My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrel

 

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My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

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This book is an autobiographical account of five years in the childhood of naturalist Gerald Durrell when he lived with his family lived on the island of Corfu. Apart from Gerald (the youngest) and Larry (Lawrence Durrell, the novelist), the family comprised their widowed mother, the gun-mad Leslie, and diet-obsessed sister Margo together with Roger the dog. The procession of animals includes toads, and tortoises, bats and butterflies scorpions and geckos, ladybirds, glow-worms, octopuses and rose-beetles, Ulysses, the Scops owl, Quasimodo the pigeon, the puppies Widdle and Puke, and of course the magpies. The family is fiercely protected by their taxi-driver friend Spiro, and Gerald is mentored by the polymath Dr Theodore Stephanides who provides his education in natural history.

Gerald Durrell – naturalist, author, media personality, conservationist and founder of the internationally renowned Jersey Zoo. He was a passionate and persuasive advocate of the need for the conservation of animals and plants and their habitats. A larger than life character, he was a brilliant story-teller in speech and in print.

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Expat Etiquette: How to Look Good in Bad Places

Expat EtiquetteExpat Etiquette: How to Look Good in Bad Places by Michael Bear & Liz Good

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Going overseas is hard. Leaving friends and family behind. Traveling to a country where you probably don’t speak the language, and definitely don’t understand the culture. Foreign foods, foreign diseases. Loneliness. Of course, it does have its compensations. Smoking. Casual sex. Functional alcoholism. Add a little danger and excitement, and it’s a difficult offer to refuse.

Expat Etiquette is a guide for all of those who want to travel to far-away and sometimes dangerous lands—for the best or worst of reasons—while retaining a modicum of style. Expat Etiquette provides that essential advice you won’t find anywhere else, like how to drink bootleg liquor and not go blind, have an overseas affair, or negotiate with rebel groups.

All royalties will be donated to the Center for Civilians in Conflict

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Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve

ApostelApostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve by Tom Bissell

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Expertly researched and fascinating Bissell is a wonderfully sure guide to these mysterious men. This is a serious book about the origins of Christianity that is also very funny. How often can you say that? “The Independent”
A profound and moving journey into the heart of Christianity that explores the mysterious and often paradoxical lives and legacies of the Twelve Apostles a book both for those of the faith and for others who seek to understand Christianity from the outside in.
Peter, Matthew, Thomas, John: Who were these men? What was their relationship to Jesus? Tom Bissell provides rich and surprising answers to these ancient, elusive questions. He examines not just who these men were (and weren t), but also how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia.
Ultimately, Bissell finds that the story of the apostles “is “the story of early Christianity: its competing versions of Jesus s ministry, its countless schisms, and its ultimate evolution from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know today in all its forms and permutations. In his quest to understand the underpinnings of the world s largest religion, Bissell embarks on a years-long pilgrimage to the supposed tombs of the Twelve Apostles. He travels from Jerusalem and Rome to Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, India, and Kyrgyzstan, vividly capturing the rich diversity of Christianity s worldwide reach. Along the way, he engages with a host of characters priests, paupers, a Vatican archaeologist, a Palestinian taxi driver, a Russian monk posing sharp questions that range from the religious to the philosophical to the political.
Written with warmth, empathy, and rare acumen, “Apostle “is a brilliant synthesis of travel writing, biblical history, and a deep, lifelong relationship with Christianity. The result is an unusual, erudite, and at times hilarious book a religious, intellectual, and personal adventure fit for believers, scholars, and wanderers alike.”

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Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 58 National Parks by Michael Oswald

Your Guide to National ParksYour Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 58 National Parks  by Michael Oswald

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Your Guide provides step-by-step itineraries, kid-friendly activities, and all of the most popular ranger programs to help plan your family vacation. Thousands of hotels, restaurants, and attractions beyond the parks, as well as 11 suggested road trips make it the ultimate dashboard companion. Exhaustive activity information, including hiking tables, easy-to-find trailhead markers, outfitter details, and backpacking essentials, serves as blueprint for an adventure of a lifetime. With something for everyone this is “Your Guide to the National Parks.”

