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$21.95 $15.82
161. China to Me
$17.68 $1.79 list($26.00)
162. Venetian Dreaming
$14.95 $14.65
163. Big Noses in Beijing
$16.20 list($22.95)
164. On Whale Island: Notes from a
$12.50 $12.41
165. Looking Back
$10.47 $10.28 list($14.95)
166. Desperate Voyage
$12.21 $12.16 list($17.95)
167. The Condor and the Cows: A South
$15.61 $14.88 list($22.95)
168. Cruising At Last: Sailing the
$14.99 $9.99
169. Travels in the White Mans Grave
$25.00 $7.98
170. The Lost Lady of the Amazon: The
$9.75 $3.96 list($13.00)
171. A Tuscan Childhood
$13.60 $13.19 list($20.00)
172. El Lazarillo de Ciegos Caminantes
$10.17 $8.81 list($14.95)
173. The Boy on the Back of the Turtle:
$16.95 $2.99
174. Making Connections: Mother Daughter
$9.75 $4.20 list($13.00)
175. Somebody's Heart Is Burning :
$20.37 $18.70 list($29.95)
176. Outbound: Finding a Man, Sailing
$24.95 $24.88
177. Riding Into the Wind: On Horseback
$4.90 list($22.00)
178. Hobo : A Young Man's Thoughts
$16.47 list($24.95)
179. Jambo, Mama
$9.71 $6.71 list($12.95)
180. The Gringo Trail

161. China to Me
by Emily Hahn
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0759240604
Catlog: Book (2002-12-12)
Publisher: ereads.com
Sales Rank: 212269
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Book Description

A revolutionary woman for her time, Emily Hahn takes us on an adventure through the many faces that populate the landscape of China. Blending fiction and non-fiction seamlessly, Emily Hahn looks at everything and everyone she met on her breath-taking journey through the China of the nineteen-thirties. Hahn investigates not so much the complicated issues of political blocs and party conflict, but the ordinary, or extraordinary, lives of Chinese residents and tourists. This includes taking us into the personal lives of everyone from Asian prostitutes to European merchants. Join Emily Hahn as she explores China in this literary adventure. ... Read more


162. Venetian Dreaming
by Paula Weideger
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671047299
Catlog: Book (2002-06-04)
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 287007
Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Paula Weideger boarded a vaporetto on the Grand Canal, and under the sunny blue Venetian sky she, like millions of others, fell in love with the city. Venice was where she wanted to live and, with a combination of luck and determination, she did. This is the story of her adventures in one of the world's most treasured places.

Follow in her footsteps as Weideger makes her way into the labyrinth and discovers the city's secrets. There are mysteries, obstacles, and surprises -- many of them delightful -- at almost every turn. Always there are puzzles to solve: How to find an apartment? Where to buy take-away lasagne? Will she ever learn Italian or, more urgently, can she stop getting lost? Is it true that Venice is about to drown -- or that speeding drivers destroy magnificent buildings in this city without cars?

Weideger's search for a home eventually takes her to Palazzo Donà dalle rose, perhaps the last palace in Venice to be continuously occupied by the family of the man who built it -- in this case a legendary doge. She describes the rooms and their exquisite furnishings with a sensitive eye and an affectionate touch, and shows us how the story of the house fits together with the history of Venice and becomes part of her own.

Venice's art and architecture are a constant presence. Yet even more strongly felt is the passage of time, the panorama of the seasons as reflected in special events -- Carnival, the Film Festival, September's historic regatta, Midnight Mass at San Marco -- they are all here. And people. Always people. We accompany Weideger as she explores the Ghetto, meets nobility and boatmen, artists and fish mongers. We learn how she makes peace with the ghost of Peggy Guggenheim, how her home is threatened, if briefly, by the Merchant Ivory crowd, and how she manages to survive both high water and high drama with her landlady, along with much, much more.

Weideger's vision of Venice -- wry, intelligent, and love struck, if occasionally blurred by tears -- is at once haunting and down-to-earth. With a glass of Prosecco, the traveler, armchair or otherwise, will experience a perfect pleasure. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars On a bookshelf at Marco Polo airport
I read this book on the plane back to the USA from Venice, where I had been (for the first time) for about a week on combined business and pleasure. I was captivated by the city and was hungry for anything more to read about it, so I picked up Venetian Dreaming at Marco Polo airport before boarding. I was surprised by the extremely negative reviews of the book, although I can understand the reasons for their criticism. I had read a fair amount about Venice and its history before the trip and wandered the city through crowds and quiet back streets and canals for a few days. From that perspective, it was interesting simply to read a description of many of the same places and a few more facts that weren't in the guidebooks.

At the next level, it was interesting to read an account by someone who acted on the fantasy many visitors to Venice have and move there for an extended period of time. Here we find Weideger moving to a city where she knows no one and trying to establish a social network. As a professional writer, she has the potential to move into literary and artistic circles, and she attempts to do so with some success. I too was struck by her brutal characterization some of the people she meets. Actually, I should say her attempts to do so, because Weideger has a journalistic style of writing that lacks depth in characterization.

I was reminded somewhat of A Sun Also Rises which to me was a boring book about bored inhabitants of an artistic colony who are searching for something to do. However, Weideger's colony is more interesting because Venice provides a focus of past glories and present problems in contrast to Hemingway's troupe of self-indulgent drunks. Yes, Weideger is trying to work her way into the inside of Venice, and yes, she lives in an artificial world because, after all, she hasn't just move to Venice, she also is going to write a book about it. But in doing so, we meet characters who are part of what is left of Venice, and in contrast to what some reviews have implied, some of these characters are interesting and admirable.

And then on another level, we become acquainted with Weideger herself. No, she doesn't seem very happy. And apparently a precondition for continuing to live together with "H." is that she can't really write about their relationship. But do we care? And we find that Weideger's lack of flexibility alienates her from her landlords, yet she doesn't seem to have any insight into this. Again, her journalistic style makes it easy to take sides with her landlords, who are interesting people.

Finally, we are left with a matter-of-fact account of one writer's year in a world that stopped turning in 1797 with the death of the Venetian Republic. It's not an uninteresting read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Horrible woman
What a horrible woman. The author. Selfish. Self-centered. Self obsessed. In all my years of reading, I don' t think I can recall an author I hated at the end of their book. Angry? Yes. Disagreeed with? Yes. But this women ... I am speachless that someone would not have stopped her.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - Loved it -- now I WILL visit Venice!
I've never been to Venice, but I will now. Paula Weideger gives an unusual view of this fascinating city (well, I think it will be!), through living there, firstly for a short period and then longer (she can't keep away!). If you want a book that will gain you insights into the usual, the unexpected and the less explored parts of Venice, all wrapped up in a fascinating tale, very up to date (read the challenges about getting her internet connection!), then this is it. If you have had a yearning for living in a different city for an extended period, and always wondered how to, then this is your book. A great read and for me, as compelling as a Grisham. Thanks for sharing Paula, when I go, I'll read your book first, take it with me and use it as my guidebook (oh yes, and watch for the tricky rental contracts too!)

1-0 out of 5 stars Basta Cosi
Never have I read such a mean spirited book about the most beautiful city in the world. Half way through, I had to put it aside because I couldn't stand reading about the author's demands of her landlady. I have rented apartments in Italy and never, once, have I encountered anyone less than charming and helpful. This is not to say that travel memoirs are supposed to be happy, and delightful but a little restraint would have helped the reading experience. I have the impression that she was mostly miserable while she was there and if she was enthralled, it didn't show on the page. A much better Venice book is "A Thousand Days In Venice" written with great enthusiasm and a true love of the place. If you're going to live in Italy, you are not entitled to complain!

