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    $13.60 $12.49 list($20.00)
    1. Into a Paris Quartier
    $14.28 $11.69 list($21.00)
    2. Assassination Vacation
    $15.40 $11.98 list($22.00)
    3. Three Weeks with My Brother
    $10.17 list($14.95)
    4. One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan
    $10.36 $6.00 list($12.95)
    5. Into the Wild
    $10.89 list($18.95)
    6. 1,000 Places to See Before You
    $11.53 list($16.95)
    7. Hey Ranger! : True Tales of Humor
    $10.47 $7.86 list($14.95)
    8. A Walk in the Woods : Rediscovering
    $11.53 $10.13 list($16.95)
    9. Birnbaum's Walt Disney World 2005
    $10.46 $8.00 list($13.95)
    10. Zagat 2005 New York City Restaurants
    $8.97 $7.99 list($14.95)
    11. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side
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    12. Skeletons on the Zahara : A True
    $10.36 $8.42 list($12.95)
    13. The Next Exit (Next Exit: The
    $9.95
    14. The Imagineering Field Guide to
    $9.71 $0.50 list($12.95)
    15. The Get With The Program! Guide
    $12.89 $12.25 list($18.95)
    16. Roadfood : Revised Edition
    $9.75 $7.94 list($13.00)
    17. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
    $10.50 list($24.95)
    18. Places Rated Almanac (Special
    $10.88 $9.97 list($16.00)
    19. Wandering Home : A Long Walk Across
    $16.06 $15.37 list($22.95)
    20. Over the Edge: Death in Grand

    1. Into a Paris Quartier
    by Diane Johnson
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792272668
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: National Geographic
    Sales Rank: 4197
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    Book Description

    Paris has always held a special appeal for Americans -- its cosmopolitan culture, its great boulevards, the majestic sweep of its history. But what really makes Paris irresistible is a deeply personal connection that's not found in any guidebook but rather in a particular café, a chance encounter, a side street whose charm inspires an affection at once instant and indelible.

    For acclaimed novelist Diane Johnson, that feeling focuses on ST.-Germain-des-Prés, and in this delightful book she takes us on an affectionate tour of her home neighborhood, where the Three Musketeers swaggered, La Rochefoucault honed his cynically delightful maxims, and Gertrude Stein played den mother to a Lost Generation of American expatriates. Evoking both a rich past that has everywhere left its mark and the vibrant urbanity, Johnson brings a keenly curious eye and an eloquent pen to this fascinating, welcoming portrait of the Paris she knows and loves so well.

    ... Read more


    2. Assassination Vacation
    by Sarah Vowell
    list price: $21.00
    our price: $14.28
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743260031
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 250
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrumsof American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other -- a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

    From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue -- it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and -- the author's favorite -- historical tourism. Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are all kinds of lighter diversions along the way into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult. ... Read more

    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wierd but Funny - A Great Way to do History
    This book is just a touch wierd. Who would take a vacation with the specific intent of going to see where the presidents got shot?

    OK, I'll admit having visited the Texas Book Depository building in Dallas. But that was because of the publicity that was high at the time regarding who actually shot him. An aside -- anyone who has ever gone rifle shooting can look out the window he used and will think, "I could have made that shot."

    Still, her dry wit can't help from coming through, "Going to Ford's Theatre to watch the play is like going to Hooters for the food." She makes the study of history come alive much better than the dry history books I remember from school.

    As now the author of five books, television appearances on several shows, and the voice of Teenage superhero Violet Parr in "The Incredibles," Ms. Vowell is a budding great voice in American literature.

    1-0 out of 5 stars For Presidential History Geeks Only
    I like Sarah Vowell's personality and normally enjoy reading her books and listening to her on This American Life.Plus she kicked ass in The Incredibles.

    I found this book really dull reading though. Unless you, like Sarah, are obsessed with the tiny details of President Garfield's presidency (and other subjects equally dry) you may be as bored as I was. She herself keeps saying how the companions she brings along on her research trips are bored to tears by the subject matter.

    I look forward to her next book and a return to more interesting territory.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's No Coincidence...
    This book is great! The wit and humor of Vowell's essays, collected in Take the Cannoli and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, translate well to this more focused tale of her visits to sites related to presidential assassinations. Filled with Vowell's quirky observations and animated by the rapid-fire connections her mind makes, Assassination Vacation is a page-turner AND a history lesson at the same time. Vowell's deep appreciation of and enthusiasm for her subject matter is infectious. Highly recommended, especially if you're planning a trip that includes visits to historic sites. Vowell's viewpoint will give you a new way of enjoying them that will definitely enhance your experience!

    5-0 out of 5 stars quirky history tour
    Very informative, hilarious and even moving at times. One other reviewer mentioned Vowell's Bush bashing, but they should read or listen to more than a snippet. The "current president" only pops up a couple of times and briefly. The rest of the book is for the most part a quirky nonpartisan journey through American political history. Vowell's narration in the audiobook abridgement is broken up with some interesting guest voices. Stephen King as Abraham Lincoln for instance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Charming, Witty and Funny
    I just, today, discovered Sarah Vowell's work. It is a wonderful treat. She looks at history in an amazingly honest way. Her history is never boring, of course. I was fortunate to see Sarah do an author presentation on C-Span2 BookTV.

    She presents history in a quirky, honest and humorous way. This book is about the history of the people and events surrounding the assassintions of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. You will learn historical details that you never knew or even thought that you wanted to know. You will be very pleased with Sarah's look into history. ... Read more


    3. Three Weeks with My Brother
    by Micah Sparks, Nicholas Sparks
    list price: $22.00
    our price: $15.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446532444
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
    Publisher: Warner Books
    Sales Rank: 504
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    As moving as his bestselling works of fiction,Nicholas Sparks's unique memoir, written with his brother, chronicles the life affirming journey of two brothers bound by memories, both humorous and tragic. ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Summer Reading
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Spark's family and about the journey around the world and through childhood of these two brothers. I was deeply touched to be given such insight into the author's life and it made you realize that no matter how good someone's life looks on the outside, you never know really what is going on/has happened behind the smile/tears. This book is different from his others since it was inspired by his own life not someone else's (also enjoyed learning where he came up with the ideas for other characters in previous books)...truly an enjoyable book to read. I loved how he mixed past and present stories with his trip with his brother. Kept it very interesting.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Skip the Travelogue, Read the Memoir
    If anyone advised Nicholas Sparks to abandon couching his memoir within a travelogue, he should have paid attention. Sparks's thoughts about the wondrous places he visits -- Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Agra, among others -- are silly and shallow. Plus he and his nominal co-author brother proudly portray themselves as buffoons and philistines. You want to slap them both on the back of the head and tell them to at least be quiet if they can't behave.

    On the other hand, the bulk of the book, which details the series of tragedies that have overwhelmed the brothers' adult lives -- deaths of parents and a sibling, as well as the rearing of an autistic child -- is sad but compelling, and ultimately encouraging, because it is written from the heart.