“Your Guide to the National Parks” is the recipient of the 2013 Ben Franklin Award in Travel.

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The Journey: The Fine Art of Traveling by Train

 The JourneyThe Journey: The Fine Art of Traveling by Train by Gestalin Verlag

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Train trips are classic yet very of the moment. Whether a quick escape through the Alps or a getaway from coast to coast lasting several days, this book takes its readers for a ride through beautiful routes on the most exceptional trains with the best interiors. Trains have always been the only truly cultivated way to travel. Today, in the age of budding airlines, never-ending security controls, and sustainability issues, this is truer than ever before. Journey2The slower rhythm from departure to arrival, the relaxed glide through the landscape, and the shift between city and country fill rail enthusiasts with great joy and are pleasures waiting to be discovered by the uninitiated. The Journey presents a varied selection of extraordinary travel opportunities by train from around the world. The reader is invited aboard modern high-speed trains, spectacular panoramic railways, dining carriages, rolling casinos, and elegant compartments of historic luxury trains.

Journey3 The book presents the exteriors and interiors of these different trains, their routes, and their defining character. It takes the reader on a journey to breathtaking canyons and romantic landscapes, recounts adventurous travel reports, and describes the history and current developments of well-known trains, including the Napa Valley Wine Train, the Venice Simplon Orient Express, the Japanese Bullet Train Shinkansen, the Glacier Express, Journey4the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the El Transcantabrico. Striking images, informative geographical materials, and personal experiences characterize these train adventures, ranging from the quick three-hour trip to the transcontinental journey lasting several days. The Journey also depicts the many other aspects that contribute to the whole experience of a successful train journey; the architecture of old and new train stations as sites for grand emotions, pictures of passing landscapes and travelling salesmen, advice from experienced train travelers on the right reading material, suitable snacks, recommended stopovers, and how to optimize luggage. Train travel is without a doubt one of the best ways to decelerate from our fast-paced daily lives. After all, the journey is also a destination.

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The World on a Plate: 40 Cuisines, 100 Recipes, and the Stories Behind Them

World on a plateThe World on a Plate: 40 Cuisines, 100 Recipes, and the Stories Behind Them by Mina Holland

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Eat your way around the world without leaving your home in this mouthwatering cultural history of 100 classic dishes.
Best Culinary Travel Book (U.K.), Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Finalist for the Fortnum & Mason Food Book Award
When we eat, we travel. So begins this irresistible tour of the cuisines of the world, revealing what people eat and why in forty cultures. What s the origin of kimchi in Korea? Why do we associate Argentina with steak? Why do people in Marseille eat bouillabaisse? What spices make a dish taste North African versus North Indian? What is the story behind the curries of India? And how do you know whether to drink a wine from Bourdeaux or one from Burgundy?
Bubbling over with anecdotes, trivia, and lore from the role of a priest in the genesis of Camembert to the Mayan origins of the word “chocolate” “The World on a Plate “serves up a delicious melange of recipes, history, and culinary wisdom to be savored by food lovers and armchair travelers alike.”

“There are cookbooks that teach you to cook, others that help you to understand gastronomy. “The World on a Plate” feeds your soul.” –Ferran Adria

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Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages

LingoLingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages by Gaston Dorren

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Whether you’re a frequent visitor to Europe or just an armchair traveler, the surprising and extraordinary stories in Lingo will forever change the way you think about the continent, and may even make you want to learn a new language.

Lingo spins the reader on a whirlwind tour of sixty European languages and dialects, sharing quirky moments from their histories and exploring their commonalities and differences. Most European languages are descended from a single ancestor, a language not unlike Sanskrit known as Proto-Indo-European (or PIE for short), but the continent’s ever-changing borders and cultures have given rise to a linguistic and cultural diversity that is too often forgotten in discussions of Europe as a political entity. Lingo takes us into today’s remote mountain villages of Switzerland, where Romansh is still the lingua franca, to formerly Soviet Belarus, a country whose language was Russified by the Bolsheviks, to Sweden, where up until the 1960s polite speaking conventions required that one never use the word “you” in conversation, leading to tiptoeing questions of the form: “Would herr generaldirektör Rexed like a biscuit?”