3-0 out of 5 stars Amusing, bitchy, interesting...
I picked the book up in order to remind myself of the fabulousness of Venice. And it did just that. However, I also got a big kick out of the author. She is hilariously judgemental and bitchy! Her accounting of her landlord makes me want to root for the landlord! Seems like a gal I'd love to have a cocktail with, but would hate to have as a mom. My fiance and I are heading to Italy for our honeymoon. It'll be his first time to Venice, and my second. I don't think the book was brilliant, but it was amusing, nonetheless. ... Read more


163. Big Noses in Beijing
by Sally Grattidge
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0595223451
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: Writers Club Press
Sales Rank: 724349
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What would it be like to pack up the family and go to live in China for three years? To swap the clean air and convenience of North America for the chaos and clamour of the worldÂ’s most populous nation?

Journey with Sally Grattidge behind the bamboo curtain as she strives to raise a family, see some of the country and generally have a life while learning to cope with the culture, the language and the ubiquitous "China factor."From the exhilaration of mastering Mandarin and visiting fascinating places, to the despair and sheer frustration of trying to get the simplest things done, the narrative sweeps the reader along on an expatriate roller-coaster ride. Throughout it all, the author paints an intimate portrait of the Chinese people, as she discovers what they are really like beneath that inscrutable public face.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Educational and Humorous Insight into China!
This book is compellingly entertaining and an absolute pleasure to read.Written by an expat from Canada, it will keep you learning AND laughing about the various cultural differences!Providing many useful, personal insights into the business culture, social culture, and day-to-day living in China, Sally Grattidge wends her way humorously through the frustrations and culture shocks faced by foreigners.A "must read" for anyone relocating to China. ... Read more


164. On Whale Island: Notes from a Place I Never Meant to Leave
by Daniel Hays
list price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156512345X
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Sales Rank: 183025
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

After Daniel Hays and his father built a twenty-five-foot boat and sailed it around Cape Horn, he thought he'd finally put his wanderlust to rest. He went back to school, bought a house, took a job, got married.

But as it turned out, in the real world Daniel Hays felt lost. So he took his love for the sea and his need to escape civilization and pushed it further: he bought an island off the coast of Nova Scotia; built a tiny house; packed up his wife and stepson, two dogs, and three boatloads of supplies; and moved there.

This is the story of fulfilling a fantasy: to live by your own rules and your own wits. And Daniel Hays, as readers of My Old Man and the Sea will remember, is well equipped to do both. He generates electricity from solar power and a terrifying windmill, funnels rainwater for their showers, creates a toilet seat out of a whale vertebra, strings their bed up on pulleys so that by day it can be lifted out of the way. For him, every morning is a wonder and every storm a blood-coursing thrill.

But while Daniel loves this permanent boy's life, his wife longs for the life they left behind, and his spirited stepson is feeling isolated. Soon, their Swiss Family Robinson existence becomes a vision only Daniel can see.Funny, tender, and fascinating, filled with the details of an unconventional life, this is the story of how the Hays family lived on Whale Island, and how, finally, they had to leave. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, warm & witty story...
I LOVED this book! So few memoirists are able to write completely honestly, instead usually holding up some kind of complimentary or tidying prism on the experience with the effect of sanitizing and fictionalizing the end result ... not so here. I am actually surprised at a couple of the other reviewers' comments...misogynist? Just because he's honest enough to look at how he and his wife respond differently to the same situation? And anyone who lives with dogs will laugh out loud at Dan's detailed descriptions of some of the drawbacks of living in close quarters with them - and yes we love them but it can get disgusting. I think in a way it was as brave of Dan to choose to live in close quarters with his family on an island for a year - without the buffer of modern comforts - as it must have been to round Cape Horn in a sailboat. Anyway, anyone who likes to read about family, dogs or is interested in one person's examination of his attempt to get closer to an honest life experience by escaping the mainland should read this.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Nice Read
Dan Hays captured the spirit of Whale Island very well. As someone who appreciates the nature writing genre, I was impressed by his graphic descriptions of the scenery and of events as they unfolded. Maybe the biggest compliment of all is that it rarely dawned on me that Dan Hays was working on the book each day, as the story unfolded; in other words, I became entirely engrossed in the story of a small family living their lives on an island off the Canadian coast.

Dan Hays might also be recognized for his honesty. I appreciated the way -- both positive and negative -- that he let himself, his wife and his son come through. All this adds up, in my mind, to a very realistic and engaging story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.
On Whale Island is my top pick of books read for the year. Neither my husband or I could put it down. Boldly honest and pee your pants funny, the book lived a fantasy that I've had in my heart for as long as I can remember. But beyond all the humor, the book raises the big questions about how we choose to live our lives. This book's a keeper and one to be reread.

5-0 out of 5 stars I did not want it to end.....
It was as if he was in the room with us. We listened to Daniel Hays read from On Whale Island and it mesmerized us! We smiled, we cried and nearly pee'd in our pants at the stories he told. Stories about his brave adventure on a deserted island with his small family. I personally loved it so much because they did what I always wanted to do. Throw off convention, wake up and go 'out there'.
Told with honesty, humor and tenderness. I did not want it to end!

3-0 out of 5 stars A well written story, but....
Hays writes an engaging story but I don't think I'd want to know the guy. The book tends to pitch a back-to-nature lifestyle but that's not really what they experienced. It was more like a vacation. Although the effort to maintain shelter took plenty of time and energy, apparently most food and all the clothing came from the store. The vacation ended, like many do, when the money ran out. There's not enough economic activity ---hunting, fishing, farming, weaving, writing or whatever, to sustain the family.

He's pretty much self-absorbed. Does he care about other people except as they impact him? I'm always a little offended when someone begins any statement with "A man believes, needs, thinks, etc." The world is full of people with ideas good and bad. Those opinions are not determined by gender nor is their validity. ... Read more


165. Looking Back
by Clive A. Scott
list price: $12.50
our price: $12.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 184426162X
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Upfront Publishing
Sales Rank: 756854
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Book Description

In 'Looking Back' Clive Scott tells the story of his life.We see a snapshot of an upper class existence in pre-war Malaya, where Scott's father was a well-respected Lieutenant and bandleader.When the war comes and Penang is invaded, the family escape and make their way to Singapore.Eventually, when victory is declared, they are repatriated to England but they fail to fit into their former lives and they return to Malaya.Clive goes his own way, first as a travelling salesman, then as a sailor on a ship.His pace is hectic as he weaves his way through job changes, different countries and culminating with the accidental discovery of his musical talents, with which he rises to some prominence in Norway.A great story, vividly told and very true to life.Clive Scott cannot help but catch the mood in everything he relates. ... Read more


166. Desperate Voyage
by John Caldwell
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0924486201
Catlog: Book (1991-09-01)
Publisher: Sheridan House
Sales Rank: 279244
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In May 1946, John Caldwell, stranded in Panama afetr the war, set out single-handed on a 9,000 mile journey aboard the 29-foot Pagan to rejoin his wife in Sydney. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars John Caldwell- explorer and navigator
I found a copy of Desperate Voyage at a second hand book sale at Goolwa, South Australia. It was a well loved copy, someone's obvious treasure. Once I opened it, I couldn't put it down.
A fantastic story, with some excellent twists and turns. It now occupies pride of place in my bookcase.

But what I'm dying to know, is:
Was it all worth it ? Is John Caldwell still alive, still married, and was Mary worth all the trouble and sacrifice ?
And how did his health hold up afterwards ?
If anyone knows the answer, please email me doggau@chariot.net.au
Thankyou. Terrific story, but a really expensive way to get to Australia !!.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
A fascinating tale of a man who really wanted to get out of Panama. You won't believe its a true story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Caution Thrown To The Wind
So many times I wanted to reach into the book and stop Mr. Caldwell from making some terrible mistake! You'll marvel at his abilities and be awestruck by his errors.

I had the pleasure of meeting James Caldwell while sailing in the Caribbean in 1985. I couldn't help but buy my copy of "Desperate Voyage" from him after our conversation. I'm delighted to see that it's available from Amazon and that other sailors and adventurers have had the chance to read this tome.

I had to remind myself that if I'd been the same age as when he made this journey I might not have done as well.
One thing is clear - Never invite a SHARK to dinner!

