Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening

SwellSwell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening by Captain Liz Clark

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True surfers understand that surfing is not a sport, a hobby or even a lifestyle. Instead, it is a path, a constantly evolving journey that directs where you go, how you live, and who you are. In 2006, Liz Clark decided to follow the path that surfing, sailing and love of the ocean had presented to her. Embarking on an adventure that most only dream of taking, she set sail from Santa Barbara, solo, headed to the South Pacific. Nine years later she is still following her path in search of surf and self and the beauty and inspiration that lies beyond the beaten path. In stories overflowing with epic waves and at the whim of the weather, Liz captures her voyage in gripping detail, telling tales of self awareness, solitude, connection to the earth, and really great surf spots.

When Liz Clark was nine, her family spent seven months sailing down Mexico’s Pacific coast. After returning to land life in San Diego, she dreamed of seeing the world by sailboat one day. While earning her BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara, she fell in love with surfing. After college, she turned her voyaging dream into reality, sailing south from Southern California through Central America and the Pacific Islands. For more than a decade, she has kept her nomadic ocean lifestyle going through writing, blogging, photography, representing conscious brands, and earning recognition as a surf adventurer, environmental activist, and captain. She hopes to inspire people to live their passions and reconnect with nature and our inherent oneness. She was featured in the film Dear and Yonder (2009), and nominated for National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2015.

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Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude by Stephanie Rosenbloom

Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude by Stephanie Rosenbloom

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“In Paris (or anywhere else, really) a table for one can be a most delightful place.” —Alone Time, as seen in The New York Times

A wise, passionate account of the pleasures of traveling solo

In our increasingly frantic daily lives, many people are genuinely fearful of the prospect of solitude, but time alone can be both rich and restorative, especially when travelling. Through on-the-ground reporting and recounting the experiences of artists, writers, and innovators who cherished solitude, Stephanie Rosenbloom considers how being alone as a traveller—and even in one’s own city—is conducive to becoming acutely aware of the sensual details of the world—patterns, textures, colors, tastes, sounds—in ways that are difficult to do in the company of others.

Alone Time is divided into four parts, each set in a different city, in a different season, in a single year. The destinations—Paris, Istanbul, Florence, New York—are all pedestrian-friendly, allowing travelers to slow down and appreciate casual pleasures instead of hurtling through museums and posting photos to Instagram. Each section spotlights a different theme associated with the joys and benefits of time alone and how it can enable people to enrich their lives—facilitating creativity, learning, self-reliance, as well as the ability to experiment and change. Rosenbloom incorporates insights from psychologists and sociologists who have studied solitude and happiness, and explores such topics as dining alone, learning to savor, discovering interests and passions, and finding or creating silent spaces. Her engaging and elegant prose makes Alone Time as warmly intimate an account as the details of a trip shared by a beloved friend—and will have its many readers eager to set off on their own solo adventures.

Stephanie Rosenbloom is the staff columnist for the Travel section of The New York Times, where she has been a reporter for various desks (including Styles, Business, and Real Estate) for more than a decade. She has appeared on CNN’s American Morning, NBC’s The Today Show, and NPR’s The Takeaway.

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Don’t Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip by Richard Ratay

Don’t Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip by Richard Ratay

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Part pop history and part whimsical memoir in the spirit of National Lampoon’s VacationDon’t Make Me Pull Over!is a nostalgic look at the golden age of family road trips—a halcyon era that culminated in the latter part of the twentieth century, before portable DVD players, iPods, and Google Maps.

In the days before cheap air travel, families didn’t so much take vacations as survive them. Between home and destination lay thousands of miles and dozens of annoyances, and with his family Richard Ratay experienced all of them—from being crowded into the backseat with noogie-happy older brothers, to picking out a souvenir only to find that a better one might have been had at the next attraction, to dealing with a dad who didn’t believe in bathroom breaks.

The birth of America’s first interstate highways in the 1950s hit the gas pedal on the road trip phenomenon and families were soon streaming—sans seatbelts!—to a range of sometimes stirring, sometimes wacky locations. Frequently, what was remembered the longest wasn’t Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, or Disney World, but such roadside attractions as “The Thing” in Texas Canyon, Arizona, or “The Mystery Spot” in Santa Cruz, California. In this road tourism-crazy era that stretched through the 1970’s, national parks attendance swelled to 165 million, and a whopping 2.2 million people visited Gettysburg each year, thirteen times the number of soldiers who fought in the battle.

Now, decades later, Ratay offers a paean to what was lost, showing how family togetherness was eventually sacrificed to electronic distractions and the urge to “get there now.” In hundreds of amusing ways, he reminds us of what once made the Great American Family Road Trip so great, including twenty-foot “land yachts,” oasis-like Holiday Inn “Holidomes,” “Smokey”-spotting Fuzzbusters, 28 glorious flavors of Howard Johnson’s ice cream, and the thrill of finding a “good buddy” on the CB radio.

A rousing Ratay family ride-along, Don’t Make Me Pull Over! reveals how the family road trip came to be, how its evolution mirrored the country’s, and why those magical journeys that once brought families together—for better and worse—have largely disappeared.