Spanning six millenia and sixty languages in bite-size chapters, Lingo is a hilarious and highly edifying exploration of how Europe speaks.

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Transit Maps of the World

Transit Maps of the WorldTransit Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden

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A completely updated and expanded edition of the cult bestseller, featuring subway, light rail, and streetcar maps from New York to Nizhny Novgorod

Transit Maps of the World is the first and only comprehensive collection of historical and current maps of every rapid-transit system on earth. In glorious, colorful graphics, Mark Ovenden traces the cartographic history of mass transit—including rare and historic maps, diagrams, and photographs, some available for the first time since their original publication.

Now expanded with thirty-six more pages, 250 city maps revised from previous editions, and listings given from almost a thousand systems in total, this is the graphic designer’s new bible, the transport enthusiast’s dream collection, and a coffee-table essential for everyone who’s ever traveled in a city.

 

“Ovenden does what no other design history book has ever done. Transit Maps of the World is a must-have.”
The New York Times Book Review

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Higher: 100 Years of Boeing

Higher 100 years of BoeingHigher: 100 Years of Boeing by Russ Banham

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Over the course of a century, the Boeing Company has grown from a small outfit operating out of a converted boathouse producing a single pontoon plane made from canvas and wood into the world’s largest aerospace company. The thrilling story of the celebrated organization is one filled with ambition, ingenuity, and a passion to exceed expectations. Higher 2 In this lavishly illustrated book, published to coincide with Boeing’s 100th anniversary, Pulitzer Prize nominated author Russ Banham recounts the tale of a company and an industry like no other one that has put men on the moon, defended the free world, and changed the way we live.”

Higher 3“HIGHER ably commemorates Boeing’s enduring achievement, gliding nimbly through its triumphs of design, engineering and manufacture and, not least, its memorable contributions to wars won.”
-The Wall Street Journal”

a lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched overview of the aerospace giant’s first century.”
-Aviation Week

 

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Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations

Atlas of Curesed PlacesAtlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations by Olivier Le Carrer

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Oliver Le Carrer brings us a fascinating history and armchair journey to the world’s most dangerous and frightful places, complete with vintage maps and period illustrations in a handsome volume.This alluring read includes 40 locations that are rife with disaster, chaos, paranormal activity, and death. The locations gathered here include the dangerous Strait of Messina, home of the mythical sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis; the coal town of Jharia, where the ground burns constantly with fire; Kasanka National Park in Zambia, where 8 million migrating bats darken the skies; the Nevada Triangle in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where hundreds of aircraft have disappeared; and Aokigahara Forest near Mount Fuji in Japan, the world’s second most popular suicide location following the Golden Gate Bridge.”

Library Journal

11/01/2015
This is the English translation of a 2013 French publication (Le rêve d’une île) by Le Carrer, a dedicated maritime adventurer and storyteller (the French version also credits his wife, Sybille Le Carrer). The book outlines 40 sites across the planet that are “cursed” in one of three ways—places “bound up with admonitions of a mystical order” (e.g., the Bermuda Triangle); those that “for a variety of natural reasons…enduringly blight the lives of the local populations or present a real danger to local people and visitors alike” (e.g. Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands whose possible collapse could cause a tsunami that would inundate the Americas); and places “rendered uninhabitable by human activity” (e.g., Nauru, where the exhaustion of the phosphate deposits has completely collapsed the island’s economy and viability). Each entry includes one or more vintage maps with descriptive narrative. VERDICT This tour of the world’s more unusual, frightening, and mysterious locations offers serious social commentary on human failings but is also whimsical in its approach. Highly recommended for reading by the fireside on a stormy night.—Edward K. Werner, formerly with St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL

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