Best regards,
Tom

5-0 out of 5 stars First you shake your head....then cry
John Caldwell was desperate to get back to the woman that war had seperated him from. Unable to find an easy way back home, the inexperienced sailor figures he could just sail home across the Pacific.
The first two thirds of the book will leave experienced sailors constantly shaking their heads at his often absurd decisions. All through the trip though, you find yourself getting closer and eventually cheering him on to succeed. When he finally succeeds (I'm not giving it away, after all, he lives to tell the story!) with the heartfelt generosity of people from a wonderfully innocent world, you can't help but feel joy and think "Wow, what a great story".

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books
The most remarkable thing about this story is that it's true! John Caldwell became an adventurer by accident. He just wanted to get across the Pacific Ocean to his new wife, and tried to do it the easy way by ship. Unfortunately there were no ships going his way, so he bought his own - a small wooden yacht. His (mis)adventures start as soon as he sets foot on his boat and don't end until he almost dies in his attempt to reach his destination. Caldwell's courage in facing challenge was born out of naivete - he only had a vague notion of what he was taking on. This makes his achievements all the more extraordinary because his lack of experience only left him with a kind of animal resourcefulness to get him through. He blunders from hilarious escapade to life-threatening drama and back again in an amazing journey that packs more adventure into a few months than most of us get (or want) in a lifetime. His sense of humour and down-to-earth style make This book a delightful read. "Desperate Voyage" undoubtedly has appeal to yachties like myself. But I've lent it to several friends including some landlubbers, and all have thoroughly enjoyed it. ... Read more


167. The Condor and the Cows: A South American Travel Diary
by Christopher Isherwood, William Caskey, Jeffrey Meyers
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816639825
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Sales Rank: 373934
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Book Description

In September 1947, long before mass tourism and with no knowledge of Spanish, Christopher Isherwood and his lover Bill Caskey left for a six-month tour of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Isherwood's account of this journey, The Condor and the Cows, is one of very few classic travel books on South America and was among the books Isherwood considered his best.

Based on his trip journal and loosely structured by the vagaries of his travels, these pages give us an Isherwood who dreams of voluntary exile in the tropical paradise of Curaçao and dines out on stories of Nazis in Berlin, missionaries in China, and movie stars in Hollywood. He describes the surprising and sometimes unnerving people and places he encounters through telling, cinematic details-of Inca drinking vessels, the Spanish colonial city of Cuzco (which he calls "one of the most beautiful monuments to bigotry and sheer brutal stupidity in the whole world"), a bullfight in Bogotá, the towering ruins of Machu Picchu. Unsentimental, rich, and wonderfully rendered, this expanded edition includes additional photographs by Bill Caskey and a new foreword by Jeffrey Meyers. ... Read more


168. Cruising At Last: Sailing the East Coast
by Elliott Merrick
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158574767X
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 147957
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169. Travels in the White Mans Grave Memoirs from West and Central Africa
by Donald MacIntosh
list price: $14.99
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0349114358
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Abacus (UK)
Sales Rank: 386387
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170. The Lost Lady of the Amazon: The Story of Isabela Godin and Her Epic Journey
by Anthony Smith
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786710489
Catlog: Book (2003-01-22)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers
Sales Rank: 248809
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Book Description

Isabela Godin des Odonais arrived in France from Guiana in 1773, and for months her tale of wifely devotion was the talk of every salon in Paris. For good reason, as the vivid retelling of this sensational tale in Anthony Smith’s chronicle of an amazing Amazonian odyssey shows. A remarkable story, it takes Jean Godin on a French scientific expedition to Peru in 1735 and six years later marries him to the thirteen-year-old daughter of the Spanish governor. Godin’s plan to take his wife, Isabela, and their young family to France originates in nostalgia, but his sense of responsibility as well as adventure prompts him to first test the possibility of crossing the Andes, traveling the length of the Amazon, and sailing to French Guiana. He succeeds, but only after 20 years of petitions to the Portuguese government for passage will Godin’s wife undertake the same 3,000-mile journey—and encounter a series of jungle horrors and river tragedies that will reduce her party of 42 to her half-mad self, starving and alone. Photographs and a map add to this incredible true story of Isabela's journey down the mighty Amazon—exploring her courage, her survival, and her undying love. ... Read more


171. A Tuscan Childhood
by KINTA BEEVOR
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375704264
Catlog: Book (2000-02-08)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 206652
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Wonderful...I fell immediately into her world, and was sorry when I reached the end." --Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun


The sparkling memoir of an idyllic, bohemian childhood in an enchanted Tuscan castle between the wars.

When Kinta Beeevor was five, her father, the painter Aubrey Waterfield, bought the sixteenth-century Fortezza della Brunella in the Tuscan village of Aulla. There her parents were part of a vibrant artistic community that included Aldous Huxley, Bernard Berenson, and D. H. Lawrence. Meanwhile, Kinta and her brother explored the glorious countryside, participated in the region's many seasonal rites and rituals, and came to know and love the charming, resilient Italian people. With the coming of World War II the family had to leave Aulla; years later, though, Kinta would return to witness the courage and skill of the Tuscan people as they rebuilt their lives. Lyrical and witty, A Tuscan Childhood is alive with the timeless splendour of Italy.
... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars MEMORIES OF A GARDEN IN THE SKY
GIST: A high-society British family resides in a castle in Italy at the beginning of the twentieth century. Written by the late Kinta Beevor (whoever SHE was). HAMMOCK-TIME: You'll need several days' rest in your hammock, or beach chair to finish it. Some sections are sluggish. Yet the insightful characterization of people, countryside, and events is a potent incentive to finish the book. SKIMMING QUOTIENT: You might easily skip a section towards the end, an overemphasized recollection of the author's jaded coming-of-age society years. STYLE: Interesting blend of the stiff British upper-lip attitude and subtle, dry humor, with a more down-to-earth vulnerability gained, as if by osmosis, from the Italian staff members whom Ms. Beevor befriended. SUBSTANCE: Intriguing, at times, humorous exploration of a childhood in Italy, as part of an expatriate British family. My favorite passages center on a roof-garden, that became an idyllic retreat for the family and their guests. QUIBBLES: Is there anyone the author or her relatives didn't know, in high society during those early eras of the century? The name-dropping gets a bit much, but does not really affect the overall charm of the book. BROWNIE POINTS: I was happy to see that Ms. Beevor engages only rarely in patronizing behaviour towards Italians. She seems to enjoy learning from them, absorbing their knowledge of the land. It's a surprising feat, viewed against the aloofness that the rest of her family, and the rigid social class in which she is reared, displays. As an Italian-American, I find her attitudes refreshing. Sometimes I worry about Italy: all these rich foreignors settling, usually in Tuscany, where they are squeamish about the food, the art, the social structure, the Italianness (horrors!) of natives of Italy. Haven't we read enough books by that sort? COMPLEMENTARY BOOKS: There's a current barrel of books on Tuscany. Perhaps you might approach the region from a different angle. Try exploring one book entitled, Tuscany: The Beautiful Cookbook, which displays memorable photos and recipes. Logistically, it's a huge book, reminiscent of how delightfully big our books seemed to us as children, in managing the pages. The dishes outlined are intriguing - every one I tried turned out delicious so far, although it's a chore stuffing those closed-petal squash blossoms (yes, stuffing them). # # #

3-0 out of 5 stars Charming memoir of how Tuscany used to be
"A Tuscan Childhood" has the flavour of an oral history and is a little like listening to your favorite grand aunt's stories of her days gone by - a little rambling, punctuated with references that aren't too relevant, but with the occasional flash of charm that livens the account.

The book is at its most interesting when she recounts Tuscan village life and food before WWII, and how the war affected the Italians of Aulla and Florence. But while one half of the title is "Tuscan", the other half is "Childhood", and Kinta Beevor also takes us through her memories of her family and their friends, and her growing up years, and unfortunately, her writing was never incisive or lively enough to interest me in the lives of people I never knew and would never know. Here, the book just reads like the indulgent memoirs of a diarist, penning a personal account of her history for her family.

