Best Selling Audio Books in Writing - Travel Writing

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release date: May 04, 1998
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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
"Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire, I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town."

So begins Bill Bryson's hilarious book A Walk in the Woods.  Following his return to America after twenty years in Britain, Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.  The AT, as it's affectionately known to thousands of hikers, offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes--and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to test his own powers of ineptitude, and to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.  

For a start, there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa who accompanies the similarly unfit Bryson on the trail.  Once Bryson and Katz settle into their stride, it's not long before they come across the fabulously annoying Mary Ellen, whose disappearance ruins a perfectly good slice of pie, a gang of Ralph Lauren-attired yuppies from whom Katz appropriates a key piece of equipment, and a security guard in Pennsylvania who, for no ascertainable reason, impounds Bryson's car.  Mile by arduous mile these latter-day pioneers walk America, along the way surviving the threat of bear attacks, the loss of key provisions, and everything else this awe-inspiring country can throw at them.  

But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike.  Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this fragile and beautiful trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness.  An adventure, a comedy, a lament, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is destined to become a modern classic of travel literature.
release date: Jun 06, 2000
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In a Sunburned Country
Read by the author
Nine CDs, 10 hours

Just in time for the 2000 Olympics-the bestselling quthor of A Walk in the Woods takes listeners on a truly outrageous tour Down Under.

Compared to his Australian excursions, Bill Bryson had it easy on the Appalachian Trail.  Nonetheless, Bryson has on several occasions embarked on seemingly endless flights bound for a land where Little Debbies are scarce but insects are abundant (up to 220,000 species of them), not to mention crocodiles.

Taking listeners on a rollicking ride far beyond packaged-tour routes, IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY introduces a place where interesting things happen all the time.  Leaving no Vegemite unsavored, listeners will accompany Bryson as he dodges jellyfish while learning to surf at Bondi Beach, discovers a fish that can climb trees, dehydrates in deserts where temperatures leap to 140 degrees F, and tells the true story of the rejected Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House.
release date: Sep 01, 1994
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Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes (Classic non-fiction)
This is the enchanting account of a Stevenson's 1878 journey in rural France, alone with his pack-donkey Modestine.
release date: Oct 17, 2006
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Bill Bryson Collector's Edition: Notes from a Small Island, Neither Here Nor There, and I'm a Stranger Here Myself
Notes from a Small Island
After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to move his wife and kids back to his homeland of the United States. But not before taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. The result is a hilarious social commentary that conveys the true glory of Britain.

Neither Here nor There
Thirty years after backpacking across Europe, Bill Bryson decides to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth–carrying with him a bag of maps, old clothes…and a stinging wit honed to razor sharpness by two decades of adult experience.

I’m a Stranger Here Myself
Bill Bryson read “somewhere” that nearly three million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens–clearly the Americans needed Bill back. So after years raising his family in Britain with his English wife, the brood moves to the United States, and leaves Bill to chronicle the quirkiest aspects of life in America as he reveals his own rules for life.
release date: Oct 22, 2006
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release date: Nov 01, 2004
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A Year in Provence

More than 40,000 listeners have enjoyed this story on cassette. Now anyone who's ever dreamed of getting away from it all can enjoy the charms and challenges of A Year in Provence on CD!
Peter Mayle and his wife had been to Provence as tourists. They had dreamed of one day trading the long, gray winters and damp summers of England for the blue skies and sunshine of the coast of southern France. And then they made it happen.
They moved into an old farmhouse at the foot of the Luberon mountains and embarked on a wonderful, if at times bewildering, new life. Among their experiences that first year: being inundated with builders and visitors, grappling with the native accent, taking part in goat races and supervising the planting of a new vineyard.
Peter Mayle personally recounts the pleasures and frustrations of Provençal life--sharing in a way no one else can, the unique and endearing culture that is Provence.
A Year in Provence was a New York Times bestseller for three years and won the British Book Awards' "Best Travel Book of the Year."

release date: Mar 30, 2014
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The Worst Journey in the World

[Read by Simon Vance]

This gripping story of courage and achievement is an account of Robert Falcon Scott's last fateful expedition to the Antarctic, as told by surviving expedition member Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Cherry-Garrard tells of the journey from England to South Africa and southward to the ice floes, where began the unforgettable polar journey across a forbidding and inhospitable region. On November 12, 1912, in arctic temperatures, Cherry-Garrard, in a search party, found the bodies of Scott and his companions, along with their poignant last notebook entries, some of them recorded in this work.

