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Essays & Travelogues

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  1. 22.8 hrs • 6/29/2016 • Unabridged

    Internationally acclaimed author Paul Theroux adds Fresh Air Fiend, named a New York Times Notable Book, to his highly praised travel writings. A collection of essays, this intimate and fascinating book explores five continents and many cultures, while delving deep into the mind of Theroux. From one adventure to the next, listeners will be captivated by what the Chicago Tribune calls “an irresistable storyteller.”

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    Fresh Air Fiend

    22.8 hrs • 6/29/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 7.8 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Unabridged

    Steve Hely presents a travel book about his journey through Central and South America. Part travel book, part pop history, part comic memoir, Hely’s writing will make any listener want to reach for their backpack and hiking boots. The Wonder Trail is the story of Steve’s trip from Los Angeles to the bottom of South America, presented in 102 short chapters. The trip was ambitious—Steve traveled through Mexico City, ancient Mayan ruins, the jungles and coffee plantations and remote beaches of Central America, across the Panama Canal, by sea to Colombia, to the wild Easter celebration of Popayán, to the Amazon rainforest, the Inca sites of Cuzco and Machu Picchu, to the Galápagos Islands, the Atacama Desert of Chile, and down to the jagged and wind-worn land of Patagonia, at the very end of the western hemisphere. Steve’s plan was to discover the weird, wonderful, and absurd—not to ignore the challenges and problems in Central and South America—but to focus on the incredible, delightful people and experiences that came his way. And the book that resulted is just as fun. A blend of travel writing, history, and comic memoir, The Wonder Trail will inspire, inform, and delight.

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    The Wonder Trail

    7.8 hrs • 6/14/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 10.3 hrs • 5/31/2016 • Unabridged

    The acclaimed, award-winning novelist takes us on some of his most memorable journeys in this revelatory collection of travel essays that spans the globe, from the Caribbean to Scotland to the Himalayas. Now in his mid-seventies, Russell Banks has indulged his wanderlust for more than half a century. “Since childhood, I’ve longed for escape, for rejuvenation, for wealth untold, for erotic and narcotic and sybaritic fresh starts, for high romance, mystery, and intrigue,” he writes in this compelling anthology. The longing for escape has taken him from the “bright green islands and turquoise seas” of the Caribbean islands to peaks in the Himalayas, the Andes, and beyond. In Voyager, Russell Banks, a lifelong explorer, shares highlights from his travels: interviewing Fidel Castro in Cuba; motoring to a hippie reunion with college friends in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; eloping to Edinburgh with his fourth wife, Chase; driving a sunset orange metallic Hummer down Alaska’s Seward Highway. In each of these remarkable essays, Banks considers his life and the world. In Everglades National Park, this “perfect place to time-travel,” he traces his own timeline. “I keep going back, and with increasing clarity I see more of the place and more of my past selves. And more of the past of the planet as well.” Recalling his trips to the Caribbean in the title essay, “Voyager,” Banks dissects his relationships with the four women who would become his wives. In the Himalayas, he embarks on a different quest of self-discovery. “One climbs a mountain not to conquer it, but to be lifted like this away from the earth up into the sky,” he explains. Pensive, frank, beautiful, and engaging, Voyager brings together the social, the personal, and the historical, opening a path into the heart and soul of this revered writer.

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    Voyager by Russell Banks

    Voyager

    10.3 hrs • 5/31/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 8.0 hrs • 5/24/2016 • Unabridged

    Following his trek along the length of the Nile River, explorer Levison Wood takes on his greatest challenge yet—navigating the treacherous foothills of the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range. Praised by Bear Grylls, Levison Wood has been called “the toughest man on TV” (The Times UK). Now, following in the footsteps of the great explorers, Levison recounts the beauty and danger he found along the Silk Road route of Afghanistan, the Line of Control between Pakistan and India, the disputed territories of Kashmir, and the earthquake-ravaged lands of Nepal. Over the course of six months, Wood and his trusted guides trek 1,700 grueling miles across the roof of the world. Packed with action and emotion, Walking the Himalayas is the story of one intrepid man’s travels in a world poised on the edge of tremendous change.

