Dip: Wild Swims from the Borderlands

DipDip: Wild Swims from the Borderlands by Andrew Fusek Peters

A lyrical account of a year’s wild swimming in Britain.
In “Dip,” Andrew Fusek Peters describes an extraordinary year of wild swimming. He leads us to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and hidden pools, into untamed landscapes that have the potential to surprise and move us in unexpected ways. Following in the wake of great writers such as Richard Jefferies and Edward Thomas, “Dip” combines meditations on place, history and myth with sharp observation and a poet’s eye.
As he takes the plunge and immerses himself in the elements, Andrew also begins to surface from a deep depression, making “Dip” at once a personal journey and about the many ways in which wild water and nature can restore us to ourselves.”

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Travelling the World with MS…: …in a Wheelchair

Traveling the World with MSTravelling the World with MS…: …in a Wheelchair by Linda MCGowan

Since her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis in 1983, Linda McGowan has tenaciously pursued her dream of travelling the globe. From viewing the top of the world from a basket on the back of a porter at the Annapurna base camp in Nepal, to hob-knobbing with emperor penguins at the end of the world on the Falkland Islands, Linda describes in vivid detail her exploits and colourful encounters while travelling through vastly different countries. Using creativity, patience and an open-mind, Linda shows how she conquered unique challenges and enjoyed a plethora of wondrous sights, people, foods and experiences, all from the apparent vulnerability of her wheelchair.

“Linda’s story debunks an important societal myth — that life ends with disability. Linda not only lives with progressive multiple sclerosis, but thrives with it as a world traveller, disability activist, and superb raconteur.”–Tiffany Regaudie “Senior Cooordinator, Communications, MS Society of Canada ”

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The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey

The Oregon TrailThe Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck

“Absorbing…Winning…The many layers in “The Oregon Trail” are linked by Mr. Buck’s voice, which is alert and unpretentious in a manner that put me in mind of Bill Bryson’s comic tone in “A Walk in the Woods.”” –Dwight Garner, “The New York Times”
An epic account of traveling the length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way–in a covered wagon with a team of mules, an audacious journey that hasn’t been attempted in a century–which also chronicles 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 coast, the Oregon Trail is the route that made America. In the fifteen years before the Civil War, when 400,000 pioneers used the trail to emigrate West–scholars still regard this as the largest land migration in history–it united the coasts, doubled the size of the country, and laid the groundwork for the railroads. Today, amazingly, the trail is all but forgotten.
Rinker Buck is no stranger to grand adventures. His first travel narrative, “Flight of Passage,” was hailed by “The New Yorker” as “a funny, cocky gem of a book,” and with “The Oregon Trail” he brings the most important route in American history back to glorious and vibrant life.
Traveling from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Baker City, Oregon, over the course of four months, Buck is accompanied by three cantankerous mules, his boisterous brother, Nick, and an “incurably filthy” Jack Russell terrier named Olive Oyl. Along the way, they dodge thunderstorms in Nebraska, chase runaway mules across the Wyoming plains, scout more than five hundred miles of nearly vanished trail on foot, cross the Rockies, and make desperate fifty-mile forced marches for water. The Buck brothers repair so many broken wheels and axels that they nearly reinvent the art of wagon travel itself. They also must reckon with the ghost of their father, an eccentric yet loveable dreamer whose memory inspired their journey across the plains and whose premature death, many years earlier, has haunted them both ever since.
But “The Oregon Trail” is much more than an epic adventure. It is also a lively and essential work of history that shatters the comforting myths about the trail years passed down by generations of Americans. Buck introduces readers to the largely forgotten roles played by trailblazing evangelists, friendly Indian tribes, female pioneers, bumbling U.S. Army cavalrymen, and the scam artists who flocked to the frontier to fleece the overland emigrants. Generous portions of the book are devoted to the history of old and appealing things like the mule and the wagon. We also learn how the trail accelerated American economic development. Most arresting, perhaps, are the stories of the pioneers themselves–ordinary families whose extraordinary courage and sacrifice made this country what it became.
At once a majestic journey across the West, a significant work of history, and a moving personal saga, “The Oregon Trail “draws readers into the journey of a lifetime. It is a wildly ambitious work of nonfiction from a true American original. It is a book with a heart as big as the country it crosses.

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In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist

In the City of BikesIn the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist by Peter Jordan

Pete Jordan, author of the wildly popular Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States, is back with a memoir that tells the story of his love affair with Amsterdam, the city of bikes, all the while unfolding an unknown history of the city’s cycling, from the craze of the 1890s, through the Nazi occupation, to the bike-centric culture adored by the world today

Pete never planned to stay long in Amsterdam, just a semester. But he quickly falls in love with the city and soon his wife, Amy Joy, joins him. Together they explore every inch of their new home on two wheels, their rides a respite from the struggles that come with starting a new life in a new country.

Weaving together personal anecdotes and details of the role that cycling has played throughout Dutch history, Pete Jordan’s In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist is a poignant and entertaining read.

“A charming and quirky book….Jordan’s portrait of bicycle culture in Amsterdam gives a fascinating account of a viable alternative to dependence on cars. ” -“Christian Science Monitor”

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The Cyclist’s Bucket List: A Celebration of 75 Quintessential Cycling Experiences

The Cyclist's Bucket ListThe Cyclist’s Bucket List: A Celebration of 75 Quintessential Cycling Experiences by Ian Dille

The smell of lavender at a roadside picnic, waiting for the Tour de France to race past. The Pacific Ocean view from the 10,000-foot summit of Hawaii’s Haleakala volcanic crater (after 5 hours of uphill riding). A fresh Fat Tire ale hitting your lips at the new Belgium brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. These, and a wide-ranging variety of other experiences, all rooted to a specific location or event, comprise “The Cyclist’s Bucket List.” The book definitively catalogs both the iconic and little known-the accessible and aspirational-sensory and emotional experiences that instill cyclists with a deep passion for the sport.
In this book, Ian Dille compiles and showcases the world’s quintessential cycling experiences through extensive research and interviews with expert sources, vivid storytelling, stunning photography, and compelling design. The format includes lengthy in-depth descriptions as well as much shorter, easy to consume write-ups, ranging from locations such as Italy and Belgium to Nova Scotia and Texas.

