Tracks

Author: Robyn Davidson
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781480452671
Release Date: 2013-10-22
Genre: Travel

The incredible true story of one woman’s solo adventure across the Australian outback, accompanied by her faithful dog and four unpredictable camels. I arrived in the Alice at five a.m. with a dog, six dollars and a small suitcase full of inappropriate clothes. . . . There are some moments in life that are like pivots around which your existence turns. For Robyn Davidson, one of these moments comes at age twenty-seven in Alice Springs, a dodgy town at the frontier of the vast Australian desert. Davidson is intent on walking the 1,700 miles of desolate landscape between Alice Springs and the Indian Ocean, a personal pilgrimage with her dog—and four camels. Tracks is the beautifully written, compelling true story of the author’s journey and the love/hate relationships she develops along the way: with the Red Centre of Australia; with aboriginal culture; with a handsome photographer; and especially with her lovable and cranky camels, Bub, Dookie, Goliath, and Zeleika. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver, Tracks is an unforgettable story that proves that anything is possible. Perfect for fans of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.

Desert Places

Author: Robyn Davidson
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781480464049
Release Date: 2013-12-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

From the bestselling author of Tracks: A travel writer’s memoir of her year with the nomadic Rabari tribe on the border between Pakistan and India. India’s Thar Desert has been the home of the Rabari herders for thousands of years. In 1990, Australian Robyn Davidson, “as natural a travel writer as she is an adventurer,” spent a year with the Rabari, whose livelihood is increasingly endangered by India’s rapid development (The New Yorker). Enduring the daily hardships of life in the desert while immersed in the austere beauty of the arid landscape, Davidson subsisted on a diet of goat milk, roti, and parasite-infested water. She collided with India’s rigid caste system and cultural idiosyncrasies, confronted extreme sleep deprivation, and fought feelings of alienation amid the nation’s isolated rural peoples—finding both intense suffering and a renewed sense of beauty and belonging among the Rabari family. Rich with detail and honest in its depictions of cultural differences, Desert Places is an unforgettable story of fortitude in the face of struggle and an ode to the rapidly disappearing way of life of the herders of northwestern India. “Davidson will both disturb and exhilarate readers with the acuity of her observations, the sting of her wit, and the candor of her emotions” (Booklist).

Running the Amazon

Author: Joe Kane
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307809902
Release Date: 2011-12-14
Genre: Travel

The voyage began in the lunar terrain of the Peruvian Andes, where coca leaf is the only remedy against altitude sickness. It continued down rapids so fierce they could swallow a raft in a split second. It ended six months and 4,200 miles later, where the Amazon runs gently into the Atlantic. Joe Kane's personal account of the first expedition to travel the entirety of the world's longest river is a riveting adventure in the tradition of Joseph Conrad, filled with death-defying encounters: with narco-traffickers and Sendero Luminoso guerrillas and nature at its most unforgiving. Not least of all, Running the Amazon shows a polyglot group of urbanized travelers confronting their wilder selves -- their fear and egotism, selflessness and courage. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Wild Coast

Author: John Gimlette
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307596659
Release Date: 2011-06-21
Genre: Travel

Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana are among the least-known places in South America: nine hundred miles of muddy coastline giving way to a forest so dense that even today there are virtually no roads through it; a string of rickety coastal towns situated between the mouths of the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers, where living is so difficult that as many Guianese live abroad as in their homelands; an interior of watery, green anarchy where border disputes are often based on ancient Elizabethan maps, where flora and fauna are still being discovered, where thousands of rivers remain mostly impassable. And under the lens of John Gimlette—brilliantly offbeat, irreverent, and canny—these three small countries are among the most wildly intriguing places on earth. On an expedition that will last three months, he takes us deep into a remarkable world of swamp and jungle, from the hideouts of runaway slaves to the vegetation-strangled remnants of penal colonies and forts, from “Little Paris” to a settlement built around a satellite launch pad. He recounts the complicated, often surprisingly bloody, history of the region—including the infamous 1978 cult suicide at Jonestown—and introduces us to its inhabitants: from the world’s largest ants to fluorescent purple frogs to head-crushing jaguars; from indigenous tribes who still live by sorcery to descendants of African slaves, Dutch conquerors, Hmong refugees, Irish adventurers, and Scottish outlaws; from high-tech pirates to hapless pioneers for whom this stunning, strangely beautiful world (“a sort of X-rated Garden of Eden”) has become home by choice or by force. In Wild Coast, John Gimlette guides us through a fabulously entertaining, eye-opening—and sometimes jaw-dropping—journey.