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    Walking the Himalayas

    8.0 hrs • 5/24/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.0 hrs • 3/15/2016 • Unabridged

    From Pulitzer Prize–winning author Annie Dillard, in recognition of her long and lauded career as a master essayist, a landmark collection including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work, rigorously curated by the author herself “A writer who never seems tired, who has never plodded her way through a page or sentence, Dillard can only be enjoyed by a wide-awake reader,” warns Geoff Dyer in his introduction to this stellar collection. Carefully culled from her past work, The Abundance is quintessential Annie Dillard, delivered in her fierce and undeniably singular voice, filled with fascinating detail and metaphysical fact. The pieces within will exhilarate both admiring fans and a new generation of readers, having been “reframed and rehung,” with fresh editing and reordering by the author, to situate these now seminal works within her larger canon. The Abundance reminds us that Dillard’s brand of “novelized nonfiction” pioneered the form long before it came to be widely appreciated. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life—a commuter chases snowball-throwing children through neighborhood streets, a teenager memorizes Rimbaud’s poetry—with beauty and irony, inviting readers onto sweeping landscapes, to join her in exploring the complexities of time and death, with a sense of humor: on one page, an eagle falls from the sky with a weasel attached to its throat; on another, a man walks into a bar. Reminding us of the indelible contributions of this formative figure in contemporary nonfiction, The Abundance exquisitely showcases Annie Dillard’s enigmatic, enduring genius, as Dillard herself wishes it to be marked.

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    The Abundance

    Foreword by Geoff Dyer
    8.0 hrs • 3/15/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 14.1 hrs • 1/19/2016 • Unabridged

    The hilarious and loving sequel to a hilarious and loving classic of travel writing: Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson’s valentine to his adopted country of England In 1995 Bill Bryson got into his car and took a weeks-long farewell motoring trip about England before moving his family back to the United States. The book about that trip, Notes from a Small Island, is uproarious and endlessly endearing, one of the most acute and affectionate portrayals of England in all its glorious eccentricity ever written. Two decades later, he set out again to rediscover that country, and the result is The Road to Little Dribbling. Nothing is funnier than Bill Bryson on the road—prepare for the total joy and multiple episodes of unseemly laughter.

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    The Road to Little Dribbling

    14.1 hrs • 1/19/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    7.4 hrs • 1/5/2016 • Unabridged

    No Baggage is a memoir that will resonate with adventurers and homebodies alike—it’s at once a romance, a travelogue, and a bright modern take on the age-old questions: How do you find the courage to explore beyond your comfort zone? Can you love someone without the need for commitment or any expectations for the future? When Clara Bensen arranged to meet Jeff Wilson on the steps of the Texas State Capitol, after just a few email exchanges on OKCupid, it felt like something big was going to happen. Clara, a sensitive and reclusive personality, is immediately drawn to Jeff’s freewheeling, push-the-envelope nature. Within a few days of knowing one another, they embark on a twenty-one-day travel adventure from Istanbul to London—with zero luggage, zero reservations, and zero plans. They want to test a simple question: What happens when you welcome the unknown instead of attempting to control it? Donning a single green dress and a small purse with her toothbrush and credit card, Clara travels through eight countries in three weeks. Along the way, Clara ruminates on the challenges of traveling unencumbered, while realizing when it comes to falling in love, you can never really leave your baggage behind.

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    No Baggage by Clara Bensen

    No Baggage

    7.4 hrs • 1/5/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    16.9 hrs • 10/1/2015 • Unabridged

    On October 6, 1973, Ted Simon knew there was no going back. He loaded up his 500cc Triumph Tiger in the pouring rain and said goodbye to London. Over four years he rode 64,000 miles around the world. Breakdowns, revolutions, war, a spell in prison, and a Californian commune were all part of his experience, which was colored variously by utter despair and unimaginable joy. He was treated as a spy, a god, a welcome stranger, and a curiosity. The extraordinary trip became a journey into his own soul, and for many others—including the bikers Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor—it is a pure inspiration. Rupert Degas, called “the most versatile of narrators” by the Times (London), captures all the thrills and spills of Simon’s experience and the timeless charm of his writing.

