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Expeditions & Discoveries

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  1. 4.6 hrs • 8/30/2016 • Unabridged

    The maestro storyteller and reporter provocatively argues that what we think we know about speech and human evolution is wrong. Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech—not evolution—is responsible for humanity’s complex societies and achievements. From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in the Kingdom of Speech.

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    The Kingdom of Speech

    4.6 hrs • 8/30/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 14.0 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature. As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so too are the American cities of the West coast, including Seattle, San Francisco, and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley. Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us—tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis—but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s sixteenth-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made. In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor. Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives.

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    Pacific

    14.0 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.7 hrs • 8/20/2015 • Unabridged

    New York Times bestselling author Martin Dugard writes the first account of Columbus’s little-known last voyage. Columbus’ famed 1492 expedition wasn’t his last. After tough times, he was given one more chance. But this voyage didn’t have the fortuitous accidents of 1492. Instead it brought a shipwreck and more violence and mutiny than ever before—pushing an aging explorer to his limit.

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    The Last Voyage of Columbus

    9.7 hrs • 8/20/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    16.7 hrs • 6/30/2015 • Unabridged

    In the bestselling tradition of Bill Bryson and Tony Horwitz, Rinker Buck’s The Oregon Trail is a major work of participatory history: an epic account of traveling the two-thousand-mile length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way, in a covered wagon with a team of mules—which hasn’t been done in a century—that also tells the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the country. Spanning two thousand miles and traversing six states from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean, the Oregon Trail is the route that made America. In the fifteen years before the Civil War, when 400,000 pioneers used it to emigrate west—historians still regard this as the largest land migration of all time—the trail united the coasts, doubled the size of the country, and laid the groundwork for the railroads. The trail years also solidified the American character: our plucky determination in the face of adversity, our impetuous cycle of financial bubbles and busts, the fractious clash of ethnic populations competing for the same jobs and space. Today the trail is all but forgotten. At once a majestic American journey, a significant work of history, and a personal saga reminiscent of bestsellers by Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed, the book tells the story of Buck’s two-thousand-mile expedition across the plains with tremendous humor and heart. Apart from charting his own geographical and emotional adventure, Buck introduces readers to the evangelists, shysters, natives, trailblazers, and everyday dreamers who were among the first of the pioneers to make the journey west. With a rare narrative power, a refreshing candor about his own weakness and mistakes, and an extremely attractive obsession for history and travel, The Oregon Trail draws readers into the journey of a lifetime.

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    The Oregon Trail

    16.7 hrs • 6/30/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    8.4 hrs • 6/16/2015 • Unabridged

    A thrilling new true adventure of deep-sea diving and danger, historic mystery and suspense, by the author of the New York Times bestseller Shadow Divers Two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are determined to find the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister, even though finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. During the golden age of piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister was more notorious than Blackbeard, more daring than Kidd, but his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history—it will be the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, face down rivals hungry to defeat them, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they understand that they must learn to think and act like a pirate—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before them. Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an enthralling story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.

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    Pirate Hunters

    8.4 hrs • 6/16/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.1 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    The New York Times bestselling author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu sets out to uncover the truth behind the legendary lost city of Atlantis. A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: everything we know about the lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Then he made a second, stranger discovery: amateur explorers are still actively searching for this sunken city all around the world, based entirely on the clues Plato left behind. Exposed to the Atlantis obsession, Adams decides to track down these people and determine why they believe it’s possible to find the world’s most famous lost city and whether any of their theories could prove or disprove its existence. He visits scientists who use cutting-edge technology to find legendary civilizations once thought to be fictional. He examines the numerical and musical codes hidden in Plato’s writings, and with the help of some charismatic sleuths traces their roots back to Pythagoras, the sixth-century BC mathematician. He learns how ancient societies transmitted accounts of cataclysmic events—and how one might dig out the “kernel of truth” in Plato’s original tale. Meet Me in Atlantis is Adams’ enthralling account of his quest to solve one of history’s greatest mysteries; a travelogue that takes readers to fascinating locations to meet irresistible characters; and a deep, often humorous look at the human longing to rediscover a lost world.