    I also think another book -- perhaps it will take the form of a novel -- needs to be written about the Sparks' mother. Nicholas professes unblemished love and respect and devotion to the woman, who died tragically at 47, just weeks after his marriage. However, she was a complicated character whose parenting of her three children was often questionable at best. Perhaps additional time is needed for him to examine her -- and his own feelings about her -- more honestly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Full Of Heart
    Thats exactly what this book has-Full Of Heart. The brothers go through so much together, life is a challenge, sometimes so unfair but the one thing-the clearest thing spoken is that they have the ultimate gift-Love. Full of heart! Also recommended: Other Memoirs-A Child Called It, Father Joe,Running With Scissors,Nightmares Echo

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Three Weeks" is a great read
    Like many others who have reviewed this book, I have read all of Nicholas Sparks' previous books. I completely enjoyed reading this book as well. I think some reviewers missed the point of the book, unfortunately. It is not a "travel" book and it is not a "spiritual" book. It is a memoir, an autobiography, of the author and his brother's life experiences. I was drawn into the story on many levels - the familial relationships, the growing up years in Fair Oaks, the heartbreaking traumas endured. I think it is wonderful that Cathy and Christine were in favor of this trip for the brothers. They truly are saints (it's nice to know that both Nick and Micah truly understand that!). It makes me sad to think that Micah and Nick are so far apart (physically), but the book is a beautiful reminder that love knows no bounds. And aren't they lucky to have each other. I don't think they come off as pretentious at all...they're all they've got, it doesn't get more real than that. I think it must be amazing for Nick to look back and realize where he was and where he is now (and that he thanks God for all the blessings). I think writing this book must have been very cathartic for him, at least I would hope it was. And that he can still rely on his faith to carry him through the difficult times...we all have them, even if we aren't best selling authors or successful businessmen. It's interesting that as I read the book, I kept reminding myself that this wasn't one of his novels...this stuff really happened. And though some of the antics that he and his brother did on the three week trip were borderline-out-of-control, it was funny. I could see me and my brother and sisters doing stuff like that! Micah seems to be a good reminder to relax, enjoy life and have fun. I hope that they both benefitted from traveling together and spending quality time together like that...and that there was some healing in the pains suffered after living through so many tragedies...especially for Nick. Micah seems to deal with life and it's ups and downs well enough...I mean, if not going to church and questioning his faith are the worst things that he has endured, then good for him. I think writing the book for Nicholas probably has helped him move forward, which sounds like he is doing. God bless him, his brother and their families. Now I think I need to make a run downtown to get some Zelda's and beer myself! :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written!
    This is a different kind of book but wonderful! Any Sparks fan will love this! You will laugh and cry. Have some tissues nearby and enjoy! Fan for life! ... Read more


    4. One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
    by Sam Keith, Richard Proenneke
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0882405136
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
    Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books
    Sales Rank: 161
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    To live in a pristine land ... to roam the wilderness ... to choose a site, cut trees, and build a home ... Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them. Here is a tribute to a man in tune with his surroundings who carved his masterpiece out of the beyond. ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great journals of wilderness living
    This is a powerful book and has quite a following. I was given the book by one of my best friends, which I consider a wonderful gift. This book has it all, beautiful photos, Richard's journal notes are amazing in their insight to his thinking and how this adventure unfolded. It is a simply wonderful book, and has people traveling to Alaska just to see the setting for such a balanced book. This book lays claim to new territory, and the claim is valid. No wonder it sells well, it is captivating reading and makes you look hard and close at your own life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One Man's Wilderness
    This has to be one of my very favorite books. I have read it front to back at least 7 times! It is written with the true adventurer in mind. Every detail of his experience makes the reader wish it were he/she that was there with him. If you have ever wished you could just go off into the woods, build a cabin and be self-sufficiant, This is the book for you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful "Alaskana" read
    Sure the writing style isn't polished and there is little action, but I think that is what helps makes this such an enjoyable book. The observations and opinions presented in the closing pages (chapter 9) will cause most any reader to consider their place in their world. There is enough good here for me to add this to my extensive Alaskana library for long term keeping.

    4-0 out of 5 stars One Man's Carpentry
    The book is entirely journal entries that for the most part describe how the author builds his wilderness cabin and goes about other day-to-day tasks. This is not the book for those seeking accounts of extraordinary Alaskan adventures but it is an impressive account of craftmanship. It is a story of impressive feats of carpentry and resourcefulness. You do get a few descriptions of encounters with wildlife but I didn't find that to be a strength of the book. Great pictures, too.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting details, but slow for me
    I like books that contain the kind of real details that this book contains. Properly presented, fact can be more interesting than fiction. The book reads somewhat like a journal. For me, however, it deserves 3 stars because of writing quality, and because it failed to keep me reading past midnight. ... Read more


    5. Into the Wild
    by JON KRAKAUER
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385486804
    Catlog: Book (1997-01-20)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 1144
    Average Customer Review: 4.03 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    "God, he was a smart kid..." So why did Christopher McCandless trade a brightfuture--a college education, material comfort, uncommon ability and charm--for death by starvation in anabandoned bus in the woods of Alaska? This is the question that Jon Krakauer's book tries to answer. While itdoesn't—cannot—answer the question with certainty, Into the Wild does shed considerable lightalong the way. Not only about McCandless's "Alaskan odyssey," but also the forces that drivepeople to drop out of society and test themselves in other ways. Krakauer quotes Wallace Stegner's writing on a youngman who similarly disappeared in the Utah desert in the 1930s: "At 18, in a dream, he saw himself ...wandering through the romantic waste places of the world. No man with any of the juices of boyhood inhim has forgotten those dreams." Into the Wild shows that McCandless, while extreme, washardly unique; the author makes the hermit into one of us, something McCandless himself could never pulloff. By book's end, McCandless isn't merely a newspaper clipping, but a sympathetic, oddly magneticpersonality. Whether he was "a courageous idealist, or a reckless idiot," you won't soon forgetChristopher McCandless. ... Read more

    Reviews (745)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Krakauer's story of Chris McCandless
    Why would a talented and gifted young man walk away from his life of promise and lead the life of a penniless wanderer? Jon Krakauer, the nature/travel journalist, takes on this question in the story of Chris McCandless, who after two years of coast-to-coast travel, was found dead in the Alaskan wildreness.

    Krakauer retraces McCandless's steps from his childhood to his days at Emory and uncovers a smart, compassionate young man who revelled in the works of Tolstoy, Jack London, and other figures who advocated a simple self-sufficient existence, turning away from money, government, etc. He interviews several people that Chris, "Alex Supertramp" as he calls himself, met in his hitch hiking travels and discusses his journal writings. I came upon this book after reading Krakauer's newest book, Under the Banner of Heaven. I appreciated Krakauer's style of being in the story as an author/journalist, but keeping the story in its purest form.
    Krakauer first encountered this story after McCandless's death in 1992. He wrote a feature story in Outside magazine, but was very interested in McCandless, so he decided to research the events more. This book is the further research. He provides some insight and answers some of the questions with his own experiences as a mountaineer and outdoor-lover.

    5-0 out of 5 stars FINDING CHRIS MCCANDLESS
    As the mother of sons and a writer for whom reading is the greatest pleasure, I found "Into the Wild" to be one of the finest and most unexpectedly beautiful books I have read in a very long time.

    It is the harrowing story of the death and short life of Chris McCandless, a bright, charming, adventurous young man whose mysterious travels and untimely death left a legacy of heartbreak and confusion to those who loved him.

    In returning to the scene of his own admittedly incomplete reportage of the story for :"Outside" magazine, Jon Krakauer reveals his own honesty and decency as a writer and a man.

    The book is as beautifully written as it is fascinating. Krakauer and his readers come to know Chris McCandless as our own youthful hopes made flesh. We also come to know this boy -- and love him -- as everyone's son, perhaps even our own.

    Late in his troubled adolescence, Chris set out into the American "wilderness" on a journey to adulthood. He did not return.

    He didn't return, that is, until Krakauer, who recognized in this story aspects of his own difficult youth, embarked on an odyssey of his own in McCandless' footsteps. .

