Best Selling Audio Books in Biographies & Memoirs - Travel

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release date: Jan 01, 2013
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Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps
Ted Kooser describes with exquisite detail and humor the place he calls home in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska, an area known as the Bohemian Alps. Nothing is too big or too small for his attention, including memories of his grandmother's cooking. Kooser also reminds us that the closing of local schools, thoughtless county weed control, and irresponsible housing development destroy more than just the view. What makes life meaningful for Kooser are the ways in which his neighbors care for one another and how an afternoon walking with an old dog, baking a pie, or decorating the house for Christmas can summon memories of his Iowa childhood. This writer sees the extraordinary within the ordinary, the deep beneath the shallow, and the abiding wisdom in the pithy Bohemian proverbs that are woven into his essays.
release date: Oct 11, 2005
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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
When Chef Anthony Bourdain wrote "Don't Eat Before You Read This" in The New Yorker, he spared no one's appetite, revealing what goes on behind the kitchen door. In Kitchen Confidential, he expanded the appetizer into a deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet that lays out his twenty-five years of sex, drugs, and haute cuisine.

From his first oyster in Gironda to the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center, from the restaurants of Tokyo to the drug dealers of the East Village, from the mobsters to the rats, Bourdain's brilliantly written and wonderfully read, wild-but-true tales make the belly ache with laughter.
release date: Dec 31, 2018
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Mark Twain's Letters from Hawaii

The Huck Finn of foreign correspondents provides a colorful account of old Honolulu, the island nobility, the City of Refuge on the Kona coast, and the active volcano of Kilauea. These selections of Mark Twain's newspaper dispatches are both charming and informative. The light touch of the great humorist is seldom missing as he reveals the "loveliest fleet of islands that lie anchored in any ocean." This recording evokes the historical era with the eye of a verbal artist and the voice of the performing artist.

release date: Oct 10, 2006
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The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.

After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.

Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.
From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, here is Candice Millard’s dazzling debut.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Sep 29, 2015
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Brave Companions
From Alexander von Humboldt to Charles and Anne Lindbergh, these are stories of people of great vision and daring whose achievements continue to inspire us today, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough, who narrates his beloved classic—never before an audio.

The bestselling author of Truman and John Adams, David McCullough has written profiles of exceptional men and women past and present who have not only shaped the course of history or changed how we see the world but whose stories express much that is timeless about the human condition.

Here are Alexander von Humboldt, whose epic explorations of South America surpassed the Lewis and Clark expedition; Harriet Beecher Stowe, “the little woman who made the big war”; Frederic Remington; the extraordinary Louis Agassiz of Harvard; Charles and Anne Lindbergh, and their fellow long-distance pilots Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Beryl Markham; Harry Caudill, the Kentucky lawyer who awakened the nation to the tragedy of Appalachia; and David Plowden, a present-day photographer of vanishing America.

Different as they are from each other, McCullough's subjects have in common a rare vitality and sense of purpose. These are brave companions: to each other, to David McCullough, and to the listener, for with rare storytelling ability McCullough brings us into the times they knew and their very uncommon lives.
release date: Sep 25, 2018
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A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond

In May of 1963, Seattle mountaineer Jim Whittaker stepped into world history by becoming the first American to summit Mount Everest. More than fifty years later, he is still regarded as a seminal figure in North American mountaineering, as well as an astute businessman who helped create the outdoor recreation industry.

A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond is Jim's courageous, no-punches-pulled autobiography and a look at a peripatetic, sometimes difficult life. Beyond the glory of the Everest summit and his other extraordinary climbing feats, including the first American summit of K2, he openly describes his personal, ""everyman"" experience of social upheaval in the 1960s and 70s, an early divorce, family strife, a passionate new love later in life, near-bankruptcy, and business triumphs and losses. Jim tells it all with verve and honesty and, true to his nature, turns every setback into the stage for new adventure.

This special fiftieth anniversary edition celebrates the story of Jim's life and features a new foreword by Ed Viesturs, as well as a new final chapter that brings listeners up to date, including details of Jim's trek to Everest Base Camp in 2012 and his son Leif's recent successful summits of Everest.

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release date: Jun 03, 2014
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Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space
Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space. A member of the first astronaut class to include women, NASA chose her for the seventh shuttle mission, inspiring several generations of women. After a second flight, Ride served on the panels investigating the Challenger explosion and the Columbia disintegration that killed all aboard. In both instances, she faulted NASA's rush to meet mission deadlines and its organizational failures. She also cofounded a company promoting science and education for children, especially girls.

In Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space, Lynn Sherr writes about Ride's scrupulously guarded personal life, with exclusive access to Ride's partner, her former husband, her family, and countless friends and colleagues. This is a rich biography of a fascinating woman whose life intersected with revolutionary social and scientific changes in America. Sherr's revealing portrait is warm and admiring but unsparing. It makes this extraordinarily talented and bold woman-an inspiration to millions-come alive.
release date: May 03, 2005
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Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who RIsked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
New York Times Bestseller 

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.
No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.

Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.

Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.
release date: May 29, 2018
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First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong

The first--and only--definitive authorized account of Neil Armstrong, the man whose ""one small step"" changed history

When Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon's surface in 1969, the first man on the Moon became a legend. In First Man, author James R. Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over 50 hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this ""magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century"" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.

In this ""compelling and nuanced portrait"" (Chicago Tribune) filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong's career in flying, from his 78 combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative trans-atmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong's storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the near-50 years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life.

A penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. ""First Man burrows deep into Armstrong's past and present What emerges is an earnest and brave man"" (Houston Chronicle) who will forever be known as history's most famous space traveler.

release date: Jun 29, 2011
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Travels with Charley in Search of America (Penguin Audio Classics)
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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