Wild by Nature

Author: Sarah Marquis
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781250081995
Release Date: 2016-02-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

One woman 10,000 miles on foot 6 countries 8 pairs of hiking boots 3,000 cups of tea 1,000 days and nights "The only way to survive three years of walking was to embrace the moment of now.”—from Wild by Nature Not since Cheryl Strayed gifted us with her adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail in her memoir, Wild, has there been such a powerful epic adventure by a woman alone. In Wild by Nature, National Geographic Explorer Sarah Marquis takes you on the trail of her ten-thousand-mile solo hike across the remote Gobi desert from Siberia to Thailand, at which point she was transported by boat to complete the hike at her favorite tree in Australia. Against nearly insurmountable odds and relying on hunting and her own wits, Sarah Marquis survived the Mafia, drug dealers, thieves on horseback who harassed her tent every night for weeks, temperatures from subzero to scorching, life-threatening wildlife, a dengue fever delirium in the Laos jungle, tropic ringworm in northern Thailand, dehydration, and a life-threatening abscess. This is an incredible story of adventure, human ingenuity, persistence, and resilience that shows firsthand what it is to adventure as a woman in the most dangerous of circumstance, what it is to be truly alone in the wild, and why someone would challenge themselves with an expedition others would call crazy. For Marquis, her story is about freedom, being alive and wild by nature.

Sapiens

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062316103
Release Date: 2015-02-10
Genre: Science

New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Bad Astronomy

Author: Philip C. Plait
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 047142207X
Release Date: 2002-10-08
Genre: Science

Advance praise for Philip Plait s Bad Astronomy "Bad Astronomy is just plain good! Philip Plait clears up every misconception on astronomy and space you never knew you suffered from." --Stephen Maran, Author of Astronomy for Dummies and editor of The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia "Thank the cosmos for the bundle of star stuff named Philip Plait, who is the world s leading consumer advocate for quality science in space and on Earth. This important contribution to science will rest firmly on my reference library shelf, ready for easy access the next time an astrologer calls." --Dr. Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Borderlands of Science "Philip Plait has given us a readable, erudite, informative, useful, and entertaining book. Bad Astronomy is Good Science. Very good science..." --James "The Amazing" Randi, President, James Randi Educational Foundation, and author of An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural "Bad Astronomy is a fun read. Plait is wonderfully witty and educational as he debunks the myths, legends, and 'conspiracies that abound in our society. 'The Truth Is Out There' and it's in this book. I loved it!" --Mike Mullane, Space Shuttle astronaut and author of Do Your Ears Pop in Space?

From Alice to Ocean

Author: Robyn Davidson
Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company
ISBN: STANFORD:36105002381742
Release Date: 1992
Genre: Science

Excerpts from "Tracks" describe the author's 1700 mile journey by camel across the Australian outback

Pictures and Tears

Author: James Elkins
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135950125
Release Date: 2005-08-02
Genre: Art

Art Does art leave you cold? And is that what it's supposed to do? Or is a painting meant to move you to tears? Hemingway was reduced to tears in the midst of a drinking bout when a painting by James Thurber caught his eye. And what's bad about that? In Pictures and Tears, art historian James Elkins tells the story of paintings that have made people cry. Drawing upon anecdotes related to individual works of art, he provides a chronicle of how people have shown emotion before works of art in the past, and a meditation on the curious tearlessness with which most people approach art in the present. Deeply personal, Pictures and Tears is a history of emotion and vulnerability, and an inquiry into the nature of art. This book is a rare and invaluable treasure for people who love art. Also includes an 8-page color insert.

RAF Wings Over Florida

Author: Willard Largent
Publisher: Purdue University Press
ISBN: 1557532036
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

"In their own words, British pilots tell of their Florida experiences. Many of them still in their late teens, away from home the first time, pale and thin from years of rationing, these young men encountered immense challenges and overwhelming generosity during their training in Florida. Now retired, these former pilots still smell the scent of orange blossoms when they glance through the log books they kept while flying their Stearmans and Harvards over Florida citrus groves. They fondly remember the times when they buzzed over the homes of their Florida "families" to let them know to expect them for Sunday dinner. More than fifty years later, their stories still resonate with universal emotions: fear of failure, love of country, camaraderie, romantic love, and the pain of tragic deaths. Their stories also remind the American reader of a unique time in our history, when, poised on the brink of war, the United States reached out to help a country in distress."--BOOK JACKET.