    With almost unbearable detail he pieces together the last year of this young man's life and derives from it a compelling pilgrim's tale of anger, fear and courage. Through those who knew him during his "lost" days, we move from dissatisfaction and yearning to spiritual rebirth that arrives gratefully, but late and despite terrible twists of fate

    .Chris McCandless tunneled through Peer Gynt's mountain, punted across the Slough of Despond and into the dark and icy forest. He received boons and encountered spirit guides; listened and learned from scouts and story-tellers All of them later helped the auther piece together the real story, heretofore untold, of a boy who found himself and death in the same process and in the same place. Free at last, he quietly, and even joyously, welcomed the arrival of both with valor and uncommon grace.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
    How does a young man leave a comfortable life with an education and well to do parents and just wander into the wild? This is one of the questions that Jon Krakauer tries to answer. At first the reader is given the idea that Chris McCandless read one too many books like "On the Road" or "White Fang", but as the story develops, he becomes more complex a character. This young man was looking for adventure and decided to leave "normal" life behind. Unfortanuatly for him. it cost him his life.

    Krakauer does an amazing job of bringing McCandless back to life by trying to show what he was thinking. Krakauer used personal notes, interviews with family and friends and historical experiences to flesh out this person. When the personal notes run out and speculation starts, Krakauer gives a personal tale to explain why McCandless was not an idiot and just had some bad luck. This book is a very good read and is time well spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The dark side of idealism
    Last Christmas I gave this book to my father. I thought he might enjoy the adventures of Alex (though you know from the start his life will end badly), and thought if things went well I might use this to try to explain to him why it is that I spend all my extra money on travel and why I do illogical things in pursuit of my dreams. His reaction, though, was nothing but frustration with Alex's "idiocy."

    The difference between my response to the book - that Chris/Alex lived an extreme form of the longing I and many others feel - and my father's response is the same gulf that this story seeks to bridge. Jon Krakauer, who has also sacrificed a great deal and risked his life in pursuit of his dreams, clearly feels some sympathy for Alex's wild decisions. But the result of Alex's tramping is his own death and the heartbreak that ensues, which seems to outweigh any selfish satisfaction Alex may have received from his experiences.

    When people create great art or invent something remarkable, society celebrates their achievements in spite of any collateral damage. But Alex is an example of someone whose idealism was far greater than his accomplishments. The art he left behind in his notebooks is unremarkable, and the few friends he made in his travels have not been catalysts for improvement in the world. His one success (or failure) was that he was able to unbind himself from his expected, normal life and give himself wholly to his ideals. So many of us secretly wish that we had the courage to do something similar, and this book forces us to confront that desire. Is the pursuit of a dream a worthwhile end, in and of itself?

    There are no clear answers, in this book or in life, but the question is worth asking, no matter whether you see Alex as someone to be admired or throttled.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lonesome pines in snow
    This is an excellent read! But more than that, it is one of most moving and human stories you will ever have the pleasure of encountering by an author such as Krakauer, a splendid naturalist with a true ear for epiphany. Krakauer has a style unlike any writer this side of the twentieth century, and makes his way honestly and earnestly into the psyche of the reader, unexpectedly portraying a very real and true, almost unspeakable understanding of the young adventurer, Chris McCandless. If you are American, you absolutely must read this book! It should be cannonized. ... Read more


    6. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die
    by Patricia Schultz
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $10.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0761104844
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-22)
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 18
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Introducing the Eighth Wonder of travel books, the New York Times bestseller that's been hailed by CBS-TV as one of the best books of the year and praised by Newsweek as the "book that tells you what's beautiful, what's inspiring, what's fun and what's just unforgettable everywhere on earth."

    Packed with recommendations of the world's best places to visit, on and off the beaten path, 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE is a joyous, passionate gift for travelers, an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more. There's Botswana's Okavango Delta, the covered souks of Aleppo, the Tuscan hills surrounding San Gimignano, Canyon de Chelly, the Hassler hotel in Rome, Ipanema Beach, the backwaters of Kerala, Oaxaca's Saturday market, the Buddhas of Borobudur, Ballybunion golf club-all the places guaranteed to give you the shivers.

    The prose is gorgeous, seizing on exactly what makes each entry worthy of inclusion. And, following the romance, the nuts and bolts: addresses, phone and fax numbers, web sites, costs, and best times to visit. ... Read more

    Reviews (95)

    3-0 out of 5 stars 1000 places to stay before you're bankrupt
    This is a great idea for a book, and it is fun. I'm being a bit tough to give it only 3 stars, but after a while it got to me.

    There are probably about 50 to 100 places in this book that one ought to visit if at all possible. There are also some places that ought to be there, like the Vale of Kashmir, but one would die while visiting them. There are also about 8,765 very expensive hotels to exercise a Platinum card on. She's a traveller who likes her servants elegant and plentiful. I'm sure they're fine hotels, I've known a few of them myself. Still, they're hotels darn it! Not one is worth ten minutes in the Louvre, or a walk in any fine forest.

    Some of the places she mentions I knew 20 years ago when they were fresh, now they are well worn and there are different and better alternatives. She also is rather stuck on the northeast.

    That said, it is a fun bathroom read for residents and guests. As a travel book it's three stars, as a certain kind of recreation it's 3-4 starts. If you want to travel with it, use the examples as hints, but explore as much around the places she mentions as in them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kudos - A Job Remarkably Done
    I have been professionally traveling for 35 years and for personal reasons twice that. Yes this 900-page travel bible features a lot of (historical, must-see and unusual) hotels, but there are so very many more museums (the world's biggest and best and the small gems too), festivals (a betrothal festival in in Morocco's Atlas Mountains and the Spoleto Festivals in both Spoleto, Italy and Charleston USA), food experiences (the Maine Lobster Festival and George Blanc in France) and sites of natural beauty (the Grand Tetons, Patagonia, Cappodocia in Turkey, Italy's Dolomite Mountains, Connemara in Ireland) - oh and I could go on and on....as Patricia Schultz does. You can never please everyone all the time, but no one has ever come as close as this intrepid author, and with a lovely and easy to read prose that should awaken the adventurer and explorer in all of us. I gave 20 of these books away as Christmas gifts and now have 20 best friends who are still talking about the best gift they ever received.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Before You Die - Another Last Chance
    As a well-preserved baby boomer, I am increasingly aware of the passage of time and how little there is left of it (even if I live to be 100+, which I definitely plan on doing). I have visited only two of the places referenced in this book, and I found Schultz's descriptions to be accurate and pleasing. After reading this book, I plan to visit at least a dozen more, excluding the museums and old buildings. I'm more of an outdoors and scenery type.

    And if you find yourself in need of a travel companion, I suggest Baby Boomer Bachelorette: How to Have S** At Least Once More Before You Die - AT LEAST being the operative phrase here. It's a funny and fast read, with lots of how-to info on internet dating.

    5-0 out of 5 stars From Alaska to Zanzibar
    This book's description of Alaska's Inside Passage partially influenced the choice of my wife's 30th birthday gift. But had we not read the rest of Schultz's Alaska chapter we would not have gotten off the ship and experienced some of the most remote and awesome lodges and heli-hiking destinations that have just returned us back home exhilarated and ready to check out her other 900-some suggestions. I lived in Italy for 13 years until recently and one could swear Ms Schultz is Italian herself, so perfectly has she chosen those Italian destinations both world-renowned and quietly hidden that make up the quintessentail Italian Experience. My feelings are the same for her coverage of a number of other European countries I feel I know almost as well and much of Asia where I travel often for business.
    Who needs a travel agent?