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    Meet Me in Atlantis

    10.1 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.0 hrs • 8/12/2014 • Unabridged

    A riveting portrait of the gold rush, by the award-winning author of Down the Great Unknown and The Forger’s Spell In the spring of 1848, rumors began to spread that gold had been discovered in a remote spot in the Sacramento Valley. A year later, newspaper headlines declared “Gold Fever!” as hundreds of thousands of men and women borrowed money, quit their jobs, and allowed themselves—for the first time ever—to imagine a future of ease and splendor. In The Rush, Edward Dolnick brilliantly recounts their treacherous westward journeys by wagon and on foot and takes us to the frenzied gold fields and the rowdy cities that sprang from nothing to jam-packed chaos. With an enthralling cast of characters and scenes of unimaginable wealth and desperate ruin, The Rush is a fascinating—and rollicking—account of the greatest treasure hunt the world has ever seen.

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    The Rush by Edward Dolnick

    The Rush

    10.0 hrs • 8/12/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    9.0 hrs • 4/30/2014 • Unabridged

    The recent translation of a Babylonian tablet launches a groundbreaking investigation into one of the most famous stories in the world, challenging the way we look at ancient history. Since the Victorian period, it has been understood that the story of Noah, iconic in the Book of Genesis, and a central motif in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, derives from a much older story that existed centuries before in ancient Babylon. But the relationship between the Babylonian and biblical traditions was shrouded in mystery. In 2009, Irving Finkel, a curator at the British Museum and a world authority on ancient Mesopotamia, found himself playing detective when a member of the public arrived at the museum with an intriguing cuneiform tablet from a family collection. Not only did the tablet reveal a new version of the Babylonian flood story—the ancient poet described the size and completely unexpected shape of the ark and gave detailed boat building specifications. Decoding this ancient message wedge by cuneiform wedge, Dr. Finkel discovered where the Babylonians believed the ark came to rest and developed a new explanation of how the old story ultimately found its way into the Bible. In The Ark Before Noah, Dr. Finkel takes us on an adventurous voyage of discovery that opens the door to an enthralling world of ancient voices and new meanings.

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    The Ark before Noah

    9.0 hrs • 4/30/14 • Unabridged
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  9. 10.9 hrs • 3/4/2014 • Unabridged

    In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Skeleton in the Zahara, Astoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon Trail, permanently altering the nation’s landscape and its global standing. Six years after Lewis and Clark began their journey to the Pacific Northwest, two of the Eastern establishment’s leading figures, John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson, turned their sights to founding a colony akin to Jamestown on the West Coast and transforming the nation into a Pacific trading power. Author and correspondent for Outside magazine Peter Stark recreates this pivotal moment in American history for the first time for modern readers, drawing on original source material to tell the amazing true story of the Astor Expedition. Unfolding over the course of three years, from 1810 to 1813, Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship in the wilderness and at sea. Of the more than one hundred-forty members of the two advance parties that reached the West Coast—one crossing the Rockies, the other rounding Cape Horn—nearly half perished by violence. Others went mad. Within one year, the expedition successfully established Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River. Though the colony would be short-lived, it opened provincial American eyes to the potential of the Western coast and its founders helped blaze the Oregon Trail.