A Theory of Harmony

Author: Ernst Levy
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0873959922
Release Date: 1985-08
Genre: Music

In this introduction to natural-base music theory, Ernst Levy presents the essentials of a comprehensive, consistent theory of harmony developed from tone structure. A Theory of Harmony is a highly original explanation of the harmonic language of the last few centuries, showing the way toward an understanding of diverse styles of music. Basic harmony texts exist, but none supply help to students seeking threads of logic in the field. In a text abundantly illustrated with musical examples, Levy makes clear the few principles that illuminate the natural forces in harmony. He shows that general principles can be successfully extracted from the wealth of examples. This book actually provides a theory of harmony. One of the major musical minds of the twentieth century, Ernst Levy was born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1895. His musical career spanned more than seven decades, from his first public piano performance at age six. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he lived here from 1941 to 1966, teaching at the New England Conservatory, the University of Chicago, Bennington College, the Massachusetts institute of Technology, and Brooklyn College. After his retirement, Levy returned to Switzerland where he continued to compose until his death in 1981. He was an enormously productive composer, with hundreds of works to his credit including symphonies, string quartets, songs in English, French, and German, and music for solo instruments and small ensembles. His piano recordings, particularly of the last Beethoven sonatas and the Liszt sonata, have become collectors’ items. He thought of himself as a successor to Reimann, immediately, and Rameau, more remotely.

Farther Away

Author: Jonathan Franzen
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374708764
Release Date: 2012-04-24
Genre: Literary Collections

Jonathan Franzen's Freedom was the runaway most-discussed novel of 2010, an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the twenty-first century. In The New York Times Book Review, Sam Tanenhaus proclaimed it "a masterpiece of American fiction" and lauded its illumination, "through the steady radiance of its author's profound moral intelligence, [of] the world we thought we knew." In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, Franzen returns with renewed vigor to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen's implicit promise to conceal nothing. On a trip to China to see first-hand the environmental devastation there, he doesn't omit mention of his excitement and awe at the pace of China's economic development; the trip becomes a journey out of his own prejudice and moral condemnation. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day. Farther Away is remarkable, provocative, and necessary.

Inside Tracks

Author: Robyn Davidson
Publisher:
ISBN: 174270882X
Release Date: 2014-10-01
Genre: Australia

Inside Tracks is the retelling of Robyn Davidson's journey from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, seen through the eyes of world renowned photographer, Rick Smolan, and now reimagined in the major motion picture, Tracks. In the late 1970s Robyn Davidson undertook an epic adventure - to travel solo across the Australian outback from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, armed only with a few camels and her dog for company. Rick Smolan, a National Geographic photographer at the time, was employed to document Robyn's journey, by accompanying her along sections of her route, the result of which formed a long-lasting relationship between the two and a visually stunning account of one woman's dream of solitude, captured against the backdrop of the Australian outback. Inside Tracks is an ode to the Australian outback and Robyn's groundbreaking journey - a stunning coffee table book and reflection on our landscape in one. This unique story has now been turned into a major feature film featuring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver as the protagonists. Inside Tracks documents Robyn and photographer Rick Smolan's story and how her journey has resonated around the world. Featuring excerpts from the screenplay along with stills from the movie that show how closely the film mirrors the reality of the story, Inside Tracks is a must-have for lovers of Robyn's original book and the film alike. In addition, this book accompanies a unique photo recognition app' that plays scenes from the movie when placed over particular images in the book - a wonderful bonus for movie and tech' fans.

Human Accomplishment

Author: Charles Murray
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061745676
Release Date: 2009-10-13
Genre: History

A sweeping cultural survey reminiscent of Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence. "At irregular times and in scattered settings, human beings have achieved great things. Human Accomplishment is about those great things, falling in the domains known as the arts and sciences, and the people who did them.' So begins Charles Murray's unique account of human excellence, from the age of Homer to our own time. Employing techniques that historians have developed over the last century but that have rarely been applied to books written for the general public, Murray compiles inventories of the people who have been essential to the stories of literature, music, art, philosophy, and the sciences—a total of 4,002 men and women from around the world, ranked according to their eminence. The heart of Human Accomplishment is a series of enthralling descriptive chapters: on the giants in the arts and what sets them apart from the merely great; on the differences between great achievement in the arts and in the sciences; on the meta-inventions, 14 crucial leaps in human capacity to create great art and science; and on the patterns and trajectories of accomplishment across time and geography. Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Charles Murray takes on some controversial questions. Why has accomplishment been so concentrated in Europe? Among men? Since 1400? He presents evidence that the rate of great accomplishment has been declining in the last century, asks what it means, and offers a rich framework for thinking about the conditions under which the human spirit has expressed itself most gloriously. Eye-opening and humbling, Human Accomplishment is a fascinating work that describes what humans at their best can achieve, provides tools for exploring its wellsprings, and celebrates the continuing common quest of humans everywhere to discover truths, create beauty, and apprehend the good.