    3-0 out of 5 stars random samples not too promising
    I checked out the book's recommendations for two regions with which I'm familiar: Alaska and Massachusetts. In the case of Alaska the author recommends a couple of places that any 80-year-old on a cruise would be likely to visit. She does not mention Katmai National Park (where you can get up close and personal with bears catching salmon) or any of the other places that an Alaska resident might recommend. In the case of Massachusetts she recommends Legal Seafoods. This is a chain restaurant and if you're hungry in Washington National Airport it is a fine place to eat but it is hard to see how the various branches of Legal's qualify as one of the 1000 top places in the world. ... Read more


    7. Hey Ranger! : True Tales of Humor & Misadventure from America's National Parks
    by Jim Burnett
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1589791916
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-25)
    Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
    Sales Rank: 4933
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In his thirty years with the National Park Service, Jim Burnett has seen it all: baotramp mishaps that have sent cars into the water; skunks in the outhouse and bears at the dumpser; visitors looking for the bridge over the Grand Canyon. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for everyone!
    This book is a good read for anyone who enjoys reading about how incredibly dense other people can be!I love the acronyms he uses, and I especially like the chapter titled "Back It Up Right Here!"and "Thousands of Chickens!"Jim Burnett has a great sense of humor and I'm sure he has more stories to tell!I really hope he writes another book - I'll be sure to get it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I haven't read this book....
    ...quite yet (though I certainly intend to), but, as a former Park Ranger, I'm going to give it 5 stars. I heard the interview on NPR with Mr. Burnett and he sounded like he had some terrific and hilarious stories in the book. I can confirm that I've seen otherwise reasonable people ask incredibly stupid questions or do completely off-the-wall things while on vacation, so I can well believe the veracity of the author. I'm looking forward to reading this. I may be a law student now, but I still bleed gray and green.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fun book for almost anybody
    I enjoy travel and visiting parks, and even though I don't consider myself to be an `outdoorsman," I really liked this book. The author is a great, conversational story-teller and has a wonderful sense of humor. If you like Garrison Keillor you'll enjoy this style of writing. He has come up with some really funny acronyms to describe why things often turn out differently that we expect, such as the "oops" factor (outcome outside of planned scenario). My son always thought he wanted to be a park ranger and I'm giving him a copy of the book. Like the previous reviewer I was surprised at some of the things I learned about their jobs. This is a fun read and the short chapters made it easy to enjoy even with my busy schedule.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hey Ranger!
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading, Hey Ranger!, especially the amusing style the author uses to tell of the incidents he encountered and the so called fringe benefits a Park Ranger's family endures.The chapter titles grab your attention and relates well to what's told in that chapter."Don't feed the skunks" is one of many hilarious accounts of how people depend on a Park Ranger to solve their mistakes. I really enjoyed the use of abbreviations such as C.U.B.S. (Constitutionally Unable to Behave Sensibly), that adds to the funny explanations of brainless situations people get into. His own personal chapter account of one of his moves in, " Mister, It's not to late" was so funny I found myself laughing out loud.This book proves that a Park Ranger's job is more than just riding around in a truck enjoying National Park scenery as some people think. It's hard to put down and I'm sure you will find it entertaining. ... Read more


    8. A Walk in the Woods : Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)
    by BILL BRYSON
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767902521
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-04)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 560
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes--and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.

    For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is destined to become a modern classic of travel literature. ... Read more

    Reviews (751)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than fiction
    Typically, I read a lot of fiction. I'm an escapist, I guess. I read to get away from the world we are all here to occcupy, and often I find that the best escape is into a fictonal land where nothing is as it seems, or even plausable.

    I took a chance on this book on a friends recomendation, and I was not dissapointed. Knowing my penchant for escapism, he steered me directly to this often hilarious account of a middle age writer and his drunk hippy college buddy hiking the appalchian trail. Two more mismached fellows I could not imagine.

    This book details a hysterical tale of survivial that leaves you half wanting to call up that old college friend that you haven't seen in 10 years and pack your bags and hit the trail, and half glad to continue to lead your sedintary life writing book reviews on some web site.

    The other great positive that this book offers is it's interesting history lessons. I don't think I've learned as much about american history since 10th grade social studies! Bryson has a little Charles Kuralt going on (well, maybe without the love affairs!) as he leaves the trail and gives frank, raucous descriptions of the little towns he finds food and shelter in along the way.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone with a good sense of humor, a free weekend (it's a quick read) and an escapist personality.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny!
    Very seldom do I read anything that makes me laugh out loud. To do so more than once or twice in a single book almost never happens. With "Walk," I became almost hysterical over certain chapters - in an airport, no less, while waiting for my flight. People must have thought I was nuts! Anyway, this is the story of two middle-aged and out of shape men (Bryson and his buddy, Katz) who decide to hike the Appalachian Trail. The AT is the third longest nature trail in the US, stretching from Georgia to Maine, along some incredibly rough terrain. Not all of their journey is rustic, however, as they often take a break to spend a night in the closest little town off the trail to have a shower, sleep in a "real" bed, and wash the grime from their clothes. It is during one such trip to the laundromat that Katz has a rather interesting encounter with 300 lb. Beaulah, her extra-large-sized panties, and a washing machine. Aside from the comical adventures, Bryson also has a great deal to say about the AT itself, and in particular, how much the National Parks Service needs a giant kick in the pants to help preserve these Trails.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Uncovers some effects of civilization...
    Though his book isn't the best book I've read in a while, it was entertaining and did make me walk to start hiking for often. The parts a appreciated most however dealt with the US Forest Service, logging, road building, acid rain, and hunting owls, lions, and bears for bounties. He cites some good sources for information on the destruction of the forests of North America, but fails to deal with the destruction of the planet as a global phenomenon. He also fails to connect the problem with choices being made by people--especially people just like him. While I learned something from his story, there is much more to be said about the violence of our culture and the demise of the natural world.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read for Someone with Experience
    I read the book before I started backpacking and used Bryson's descriptions for making my decision on where to tackle a section of the AT. I went back later on to read it again, and enjoyed it more the second time. If you have gone through the same sorts of experiences on the AT, met similar people, been in the same areas, and delt with the same problems, its an excellent read. Granted it slows down in part two, but if you're interested in some history and background of the AT it doesn't matter. Part one a must read for those who would like a taste of the AT. Bryson is honest and at times very hilarious about his experiences and lack of skill. You should not read it if backpacking or the Appalachian Trail is of no interest to you.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The previous reviewer got it perfectly...
    ....unfortunately you would need to read the book to understand that review. The book started off nicely, and at times was witty. However, it eventually becomes a big disappointment when the author decides that completing his walk along the whole trail was too much. He then proceeds to occasionally walk snippets of it, and give you lots of filler about some aspect of the area in which he is walking. Overall, he didn't complete his mission, and he gives no compelling reason why he didn't, other than it was too tough. Then, because he is a journalist, he is able to transform that failure into a mediocre book. Perhaps a skilled writer can walk the whole trail, write an interesting book, and then we can stop talking about this one. ... Read more


    9. Birnbaum's Walt Disney World 2005 : Expert Advice from the Inside Source (Birnbaum's Walt Disney World)
    by Birnbaum
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786854286
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: Disney Editions
    Sales Rank: 2038
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    Book Description

    Birnbaum's Walt Disney World, the most respected and well-known name in travel guides, takes readers to the world's most popular tourist attraction. Since our guide is the only guide that's official, this book includes the most accurate information on prices, changes, and new attractions for 2005. Highlights include the lowdown on Disney's latest attractions, including Mickey's PhilharMagic, a 3-D film spectacular where Disney magic meets Disney music, and Wishes, the new nighttime fireworks extravaganza. Get the scoop on the World's newest lodging facility, the deluxe Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa as well as the newest value resort-the colorful and quirky Pop Century. ... Read more


    10. Zagat 2005 New York City Restaurants (Zagatsurvey: New York City Restaurants)
    by Curt Gathje, Carol Diuguid, Larry Cohn
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1570066396
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-30)
    Publisher: Zagat Survey
    Sales Rank: 702
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    11. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
    by Eric Schlosser
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $8.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060938455
    Catlog: Book (2002-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 253
    Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but here Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.

    Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths -- from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate. He also uncovers the fast food chains' disturbing efforts to reel in the youngest, most susceptible consumers even while they hone their institutionalized exploitation of teenagers and minorities.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (1014)

    5-0 out of 5 stars McInteresting Look at Fast Food
    I read this book knowing I was not going to learn any new and cheery anecdotes about how Ronald McDonald got his start..... instead I read this to solidify the notion that fast food was not a healthy choice. And boy, did this book give you reasons it is not, and I'm not just talking nutritional value here.

