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|Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Vintage)
Lowest new price: $6.99
Lowest used price: $4.46
List price: $15.95
Author: Cheryl Strayed
A Best Book of the Year: NPR, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, St. Louis Dispatch
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2012:
At age 26, following the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior, Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific Crest Trail--inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to reclaim her life. Wild
tracks Strayed's personal journey on the PCT through California and Oregon, as she comes to terms with devastating loss and her unpredictable reactions to it. While readers looking for adventure or a naturalist's perspective may be distracted by the emotional odyssey at the core of the story, Wild
vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers. Others may find her unsympathetic--just one victim of her own questionable choices. But Strayed doesn't want sympathy, and her confident prose stands on its own, deftly pulling both threads into a story that inhabits a unique riparian zone between wilderness tale and personal-redemption memoir. --Jon Foro
From Author Cheryl Strayed
Oprah with Cheryl Strayed, author of Book Club 2.0's inaugural selection, Wild
I wrote the last line of my first book, Torch, and then spent an hour crying while lying on a cool tile floor in a house on a hot Brazilian island. After I finished my second book, Wild, I walked alone for miles under a clear blue sky on an empty road in the Oregon Outback. I sat bundled in my coat on a cold patio at midnight staring up at the endless December stars after completing my third book, Tiny Beautiful Things. There are only a handful of other days in my life--my wedding, the births of my children--that I remember as vividly as those solitary days on which I finished my books. The settings and situations were different, but the feeling was the same: an overwhelming mix of joy and gratitude, humility and relief, pride and wonder. After much labor, I'd made this thing. A book. Though it wasn't technically that yet.
The real book came later--after more work, but this time it involved various others, including agents, publishers, editors, designers, and publicists, all of whose jobs are necessary but sometimes indecipherable to me. They're the ones who transformed the thousands of words I'd privately and carefully conjured into something that could be shared with other people. "I wrote this!" I exclaimed in amazement when I first held each actual, physical book in my hands. I wasn't amazed that it existed; I was amazed by what its existence meant: that it no longer belonged to me.
Two months before Wild was published I stood on a Mexican beach at sunset with my family assisting dozens of baby turtles on their stumbling journey across the sand, then watching as they disappeared into the sea. The junction between writer and author is a bit like that. In one role total vigilance is necessary; in the other, there's nothing to do but hope for the best. A book, like those newborn turtles, will ride whatever wave takes it.
It's deeply rewarding to me when I learn that something I wrote moved or inspired or entertained someone; and it's crushing to hear that my writing bored or annoyed or enraged another. But an author has to stand back from both the praise and the criticism once a book is out in the world. The story I chose to write in Wild for no other reason than I felt driven to belongs to those who read it, not me. And yet I'll never forget what it once was, long before I could even imagine how gloriously it would someday be swept away from me.
|SAS Survival Handbook, Revised Edition: For Any Climate, in Any Situation
Lowest new price: $9.63
Lowest used price: $9.98
List price: $19.99
Author: John 'Lofty' Wiseman
Brand: HARPER COLLINS PUB
For Any Climate, in Any Situation.
Newly updated to reflect the latest in survival knowledge and technology, the internationally bestselling SAS Survival Handbook is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. From basic campcraft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster, this complete course includes:
Being prepared: Understanding basic survival needs and preparing essentials, such as a pocket survival kit.
Making camp: Finding the best location, constructing the appropriate shelter, organizing camp, and creating tools.
Food: What to eat, what to avoid, where to find it, and how to prepare it.
First aid: A comprehensive course in emergency/wilderness medicine, including how to maximize survival in any climate or when injured.
Disaster survival: How to react in the face of increasingly frequent natural disasters and hostile situations—and how to survive at home if all services and supplies are cut off.
- SAS SURVIVAL HANDBOOK REVISED
|The Dangerous Book for Boys
Lowest new price: $6.32
Lowest used price: $2.83
List price: $12.99
Author: Conn Iggulden
Brand: William Morrow
The bestselling book for every boy from eight to eighty, covering essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses*, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is.
In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage. This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal have put together a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun—building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world's best paper airplanes.
The completely revised American Edition includes:
The Greatest Paper Airplane in the World
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Five Knots Every Boy Should Know
Building a Treehouse*
Making a Bow and Arrow
Fishing (revised with US Fish)
Timers and Tripwires
Baseball's "Most Valuable Players"
Famous Battles-Including Lexington and Concord, The Alamo, and Gettysburg
Spies-Codes and Ciphers
Making a Go-Cart
Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary
The States of the U.S.
