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Blog posts tagged with 'Book of the Week'

A Mountaineer's Life

Known as “The Slim Fox” in climbing circles, Allen Steck has earned the title “living legend.” Now 91 years old, there are few mountaineers like him left, and his beautifully produced memoir A Mountaineer’s Life is a both a clear record of his career in the sport, and a call to those inspired to follow in his footsteps.

Ultimate Journeys For Two

They left for their honeymoon in January of 2012, and Mike and Anne Howard have been trotting the globe ever since. Across five years together, the pair from New Jersey have claimed the title “the World's Longest Honeymooners.” and National Geographic has put their journeys into print.

The Sagrada Familia: The Astonishing Story of Gaudi's Unfinished Masterpiece
Towering over Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia has famously been under construction since 1882. Yet despite its unfinished state, the cathedral draws approximately 3 million tourists each year who revel in the wild masterpiece of devotional architecture. Gaudi’s vision combines Gothic and Art Nouveau, resulting one of the most original, memorable buildings in history.
Earning the Rockies

Robert Kaplan usually looks outward from the United States. Ever since President Bill Clinton was spotted with a copy of Balkan Ghosts under his arm (and it was devoured by the entire White House staff) Kaplan’s career has skewed towards precarious situations abroad. Now, in his latest book Earning the Rockies, the foreign policy expert rediscovers America on a cross-country drive all the way from Massachusetts to San Diego.

Havana

authorDue to recent changes in relations between Cuba and the United States, many books have been published about the island nation, but few have centered on its capital with the kaleidoscopic focus of award-winning author Mark Kurlansky’s Havana, A Subtropical Delirium. In accessible prose worthy of the elegant metropolis itself, Kurlansky, a longtime Caribbean correspondent, profiles Cuban music, literature, food and, of course, baseball. Kurlansky uses literary references to add color and context to his own experiences in Havana.

The Not-Quite States of America
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The journey begins with Mack in his gym shorts. It’s laundry day in his apartment in Minneapolis, and he’s sorting through some quarters, setting a few aside to add to his wife’s state quarter collection, which includes coins from the first incorporated state, Delaware (1787) to the last, Hawaii (1959). But there are a few empty slots in her cardboard portfolio, beyond Hawaii. “Oh, right,” Mack remembers, “We have territories.”

Behold the Dreamers
behold dreamers coverCameroonian writer Imbolo Mbue has lived in New York City for more than a decade. Her experiences in the city and the stories she’s gathered from other immigrants have given her plenty of material for her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers. An ambitious effort, the novel tells the tale of two Cameroonians living in New York City while taking baby steps to achieve the holy grail--American citizenship--on their way towards the American Dream. The novel starts in 2007, as the economy is gearing up to collapse, and follows Jende Jonga, a cab driver working illegally, and his wife Neni, a community college student who dreams of a future as a pharmacist.
The Alps
ALP51In his entertaining new history, Stephen O'Shea drives 500 miles through the Alps, crossing six countries while musing on the historic personalities who braved the forbidding range, including Napoleon, Hitler and James Bond. His account, The Alps, begins with the idea of the sublime and the Romantics who championed it--artists and writers whose works evoked the beauty and terror of the Alps. O’Shea himself admits to a fear of heights and carefully chronicles each hairpin turn as he snakes his way from Geneva to Trieste through dizzying high passes in his shiny muscle car.
The Gilded Chalet
SWZ87Over the past two centuries neutral Switzerland has acted as a haven to those seeking shelter from two world wars, taxes, even celebrity. Among the outsiders who found rest and refuge in the Alpine landscape have been the myriad authors who were drawn to the country for its promise of peace and the freedom to create. In his new book The Gilded Chalet, Padraig Rooney explores the allure of Switzerland through the artists and writers who lived and worked within its protective borders.
The Arctic
cover"What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic," writes Sven-Olof Lindblad, the founder of Lindblad Expeditions, whose life's work has been leading expeditions. The result of over 40 years of exploring, his book The Arctic celebrates the "pure magic" travelers to the far north have witnessed, and taken home. Organized in three sections: Landscape, Wildlife and People, the book features excellent Arctic photography taken from deck, zodiac, kayak, plane and underwater craft.  The images alternate between civilization and pristine wilderness -- the worlds of the Inuit, Inuk, Greenlander, Norwegian and Icelandic peoples and the wild that spreads from their doorsteps.