Worthwhile reading only for its very personal account of a Tuscany that (as is made evident in the last chapter) has disappeared or is disappearing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Kinta Beevor, author of only this book, comes from a family of writers, including her son, the reknown author, Antony Beevor. It must be a genetic feature that families produce wonderful writers.
She draws you into her world, like a welcoming friend. You will experience historic events and the world as it was in Tuscany in the 19th century and the early 20th century. You will get to know many of the distinguished and famous persons who visited the Waterfields and best of all, you will become acquainted with "Aunt Janet", the famous English writer, Janet Ross.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Tuscany and in warm and inviting family experiences and how they are influenced by world events.

4-0 out of 5 stars Charming story of one woman's love for all things Italian
The only book Kinta Beevor ever wrote, it was perhaps the only book she could have written. Her obvious love for her magical childhood in Tuscany (esp the years before she was shipped off to England for school) shines forth from every paragraph as she recounts her life as one of the benignly-neglected children of a pair of English aristocrats who owned a 15th century castle, the Fortezza della Brunella, as well as a villa above Florence.
Centered around two very different periods of the author's life, the rural castle and the more urban villa, A Tuscan Childhood is full of famous people (her parents were part of the literati), beloved peasant farm workers, nursemaids, and Aunt Janet, upon whose death the villa falls into the hands of Ms. Beevor's mother.
Toward the end, in diatribes against Mussolini, the Allies, death taxes, and everything and everyone else, an old lady's peevishness with changing times mars what is otherwise a lovely and evocative piece of writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Out of Italy.....
Prior to her death, Kinta Beevor wrote only one book -- A TUSCAN CHILDHOOD -- which would have been better titled "My Life in Tuscany" as it really is the tale of her connection to Tuscany over period of 40 years that included her childhood. Beevor, whose maiden name was Waterfield, was the daughter Aubrey the artist and his wife Lina Gordon, both British ex-pats who lived and worked in Italy during the first half of the 20th Century. The family owned the fabulous 15th Century Fortezza della Brunella which the family called "the castle" and Lina inherited Poggio Gherardo which was almost as old. Both properties came with extensive farm lands. As a result the Waterfields lived lives of comfort -- socializing with the rich and famous (D.H.Lawrence for one) and feeding them to-die-for meals and sending their much neglected children back to England for schooling.

Though I became weary of name-dropping, I found Beevor's book an enjoyable read. Her mention of various rich and famous folks is as natural as can be--just tiresome in the same way a story told over and over by an older person can be. She says her son encouraged her to write down what she could remember, and I suspect he did so after he heard her stories several times. Fortunately, someone had the good sense to publish the book for a wider audience.

Ms. Beevor obviously loved Tuscany--her father's castle where the family restored and maintained a beautiful garden on the roof, her mother's house which Beevor's mother gained the use of on the death of her Aunt Janet, and the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Beevor's description of the sea as the train approached Aulla for her summer vacations from school in England is as well written as anything Lawrence ever wrote, and no doubt she was quite knowledgeable of his works given he was a family friend.

After WWII, faced with death duties on the Poggio Gherardo following the death of Beevor's brother John, and huge expenses owing to the damage inflicted on both properties during the war (the retreating Nazis and the encroaching Allies made a mess, the latter found an autographed photo of Mussolini in the castle and wrecked havoc) the family was forced to sell up and return to England.

Beevor's book contains passages that reminded me of bitter-sweet scenes in "The English Patient", the "Jewel in the Crown", "Tea With Mussolini", "Out of Africa", "Room With a View" and other works written by European ex-pats returned to their home of origin. Ms Beevor was undoubtedly well read and understood the withdrawal of the British Empire following WWII, and in her closing chapters she shares her thoughts about the effect of that withdrawal on Italy. Italy of course was not a colony, but the British had truly made themselves at home in Italy before the war (and may have done so once again). ... Read more


172. El Lazarillo de Ciegos Caminantes
by Concolorcorvo
list price: $20.00
our price: $13.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9871136269
Catlog: Book (2005-03)
Publisher: Stockcero
Sales Rank: 762207
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Book Description

In Spanish - annotated edition The "Lazarillo…" offers a sound and credible vision of the colonial life between 1771 and 1773, as well as practical details of the trip from Montevideo up to Lima, through Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Salta, Potosí, Chuquisaca and Cuzco. According to José Luis Busaniche, the argentine born historian, "through its pages flows a new feeling about nature, far apart from theprevious letters and documents of the colonial era" Its first edition circulated in a clandestine way in America. The text is the transcription of don Alonso Carrió de la Vandera’s writings during his royal commission of fixing the postal system between Montevideo and Lima. The author is mentioned as "Don Calixto Bustamante Carlos Inga, also known as 'Concolorcorvo', who went along the commissioner in said journey and wrote the extracts" Calixto Bustamante Carlos Inca existence is proven, as well as documented the commission and trip of "visitador" Carrió, however "Concolorcorvo" shows a curiously remarkable erudition for a man of his extraction. According to Bartolomé Mitre the book "was written by an erudite person, knowledgeable of the Spanish America customs". Don Alonso Carrió de la Vandera spent most of his life in Mexico and Peru, and was in Buenos Aires in 1749. His letters are written in a far from vulgar prose and full of classics quotations. It would not be strange that he had authored "El Lazarillo" himself. There is a letter from Lima addressed to the postal service administrator in Buenos Aires, don Domingo de Basavilbaso, asking him to receive and protect a don Calixto Bustamante Carlos Inca, who was starting his journey to the Río de la Plata. Abandoned and in need due to the death of "his master Señor don Antonio Guill y Gonzaga, President of the Realm ofChile", he wished to change his fortune "because the temperament of Lima had proven contrary to his health".There is no proof of Bustamante’s appearance in Buenos Aires, but had it been so he would have stayed at the same time as Carrió prepared his trip to Peru. It might have happened that following Basavilbaso’s request the visitador found in Concolorcorvo an able secretary and the best travel company. During the trip the visitador writes confidential reports, complaining about those who surreptitiously paralyze his work. Besides him the witty Bustamante suggests invectives y scathing jokes. The visitador might have been aware of the perils involved in signing such writings. And Bustamante, who admired the visitador, might have taken care, with or without permission, to see that the events did not go unpublished.Thus could have been the "El Lazarillo" conceived: a mixture of travel book, official reports and strong sarcasm. A most simple and possible explanation that in no way diminishes a bit its amusing quality. ... Read more


173. The Boy on the Back of the Turtle: Seeking God, Quince Marmalade, and the Fabled Albatross on Darwin's Islands
by Paul Quarrington
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1550547011
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Douglas Mcintyre/see Pgw
Sales Rank: 363526
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In The Boy on the Back of the Turtle, Quarrington attempts to discover his own little niche in the cosmos. Cruising the volcanic Galapagos Islands on a 90-foot liner in the company of his daughter, age 7, and his father, age 73, he tries to find his place as a Son, as a Father, as a Mortal frolicking beneath the heavens. Given that the Galapagos is the historic site of God’s greatest setback, he points out, it is a fitting place to play out the battle within him. Quarrington employs his trademark combination of wry wit and poignant observation as he takes readers on a wide-ranging investigation of everything from blue-footed boobies, careerism, taxonomy, and the nature of creation to pirates, frigate birds, Herman Melville, and the precarious ecology of the islands and the planet. The exploration of questions big and small make this an enlightening voyage for the reader as well. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Islands for insight
What prompts sixty thousand people per year to visit an isolated group of barren, arid, volcanic islands?They tramp dusty trails, peer into bushes and caves, suffer equatorial sun and strange animals almost without a murmur of complaint.A few, like Paul Quarrington are seeking some answers.Sometimes it's The Answer that's sought.These pilgrims are trailing the man who conceived the best idea anyone, any time, ever had.They retrace the footsteps of Charles Robert Darwin, who visited the Galapagos Islands, then returned home to think about what he'd seen.What Darwin saw and thought led to the first understanding of how life, the universe and everything, actually works.