Mountains of the U.S.
The Declaration of Independence
Making a Periscope
The Ten Commandments
Common US Trees
Timeline of American History
Equal parts droll and gorgeous nostalgia book and heartfelt plea for a renewed sense of adventure in the lives of boys and men, Conn and Hal Iggulden's The Dangerous Book for Boys became a mammoth bestseller in the United Kingdom in 2006. Adapted, in moderation, for American customs in this edition (cricket is gone, rugby remains; conkers are out, Navajo Code Talkers in), The Dangerous Book is a guide book for dads as well as their sons, as a reminder of lore and technique that have not yet been completely lost to the digital age. Recall the adventures of Scott of the Antarctic and the Battle of the Somme, relearn how to palm a coin, tan a skin, and, most charmingly, wrap a package in brown paper and string. The book's ambitions are both modest and winningly optimistic: you get the sense that by learning how to place a splint or write in invisible ink, a boy might be prepared for anything, even girls (which warrant a small but wise chapter of their own).
Inside The Dangerous Book for Boys
Figure 8 Knot
Sheet Bend Knot
The Battle of Waterloo
Questions for Conn Iggulden
Conn and Hal Iggulden are two brothers who have not forgotten what it was like to be boys. Conn taught for many years before becoming one of the most admired and popular young historical novelists with his Emperor series, based on the life of Julius Caesar, and his newly embarked series on Genghis Khan, while Hal is a theater director. We asked Conn about their collaboration.
Amazon.com: It's difficult to describe what a phenomenon The Dangerous Book for Boys was in the UK last year. When I would check the bestseller list on our sister site, Amazon.co.uk, there would be, along with your book, which spent much of the year at the top of the list, a half-dozen apparent knockoff books of similar boy knowledge. Clearly, you tapped into something big. What do you think it was?
Iggulden: In a word, fathers. I am one myself and I think we've become aware that the whole "health and safety" overprotective culture isn't doing our sons any favors. Boys need to learn about risk. They need to fall off things occasionally, or--and this is the important bit--they'll take worse risks on their own. If we do away with challenging playgrounds and cancel school trips for fear of being sued, we don't end up with safer boys--we end up with them walking on train tracks. In the long run, it's not safe at all to keep our boys in the house with a Playstation. It's not good for their health or their safety.
You only have to push a boy on a swing to see how much enjoys the thrill of danger. It's hard-wired. Remove any opportunity to test his courage and they'll find ways to test themselves that will be seriously dangerous for everyone around them. I think of it like playing the lottery--someone has to say "Look, you won't win--and your children won't be hurt. Relax. It won't be you."
I think that's the core of the book's success. It isn't just a collection of things to do. The heroic stories alone are something we haven't had for too long. It isn't about climbing Everest, but it is an attitude, a philosophy for fathers and sons. Our institutions are too wrapped up in terror over being sued--so we have to do things with them ourselves. This book isn't a bad place to start.
As for knockoff books--great. They'll give my son something to read that doesn't involve him learning a dull moral lesson of some kind--just enjoying an adventure or learning skills and crafts so that he has a feeling of competence and confidence--just as we have.
Amazon.com: You made some changes for the U.S. edition, and I for one am sorry that you have removed the section on conkers, if only because it's such a lovely and mysterious word. What are (or what is) conkers?
Iggulden: Horse chestnuts strung on a shoelace and knocked against one another until they shatter. In the entire history of the world, no one has ever been hurt by a conker, but it's still been banned by some British schools, just in case. Another school banned paper airplanes. Honestly, it's enough to make you weep, if I did that sort of thing, which I try not to. Reading Jane Austen is still allowed, however.
Amazon.com: What knowledge did you decide was important to add for American boys? I notice in both editions you have an excellent and useful section on table football, as played with coins. Is paper football strictly an American pastime? I'm not sure I could have gotten through the fourth grade without it.
Iggulden: I like knowing the details of battles, so Gettysburg and the Alamo had to go in, along with the Gettysburg address, stickball, state capitals, U.S. mountains, American trees, insects, U.S. historical timelines, and a lot of others. Navajo code talkers of WWII is a great chapter. It probably helps that I am a huge fan of America. It was only while rewriting for the U.S. that I realized how many positive references there already are. You have NASA and NASA trumps almost anything.
