarity with the customs and behavior of Muslims and prepared him to attempt a Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca and, in this case, Medina). It was this journey, undertaken in 1853, which first made Burton famous. He had planned it whilst traveling disguised among the Muslims of Sindh, and had laboriously prepared for the adventure by study and practice. Burton’s own account of his journey is given in A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah.

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Penelope’s English Experiences

Penelope's English Experiences by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Penelope's English Experiences by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Penelope’s English Experiences is a fictional travelogue, which documents the experiences of three American ladies on a visit to England. Included are scenes in London and the village of Belvern, containing fanciful sketches of a West-end ball, portraits of domestic originals, etc., characterized by humorous trifling and droll exaggeration of English traits. By the author Mother Carey’s Chickens, A Cathedral Courtship, etc.

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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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South! Shackleton’s Last Expedition

South! Shackleton's Last Expedition by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

South! Shackleton's Last Expedition by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

Shackleton’s most famous expedition was planned to be an attempt to cross Antarctica from the Weddell Sea south of the Atlantic, to the Ross Sea south of the Pacific, by way of the Pole. It set out from London on 1 August 1914, and reached the Weddell Sea on January 10, 1915, where the pack ice closed in on the Endurance. The ship was broken by the ice on 27 October 1915. The 28 crew members managed to flee to Elephant Island, bringing three small boats with them. Shackleton and five other men managed to reach the southern coast of South Georgia in one of the small boats (in a real epic journey). Shackleton managed to rescue all of the stranded crew from Elephant Island without loss in the Chilean’s navy seagoing steam tug Yelcho, on August 30, 1916, in the middle of the Antarctic winter. (Summary from Wikipedia)

As the last section is a short original recording by Ernest Shackleton about the expedition.

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History of Holland

History of Holland by George Edmundson

History of Holland by George Edmundson

The title, “History of Holland,” given to this volume is fully justified by the predominant part which the great maritime province of Holland took in the War of Independence and throughout the whole of the subsequent history of the Dutch state and people.

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Diversions in Sicily

Diversions in Sicily by Henry Festing Jones

Diversions in Sicily by Henry Festing Jones

Samuel Butler’s biographer dedicates his urbane account of the culture and entertainments of rural Sicily to the unborn son of his guide to them.

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A Wanderer in Florence

A Wanderer in Florence by E. V. Lucas

A Wanderer in Florence by E. V. Lucas

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