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    Astoria

    10.9 hrs • 3/4/14 • Unabridged
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  10. 6.0 hrs • 12/10/2013 • Unabridged

    Detective thriller meets astrophysics in this adventure into neutrinos and the scientists who pursue them. For more than eighty years, brilliant and eccentric scientists around the world have been searching for the incredibly small bits of matter we call neutrinos. Trillions of these ghostly particles pass through our bodies every second, but they are so pathologically shy that neutrino hunters have to use Olympic-size pools deep underground and a gigantic cube of Antarctic ice to catch just a handful. Neutrinos may hold the secrets to the nature of antimatter and what the universe was like just seconds after the big bang, but they are extremely elusive and difficult to pin down—much like the adventurous scientists who doggedly pursue them. In Neutrino Hunters, renowned astrophysicist and award-winning author Ray Jayawardhana takes us on a thrilling journey into the shadowy world of neutrinos and the colorful lives of those who chase them. Demystifying particle science along the way, Jayawardhana tells a detective story with cosmic implications—interweaving the tales of the irascible Casanova Wolfgang Pauli; the troubled genius Ettore Majorana, who disappeared without a trace; and Bruno Pontecorvo, whose defection to the Soviet Union caused a Cold War ruckus. Ultimately, Jayawardhana reveals just how significant these fast-moving particles are to the world we live in and why the next decade of neutrino hunting will redefine how we think about physics, cosmology, and our lives on Earth.

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    Neutrino Hunters by Ray Jayawardhana

    Neutrino Hunters

    6.0 hrs • 12/10/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.1 hrs • 10/8/2013 • Unabridged

    Greatly expanding on his blockbuster 1421, distinguished historian Gavin Menzies uncovers the complete untold history of how mankind came to the Americas—offering new revelations and a radical rethinking of the accepted historical record in Who Discovered America? The iconoclastic historian’s magnum opus, Who Discovered America? calls into question our understanding of how the American continents were settled, shedding new light on the well-known “discoveries” of European explorers, including Christopher Columbus. In Who Discovered America? he combines meticulous research and an adventurer’s spirit to reveal astounding new evidence of an ancient Asian seagoing tradition—most notably the Chinese—that dates as far back as 130,000 years ago. Menzies offers a revolutionary new alternative to the “Beringia” theory of how humans crossed a land bridge connecting Asia and North America during the last Ice Age, and provides a wealth of staggering claims, that hold fascinating and astonishing implications for the history of mankind.

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    Who Discovered America?

    8.1 hrs • 10/8/13 • Unabridged
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  12. 9.0 hrs • 4/23/2013 • Unabridged

    On November 5, 1942, a US cargo plane slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The US military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men vanished. In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing crashes and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors. Frozen in Time places us at the center of a group of valiant airmen fighting to stay alive through 148 days of a brutal Arctic winter until an expedition attempts to bring them to safety. But that is only part of the story. In present-day Greenland, Zuckoff joins the Coast Guard and North South Polar, Inc. on a dangerous expedition to recover the remains of the lost plane’s crew. Frozen in Time is a breathtaking blend of mystery, adventure, heroism, and survival. It is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of our military personnel and their families—and a tribute to the important, perilous, and often overlooked work of the US Coast Guard.

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    Frozen in Time

    9.0 hrs • 4/23/13 • Unabridged
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  13. 11.9 hrs • 4/15/2013 • Unabridged

    Driven by curiosity, wanderlust, and health crises, David Downie and his wife set out from Paris to walk across France to the Pyrenees. Starting on the Rue Saint-Jacques then trekking 750 miles south to Roncesvalles, Spain, their eccentric route takes 72 days on Roman roads and pilgrimage paths—an 1,100-year-old network of trails leading to the sanctuary of Saint James the Greater. It is best known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela—“The Way” for short. The object of any pilgrimage is an inward journey manifested in a long, reflective walk. For Downie, the inward journey met the outer one: a combination of self-discovery and physical regeneration. More than 200,000 pilgrims take the highly commercialized Spanish route annually, but few cross France. Downie had a goal: to go from Paris to the Pyrenees on age-old trails, making the pilgrimage in his own maverick way.