As for paper football, ever since I thought of putting the book together, people keep saying things like "You have rockets in there, yes? Everyone loves rockets!" Paper football is the first American one, but there will be many others. No book in the world is long enough to put them all in--unless we do a sequel, of course.
Amazon.com: Do you think The Dangerous Book for Boys is being read by actual boys, or only by nostalgic adults? Have you seen boys getting up from their Xboxes to go outside and perform first aid or tan animal skins or build go-carts?
Iggulden: I've had a lot of emails and letters from boys who loved the book--as well as fathers. I've had responses from kids as young as ten and an old man of 87, who pointed out a problem with the shadow stick that we've since changed. The thing to remember is that we may be older and more cynical every year, but boys simply aren't. If they are given the chance to make a go-cart with their dad, they jump at it. Mine did. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to know the book is being used with fathers and sons together, trying things out. Nothing is more valuable to a boy than time with his dad, learning something fun--or something difficult. That's part of the attitude too. If it's hard, you don't make it easy, you grab it by the throat and hang on for as long as it takes.
The book is often bought by fathers, of course. Their sons don't know Scott of the Antarctic is a great adventure story. How could they if it isn't taught any more? Good, heroic stories don't appear much in modern school curriculums--and then we wonder why boys don't seem interested.
Amazon.com: And finally, on to the important questions: Should Pluto still be a planet? And what was the best dinosaur?
Iggulden: Pluto is a planet. I know there are scientists who say it isn't, but it's big enough to be round and it has a moon, for crying out loud. Of course it's a planet. Give it ten years and they'll be agreeing with me again.
As for the best dinosaur, it depends what you mean by best. For sheer perfection, it probably has to be the shark and the crocodile. Modern ones are smaller but their record for sheer survival is pretty impressive. I only hope humanity can do as well. The only thing that will stop us is worrying too much.
- Used Book in Good Condition
|A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Lowest new price: $3.94
Lowest used price: $0.81
List price: $7.99
Author: Bill Bryson
The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).
Your initial reaction to Bill Bryson's reading of A Walk in the Woods may well be "Egads! What a bore!" But by sentence three or four, his clearly articulated, slightly adenoidal, British/American-accented speech pattern begins to grow on you and becomes quite engaging. You immediately get a hint of the humor that lies ahead, such as one of the innumerable reasons he longed to walk as many of the 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail as he could. "It would get me fit after years of waddlesome sloth" is delivered with glorious deadpan flair. By the time our storyteller recounts his trip to the Dartmouth Co-op, suffering serious sticker shock over equipment prices, you'll be hooked.
When Bryson speaks for the many Americans he encounters along the way--in various shops, restaurants, airports, and along the trail--he launches into his American accent, which is whiny and full of hard r's. And his southern intonations are a hoot. He's even got a special voice used exclusively when speaking for his somewhat surprising trail partner, Katz. In the 25 years since their school days together, Katz has put on quite a bit of weight. In fact, "he brought to mind Orson Welles after a very bad night. He was limping a little and breathing harder than one ought to after a walk of 20 yards." Katz often speaks in monosyllables, and Bryson brings his limited vocabulary humorously to life. One of Katz's more memorable utterings is "flung," as in flung most of his provisions over the cliff because they were too heavy to carry any farther.
The author has thoroughly researched the history and the making of the Appalachian Trail. Bryson describes the destruction of many parts of the forest and warns of the continuing perils (both natural and man-made) the Trail faces. He speaks of the natural beauty and splendor as he and Katz pass through, and he recalls clearly the serious dangers the two face during their time together on the trail. So, A Walk in the Woods is not simply an out-of-shape, middle-aged man's desire to prove that he can still accomplish a major physical task; it's also a plea for the conservation of America's last wilderness. Bryson's telling is a knee-slapping, laugh-out-loud funny trek through the woods, with a touch of science and history thrown in for good measure. (Running time: 360 minutes, four cassettes) --Colleen Preston
|A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean • Roncesvalles • Santiago (Camino Guides)
Lowest new price: $17.33
Lowest used price: $17.60
List price: $29.95
Author: John Brierley
Now updated to include newer maps and photos -and lighter in weight to support carefree traveling- this comprehensive guidebook to the Camino de Santiago and its offshoots contains all the information needed by modern-day pilgrims wishing to walk the sacred Way of St. James. Overview route planners plus daily stage maps and detailed town plans help sojourners with all the advance preparation they need. The maps feature contour guides to help distinguish the terrain that will be crossed each day, while full information on all pilgrim hostels, as well as details for alternative accommodation, allow travelers to plot adequate nightly stopping points. All reference information is accompanied by helpful spiritual guidelines to support the seeker's inner journey as well as the outer pilgrimage. Otherwise known as the Camino Francés, the main route covered in this volume is the most popular sacred route through Spain, from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago
|The Yoga Bible
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List price: $21.99
Author: Christina Brown
Featuring over 150 yogic postures from the main schools of yoga, including Iyengar and Astanga Vinyasa, this guide provides a comprehensive illustrated step-by-step book to achieving the postures and advice on altering them where necessary with easier postures highlighted for beginners. The book also includes more advanced positions for experienced yogists, which will inspired them in developing their practice.
