Best Selling Books in Reference & Tips - Essays & Travelogues

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release date: Jan 20, 1997
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Into the Wild
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.
release date: Jun 02, 2015
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A Long Way Home: A Memoir
First it was a media sensation. Then it became the New York Times bestseller and #1 international bestseller A Long Way Home. Now it’s Lion, the major motion picture starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, and Rooney Mara—nominated for six Academy Awards!

This is the miraculous and triumphant story of Saroo Brierley, a young man who used Google Earth to rediscover his childhood life and home in an incredible journey from India to Australia and back again...


At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.

Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.

A Long Way Home 
is a moving, poignant, and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.
release date: Jul 11, 2017
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Not Afraid of the Fall: 114 Days Through 38 Cities in 15 Countries
As seen on the front page of Cosmopolitan.com, Travel + Leisure, POPSUGAR, Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, HelloGiggles, Woman's Day, and Country Living.

After purchasing one-way flights from New York City to Paris, Kyle James and his girlfriend Ashley quit their day jobs, planned futures, and daily paradigms to see as much of the world as they could. In 114 days, they trekked across 15 countries and 38 cities with nothing but their backpacks, their smartphones, and each other. Not Afraid of the Fall is the unvarnished story of their off-the-cuff journey: from cliff-jumping off Croatia's untouched coasts, to bathing with rescued elephants in Thailand; from crashing mopeds on gravelly mountain roads in Santorini, to hitchhiking with strangers in rental cars in Hungary.

Part travel memoir, part love letter to those staring at the walls of a corporate cubicle, Not Afraid of the Fall is an inspiring book that captures the sweet mysteries of life on the road and an empowering narrative for anyone who has ever uttered the words "maybe next year."
release date: May 16, 2017
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Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival

From Jeffrey Gettleman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, comes a passionate, revealing story about finding love and finding a calling, set against one of the most turbulent regions in the world.


A seasoned war correspondent, Jeffrey Gettleman has covered every major conflict over the past twenty years, from Afghanistan to Iraq to the Congo. For the past decade, he has served as the East Africa bureau chief for the New York Times, fulfilling a teenage dream.


At nineteen, Gettleman fell in love, twice. On a do-it-yourself community service trip in college, he went to East Africa—a terrifying, exciting, dreamlike part of the world in the throes of change that imprinted itself on his imagination and on his heart.


But around that same time he also fell in love with a fellow Cornell student—the brightest, classiest, most principled woman he’d ever met. To say they were opposites was an understatement. She became a criminal lawyer in America; he hungered to return to Africa. For the next decade he would be torn between these two abiding passions.


A sensually rendered coming-of-age story in the tradition of Barbarian Days, Love, Africa is a tale of passion, violence, far-flung adventure, tortuous long-distance relationships, screwing up, forgiveness, parenthood, and happiness that explores the power of finding yourself in the most unexpected of places.

release date: Oct 27, 2015
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Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places
National Geographic takes you on a photographic tour of the world’s most spectacular destinations, inspiring tangible ideas for your next trip. Hundreds of the most breathtaking locales—both natural and man-made—are illustrated with vivid images taken by the organization's world-class photographers. These images, coupled with evocative text, feature a plethora of visual wonders: ancient monoliths, scenic islands, stunning artwork, electric cityscapes, white-sand seashores, rain forests, ancient cobbled streets, and both classic and innovative architecture. Loaded with hard service information for each location, Destinations of a Lifetime has it all: when to go, where to eat, where to stay, and what to do to ensure the most enriching and authentic experience.
release date: Dec 24, 2002
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Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
With a new foreword by Tim Ferriss • There’s nothing like vagabonding: taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. In this one-of-a-kind handbook, veteran travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Now completely revised and updated, Vagabonding is an accessible and inspiring guide to
 
• financing your travel time
• determining your destination
• adjusting to life on the road
• working and volunteering overseas
• handling travel adversity
• re-assimilating back into ordinary life
 
Praise for Vagabonding
 
“A crucial reference for any budget wanderer.”Time
 
Vagabonding easily remains in my top-10 list of life-changing books. Why? Because one incredible trip, especially a long-term trip, can change your life forever. And Vagabonding teaches you how to travel (and think), not just for one trip, but for the rest of your life.”—Tim Ferriss, from the foreword
 
“The book is a meditation on the joys of hitting the road. . . . It’s also a primer for those with a case of pent-up wanderlust seeking to live the dream.”USA Today
 
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a whole different ethic of travel. . . . [Potts’s] practical advice might just convince you to enjoy that open-ended trip of a lifetime.”—Rick Steves
 
“Potts wants us to wander, to explore, to embrace the unknown, and, finally, to take our own damn time about it. I think this is the most sensible book of travel-related advice ever written.”—Tim Cahill, founding editor of Outside
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release date: Dec 26, 2006
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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

release date: Jul 31, 2015
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The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills (Natural Navigation)

Turn Every Walk into a Game of Detection

When writer and navigator Tristan Gooley journeys outside, he sees a natural world filled with clues. The roots of a tree indicate the sun’s direction; the Big Dipper tells the time; a passing butterfly hints at the weather; a sand dune reveals prevailing wind; the scent of cinnamon suggests altitude; a budding flower points south. To help you understand nature as he does, Gooley shares more than 850 tips for forecasting, tracking, and more, gathered from decades spent walking the landscape around his home and around the world. Whether you’re walking in the country or city, along a coastline, or by night, this is the ultimate resource on what the land, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals, and clouds can reveal—if you only know how to look!

release date: Jan 30, 2007
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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
The 10th anniversary edition of one of the most iconic, beloved, and bestselling books of our time.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love touched the world and changed countless lives, inspiring and empowering millions of readers to search for their own best selves. Now, this beloved and iconic book returns in a beautiful 10th anniversary edition, complete with an updated introduction from the author, to launch a whole new generation of fans.
 
In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want—husband, country home, successful career—but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and set out to explore three different aspects of her nature, against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.
release date: Jan 31, 1980
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Travels with Charley in Search of America
An intimate journey across America, as told by one of its most beloved writers
 
To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light—these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and  the unexpected kindness of strangers. 
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