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    Jupiter’s Travels

    16.9 hrs • 10/1/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    6.3 hrs • 9/1/2015 • Unabridged

    From the author of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize–winning and #1 New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See, a “dazzling” (Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran) memoir about art and adventures in Rome. Anthony Doerr has received many awards—from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award the day he and his wife returned from the hospital with newborn twins. Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr’s varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats—the chroniclers of Rome who came before him—and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself. This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer’s craft—the process by which he transforms what he sees and experiences into sentences.

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    Four Seasons in Rome

    6.3 hrs • 9/1/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.4 hrs • 9/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Since graduating from college with a journalism degree, Phil Cousineau’s wanderlust has driven him to visit nearly one hundred countries as a backpacker, documentary filmmaker, travel writer, photographer, and art and literary tour leader. For him, travel provides what his mentor Joseph Campbell called “the key to the realm of the muses.” Author of the bestselling travel book The Art of Pilgrimage, Cousineau continues to crisscross the world as a travel writer, a filmmaker, and the host of Global Spirit. The Book of Roads: A Life Made from Travel is the culmination of a lifetime of travel experiences, from the steel factories of Detroit to headhunting villages in the Philippines, the war-torn villages in the Balkans to the river roads of Canada once traversed by his voyageur ancestors. His rhapsodic travel stories place him in the league of fellow travelers who are also masterful writers, such as Pico Iyer, Jack Kerouac, Jan Morris, and Beryl Markham.

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    The Book of Roads by Phil Cousineau

    The Book of Roads

    8.4 hrs • 9/1/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 37.7 hrs • 8/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Spain is an immemorial land like no other, one that James A. Michener, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and celebrated citizen of the world, came to love as his own. Iberia is Michener’s enduring nonfiction tribute to his cherished second home. In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark, he not only reveals the celebrated history of bullfighters and warrior kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards, he also shares the intimate, often hidden country he came to know, where the congeniality of living souls is thrust against the dark weight of history. Wild, contradictory, and passionately beautiful, this is Spain as experienced by a master writer.

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    Iberia

    37.7 hrs • 8/1/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 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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  13. 8.9 hrs • 5/12/2015 • Unabridged

    For readers of How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, My Paris Dream is a charming and insightful memoir about coming of age as a fashion journalist in 1980s Paris, by former Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor Kate Betts, the author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.

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    My Paris Dream

    8.9 hrs • 5/12/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.0 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    The true history behind the Netflix original series Marco Polo, here is the remarkable story of the world’s most famous traveler, retracing his legendary journey from Venice to China, the moment East first met West. In 1271, a young Italian merchant named Marco Polo embarked on a groundbreaking expedition from Venice, through the Middle East and Central Asia to China. His extraordinary reports of his experiences introduced medieval Europe to an exotic new world of emperors and concubines, amazing cities, huge armies, unusual spices and cuisine, and imperial riches. Marco Polo also revealed the wonders of Xanadu, the summer capital of Mongol emperor Kublai Khan. Almost 750 years later, acclaimed author John Man traveled in Marco Polo’s footsteps to Xanadu then on to Beijing and through modern China in search of the history behind the legend. In this enthralling chronicle, Man draws on his own journey, new archaeological findings, and deep archival study to paint a vivid picture of Marco Polo and the great court of Kublai Khan.

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    Marco Polo

    Read by Simon Vance
    9.0 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 3.9 hrs • 4/24/2015 • Unabridged

    This is one of the author’s famous travel adventures. Because outdoor trips were an unusual leisure pastime in 1878, Stevenson entranced his reading public. He painted an innocent Europe, showing gypsies and puppeteers, quaint military companies spending their time in parades, and old sages of villages who never set foot outside of their country surroundings. As always, Stevenson used his great powers of observation to guide the reader’s eyes in seeing the things of importance along the way.

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    An Inland Voyage

    3.9 hrs • 4/24/15 • Unabridged
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  16. 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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