Richard Ratay was the last of four kids raised by two mostly attentive parents in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism and has worked as an award-winning advertising copywriter for twenty-five years. Ratay lives in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, with his wife, Terri, their two sons, and two very excitable rescue dogs.

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See You Again in Pyongyang: A Journey Into Kim Jong Un’s North Korea

See You Again in Pyongyang: A Journey Into Kim Jong Un’s North Korea by Travis Jeppesen

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A “close-up look at the cloistered country” (USA Today), See You Again in Pyongyang is American writer Travis Jeppesen’s “probing” and “artful” (New York Times Book Review) chronicle of his travels in North Korea–an eye-opening portrait that goes behind the headlines about Trump and Kim, revealing North Koreans’ “entrepreneurial spirit, and hidden love of foreign media, as well as their dreams and fears” (Los Angeles Times).

In See You Again in Pyongyang, Travis Jeppesen, the first American to complete a university program in North Korea, culls from his experiences living, traveling, and studying in the country to create a multifaceted portrait of the country and its idiosyncratic capital city in the Kim Jong Un Era. Anchored by the experience of his five trips to North Korea and his interactions with citizens from all walks of life, Jeppesen takes readers behind the propaganda, showing how the North Korean system actually works in daily life. He challenges the notion that Pyongyang is merely a “showcase capital” where everything is staged for the benefit of foreigners, as well as the idea that Pyongyangites are brainwashed robots. Jeppesen introduces readers to an array of fascinating North Koreans, from government ministers with a side hustle in black market Western products to young people enamored with American pop culture. With unique personal insight and a rigorous historical grounding, Jeppesen goes beyond the media cliches, showing North Koreans in their full complexity. See You Again in Pyongyang is an essential addition to the literature about one of the world’s most fascinating and mysterious places.

Travis Jeppesen is the author of three novels, two volumes of poetry, a stage play, and a collection of art criticism. His critical writings on art, film, and literature have appeared in Artforum, Afterall, The Believer, Art in America, Flash Art, New York Press, Bookforum, and Zoo Magazine. He is the recipient of a 2013 Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital/the Warhol Foundation, and his text-based visual art has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and was featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

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Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier by Mark Adams

Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier by Mark Adams

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From the acclaimed, bestselling author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu, a fascinating and funny journey into Alaska, America’s last frontier, retracing the historic 1899 Harriman Expedition.

In 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman organized a most unusual summer voyage to the wilds of Alaska: He converted a steamship into a luxury “floating university,” populated by some of America’s best and brightest scientists and writers, including the anti-capitalist eco-prophet John Muir. Those aboard encountered a land of immeasurable beauty and impending environmental calamity. More than a hundred years later, Alaska is still America’s most sublime wilderness, both the lure that draws a million tourists annually on Inside Passage cruises and a natural resources larder waiting to be raided. As ever, it remains a magnet for weirdos and dreamers.

Armed with Dramamine and an industrial-strength mosquito net, Mark Adams sets out to retrace the 1899 expedition. Using the state’s intricate public ferry system, the Alaska Marine Highway System, Adams travels three thousand miles, following the George W. Elder‘s itinerary north through Wrangell, Juneau, and Glacier Bay, then continuing west into the colder and stranger regions of the Aleutians and the Arctic Circle. Along the way, he encounters dozens of unusual characters (and a couple of very hungry bears) and investigates how lessons learned in 1899 might relate to Alaska’s current struggles in adapting to climate change.

Mark Adams is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Meet Me in Atlantis and Turn Right at Machu Picchu. A writer for many national magazines, including GQ, Men’s Journal, and New York, he lives near New York City with his wife and children.

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Around the World in Fifteen Friends: Fifteen Short Stories of Love, Crime, and Kindness

Around the World in Fifteen Friends: Fifteen Short Stories of Love, Crime, and Kindness by Tynan

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Tynan traveled six continents and seventy countries over eight years. Over that time he met hundreds of people and found himself in the most varied of circumstances. This book is a collection of fifteen of the most remarkable people he met or traveled with, and the stories he made with them. The stories include everything from breaking down in a school bus in the middle of the desert to exploring the Parias catacombs to trying to set up an arranged marriage on a ship in the Pacific.

Tynan is a world traveler who has previously written five books, including the Amazon #1 Bestseller, Superhuman Social Skills. He was one of Time Magazine’s top 50 bloggers, and was chosen as an Amtrak Resident Writer.

