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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Lands and Islands of Mystery

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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Where the Sea Breaks Its Back

Where the Sea Breaks Its Back

by Corey Ford

  • EXPLORATION
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 206 PAGES

Ford paints a vivid portrait of Georg Steller and his first encounters with the wildlife of Kamchatka, the Bering Sea and Alaska in this gripping tale of discovery and hardship on Bering's Great Nordic Expedition of 1741. (ALA07, $16.99)

North to the Orient

North to the Orient

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

  • EXPLORATION
  • 1966
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A classic account of pioneering aviation, this wonderfully written memoir includes adventures in Petropavlovsk and the Russian Far East, Japan and the Yangtze. (ARC36, $12.95)

Fodor's Tokyo's 25 Best

Fodor's Tokyo's 25 Best

by Fodor's Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A shirt-pocket map and practical guide. (JPN05, $12.99)

Alaska Map

Alaska Map

by ITMB

  • 2004
  • MAP

A detailed travel map of Alaska, including the Aleutians, the Bering Strait, and much of neighboring Siberia, at a scale of 1:2,500,000. (ALA31, $11.50)

 
Canada's Yukon and South Central Alaska Map

Canada's Yukon and South Central Alaska Map


by Coastal Cruise Tour Guides

  • 1998
  • MAP

Featuring handsome topographic maps that fold down into a booklet, this guide also includes sections on visitor attractions and highlights. With seven fold-out maps of Prince William Sound, Kodiak Island, Denali National Park, Katmai and Kenai Peninsula. (ALA55, $15.95)

Denali National Park and Preserve Map

Denali National Park and Preserve Map


by Trails Illustrated

  • 2011
  • MAP

A durable, fold-up topographic map of Denali and surroundings. (ALA88, $11.95)

Kamchatka Map

Kamchatka Map


by ITMB

  • 2010
  • MAP

This double-sided map includes insets of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Geyser Valley and the Commander Islands. (RUS322, $10.95)

Kamchatka, A Journal & Guide

Kamchatka, A Journal & Guide


by Diana Gleadhill

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 312 PAGES

This handsomely illustrated handbook introduces the nature, wildlife, history and people of Kamchatka in essays, a travel diary, maps and hundreds of color photographs. (ARC201, $24.95)

Tokyo, A View of the City

Tokyo, A View of the City


by Donald Richie

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 142 PAGES

Richie's literate essay on the culture, history and fabric of Tokyo, where he lived for 50 years, is structured as a geographic tour starting at the Imperial Palace and branching out. With black-and-white photos. (JPN90, $25.00)

Alaska, An American Colony

Alaska, An American Colony


by Stephen Haycox

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 372 PAGES

This engaging, scholarly history, divided between Russian exploration and the American period, offers a cultural, political and environmental overview of Alaska, also exploring the colonization and exploitation of its indigenous people and the power of myth in shaping our national perceptions of the region. (ALA160, $24.95)

Russians in Alaska, 1732-1867

Russians in Alaska, 1732-1867


by Lydia Black

  • HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 344 PAGES

A masterful overview of the ordinary men and women of the first Russian colony in Alaska. (ALA241, $29.95)

The Russian Far East, A History

The Russian Far East, A History


by John J. Stephan

  • HISTORY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 487 PAGES

The first history of Russia's least-known region in any language, this comprehensive book is a readable, scholarly history of the Russian Far East from prehistory to the break-up of the Soviet Union. (RUS34, $33.95)

The Thousand-Mile War, World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians

The Thousand-Mile War, World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians


by Brian Garfield

  • HISTORY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 456 PAGES

A gripping account of the Aleutian Islands Campaign (1942-43), originally published in 1969. Many of the islands, depicted in black-and-white photographs, are littered with WWII era runways, huts and other relics. (ALA114, $24.95)

Working on the Edge, Surviving in the World's Most Dangerous Profession

Working on the Edge, Surviving in the World's Most Dangerous Profession


by Spike Walker

  • HISTORY
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 280 PAGES

Enthralling, if not somewhat pulpy, these true-life tales of crab fishing expeditions off the coast of Alaska capture all the danger and adrenaline that go with making a living at sea. (ALA158, $17.99)