Quarrington visited the Islands with his daughter Carson, seven years old, and his father, "ten times that age".Quarrington, in an illustrious account, sought what Darwin found - a Great Insight.In keeping with that quest, his narrative is highly personalized and introspective.That is, after all, what "insight" is - looking inward.He recounts his boyhood adoption of divine Special Creation of the universe.Over the years, however, he came to understand how unsatisfying divine creation is in explaining life.As with those thousands of others, he came to see a pilgrimage to the islands as a likely source of enlightenment.

He admits the symbolism of visiting the Galapagos with three generations.The account explains his travails as both a son and a parent.Where does "natural selection" fit in his dealings with his father and his daughter?He examines his own life, what he knows of his father's and how confesses to how adroitly Carson manipulates him.Through it all, Quarrington gives snippets of Darwin's life and thinking, that of natural selection's critics and how many questions have been pondered and answered.In order to accomplish this, he relies on a bevy of writers listed in a five-page bibliography.That's an enterprising effort for a writer listed as a "humourist".Yet, the humour, rich with ironies, is in full flower in this lucid account.Between the science, the charming [and sometimes not so charming] wit, he has provided a singularly readable account of one man's wrestling with the attempt to find something divine, where divinity has no place.It's a book reflecting what many have experienced, although likely with less success.

In the end, Quarrington does achieve an insight.Perhaps even an Insight.While it's doubtlessly his own, unique in a way that may keep only its conceiver satisfied.Still, he accomplishes it after strenuous effort.He achieves it very early one morning in his kitchen, sipping a single malt and expressing contentment at what he has wrought.That's not a bad environment for gaining Insight.If he attains well-being from what he's wrought, who are we to dismiss it?He's made the effort, laid out his own path, and, like those pilgrims following Darwin's trail, perhaps we can follow Quarrington's example.[stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada] ... Read more


174. Making Connections: Mother Daughter Travel Adventures
list price: $16.95
our price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1580050875
Catlog: Book (2003-07)
Publisher: Seal Press (WA)
Sales Rank: 302062
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Travel is greatly shaped by those with whom we travel, and relationships are greatly shaped by the challenges of traveling together-which is precisely what makes this collection, with its specific focus on mother-daughter travel, so compelling. At some times irreverent and funny, at others, thought-provoking and reflective, these stories reveal what happens when mother and daughter step out of the complacent familiarity of routine into uncharted territory. Renowned travel writer Mary Morris reconnects with her pre-adolescent daughter on a trip to the Caribbean. Ariel Gore discovers who she is when she travels without her child. Susan Spano hikes the world in her mother's hand-me-down boots. Forced to interact in a new-and sometimes harrowing-context, these women offer not only ample inspiration and insight into how travel shapes this most complex and intimate of relationships-but a delightfully engrossing medley of travel adventures as well. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars heartwarming
The mother daughter bond has been explored from many angles, but never like this.It was heartwarming to read of the stories and see how travel had enriched their lives

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read and excellent gift!
A great collection of stories which explore the internal and external excitement of travel, the cultures we experience, the comparisons to the one we come from, the reasons we are drawn to these places, and most importantly the insights we gain and how they relate to those we love and are closest to. A thoughtfully compiled, intelligently edited and beautifully written book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Making Connections; Mother-Daughter Travel Adventures
I picked this book up to read the story written by Marjorie Ford, whom my husband knows slightly.I ended up reading the book from cover to cover--and I never traveled much with my mother, and I don't have a daughter.It is just a wonderful collection of stories about relationships.

5-0 out of 5 stars a good read
this is a very good book that all mothers who have ever had their own travel adventure with their daughter can connect to. It is exciting and hard to put down. I suggest it to any mother or daughter! ... Read more


175. Somebody's Heart Is Burning : A Woman Wanderer in Africa (Vintage Departures)
by TANYA SHAFFER
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400032598
Catlog: Book (2003-05-13)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 54855
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

“It's my life, and if I want to run from it I can,” quips Tanya Shaffer.An incorrigible wanderer, Shaffer has a habit of fleeing domesticity for the joys and rigors of the open road.This time her destination is Ghana, and what results is a transformative year spent roaming the African continent. Eager to transcend the limitations of tourism, Shaffer works as a volunteer, building schools and hospitals in remote villages. At the heart of her tale are the profound, complex, often challenging relationships she forms with those she meets along the way.

Whether recounting a perilous boat trip to Timbuktu, a night of impassioned political debate in Ghana, or a fumbled romance in Burkina Faso, Shaffer portrays the collision of African and North American cultures with self-deprecating humor and clear-eyed compassion.Filled with warmth, candor, and an exuberant sense of adventure, Somebody’s Heart is Burning raises provocative questions about privilege, wealth, and the true meaning of friendship.
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars You won't put the book down unsinged.
Any traveler, male or female, who loves Africa in all its glory and horror, should read this book. Poignant, funny, wise, with a good background riff on the meaning of love and relationships back home while your heart is in flames abroad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
Tanya has a writing style that provides a wonderful picture of her experiences. Without reaching the conclusions for you, she clearly shows the lessons she learned in her travels in Africa. I got a real feeling for the people and situations she describes, that sound so real and strange at the same time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very close to being there yourself.
The characters really come to life in this compelling read. 4 stars because I just finished reading Neal Peart's "Masked Rider" and that was tops. 5 stars - check that one out if you enjoyed this one. Overall an enjoyable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVED this book!
I had so much fun reading this book! As a traveler, I related so much to all the different pieces of it. I laughed so hard, and I also found that it had a surprising emotional impact that lasted long after I put it down. I couldn't stop thinking about the characters-- I felt like I knew the Africans, the volunteers, and the narrator herself, in all their glorious confused humanness! What a great journey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Looking into the heart of Africa
Move over, V. S. Naipaul and Paul Theroux; there's a new kid on the block, but with a decided feminist slant. Tanya Shaffer's African odyssey, adds an affecting intimacy to the account of the people, places, and things chronicled in the usual travel book. Her role as a volunteer in the construction of schools and hospitals in small communities of Ghana, living in the homes of local families and sharing their lives, and her wanderings by the most plebeian public conveyances - overcrowded buses and canoes - are the settings for heartwarming encounters with individuals whose lives we come to share. Ms. Shaffer's staunch respect for cultural differences does not silence her from voicing her objections to men who follow sexist tribal customs.that demean their wives and impede the modernization of Africa.. Her narrative sets a brisk pace that holds and delights the reader through a charming picaresque tale of the personal growth of a young woman. ... Read more


176. Outbound: Finding a Man, Sailing an Ocean (Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies, Joan Larkin and David Bergman, Series Editors)
by William Storandt
list price: $29.95
our price: $20.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0299174603
Catlog: Book (2001-08-03)
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Sales Rank: 823571
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Outbound is the story of two voyages: an Atlantic crossing in the 33-foot cutter Clarity, bound for Scotland; and the hard voyage of self-discovery that finally brought Bill Storandt to his life partner.

Storandt's account of the adventure he had carefully planned with longtime partner Brian Forsyth and their friend Bob soon turns into a white-knuckled sailing tale, as they encounter a fierce storm four hundred miles from the Irish coast that tests their courage and all their sailing skills. The sea story, vividly evoking life in a small boat on a big ocean, is interwoven with Storandt's flashbacks to his earlier life. Outbound delivers its share of excitement, but it's also a moving reflection on how circuitous our paths can be, even when the destination is clear and beckoning. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perspective of a heterosexual landlubber
I bought this book because I was blown away by Storandt's first fictional novel, "The Summer They Came." However, as a straight male who does not know the first thing about sailing, I did not know what to expect from this work. My enjoyment of Storandt's effort is all the more impressive, given my lack of knowledge about the subject matter. Like all master story tellers, Storandt lets the reader enter his world by describing the situation in detail, with references to more familiar subject matter. For instance, when explaining why he cannot get out of bed during a severe storm, Storandt says that he can no more get out of bed than a potato worm can unfold in your hand ... brilliant! Storandt has 2 running stories in this book. In the foreground is his gripping account of his sailing adventure to Scotland (the homeplace of his life partner) across the Atlantic. In the background, is a discussion of his and his life partner's lives up until the time of the trip, with particular focus on how they came to realize they were gay. I highly recommend this book to even the most staunchly conservative "straights," and to the landlubbers most prone to sea-sickness!