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Alaskan Lonely Hearts Club: And Other Unlikely Travel Tales by Paul Gogarty

Alaskan Lonely Hearts Club: And Other Unlikely Travel Tales by Paul Gogarty

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VIGNETTES OF TRAVEL WRITING FROM AROUND THE GLOBE IN TWENTY SIX  A – Z  STORIES, PEOPLED WITH ECCENTRIC CHARACTERS–In Alaskan Lonely Hearts Club acclaimed travel writer Paul Gogarty shares his life on the road in 26 A-Z stories recording his very particular engagement with some highly eccentric characters. An eclectic range of destinations sees Gogarty skiing in Algeria, deep sea fishing in Kenya and attending a George Formby ukulele convention in Blackpool. Often hilarious, these tales range from an end-of-the-line bachelor auction in Alaska to attending the Henley-on-Todd Regatta in the parched dustbowl of Alice Springs. A passion for music is a thread running through several of the stories. In “Caister Soul Weekender” Gogarty checks into an East Anglian static caravan site for three days of dance, Red Bull and camaraderie. After hanging out with country wannabes in Nashville and attending the Delta Blues Festival in Greenville his car breaks down at the very crossroads where bluesman Robert Johnson reputedly sold his soul to the devil in return for guitar mastery. Nor is Gogarty afraid to sign up for the bizarre, whether visiting a homemade Stonehenge, taking an Arctic plunge protected only by swimming trunks, or learning the arcane art of healing and dowsing for hereditary diseases in Basingstoke. This collection showcases the diversity and possibilities of travel writing. More than anything else these tales underline a fascination with people and an openness to experience the world in all its diversity.

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How to Be Married: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents about Building a Happy Marriage

How to Be Married: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Building a Happy Marriage by Jo Piazza

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Everyone tells you marriage is hard, but no one tells you what to do about it.

At age thirty-four, Jo Piazza got her romantic-comedy ending when she met the man of her dreams on a boat in the Galápagos Islands and was engaged three months later. But before long, Jo found herself riddled with questions. How do you make a marriage work in a world where you no longer need to be married? How does an independent, strong-willed feminist become someone’s partner—all the time?

In the tradition of writers such as Nora Ephron and Elizabeth Gilbert, award-winning journalist and nationally bestselling author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at matrimony.

A travel editor constantly on the move, Jo journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means. Throughout this stunning, funny, warm, and wise personal narrative, she gleans wisdom from matrilineal tribeswomen, French ladies who lunch, Orthodox Jewish moms, Swedish stay-at-home dads, polygamous warriors, and Dutch prostitutes.

Written with refreshing candor, elegant prose, astute reporting, and hilarious insight into the human psyche, How to Be Married offers an honest portrait of an utterly charming couple. When life throws more at them than they ever expected—a terrifying health diagnosis, sick parents to care for, unemployment—they ultimately create a fresh understanding of what it means to be equal partners during the good and bad times.

Through their journey, they reveal a framework that will help the rest of us keep our marriages strong, from engagement into the newlywed years and beyond.

JO PIAZZA is an award-winning journalist and the bestselling coauthor of the novel The Knockoff.  Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York magazine, Glamour, Elle, Time, Marie Claire, the Daily Beast, and Slate. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money; and If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters on a Mission. She holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in religious studies from New York University. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Nick and their giant dog.

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My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle

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My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle

The beloved author Peter Mayle, champion of all things Provence, here in a final volume of all new writing, offers vivid recollections from his twenty-five years in the South of France—lessons learned, culinary delights enjoyed, and changes observed.

Twenty-five years ago, Peter Mayle and his wife, Jennie, were rained out of a planned two weeks on the Côte d’Azur. In search of sunlight, they set off for Aix-en-Provence; enchanted by the world and life they found there, they soon decided to uproot their lives in England and settle in Provence. They have never looked back. As Mayle tells us, a cup of café might now cost three euros—but that price still buys you a front-row seat to the charming and indelible parade of village life. After the coffee, you might drive to see a lavender field that has bloomed every year for centuries, or stroll through the ancient history that coexists alongside Marseille’s metropolitan bustle. Modern life may have seeped into sleepy Provence, but its magic remains.

With his signature warmth, wit, and humor—and twenty-five years of experience—Peter Mayle is a one-of-a-kind guide to the continuing appeal of Provence. This thoughtful, vivid exploration of life well-lived, à la Provence, will charm longtime fans and a new generation of readers alike.

PETER MAYLE is the author of fifteen previous books. A recipient of the Légion d’Honneur from the French government for his cultural contributions, he lived in Provence with his wife, Jennie, for more than twenty-five years. He died in January 2018.

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Travels with Tinkerbelle: 6,000 Miles Around France

Travels with Tinkerbelle: 6,000 Miles Around France by Susie Kelly

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The author and her husband devised a simple plan – to take a tent and the dog and drive around the perimeter of France. Like many simple plans it went wrong before it started and they ended up with two dogs and a campervan named Tinkerbelle. Starting in Brittany, they drive along the Atlantic Coast south to the Pyrenees, then follow the Mediterranean resorts to the Alps before juddering off towards the north coast along terrifyingly high mountain causeways. But on the second day of their journey Tinkerbelle begins to self-destruct, helped by the new dog who does his best to eat her from the inside out. This is their story, as they travel from sandy beaches to snow-topped mountains exploring the diverse cultures, cuisines and countryside making up the country called France. Their journey takes them to places out of the ordinary, meeting interesting characters and witnessing ancient traditions. While the dogs rejoice in the freedom they find running on the beaches, Susie and Terry spend a lot of time holding their breath, wondering whether their clapped out old campervan called Tinkerbelle will manage to negotiate impossible mountain routes and get them home before she completely disintegrates.

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