    I found this book fascinating for the detail was great, well researched, and given to the reader straight. It was an eye opening book. Who knew that due to the meat industry being run just by a few corporations, essentially we are eating the same meat from the same feedlots and slaughter houses whether we buy it at a fast food chain or the local supermarket, and perhaps even the nicer restaurants. I also found some of the content appalling. Cattle are fed cats, dogs, other cows, even old newspaper! If this doesn't outrage you enough, just wait to you get to how these same meat conglomerates treat the low paid, low skilled employees of the slaughterhouses.

    This book is insightful and unbelievable, and will make you question how the fast food giants sleep at night.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm Supporting What?
    I've been trying to write a review for this book and end up not being able to grasp the profound effect it has had on me. I'm left will a feeling of being too small to actually do anything about the "wool" being pulled over America's eyes. From basic human rights to our nation's safety (e.coli, salmonella, etc.), the fast food industry has been able to break laws, cover up incidents and some how flourish, making billions of dollars a year.

    I devoured this book, it is easy to read, accurate and eye opening. The contents in this book is something that every American should be familiar. Fast food customers need to be informed of what goes on to deliver that "happy" meal on to that plastic tray from beginning to end. I'd like to thank Eric Schlosser for writing this book, his research has caused me to take a look at what I'm supporting and risking by consuming meat. I for one will not support these arrogant corporate giants and have chosen to stay away from fast food. I have seen the light and it's not from the glowing golden arches down the street!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Appalling. Read it and weep.
    Since many other reviewers cover the more repulsive details of Schlosser's book, I will stick to pointing out something I think deserves even more attention: one of the themes of the book is that the fast food industry has its tentacles in EVERY aspect of Americans' lives. Changing this goes far, far beyond bypassing a Big Mac...boycotting fast food is not the same thing as boycotting the fast food industry, when industry practices have made the USDA powerless against meatpackers, advertisers target children as consumers, and schools are taking money for corporate sponsorship.

    This a fantastic book and it touches on a lot of areas that I don't normally think of relating to fast food, such as the plight of abused migrant workers in the slaughterhouses and the economics of teen labor. Everybody should read it, even if you never eat fast food, because you're affected too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing... Will never eat fast food again!
    I must warn the reader that you'll never want to eat fast food again after you read this book. I've never been a big fast food junkie, though I've eaten it if there isn't anything else around, but I won't again take a bite of the same even if I'm starving during a road trip and the only food available is a drive-thru burger joint. Eric Schlosser's book is an impressive, albeit disturbing dissection of the fast food industry in the United States, one that examines each aspect of said industry with unflinching, well-researched facts. The result is an unflattering picture of an industry that has changed US business and eating habits in an almost secretive fashion. The book is a fascinating look into the business and talks about the process of hiring, franchising, purchasing and other practices. The most fascinating and disturbing chapters concern, however, the beef served at fast food restaurants and how it gets there. I warn you that it is not a pretty picture. If you care about the food you eat, these chapters will sicken you. You must read this book (unless you never eat fast food at all). The quality of the food aside, this book is extremely critical of the fast food industry and I believe that if you are a fast food lover, this book will disturb and upset you. As I said above, the picture Schlosser paints isn't pretty, nothing is sugarcoated. This is well-researched and well-written book and I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars KNOW WHAT YOU EAT AND SUPPORT
    SCHLOSSER SAYS THE EASIEST WAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY FAST FOOD/MEAT PACKING COMPANIES CONDUCT FRADULENT BUSINESS TACTICS IS TO "NOT EAT IT". THIS BOOK IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE CONSUMERS MUST KNOW WHAT WE ARE EATING, SUPPORTING, AND CONTRIBUTING TO. THIS IS A GREAT BOOK WITH MUCH RESEARCH. ... Read more


    12. Skeletons on the Zahara : A True Story of Survival
    by Dean King
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316159352
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Back Bay Books
    Sales Rank: 6444
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Some stories are so enthralling they deserve to be retold generation after generation. The wreck in 1815 of the Connecticut merchant ship, Commerce, and the subsequent ordeal of its crew in the Sahara Desert, is one such story. With Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival, Dean King refreshes the popular nineteenth-century narrative once read and admired by Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and Abraham Lincoln. King’s version, which actually draws from two separate first person accounts of the Commerce's crew, offers a page-turning blend of science, history, and classic adventure. The book begins with a seeming false start: tracing the lives of two merchants from North Africa, Seid and Sidi Hamet, who lose their fortunes—and almost their lives—when their massive camel caravan arrives at a desiccated oasis. King then jumps to the voyage of the Commerce under Captain Riley and his 11-man crew. After stops in New Orleans and Gibraltar, the ship falls off course en route to the Canary Islands and ultimately wrecks at the infamous Cape Bojador. After the men survive the first predations of the nomads on the shore, they meander along the coast looking for a way inland as their supplies dwindle. They subsist for days by drinking their own urine. Eventually, to their horror, they discover that they have come aground on the edge of the Sahara Desert. They submit themselves, with hopes of getting food and water, as slaves to the Oulad Bou Sbaa. After days of abuse, they are bought by Hamet, who, after his own experiences with his failed caravan (described at the novels opening), sympathizes with the plight of the crew. Together, they set off on a hellish journey across the desert to collect a bounty for Hamet in Swearah.King embellishes this compelling narrative throughout with scientific and historical material explaining the origins of the camel, the market for English and American slaves, and the stages of dehydration. He also humanizes the Sahrawi with background on the tribes and on the lives of Hamet and Seid. This material, doled out in sufficient amounts to enrich the story without derailing it makes Skeletons on the Zahara a perfectly entertaining bit of history that feels like a guilty pleasure.--Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

    Reviews (36)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 1815 shipwreck and slavery, told under the Sahara sun today
    An 1815 shipwreck and slavery by Arabs told under the Sahara sun today

    Dean King studied Captain James Riley's story of his 1815 shipwreck off the coast of Africa, and the subsequent slavery of Riley and crew when captured by the Arabs.After months in the formidable Sahara Desert, Riley and crew were freed from being hostages, by Englishman William Willshire.Riley returned to the States and in 1816 published his book, "Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce."Riley accepted an 1819 appointment from the U.S. Surveyor General Edward Tiffin to survey land in northwest Ohio, following the U.S. Treaties with the Indian Nations.In 1822, Riley platted Willshire, Ohio, to honor his benefactor, Wm. Willshire.Riley went on to become Northwest Ohio's Representative to Ohio Congress, 1834/24.In the 1830's, Riley returned to sea.U.S. President Abraham Lincoln wrote that he had read Riley's book, which influenced his attitudes concerning slavery.

    Dean King read Riley's "Narrative," and became so intrigued with Riley's story, that he planned and implemented a trip in the Sahara, following Riley's route on camels.King questioned his Arab guides and related stories written by Riley, to confirm the authenticity of Riley's "Narrative."King kept a daily journal which is now posted on his website, DeanHKing.com.King's daily journal is worthy of being a companion book to his book about Riley, because it takes the reader with him under the hot desert sun.

    How do I know to advise the reader to read Dean King's book about Captain James Riley?I served as Director of the Mercer County Historical Museum, The Riley Home, Celina, Ohio, for over three decades.I wrote a biography of Captain James Riley, about his ancestors, and descendants, as well as about Riley's entire life in Connecticut and Ohio.Riley's son, James Watson Riley, platted Celina, Ohio in 1834.At this Mercer County Historical Museum, the Riley Home, archival collections of Captain James Riley, include Riley's ship logs: his international correspondence with William Willshire, British Vice Consul; his correspondence with members of the U.S. Government, and his correspondence with his children.The archives also include histories of Riley's descendants in the United States, Canada, and Ireland.