4-0 out of 5 stars Calling All Sailors & Gay Readers!
This is an interesting and fascinating memoir of one man's life who happens to love sailing and who is also a gay man living in a caring and loving relationship. You don't have to have a knowledge of sailing to enjoy this book. Although I have gone sailing a few times, I wasn't familiar with a lot of the sailing terms, but the author explains them very well. The author writes with dry wit, a questioning self-analysis, and deep passion. It was a pleasure to read his story, and it was never boring. This is a true-life story that will have broad appeal to many people.

Storandt tells in vivid detail the story of his transatlantic sailing adventure from Saybrook, Connecticut to Ireland, then on to Scotland aboard his 33-foot cutter named Clarity. He made this journey with his longtime partner Brian, and their friend Bob. It's an adventure that turns out to be exciting, unpredictable, and even life-threatening. They certainly get to test their sailing skills through rough seas, gale force winds, and a fierce storm. It's not "The Perfect Storm", but it's close. Interwoven throughout his sailing adventure we learn all about Storandt's earlier life; his marriage, being a freelance musician, living in the Vermont woods in a geodesic dome, leaving his marriage, coming out, and meeting his soon to be life partner, Brian, a Scottish doctor.

So whether you're hooked on sailing or just want to read a well-written passionate coming out story, this book is for you. I was disappointed when this adventure ended. As good a writer as he is a sailor, Storandt tells a wonderful story I couldn't put down till finished.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Clarity!
Crossing thresholds, living dreams, staying steady and listening within! He did it! He writes it as only a person who has felt it all deeply and directly can do-it's not an "about" something book! So glad he wrote it for all of us-couldn't put thebook down!!!! Spellbound by all the possibilities it opens for each of us!

5-0 out of 5 stars --
Sometimes a friend will surprise you. You know there's a memoir in the works, that it is to be published. Good for him. You'll have to read it. Reading it, you are impressed, knocked out, amazed. This is what happened to me with Bill Storandt's book, Outbound. The two stories, interwoven in alternating chapters, will satisfy both those seeking the taste of wind-driven mid-Atlantic salt spray and those who seek to better understand a gay man and witness his success in finding a life partner. There are wonderful side trips to Julliard, the Vermont woods, the Caribbean, the Scottish coast, and married life.
The book also satisfies a larger audience, however, and it does so with the simplest and most difficult device: honesty. Bill gracefully and without pretense shares his difficulties and successes, both maritime and personal. It is no accident that his boat is named Clarity. Because he has taken the risk to be so honest with us, an unusual bond develops between author and reader. The authenticity of his voice causes us to care about his perception of the world and to examine how it compares with our own. This happens rarely and it is a privilege and an adventure. We are in good hands with Bill, whose gentle and persistent humor, thoughtful consideration, and respect for all parties make the voyages we take with him away from and back to safe harbors both illuminating and very enjoyable.

I literally couldn't put the book down.

5-0 out of 5 stars Men against the Sea
William Storandt wanted to sail across the Atlantic. And he was afraid he wanted to love a man. In this sometimes harrowing story of the ocean and the heart, Storandt tells us how he finally managed both.

His journeys take him from Julliard to a hippie dome in the Vermont woods to a 30-foot sloop in a life-threatening gale off the coast of Ireland. His parallel course leads him from a youthful marriage to a live-in girlfriend to his first gay bar. And then to Brian Forsyth, a Scottish-born pediatrian at Yale.

Storandt's clean prose and eye for fine Homeric detail make for an exciting yarn about an unusual life. You won't have to be gay or nautical to enjoy it. ... Read more


177. Riding Into the Wind: On Horseback Out of Patagonia, a Life Journey
by Elly Foote, Nathan Foote
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0973253908
Catlog: Book (2003-06)
Publisher: NE Publishing
Sales Rank: 307227
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Riding Into The Wind is a most unusual and passionate story by two rebellious student activists(Students for a Democratic Society, Harvard Tocsin, The College Peace Union) who become expatriates during the Vietnam War and after the assassinations of JFK and his brother Robert, to roam the world on horseback. They sell everything they own, sever all ties, burn all bridges and rule books, declaring themselves Citizens Of The World: their adamant credo of Never Go Back becomes the core of an emerging philosophy of living totally in the here and now. They work as volunteers in a Venezuelan barrio building a school; they join a gypsy caravan in northern Spain, then work their way to South America on a German ferryboat before starting out on the longest horseback odyssey in history: 22,000 miles through 14 countries in almost five years. This innovative work of creative nonfiction is told in two voices, so the dramatic story of these "lovers in each happening of their hearts" moves on several dimensions as they encounter all the extremes of triumph and tragedy. Part travel adventure, part vision quest, part social and political commentary, it cuts cross-country geographically and cross-genre literarily. It is also the story of two courageous radicals from the turbulent 1960s and 70s totally in love with each other and with life. A very intense read!Truly, their life is their message! ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars WHAT A GREAT READ (AND GREAT RIDE!)
As the author of the movies "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,"
and "Hidalgo," I have a passion for stories about unbroken
spirit and the courage to follow one's dreams into uncharted terrain (not to mention stories about remarkable horses).

"Riding into the Wind," is such a book and more. Elly and Nathan Foote write with the same vision and conviction that they live their lives by, and they have that rare gift of transporting the reader onto the unbeaten path with them. It will inspire you to reexamine your life and reconnect with your dreams no matter how impossible the conformist world tells you they are.

This is by far the best equestrian travel book I've read and a
ride you'll remember forever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Across the Americas with Criollos and Mustangs
Nathan and Elly Foote are true adventerers who conquered distance, foul luck, hard times and thousands of miles, proving that with real mettle, you can follow your dreams. The book is a must-read for horsepersons, and a treat for horse trekkers the world over. The fact that they did it with America's First Horse--Criollos and Spanish Mustangs--just makes it that much better. If you saw Hidalgo and want to know more about the Gilbert Jones Mustangs mentioned at the end of the movie, here's a great place to read about their toughness in actual distance work in modern times. Hats off to Nathan and Elly!

Don't be misled by "sour grapes" contributors here. They have their own agendas, and it isn't the buyer's edification, you can be sure.

2-0 out of 5 stars not for everyone
I was disappointed with this book. It is not a theme everyone can relate to. You have to be obssessed with horses to be able to enjoy this book. It takes great courage to embark on a journey like the authors did but not everyone will be able to appreciate this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Felt The Wind Too!!!
I am proud to say Nathan and Elly are my true friends I cryed with happiness when they made up in a special way after a set-to of minds and paths. I cryed over the loss of thier great companions that carried them so many miles. This book will appeal to any body that loves thier animal companions and will spark an adventure syndrome in anyone. And if you enjoy artwork,The color still photo's and Conchita Marie's illustrations are spectacular. Thanks for the journey I'll be first in line for your next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Experience the exhilaration!
How do you describe a book that takes your breath away?

Travel through time and place, safe in your world, while life and death hang in the balance in another world beyond comprehension. In reading their words, you are THERE, you experience the exhilaration, the fear, the triumphs and the failures of a journey of a lifetime.

The writing grabs you - deep down, where you live - and takes you away into a world you could never have imagined. The descriptive scenes, the difficulties encountered, the lessons learned along the way... the whole book serves to jolt you out of your comfortable ruts and make you realize that there is more to life than what you are living.

Describing the book is hard to do for me, you'll just have to pick it up and read it yourself in order to fully digest the enormity of what this young couple did. You'll also enjoy the amazing artwork and beautiful color photographs along the way.

The young artist, Conchita Maria, has captured the scenes so well - the barren wastelands, the aloof mountain peaks, the wide expanses of rivers to cross - and the travellers that dared defy them.