Among Cherry-Garrard's friends and admirers were John Galsworthy, H.G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, and Bernard Shaw. His background in the arts and humanities makes The Worst Journey in the World stand out as a literary accomplishment as well as a classic in the annals of exploration.

release date: Apr 04, 2005
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Assassination Vacation
Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other--a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.
From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue--it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and--the author's favorite--historical tourism.
Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are lighter diversions into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult.
IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:
Conan O'Brien Robert Todd Lincoln
Eric Bogosian John Wilkes Booth
Stephen King President Abraham Lincoln
Dave Eggers Mike Ryan
Catherine Keener Gretchen Worden
Jon Stewart President James A. Garfield
Tony Kushner John Humphrey Noyes
Brad Bird Charles Guiteau & Emma Goldman
Daniel Handler President William McKinley
Greg Giraldo President Theodore Roosevelt
David Rakoff Leon Czolgosz
release date: Sep 01, 2011
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The Innocents Abroad: Or, The New Pilgrim's Progress
In June 1867, Mark Twain set out for Europe and the Holy Land on the paddle steamer Quaker City. His enduring, no-nonsense guide for the first-time traveler also served as an antidote to the insufferably romantic travel books of the period.

''Who could read the programme for the excursion without longing to make one of the party?''

So Mark Twain acclaims his voyage from New York City to Europe and the Holy Land. His adventures produced The Innocents Abroad, a book so funny and provocative it made him an international star for the rest of his life. He was making his first responses to the Old World--to Paris, Milan, Florence, Venice, Pompeii, Constantinople, Sebastopol, Balaklava, Damascus, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. For the first time he was seeing the great paintings and sculptures of the Old Masters. He responded with wonder and amazement but also with exasperation, irritation, and disbelief. Above all he displayed the great energy of his humor, more explosive for us now than for his beguiled contemporaries.
release date: Jun 05, 2012
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A Walk for Sunshine: A 2,160-Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail

Jeff Alt takes you along every step of his 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail adventure. This entertaining journey includes bears, bugs, blisters, captivating characters, skunk bedmates, and hilarious food cravings. Alt walked more than five million steps in tribute to his brother, who has cerebral palsy and lives in a home called Sunshine. This trail adventure has inspired an annual event that has raised more than $200,000 for Sunshine. It includes hiking tips for the whole family. Walk alongside Alt and experience the joy of turning dreams into goals and then achieving them. His lessons from the trail celebrate family, stewardship of the earth, good health, and the American spirit.

“ENGAGING.” —Newsday, NY

“LIVELY…HUMOROUS…UPBEAT.… It will make you feel good. Alt’s zest for life shines through on every page. Alt’s words amply convey the camaraderie among fellow hikers, the beauty of the eastern mountains, and the physical hardships that must be endured on a walk of over 5 million steps.…” —Outdoor Times

“Alt wrote a book about his 147-day hiatus from civilization. Give him an afternoon and he could write a book on the art of hiking as well.…” —ESPN

“ALT NAILS THE TRAIL EXPERIENCE.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“A humorous and inspirational account of a man who thru-hiked as a fundraiser, emphasizing the importance of pursuing dreams.” —Appalachian Trail Conservancy

“Alt reflects on how sleeping with a skunk, being chased by a bear, charged by a bull, blisters, insects, and weird food cravings changed him in profound and positive ways.” —The News-Press, FL

“There are numerous books on hiking the Appalachian Trail, but Alt tells the story best.…” —Maine Outdoor Journal

“ENLIGHTENING and INSPIRING.” —Blue Ridge Outdoors

“Alt’s conversational writing style makes one feel like a participant rather than an observer.…” —Library Journal

“THE AUTHOR’S SENSE OF HUMOR IS REFRESHING…An easy and enjoyable read strewn with laughter at nature’s antics and stark realities of life. As Jeff is faced with daily dilemmas in out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, he begins to reach deep within himself to discover what most of us may never take the time to find out—his true being. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.” —Nature Society News

“Jeff Alt hike[d] the entire 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail to raise money for the Sunshine Home (Inc.)…Alt’s brother Aaron, who has cerebral palsy, lives at Sunshine…Jeff tells how he made friends along the trail, tried to court his future wife and what happens when a hungry hiker comes to town and meets up with Krispy Kreme doughnuts.…” —Associated Press

“Inspiration for living your life the best you can.…” —Roanoke City Magazine, VA

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