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    Paris to the Pyrenees by David Downie

    Paris to the Pyrenees

    11.9 hrs • 4/15/13 • Unabridged
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  14. 7.1 hrs • 3/26/2013 • Unabridged

    Stranded in the frozen Antarctic sea for nearly two years, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team of 27 polar explorers endured extreme temperatures, hazardous ice, dwindling food, and complete isolation. Despite these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the group remained cohesive, congenial, and mercifully alive—a fact that speaks not only to luck but to an unparalleled feat of leadership. Drawing on this amazing story, Leading at the Edge demonstrates the importance of a strong leader in times of adversity, uncertainty, and change. This engaging and practical audiobook reveals ten strategies for success, illustrating how leaders can: • Instill optimism while staying grounded in reality • Have the courage to step up to risks worth taking • Consistently reinforce the team message • Set a personal example • Find something to celebrate and something to laugh about • Never give up Today’s leaders have much to learn from this gripping account of survival against all odds. Leading at the Edge will help them bring order to chaos—and achieve success in the face of adversity.

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    Leading at the Edge

    By Dennis N. T. Perkins, PhD with Margaret P. Holtman and Jillian B. Murphy
    Read by Walter Dixon
    7.1 hrs • 3/26/13 • Unabridged
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  15. 10.6 hrs • 3/12/2013 • Unabridged

    The unbelievably riveting adventure of an unlikely young explorer who emerged from the jungles of Africa with evidence of a mysterious, still mythical beast—the gorilla—only to stumble straight into the center of the biggest debate of the day: Darwin’s theory of evolution In 1856 Paul du Chaillu marched into the equatorial wilderness of West Africa determined to bag an animal that, according to legend, was nothing short of a monster. When he emerged three years later, the summation of his efforts only hinted at what he’d experienced in one of the most dangerous regions on earth. Armed with an astonishing collection of zoological specimens, du Chaillu leapt from the physical challenges of the jungle straight into the center of the biggest issues of the time—the evolution debate, racial discourse, the growth of Christian fundamentalism—and helped push each to unprecedented intensities. He experienced instant celebrity, but with that fame came whispers—about his past, his credibility, and his very identity—which would haunt the young man.  Grand in scope, immediate in detail, and propulsively readable, Between Man and Beast brilliantly combines du Chaillu’s personal journey with the epic tale of a world hovering on the sharp edge of transformation.

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    Between Man and Beast

    10.6 hrs • 3/12/13 • Unabridged
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  16. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    10.7 hrs • 3/1/2013 • Unabridged

    Following in the footsteps of the greatest Spanish adventurers, Michael Wood retraces the path of the conquistadors from Amazonia to Lake Titicaca, and from the deserts of North Mexico to the heights of Machu Picchu. As he travels the same routes as Hernán Cortés, Francisco, and Gonzalo Pizarro, Wood describes the dramatic events that accompanied the epic sixteenth-century Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Inca empires. He also follows parts of Orellana’s extraordinary voyage of discovery down the Amazon and of Cabeza de Vaca’s arduous journey across America to the Pacific. Few stories in history match these conquests for sheer drama, endurance, and distances covered, and Wood’s gripping narrative brings them fully to life. Wood reconstructs both sides of the conquest, drawing from sources such as Bernal Diaz’s eyewitness account, Cortés’s own letters, and the Aztec texts recorded not long after the fall of Mexico. Wood’s evocative story of his own journey makes a compelling connection with the sixteenth-century world as he relates the present-day customs, rituals, and oral traditions of the people he meets. He offers powerful descriptions of the rivers, mountains, and ruins he encounters on his trip, comparing what he has seen and experienced with the historical record. As well as being one of the pivotal events in history, the Spanish conquest of the Americas was one of the most cruel and devastating. Wood grapples with the moral legacy of the European invasion and with the implications of an episode in history that swept away civilizations, religions, and ways of life. The stories in Conquistadors are not only of conquest, heroism, and greed but of changes in the way we see the world, history and civilization, justice and human rights.

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    Conquistadors by Michael Wood

    Conquistadors

    10.7 hrs • 3/1/13 • Unabridged
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