You feel the pain, the hunger, the desire to do it... just start reading and you won't be able to stop turning the pages... ... Read more


178. Hobo : A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America
by EDDY JOE COTTON
list price: $22.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0609607383
Catlog: Book (2002-06-11)
Publisher: Harmony
Sales Rank: 467140
Average Customer Review: 3.22 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With an arresting mix of homespun wisdom, gritty realism, and poignant self-examination, and set against the backdrop of a young man’s coming of age, Hobo is a modern examination of one of America’s oldest and most revered folk heroes.

A free spirit, Zebu Recchia’s mother set out on her own when her son was only two years old. Left behind, the tight family unit of father and son grew up to be more like brothers than parent and child. Such an intense relationship created struggles and pain—but also a form of independence that gave both men the mettle to face life alone when necessary. When Zebu was nineteen, he left behind his “hippie on a Harley” father in a brickyard on a cold winter day in Denver, Colorado, and set out with three things he knew he could rely on: strong boots, a warm coat, and a will to roam.

He took off down the road at sunset with his thumb out and a keen desire to see the world on his own terms. His goal was to end up in Mexico. It had always been his father’s mecca of personal freedom and absolute beauty, and so it became his, too. When Zebujumped his first train, he was forever changed. His passion for the rails and the hobo way of life transformed him into Eddy Joe Cotton, a young hobo-in-training.

Crisscrossing the countryside with a motley bandof companions and mentors, Eddy Joe learns both the dark and the beautiful sides of life on the road. Always headed vaguely toward Mexico, Eddy Joe slowly realizes that the experience of the journey is far more important than the thrill of reaching the destination.

Hobo is a celebration of the cultural and historical significance of the hobo in American society. It’s also the story of what Eddy Joe learned on the rails, and of the fascinating, worldly-wise men who became his teachers. Eddy Joe Cotton paints a multilayered portrait of this strangely enduring lifestyle—of the men who ride the trains, the tricks of the trade, the vocabulary they use, the places they camp, the train yards they avoid, the gear they are sure to carry, and the stories and lessons each one imparts. Told in Eddy Joe’s infectious and original voice, Hobo is a heartfelt exploration of a fascinating subculture, and of one man’s place in a world that has all but been forgotten.
... Read more

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars A great chance to hop a train, or at least think about it.
I've been around hobos and train hoppers for some time now. Living in Kansas City and Denver like I have you can get used to seeing the huge dirty freight trains roll by in the night to who knows where. Eddy Joe Cotton takes you on a trip aboard those trains, as a close friend would, so you can experience what it's like to look out from a box car as you roll though American heartland cities in the night. He wanders off and sobers up a bit near the end of the book, but that just makes the other 95% of it feel more real than any other train hopping book that I've ever read before. You'll never look at train tracks the same way after this honest and allegorical journal of one man's road less traveled is read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Read the Glossary first in case you don't make it to the end
Young man from unconventional upbringing hits the rails in search of adventure and identity, changes given name of Zebu Recchia to Eddy Joe Cotton, and meets the voluntary outcasts and throw-aways of American culture. Cotton doesn't say when he first read Jack Kerouac, but the influence is palpable (though Cotton is no Kerouac) in the protagonist's need for adventure, occasionally Whitmanesque writing style, and the self-observation that makes autobiographical writing possible. Chronicling his own perceptions as well as stories of the characters he meets, Cotton loves, suffers, triumphs, and continues to grow while on the road, but I lost interest about halfway into it and finished the book in one fast flip-through.

The Glossary, however, is an astonishing feat of hobo and tramp lingo and lore. I read the entire 30-page Glossary before beginning the book proper, and I was so glad I did. Not only did it make the story more comprehensible, it was also the most rewarding and informative part of the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Vulgar is Often Profound
Cotton sets out on a literal journey by freight train only to realise along the way that it was worthless without its complimentary and parallel, the figurative journey. In this way it resembles Kerouac's tireless hope, a faith in the future. But Kerouac died drunk young, and ON THE ROAD is a pipe dream, a sad book where there is no resolution, where Neal Cassady is found out a man, not a hero. Where Kerouac has Cassady, Cotton has the freight train, and no pretense about faith and hope, beatific enlightenment and redemption in the madness of music, women, words and poetry. Cotton's journey is a lonely one, and beneath the crude language there is a timid poet, but more importantly a very lonely young man who chooses not to flee sadness, but to immerse himself in it. In Cotton we find a reaction to the blighted idealism of the sixties generation - a person not contented so much with words and literary, artistic achievement, but concerned with the marriage of his art and action, the substance of his real life. After all, Kerouac never ate out of trash cans... So, let's not make too much of what he lacks in technical training, politcal agenda and ideals. He has no ideals, and thank him for it, that wonderful and rare quality of "hopelessness without despair," and his sense of humor and heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most beautiful things you will ever read
This is not, as some reviewers would have you believe, a juvenile attempt at autobiography, or a ripoff of Kerouac. Neither is it a work that is undeserving of praise, or trite. Instead, the author instills a great deal of poetry and threads it through the years of collective experience he had being homeless. The only thing I wish he had included more material on was the topic of fitting into society, of feeling like he couldn't reintegrate. He was basically on his own at 16 (not nineteen as it says above in the review). I find it both amazing and heartwarming that he finally reached a point in his life where he wanted to finally turn things around, through a literary achievement that tells a very American saga.

It's gorgeous prose, and though he skips over time a lot, the stories he tells are both beautifully told and gritty, about people forgotten, or shunned by society, sometimes victims, sometimes insane, sometimes dangerous, sometimes just throwaways. It's a fascinating look at the gypsy culture in this country as well as how people really survive that way. I really recommend it if you're looking for that sort of read. Parts of it are uncomfortable but really, I found it a profound book, with meditations on the American dream and the American reality that was very cutting and nostalgic at the same time. I wouldn't ever welcome that life, the taste of it I've seen is enough, but yeah, his book is very well written. I suppose part of me liked it so much because it didn't shy away from talking about the things that make America exactly the hazardous place it is, and why. He really exposes a great number of things that make you go "wow, I am so glad I wasn't there to see this in person". Especially given what the current administration idealizes, this book is a perfect antidote for the person willing to say America is the best country on earth. This book is a wake up call to the people who tout the "no child left behind" act, and the lack of insight that is our system, one that constantly, irrecovably overlooks.

4-0 out of 5 stars Freedom!
Young bum-in-training Eddy Joe Cotton takes us along on his journey to freedom, riding the rails, scrounging for food in trash cans, freezing in boxcars, staring out at deserts and fields of grain for days at a time, and of course meeting fellow travellers. You never know what filthy old bum you will run into at a hobo gathering or what words of wisdom you will glean in between slugs of cheap wine. Filthy dirty? Yes - but free! Going noplace? Yes - but free! Picking through half smoked cigarette butts in order to roll your own? Yes - but free! Free, free, free! Well, if that's your idea of a good life, welcome to it. This book actually was pretty entertaining and informative. It does seem like a carefree, if uncomfortable, way of living, and nothing terribly bad seemed to happen to the author. There are also plenty of women who take an interest in this sort, though none of them stick around for long, having issues of their own. Good luck, Eddy Joe Cotton, I'll be thinking of you every time I hear the train whistle in the distance at night. ... Read more


179. Jambo, Mama
by Melinda Atwood
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1879384388
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Cypress House
Sales Rank: 77435
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Memoir ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly honest
I thorougly enjoyed reading this book! Melinda is a wonderful and entertaining writer whose description of her life in Kenya was written with complete honesty and candor. I am afraid vanity would not have allowed me to be quite so honest. Her detailed accounts of her trials and triumphs kept me turning the pages. Since I have visited Kenya several times, and especially the Masai Mara Game Reserve, I felt as if I were right there with her. She wrote with compassion towards the people she knew and loved there, and best of all, she wrote with a sharp wit and an incredible sense of humor. I found myself laughing out loud often. It wasn't an easy thing she did, moving to Africa by herself for an extended period of time, for Africa and New York are as different as night and day. Melinda did, however, what so many others only think of doing...she followed her dream. For the reader who wants to learn more about modern Kenya, this book is for you. For the reader who wants a fun, interesting, informative, romantic, and heartfelt book to read, then don't miss this one. I highly recommend "Jambo Mama."