    I had the opportunity to become acquainted with Dean King in 2000 when he was beginning his journey to learn about Riley. We have continued our communication these past years.April 23/24, 2005, the Members of the Mercer County Historical Society were proud to host Dean King as speaker at the public program, partially funded by the Ohio Humanities Council.Descendants of Captain James Riley, from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and Florida attended this program, and they shared their family stories about Captain Riley with Dean King.

    Dean King's book, "Skeletons in the Zahara," should be read by anyone with the slightest hint of maritime adventure running through his veins.King's knowledge of sailing ships and the sea is superb.

    King's books should be read by historians who will value not only the history of the War of 1812 maritime era, but also King's detailed footnotes and extensive bibliography.

    King's books should be read by literature clubs who read for the pure pleasure of reading and discussing good books.King's literary talents are of the quality of the classical authors.

    At his young age, Dean King is an uncommon man who has achieved that broad experience and ability, to be able to walk among peers in his academic world, as well as to be able to walk among camel herders, sailors, and the common man, and to tell their stories well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Read by a Master Storyteller
    This book is simply incredible. I was hooked by the first page and couldn't bare to part with it until I was finished. King's ability to put the reader under the Saharan desert sun is almost scary. I felt every agonizing step that Riley and his crew took: from the burning sand and stinging stones to the torturous rack of stubborn camels. This is one of the best historic adventure novels I've ever read. I can't wait for King's next!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Thirst-Quenching Read
    I am a direct descendant of Capt. James Riley (he was my great-great-great-great grandfather), and as such, grew up vaguely familiar with the story of his shipwreck and survival.Happily, I did not inherit his nose (see his portrait on p. 13).Unhappily, I share his somewhat questionable navigational skills.

    I read Riley's original memoir, "Sufferings in Africa," several years before King's book came out, and agree with other reviewers that it is a fascinating tale well-told in Riley's words and certainly worth reading.However, King's retelling adds a level of depth to Riley's account.

    For example, when reading Riley's memoir, I was baffled by his mention periodically of crossing paths on the vast desert with other shipmates who had been taken captive by other nomads. King's maps and narrative helped immensely to show how the nomads travelled, and where, and why they would, at seemingly random points, meet up and then go their separate ways.

    By interweaving Riley's memoir with that of one of his crew, who also survived and wrote a lesser known memoir upon his return, King brings clarity to Riley's saga.The shared experience of a shipwreck as seen through the eyes of two very different men (one subordinate to the other) helps you see that what may be presented as objective by one was very much filtered and interpreted by the individuals experiencing this ordeal.Accordingly, one can extrapolate that the other 6 or so survivors, had they left any written records of the event (and perhaps they have) would have, in their own way, had different tales to tell as well.(What do you suppose became of Dick Delisle, the cook? As the only Black on board, he had the least to gain by returning to 19th century America and the best chances of long term survival and acceptance in his captor's culture if he were willing to convert to Islam). After all, some came back and went stark raving mad.Others lived to ripe old ages.Thanks to King's diligent research, we know all this: Riley's book will not provide you with this information.

    In short, King's maps, glossaries, careful footnotes, and analysis help clarify many things that were less accessible in Riley's original telling.More importantly, King's story elicits in the reader empathy for Riley as a flawed but principled and sensitive man.You are left understanding that were Riley a different sort of person, he could have returned from this ordeal condemning dark-skinned people as evil based on his horrific experience.Instead, he came back staunchly opposed to the institution of slavery.

    By all means, read Riley's memoir.It will leave you wanting to know more, and you'll find King's book proves invaluable in quenching that thirst for knowledge.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Recommendation: read Riley's own account
    King has taken two first-hand accounts of this 1815 ship wreck story -- Robbin's journal (1817)and Riley's well-known Sufferings in Africa (1817)--and combined them into his own day-by-day account of this survival adventure. And, although his book is nicely written, it adds little to the record. Riley's book was in its time read by over a million readers. It was a favorite of Abe Lincoln. It appeared in numerous editions from 1817 through the Civil War years. It was, and, is called "one of the best adventure books ever written," and is now available in a paperback edition of 316 pages (published in 2000)by Lyons Press. With 195,000 books published last year, in my opinion, King's rehash is one we could have done without. If you want authenticy, immediacy and the real story; read Riley's own first-hand account not this on-looker's composited version.

    4-0 out of 5 stars This book will make you thirsty
    A great book that is in many ways reminiscent of "Endurance".In other ways the story couldn't be more different.From the safety of my living room I was able to feel the extreme discomfort experienced by Riley and his crew.In some senses it makes Shackletons experience seem like a prolonged picnic in a winter wonderland.Ace navigator, Captain Riley was not.The crew of the "Commerce" blundered into a misfortune easily avoidable anddifficult to imagine.Where as the Endurance crew had penguins aplenty and were awash in water, Rileys gang was forced to resort of the consumption of the foulest of substances in order to survive.Worst of all was their lack of control in determining their own destiny, haven been bought and sold more often than the Brooklyn Bridge.King did a great job presenting the story from beginning to end, with an epilogue that cleans up all of the missing bits of each participant in this epic drama.

    You may want to keep in mind that the glossary of Arabic expressions appears toward the back of the book and it's a great help.If you have a world atlas, you may want to dust it off and keep it nearby as you read along. ... Read more


    13. The Next Exit (Next Exit: The Most Complete Interstate Highway Guide Ever Printed)
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0971407339
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-31)
    Publisher: Next Exit
    Sales Rank: 1711
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars PERFECT GUIDE for all Travlers / Truckers
    One of 2 MUST HAVE travel guides - highly recommended to truckers, RV drivers, road travlers, et alia:

    The NEXT EXIT Guide
    This book saves time & money because you know what services ARE (or, "are NOT") available at the NEXT several exits BEFORE you have to EXIT any of them.
    The guide's TEXT about EXITS along a route correlate to a handy included road MAP of the stretch of highway, which in turn relates to an overall map in your separate ROAD ATLAS.

    ROAD ATLAS (very LARGE TYPE edition for "old eyes").
    As a NEW professional trucker (60 year old retired attorney...really!), I always map-out my trips ahead of time (or, sometimes [only rarely] I need to figure out how I got lost...), and the LARGE TYPE edition lets me see exactly where I'm supposed to be...without reading glasses or a magnifying glass, which sometimes help clarify any map anyway.
    "Young eyes" can get away with the more compact Standard (size type) Edition.Regardless, Walgreens (or any good pharmacy) & truck stops often have an excellent collection of handy pocket size magnifying glasses,

    Drive Safely (drivers - study maps & guides while PARKED and NOT while DRIVING! or, bring along a good Navigator) and
    always know exactly where you are and want to be.