In addition to postures, the book includes notes on various types of yoga practices as well as a summary of well-known traditional schools of yoga and how they vary. Also inside is advice from the author on breathing techniques and the benefits of yoga in healing, pregnancy, de-stressing and meditation.
Christina Brown qualified as a yoga instructor at the Sivananda Ashram in southern India in 1995. She has also trained in Iyengar Yoga at the Sydney Yoga Centre and in Deradun, India and in yoga therapy at the Yoga Therapy Centre in London. She currently teaches yoga in Sydney, Australia and holds a degree in complementary medicine from the Natural Care College in Sydney. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
|The Boys' Book Of Survival (How To Survive Anything, Anywhere)
Lowest new price: $5.48
Lowest used price: $0.43
List price: $9.99
Brand: Scholastic Nonfiction
Now you, too, can survive anything, anywhere!
Lost in the desert? Stuck in quicksand? Confronted by a man-eating tiger? Trapped at a school dance? Fear not, brave reader! With this essential survival guide, you'll find a way to get yourself out of every imaginable predicament, whether it's an avalanche or a zombie invasion!
How to survive anything all in one handy book! Inside you'll find out how to treat a snakebite, send an SOS message, track an animal, make a map, and build a ladder. Find out how to survive a school dance, a shopping trip with your mom, a pop quiz, and a shark attack!
|Paracord Fusion Ties - Volume 1: Straps, Slip Knots, Falls, Bars, and Bundles
Lowest new price: $13.39
Lowest used price: $17.43
List price: $24.95
Author: J.D. Lenzen
J.D. Lenzen is the creator of the highly acclaimed YouTube channel ''Tying It All Together'', and the producer of over 200 instructional videos. He's been formally recognized by the International Guild of Knot Tyers (IGKT) for his contributions to knotting, and is the originator of fusion knotting--the creation of innovative knots through the merging of different knot elements or knotting techniques. Paracord Fusion Ties - Volume 1 is the first of a multiple volume set of books exclusively utilizing paracord for his fusion knotting techniques.
Originally used as parachute suspension lines during World War II, paracord has since become a means to create an immeasurable variety of useful items, survival tools, and decorative ties. World-renowned for his knotting and tying skills, Lenzen guides readers through 35 different paracord fusion ties, all of which have never been presented in book form before. By way of over 800 crisp, clear, full-color photographs, coupled with succinctly written, easy to follow step-by-step instructions, he will show you how to create spherical ties, bars and bracelets, key fobs, medallions, straps, rapid deployment ties, falls, and more.
A book for young and old, expert knot tyers and novices alike, Paracord Fusion Ties - Volume 1 is a must for every knot enthusiast's library!
Foreword by Stormdrane.
|Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
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Author: Peter Stark
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's 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.
|A Fine Romance: Falling in Love With the English Countryside
Lowest new price: $17.45
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List price: $26.95
Author: Susan Branch
A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside, part love story, part travel guide, is a hand-written and watercolored personal travel journal of Susan's six-day transatlantic crossing on board the Queen Mary 2 and two-month ramble through the backroads of rural England.
There are over three hundred photos, countless illustrations, wonderful quotes, recipes, a book list, a movie list, watercolored maps and so much more. Travel with Susan as she makes her way through wildflower hedgerows to visit the homes and gardens of her literary and artistic heroes including Beatrix Potter and Jane Austen. It's a travel guide that will help you with your own trip, lovely for the armchair traveler because Susan really does take you there, and it's perfect for all Downton Abbey anglophiles. When you are finished, go to Susan's website where there is an interactive Appendix to the book .... you can experience driving across the Dales with Susan's own videos and find links to everything she writes about, the cottages and gardens you want to see yourself.
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