North by Northwestern, A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters


by Mark Sundeen | Sig Hansen

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A true, rags-to-riches epic about a seafaring family on the deadly Alaskan seas, by captain and reality TV-star Hansen. (OCE177, $15.99)

Tent Life in Siberia

Tent Life in Siberia


by George Kennan | Larry McMurtry

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 425 PAGES

Kennan's spirited account of his adventures among the people, little-known cultures and snow-capped volcanoes of Kamchatka and the Russian Far East, originally published in 1871. (RUS142, $17.95)

Bering, The Russian Discovery of America

Bering, The Russian Discovery of America


by Orcutt Frost

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2003
  • HARD COVER
  • 330 PAGES

The first modern biography of the great explorer and an excellent account of still little-known regions of Kamchatka and the Russian Far East. The author draws on new evidence to reinvigorate the life and adventures of the seafaring Dane. (SIB33, $35.00)

Dersu the Trapper

Dersu the Trapper


by V.K. Arseniev | Malcolm Burr

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 358 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Captain Arseniev's mesmerizing account of adventure, exploration and friendship in the Russian Far East, source for the Kurosowa film. (SIB24, $16.00)

Reeling in Russia, An Angler's Paradise

Reeling in Russia, An Angler's Paradise


by Fen Montaigne

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 275 PAGES

A wonderfully written, entertaining and insightful portrait of modern Russia with a special focus on fishing in places like Baikal, Kamchatka and Kolyma. (RUS61, $18.95)

The Other Side of Russia

The Other Side of Russia


by Sharon Hudgins

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 319 PAGES

A warm, insightful account of contemporary cultural and social life in Vladivostok, Irkutsk and other places in the Russian Far East, where the author lived in the 1990s. (SIB30, $22.95)

About This Life, Journeys on the Threshold of Memory

About This Life, Journeys on the Threshold of Memory


by Barry Lopez

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 273 PAGES

A collection of essays on far-flung travels -- both actual and internal -- by the wonderful writer and traveler. Lopez includes Galapagos, Hokkaido, Bonaire and Antarctica among the thoughtful essays. (GEN42, $16.00)

The End of The Road

The End of The Road


by Sue Henry

  • MYSTERY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

In the latest adventure, the indomitable Maxie and her dog Stretch return to Homer, just as a murder shatters the peace of the small town. (ALA295, $23.95)

Into Brown Bear Country

Into Brown Bear Country


by Will Troyer

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 200 PAGES

Filled with up-close photographs, this is an excellent introduction to the brown bears of Kodiak and Katmai, mixing natural history with the author's own experiences studying and photographing bears for nearly 50 years. (ALA222, $24.95)

Moby-Duck

Moby-Duck


by Donovan Hohn

  • SCIENCE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • NEW

Hohn's accidental odyssey into the fate of many thousand rubber ducks takes him into the world of oceanography, tides and currents, Arctic research and the shadowy realms of manufacture in China. It's a high adventure, harebrained perhaps, but compelling, especially for those of us who have spent time at sea; Hohn experiences some truly terrible weather. (OCE176, $16.00)

The Great Alaska Nature Factbook

The Great Alaska Nature Factbook


by Susan Ewing

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Perfect for Alaska-bound families, this new edition of Ewing's pocket encyclopedia gathers facts and figures on the 49th state's natural history, with short illustrated essays on everything from murrelets to volcanoes, bears and salmon. (ALA28, $14.95)

Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia

Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia


by Mark Brazil

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 520 PAGES

Featuring 234 superb color plates, Brazil's comprehensive guide includes birds found in Japan, Korea and Taiwan along with adjacent areas of Asia and Kamchatka. (JPN332, $39.95)

Marine Mammals of Alaska

Marine Mammals of Alaska


by Kate Wynne

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2013
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 75 PAGES

Designed for use in the field, this indispensable guide features large color photographs, key information and detailed range maps for all the whales, seals and other marine creatures found near the shores of Alaska and Russia. Third edition. (ALA08, $25.00)

Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises


by Mark Carwardine

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

In the trademark, graphic Eyewitness style, this sturdy guidebook colorfully describes the world's cetaceans with numerous illustrations, range maps, fluke drawings and a few paragraphs on each species. (FG02, $22.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.