    Some people like to PLAN AHEAD by writing out Route directions
    road by road,
    exit by exit
    (timed- break by break)
    on large Sticky Notes prepared ahead of time for easy reference while driving - and
    stuck right on the dashboard for quick reference, instead of having to repeatedly refer to the Atlas or Next Exit guide.
    A little planning saves lots of time...and promotes SAFETY.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Useful for anyone who travels
    This handy guide lists services at exits off of most major interstates (all 2-digit interstates and selected 3-digit ones as well). If you have your favorite gasoline brand or only want to eat at specific restaurants, you can search the listings for your preferred brand on the stretch of highway you're currently on. Hospitals, parks, shopping centers, and other attractions are also identified. Although the now-defunct "Professional Truckers Exit Guide" had a better layout (individual categories of services, i.e; gas, lodging, etc. were listed on separate lines and every other page had a strip map of the highway covered) I have not seen it in stores since 2000, so I do believe the Next Exit is the only such directory currently in print. This is a valuable tool that no interstate traveler should be without.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than Great
    I wouldn't even think about hitting on the road without this book.I gives you all the info about what each EXIT has to offer on every Interstate highway in the U.S.No more getting off at an EXIT only to find that they don't have what you need.Like I need Deisel and a place to park my RV while I get a bite to eat.I've never been diapointed as long as I have "The Next EXIT" with me. ... Read more


    14. The Imagineering Field Guide to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
    by The Disney Imagineers
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786855533
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
    Publisher: Disney Editions
    Sales Rank: 1094
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    Book Description

    The first in a series of pocket-sized paperbacks will answer the question, "What would it be like to walk through the Disney Theme Parks with an Imagineer by your side?" The Imagineering Field Guide to The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World provides that experience: pointing out details and telling stories, back stories, and Imagineering insights never before heard, condensed into a portable, easily-referenced park guide. You'll never spend time at Walt Disney World the same way again.Each spread contains fascinating textual information and related images (drawings, photos, graphics) such as: ... Read more


    15. The Get With The Program! Guide to Fast Food and Family Restaurants
    by Bob Greene
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743256212
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 87844
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    It's not where you eat,
    it's what you eat!

    From Bob Greene, the bestselling author of Get With the Program!, comes a handy portable guide to dining out. With healthy choices from more than 75 fast food and family restaurants, including Applebee's, The Olive Garden, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald's, Burger King, Domino's Pizza, Subway, Dairy Queen, and Taco Bell, now you can feel confident about staying on the Program when dining out with friends or family.

    There are no confusing nutritional charts or graphs -- just simple, honest advice for those of us who enjoy dining out. Each restaurant listing offers Bob's Top Picks for healthy and delicious options, as well as a list of menu items that are not on the Program. With tips on portion control, beverage choices, and balancing fat, carbohydrates, and protein, this is an indispensable book for anyone who dines out once a year or once a week.

    Whether you're on the Program or just getting started, you will turn to The Get With the Program! Guide to Fast Food and Family Restaurants to make smart choices when dining out. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars a great little book!
    I went to the bookstore the other day, and as I was browsing the new releases when I have came upon this little book!
    It is really comprehensive. It would be a great addition to any person's personal diet plan to follow.
    It is not easy to eat healthy when you go out, but with this book you can have the convenience of fast food, still eat well and not give up on your diet goals! I would highly recommend this book! ... Read more


    16. Roadfood : Revised Edition
    by JANE STERN, MICHAEL STERN
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767922646
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 2430
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    17. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
    by Robert M. Pirsig
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060958324
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 2463
    Average Customer Review: 4.01 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The modern epic that transformed a generation and continues to inspire millions -- a penetrating examination of how we live and how to live better.

    A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning, the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.

    This new edition is updated with important typographical changes, a penetrating new introduction, and a Reader's Guide that includes an interview with Pirsig and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (394)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buried treasure
    Read this book. Talk about it. Share it with your friends. This book is more important than one thinks at first glance. I have read it 5 times over the past 25 years, first as a teenager thinking it was about motorcycles, next as a Philosophy major at Harvard, and each time I have gotten something new out of it. It is more than a travel adventure. It is more than a father/son reconciliation story. It is more than an autobiographical odyssey of psychological redemption. It is even more than an "inquiry into values." This book reveals the greatest crime perpetrated against intellectual history. While Pirsig is concerned with a synthesis of Eastern and Western philosophical traditions, he points us to the violence done by Plato in his attack on the Sophists. Until Plato, Philosophy was a part of the common life. Sophists wandered the Greek world offering instruction (for pay) in rhetoric and Philosophy, and this was deemed the normal course of life. Even Plato's revered Socrates conducted his discourses in the marketplace, the agora. The aristocratic and elitist Plato's crime (in my view) was to whisk philosophical discussion away from the agora and put it in the acadamy, where it has remained gathering dust for 25 centuries. His Theory of Forms tells us that few, if any other than himself, can see things as they "really are." The Republic tells us that only the philosopher-king (Plato himself being the leading candidate) is fit to rule. If all of Philosophy is a "response to Plato" as A.N. Whitehead put it, then we are debating with a traitor to humanity. Nothing is more relevant than a synthesis of the Philosophical and the Practical ways of being, as well as Eastern and Western ways of thinking. I have devoted my life to dragging the philosophical debate back from the academy into the agora where it belongs and where it can be of the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Reading and sharing this book with friends is a wonderful way to begin that pilgrimage yourself. I just wish someone would make a film of it. Can't you just see William Hurt in the lead?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Rereading Many Times
    I first read ZAMM as a sociology class assignment in 1979. I hated it! I wondered why a sociology professor would want us to read this book. I bought the book second-hand, paying $.95 for it. What a DEAL! I still have it, full of my notes from my first reading.

    In 1987, an interest in Zen caused me to pull the book off the shelf and reread it. I discovered something the second time around...this is a GREAT BOOK.

    The relationship between the narrator and his son Chris evolves into something wonderful. The author's search for his former identity (pre electro-convulsive shock treatment) is a mystery tale unfolding. And the quest for the meaning of Quality hits home for me in my search for that inner peace that comes from "caring."

    You've got to care. Quality is about caring.

    You can see it at the supermarket when a checker really "cares." Most of the time, however, you see the uncaring. Ask the checker how he/she is doing, the answer you get is likely, "I'll be doing great when I get off." There's no heart...there's no caring. And so, Quality of service suffers.

    ZAMM gives timeless tips on how to get the "caring" back into the things you do. My life has been greatly changed by following some of the tips. It became evident in a statement that came to mind a few months ago... "Work is a state of mind we engage in when we feel we have no other choice." We always have a choice. It's only work if you don't enjoy what you're doing. The choice is clear...either change what you're doing, or change how you feel about what you're doing.

    Peace of mind comes with caring about what you're doing. All "work", every job, in some way or fashion, makes the world a better place. Find meaning in that. Find out how what you do makes the world a better place, and dwell on that contribution, rather than the short-term goal of getting off work.

    By the way, I'm on my 12th rereading of ZAMM. And every time I read it, I gain some new little insight.

    Enjoy!

    2-0 out of 5 stars ADD and the art of motorcycle maintenance
    Ugh. This book can't decide what it wants to be. Every time you get interested in a topic (and this book does contain some interesting topics from the travel narrative to some of the ideas expressed) it switches over to another topic before resolving anything. This is incredibly frustrating from the point of view of entertainment. Does this book want to be a novel and flow like one, or a middle-brow discussion of contemporary worldviews, or a amateur philosophy thesis? It suceeds only in being a very long and slow 400+ pages of several seperate books thrown together with minimal integration.

    3-0 out of 5 stars like beating your head against a brick wall
    I have never taken a philosophy course, so I will admit that having taken one might have better prepared me for this journey. It starts out very intriguing--both the physical motorcycle journey, and the narrarator's discussion of technology and art. Then, when we get up into "high country," I found myself completely lost. I have a bachelor's degree in English, so I think of myself as fairly intelligent. But perhaps it is like his analogy to reading Walden: you have to pause after every sentence and let it set in. It's just that if I did that, it would take me years to get through this book. Some wonderful ideas, but this book is definitely not light reading.

    1-0 out of 5 stars didn't even make it through the book
    I am an avid reader and consider myself fairly intelligent. I was excited to receive this book as a present since I heard so many wonderful things about it. The person who gave it to me said I would find myself referring back to it every 5 years of my life.

    Maybe it is me, but this book did not enlighten me. I made through 60 pages and realized it was just not the book for me. I found it long winded and I kept asking myself why I felt the need to go on.