“The Cyclist’s Bucket List” will serve as an indispensible, lifelong guide for every cyclist.

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Arcadia Britannica: A Modern British Folklore Portrait

A Modern British Folklore PortraitArcadia Britannica: A Modern British Folklore Portrait by Henry Bourne

The British love of dressing up takes a weird and wondrous turn. . . . When captured by Bourne s lens, one thing is abundantly clear: Much like fancy dress at Halloween, modern folk is fun. ”

Arcadia Britannica is the product of photographer Henry Bourne s repeated trips to some of Britain s greatest folk events: striking color portraits capture an eccentric collection of individuals in inventive outfits, including arboreal costumes, pagan-inspired creations, and historical garb.Arcadia Britanica These were captured at events like the annual Jack in the Green festival held in Hastings in May, for which the town and its people are decked in green to welcome summer, and the Easter Sunday celebration in Bacup, Lancashire, where fiercely proud Britannia Coconut Dancers (or Nutters ) perform their traditional seven dances. An accompanying text by Simon Costin provides the historical backstory and explains the folklore behind this wacky, inspiring collection of images.

Arcadia BritanicaFeaturing 125 portraits, the book is an endearing album of extravagantly costumed individuals inventively disguised as shrubs or haystacks, shimmering with mother-of-pearl buttons, and posturing as witchy high priestesses. ”

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Lonely Planet Adventures in Famous Places ( Lonely Planet Kids )

AAdventures in Famous PlacesLonely Planet Adventures in Famous Places ( Lonely Planet Kids )

This new sticker activity series for kids aged 3 and up shows kids the incredible sights and diverse environments of planet earth. Keep little hands busy on long journeys with these bumper books of stickers that mix amazing facts about some of the world’s famous places with great illustrations, plus a small dose of humour.

More than 250 reusable stickers of people, objects, and animals accompany this addition to the Adventures In travel-activity book series; the stickers can be applied to the book’s glossy pages, which feature scenes from notable locations in 10 countries that include Udaipur in India (“the Venice of the East”), the Canadian Rockies, the city of Dubai, and more. Text bursts dot the landscapes (of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon: “The lagoon water looks bright blue and is filled with rich minerals called silica and sulphur. It’s one smelly pool!”), and games and activities appear throughout. Casual learning for young travelers. Simultaneously available: Adventures in Noisy Places and Adventures in Smelly Places. Ages 3–5.

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Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain

Under Another SkyUnder Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain by Charlotte Higgins

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the captivating and haunting exploration of the remnants of an empire
What does Roman Britain mean to us now? How were its physical remains rediscovered and made sense of? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse?
Sometimes on foot, sometimes in a magnificent, if not entirely reliable, VW camper van, Charlotte Higgins sets out to explore the ancient monuments of Roman Britain. She explores the land that was once Rome’s northernmost territory and how it has changed since the years after the empire fell. Under Another Sky invites us to see the British landscape, and British history, in an entirely fresh way: as indelibly marked by how the Romans first imagined and wrote, these strange and exotic islands, perched on the edge of theknown world, into existence.

“Beautifully crafted. The beauty of this book is not just in the elegant prose . . . It is in the sympathy that she shows for the myth-makers.” –Peter Stothard, “The Times”

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On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads

On the Trail of Genghis KhanOn the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads by Tim Cope

Grand Prize Winner, Banff Mountain Festival Book Competition

The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave rise to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Among them were the Mongols of the thirteenth century–a small tribe, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life nomads lead, Tim Cope embarked on a journey that hadn’t been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary.

From horse-riding novice to spending months in the saddle, he learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the haunting extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. As he travelled he formed a close bond with his horses and especially his dog Tigon, and encountered essential hospitality–the linchpin of human survival on the steppe–from those he met along the way.

Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang in the balance in the post-Soviet world–an era that has brought new-found freedom, but also the perils of corruption and alcoholism, and left a world bereft of both the Communist system upon which it once relied, and the traditional knowledge of the nomadic forefathers.

A journey of adventure, endurance and eventual triumph, “On the Trail of Genghis Khan” is at once a celebration of and an elegy for an ancient way of life.

This great journey gives the lie to any notion that the world is too much known. It’s an astonishing feat of courage and imagination, travelling in its own rich dimension–of nomad history and the horse.–Colin Thubron

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A Curious Guide to London

A Curious Guide to LondonA Curious Guide to London by Simon Leyland

From petticoat duels and lucky cats to the Stiffs Express, Lord Nelson’s spare nose, the Piccadilly earthquake and the Great Beer Flood of 1814, ‘A Curious Guide to London’ takes you on a captivating, wildly entertaining tour of the city you think you know, unearthing the capital’s secrets and commemorating its rich, colourful and unusual history.

Brimming with tales of London’s forgotten past, its strangest traditions and its most eccentric inhabitants, this book celebrates the unique, the unusual and the unknown. Perfect for tourists, day-trippers, commuters and the millions of people who call London home, this alternative guidebook will make you look at the city in a whole new light.

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