5-0 out of 5 stars Habari gani ?
I have found the first information about Kiswahili in Melinda's book. I am from Turkey and I always wanted to travel to Africa, and so i found Melinda's book in the net and her story triggered my wish out to travel to Kenya and start to learn Kiswahili. I love her book and will always read it, after watching the old film "African Queen" yesterday eveing on TV, I had the strong urge to read some chapters of Jambo Mama. It strangely soothed my soul which longs to be in Africa again. As I am having a baby soon, I cannot travel to Africa for the next two years, so i will keep Melinda's story next to my favourite chair and looking forward the long cold winter nights. I can absolutely recommend to buy this book, if you want to travel to Kenya or Africa or if you prefer travelling in your mind with Melinda to this wonderful country. with love from Turkey Asiye

5-0 out of 5 stars The book to read...
This was a wonderful book. This book tells an amazing story about life in Africa for an American woman. The writer is truly gifted. She wrote in such a way as to make the story and the people in it truly come alive. This book was incredibly difficult to put down and when I did I could hardly wait to find out what happened next. She has an amazing ability to make the reader feel as though you are sitting right there watching the story unfold. The writer is able to reveal her deepest feelings on the pages of the book and doesn't hold anything back which truly makes this book a gem. This is a magnificent book and a must read for anyone remotely interested about life in Africa. I can assure you, you won't be dissapointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jambo Mama
This book has 23 reviews already.

Where are they?

Melinda Atwood

4-0 out of 5 stars Honest
An African-American friend suggested I read this. We spent a lot of time together in Nairobi in the 80s, and this book captures the atmosphere very well, in addition to the fact that the author is very good storyteller. She ends this as if she is on the brink of a sequel and you end up really wanting to know what happens next.

I read the strange comments about this book as a "colonial" account of life in Kenya. It seems to me it is more an honest account about living in a different culture. I like the author's honesty, and I would not want her to tell a different story or try to make her account more politically correct. She changes quite a bit as the story progresses, and she becomes very much part of the lives of her Kenyan staff. She tries to make friends with Africans and expatriots and it is the expatriots that she never gets to know very well.

I was interested to read about her attempts to settle in Kenya, but when she began to describe the business she started there I was entirely fascinated. I own some of the rugs made in her factory, and I was impressed by what she did to run the business.

She must have realized how similar her experiences were to those in "Out of Africa." The author becomes completely involved in the medical emergencies of her staff, she sees the effect of another African's curse on her cook, and she lives as a lonely woman running a business in Kenya that is inexorably floundering. She even has an affair with an unable-to-commit safari guide.

I'd like to know more about the author and what she's done since she left Kenya. She seems like a Renaissance person, gifted in many ways, including writing. Her safaris in Kenya were exotic, but--as it was for many of us--the main importance of her stay there seems to have been her interactions with Kenyans. This is a far less maudlin story than that written by Kuki Gallmann, and it is better written. ... Read more


180. The Gringo Trail
by Mark Mann
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931160104
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Green Candy Press
Sales Rank: 626112
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With little more than backpacks and desire for adventure, Mark Mann and two friends set out on an expedition through Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia, submerging themselves in Latin culture. Through dense forests, daunting mountains, and pristine beaches, the trio makes its way — in a drug-induced haze. Soon the drugs become an all-consuming addiction that changes the lives of Mann and his friends forever. This is an engaging travelogue and frank memoir evokes the magical realism of South American literature. "Darkly comic, ultimately shocking, and packed with astute observations." — Geographical ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Gringo Trail
DJ Wheeler needs to get a life (see review below), girlfriend or both.
The Gringo Trail is one of the most interesting books I've read in ages. OK, so some of the jokes are a bit corny but it livens up the (interesting) background info on the Andean countries Mann and his travelling companions visit.
I couldn't put it down and friends who've read it agree that this book has really captured the spirit of backpacking, more so than The Beach.
I would recommend this book to anyone thinking of visiting South America. And, like me, if you've been to some of the places Mann mentions, you will really be able to relate to what he has written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Obviously divides opinion - but I loved it!
Judging by the other reviews, this is a book you either love or hate. Well, I loved it! For me, this book captured the feeling of backpacking better than any I've read (far better than The Beach, for sure), and the evocative descriptions of the places on the Andean 'gringo trail' are spot on. It's also funny, and the story of the three main characters is far more than just 'a diary' of their trip, as it moves subtly towards the book's climactic episode. In short, backpackers and would-be backpackers should definitely read this book - especially if you've been to, or have any interest in visiting, South America.

4-0 out of 5 stars 'ey gringo, is no' so bad man!!!!
For those of you who like your travel experiences to be wild and exciting, 'The Gringo Trail' has to be worth a read. Mark Mann cleverly strings together his experiences of travelling in Latin America, with astute cultural observations and hair raising experiences. From hold ups on public transport, to drug fuelled mayhem and Shamanism, Mann gorges himself on all the diversity that South america has to offer. An enjoyable read, sure to be exchanged on the travelling circuit for many years to come!!!

2-0 out of 5 stars The Gringo trail just didn't hit the mark, man
I must admit I had to read this in one sitting. Not for the fact that I liked it, but unfortunetly I have a habit of once starting a book, no matter how bad, I have to finish it. And I needed to finish this one pretty quickly. I did like Marks love of the continent, but that wasn't enough to keep the story together. It was almost like reading my sisters diary when a child, but without the secrets, gossip and intrigue. And that's all this was - a diary, speckled with historical snip bits. The trouble with diaries that are published as stories is they lack the beginning, middle and end needed to satisfy the reader. To be fair, I could have forgiven him for missing the first two out. The Gringo Trail is a collection of experiences that fail to deliver on their promises of excitement and discovery, and makes you end up wishing Mark had made it up instead. Which I'm sure he is very capable of doing. Some true stories are well worth telling, and this is one of them... but more in the pub than published sense.

2-0 out of 5 stars ...or, "what I did on my summer vacation"
This author writes "By 1492, after trying for 800 years, Ferdinand and Isabella had finally expelled the Moors from Spain." Wow. That and the reference to Japanese "Banzai trees" marks this book as not so much poorly written as poorly edited. No surprise that when I went back to look at the gushing blurb on the cover, I found it was quoted from a soft-porn lad-mag.

This book is candy. It might be interesting to people who have never done this sort of travel, and who are fascinated by the idea of giving it a try. But for the tens of millions of us who having done it for ourselves, the journey this book describes is very ordinary. Here is yet another little band of angry, self-righteous British slackers, who escape work by puking and quarrelling their way across the 3rd world.

And this book is nothing more than the diary of the trip. Episode after episode, one wonders, "what was the point of that little story?" The author at one point ponders splitting off from his two companions, but it is clear why he doesn't: most of this book is about his interactions with them. Without someone to spat with, he would have little to fill the pages.

To give his work gravitas, he follows the formula of interleaving his personal narrative with leftish social-historical-political commentary. He even includes a bibliography of all of 20 books! It is just added gloss on the basic pretension that this trip is some sort of spiritual pilgrimage, an anthropological exploration into recondite psychedelic shamanic practices. He is flattering himself. He and his friends are just a slightly more educated breed of yobs, going where others have gone before.

He could aspire to be a chronicler, at least, of the yob backpacking scene. In a sense, he is. Realising that all the above still doesn't amount to an interesting story, he continues his wanderings until all the risk-taking behavior (dangerous buses, big doses, getting drunk with strangers, etc. etc.) leads to the predictable tears. A tragedy provides the book's climax--and an opportunity to quote Pink Floyd lyrics. In the final paragraph we see him setting off for yet another dangerous country with his remaining companion. Perhaps he will publish a sequel...if only he can manage to kill off just one more traveling companion.... ... Read more


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