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For the Armchair Adventurer



591.529 ADAMS
Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
Last Chance to See

Humorous science fiction novelist Adams and zoologist Carwardine travel to the ends of the earth to investigate the status of a variety of threatened species, encountering responses from officials of different governments and agencies ranging from helpful to threatening. Warning: the section on the Komodo dragon is not for the squeamish.

Caroline Alexander
The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton, who had previously come within 100 miles of the South Pole, headed south to attempt a crossing of Antarctica . When his ship became trapped in ice, the crew began a herculean struggle to survive and effect a rescue. Illustrated with extraordinary pictures taken by the expedition’s photographer.

917.404 BRYSON
(Book on cassette)
Bill Bryson
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Bryson, whose previous outdoor experience consisted of day trips in the gentle Cotswolds, prepares for hiking the Appalachian Trail by reading about bear attacks. He and his even less-prepared companion meet experienced and hapless hikers along the way, as he describes the Trail’s history and current problems.

917.04 CAHILL
Tim Cahill
Road Fever: A High-Speed Travelogue

Gary Sowerby and Tim Cahill set out to beat the time record driving from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska , fighting their way through bad roads, uncooperative officials, unstable political situations, and mountains of paperwork. Share the emotional ups and downs, the varied landscapes and the sometimes harrowing encounters of their 23 day 22 hour 43 minute trip.

917.804 AMBROSE
Stephen E. Ambrose
Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

Jefferson charged his secretary Meriwether Lewis with recruiting and outfitting a corps of men to discover a route to the Pacific across the newly-acquired Louisiana Purchase . Along the way, Lewis also described hundreds of new plants and animals; reported on waterways, minerals and soils; took celestial measurements for mapping; recorded Indian tribe populations, locations, activities, and vocabularies; developed plans for fort and trading post placement; and helped deliver Sacagawea’s baby. The author’s long-time personal interest in Lewis illuminates this study of a true man of the Enlightenment.

978.02 DUNCAN
Dayton Duncan
Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery: an illustrated history

An excellent accompaniment to the above, this profusely-illustrated companion book to the PBS documentary, with an introduction by documentary director Ken Burns, includes many journal extracts from Corps members as well as essays by Stephen E. Ambrose, Erica Funkhouser, and William Least Heat-Moon.

Miriam Estensen
Discovery: the Quest for the Great South Land

Its existence was theorized as long ago as ancient Greece , but it took Europeans until the 17 th century to discover Australia . Before the Dutch explored its western coasts, Spanish and Portuguese rivalry in the region led to daring voyages, political intrigue, and a thriving black market in maps.

910.4 HAYS
David Hays and Daniel Hays
My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn

Father David and son Dan alternate telling the story of sailing their 25 foot boat 17,000 miles around The Horn. Though they’d been sailing together since Dan was three, they face turbulent emotional times as well as challenging seas.

Thor Heyerdahl
Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft

No one would listen to Heyerdahl’s theory that evidence, including plants, statues, and stone pyramids, pointed to the colonization of Polynesia by people from Peru . So he built a balsa wood raft modeled on an ancient pattern, recruited five other adventurous men, and made the trip himself. Still an amazing feat, half a century later.

910.91631 KINDER
Gary Kinder
Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea

In 1857, Captain Herndon was unable to save the SS Central America, loaded with 400 passengers and California gold, from going down 200 miles off the Carolina coast. In the 1980s, engineer Tommy Thompson became interested in the technical difficulties of working in the deep ocean, and the creation of a vehicle for salvage became one of his projects. His efforts not only resulted in recovery of the Central America ’s gold and invaluable historical artifacts and documents, but also revolutionized the scientific study of oceans.

598.47 NAVEEN
Ron Naveen
Waiting to Fly: My Escapades with the Penguins of Antarctica

Think your daily routine is troublesome? For Naveen, a penguin census taker for the Antarctic Site Inventory, there is “…nothing better than being 7,210 miles from home, ready to tramp some frozen guano….” Very conscious of continuing the explorer-scientist tradition, Naveen details his job’s downside—being stranded in the middle of nowhere for weeks because of bad weather or ship-scheduling conflicts—and its benefits—having a baby penguin nestle in your lap.

917.762 RIDGEWAY
Rick Ridgeway
The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa

Explorer Rick Ridgeway and his companions climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, then descend the east face and head for the coast on foot through Tsavo Park. Descriptions of plants, animals, and peoples encountered are interwoven with the story of the park’s history and the author’s reflections on the unexpected relationship between hunting and conservation.

910.4 WOMEN
Lucy McCauley, ed.
Women in the Wild: True Stories of Adventure and Connection

Join Annie Dillard in the Ecuadorian jungle, Alice Walker and a horse named Blue, Jane Goodall among the chimpanzees, Louise Erdrich and a friendly skunk, and many other women authors on their trips into the wilderness.


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