    I finally had to good sense to stop. I felt like I was reading something written by an insane person that was projecting his own reality onto the world. ... Read more


    18. Places Rated Almanac (Special Millennium Edition)
    by DavidSavageau
    list price: $24.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0028634470
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 161167
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (30)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but Procede with Caution
    This is an outstanding book that's filled with tons of useful information. It's probably the best out there. Overall, it does a great job. Seattle, Winston-Salem, San Francisco, and Minneapolis-St. Paul are better places to live for most people than Waco, Stockton, Macon, and Lawrence-Haverhill. (Eden Prairie, MN, a suburb of the Twin Cities, was listed in 50 Great Places to Live, by the way.)

    It's nice to see the truth accurately told. For example, Florida is not the sunshine state. It rains there a lot. There are more lighting strikes in Florida than any other state. Minneapolis-St. Paul is a fabulous place to live, but few people know about the tremendous quality of life there. Salt Lake City is another example of a quality, but unknown, city. And most Deep South cities get bad scores for education and quality of life.

    But, as other reviewers pointed out, there are ommisions that you need to compensate for. First, the book is a statistical summary and does not mention the intangibles, such as character, for each area. These intangibles need to be considered. For example, I would never live in highly-rated Los Angeles because my experience is that the people there are rude and selfish - the land of lawsuits, the LAPD, the O.J. murders, and divorce. Yet, that may be just the lifestyle you may be looking for. Maybe you are a single, litigation lawyer. But you will not find those tidbits mentioned in the book.

    Personally, I would like to know those tidbits. They may be most important. Where are the people most friendly? Is Philadelphia the City of Brotherly Love? (The answer is no.) Which suburbs of a major city are best for families? It would be nice if some essays are included, covering these intangibles.

    Second, you need to adjust these scores for your own preferences. There is a chart to use for that. Young graduates might have different preferences than young families and retirees.

    Finally, no matter where you are from, there's no place like home.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great concept, but simplistic analysis limits value
    This has been a wonderful series, and I was looking forward to this edition, especially after the '93 edition gave us a program to let us do our own analysis. That, while limited and awkward, gave the reader a means of going beyond the extremely simplistic analysis in the book.

    But this version comes without the disk, a MAJOR step backward in usefulness. I'd have paid twice as much and been happier.

    With this version, comparisons are far too simplistic. It should be obvious that different readers will care different amounts about categories, and that the categories don't provide enough detail for most people. This means that the comparisons/rankings are fairly useless, except as broad guides.

    Perhaps the problem is that the authors/publisher don't really have a vision of who the audience is. After all, people who truly have control over where they move next are probably rare. Less rare are people evaluating some corporation's move offer, and for them, this volume does contain some very useful information.

    But even for them, the layout is wrong. The detail information is organised by category, so a reader interested in a given city has to find its entry in nine different sections.

    I was really hoping that this edition, besides having more up-to-date facts, would give us another level of detail, and especially, would include an expanded version of the '93 edition program.

    The review on the cover calls it a "knockout". I'd call it a letdown. Pity.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The best book of its kind.
    It's tough to read a book of someone's opinions on where to live as its really a heartfelt decision each person needs to make for themselves. But most of this book is straight statistics, such as weather and crime. The book is big and leaves enough room for each metro area so you can read the climate graphs without too much eyestrain. It's the best book on deciding where to move that I found. I took tons of notes from this book, and it actually helped me pick an entirely new place to live than the ones I had originally thought of! The only section I didn't like was the arts and culture section. I'm into the artsy scene, but the authors rated cities based on number of symphonies and orchestras and operas - who goes to these anymore??

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love this book
    This book is just great. I have bought every retirement-places-rated type of book that I can get my hands on and this author is by far the best. The millennium edition is twice as big as the last edition and every subject is covered that anyone would want to know about an area; cost of living, transportation, jobs, education, climate, crime, the arts, health care, recreation. I can't wait for the next edition to come out! We're not retiring any time soon so it's helpful to really be able to study and evaluate where we are going to want to retire.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Perfect place
    Well, reading everyone's review and trying to find a livable place for myself, I came to this solution: no book, no piece of advice can be invented to predict how you will feel in your "perfect city". Even when all the data is given, it's hard to put it into a proper perspective. . I would love to believe there exists a one magical list that will give you one easily packaged answer: Yes, move, or NO, stay where you are. (You'll move on Monday, and be ready to move back by Thursday ). To add to the complexity: Money Magazine, Forbes and Rand taking almost the same factors into consideration, came up with totally different lists. (New York City, San Diego, Chicago. Another well-known organization decided to rate places by finding cities people flock to the most. The most moved-to city was Las Vegas. The bottom line: Perfect place? The only way to find it, is to move there, and see how you feel after 2 years. Don't bring this book with you, though, it's too heavy to carry and in two years, there will be a new edition. That's the only guarantee... ... Read more


    19. Wandering Home : A Long Walk Across America's Most Hopeful Landscape:Vermont's ChamplainValley and New York's Adirondacks (Crown Journeys)
    by BILL MCKIBBEN
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0609610732
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Crown
    Sales Rank: 5693
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Three Week Walk In The Woods
    Mt Abraham in Vermont has a beautiful view to the west, to the Champlain Valley and Lake Champlain. Here is where environmentalist, Bill McKibben starts his walk from one home in Vermont to another home in New York State. This is not a book about a walk from country to city, no; this is a walk in the country to the country through the most amazing woodland in the East, the Adirondacks.

    Bill McKibben starts his walk from his home in Ripton, Vermont near the famous Middlebury College where he has a post. Between Ripton and Johnsburg, New York where he finished his walk, we meet the most fascinating environmentalists and friends and glimpse through Bill's view the glorious vistas. This is a novel that takes you into the land. Through out the book, I could picture in my mind what Bill McKibben was actually seeing, his prose is so vivid.He has a love of his land and all land, and that comes through loud and clear. However, he is also quite truthful about the life he and his family live. They know they have a wonderful life, and his righteousness only goes so far. He benefits from what he calls "the systematic abuse of the planet".Cheap food, cheap energy and cheap wood are in abundance. He and his wife have tried to rein themselves in, they have one child, drive a modest hybrid car, and have a solar home.His friends take turns walking with him. The President of Greenpeace and other people involved in environmental groups walk and talk and tell tales of their exploits.

    The most interesting portions of the book are those tales told by the people who live on the land, and the stories of their ancestors.In Lock Muller, a small town in New York, a giant white pine shades the ground, and from it hangs a sign:

    "On this site in 1845 this pine tree, a sapling of twelve years, was transplanted
    by me, at he age of twelve years. Seventy-five years I have watched and protected
    it. In my advancing years it has given me rest and comfort.Woodman spare that
    tree, touch not a single bough, In youth it sheltered me, and I'll protect it now."
    Pascal P Warren, June 14, 1920

    Teddy Roosevelt loved New York State, and he loved the Adirondacks the most. He loved climbing the mountains, and it was on such a mountain that he learned that due to an accident he was now the President of the United States. As Governor of New York, he preserved much of the Adirondacks and it became state land, not to be touched and left in pristine condition. Bill McKibben discusses the logging of the land, and the safe conservation of our land.He gives us much of the past history of the Adirondacks, and the people who inhabit the small towns and villages throughout.This is a lovely book, we walk along with the author, and feel like his neighbor.He tells us stories, and we meet his friends and yearn to see his land as he sees it.This is a wise book that gives us hope. Highly recommended. prisrob
    ... Read more


    20. Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon
    by Michael P. Ghiglieri, Thomas M. Myers
    list price: $22.95
    our price: $16.06
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 097009731X
    Catlog: Book (2001-05-25)
    Publisher: Puma Pr
    Sales Rank: 7851
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Gripping accounts of all known fatal mishaps in the most famous of the World's Seven Natural Wonders.

    Two veterans of decades of adventuring in Grand Canyon chronicle the first complete and comprehensive history of Canyon misadventures. These episodes span the entire era of visitation from the time of the first river exploration by John Wesley Powell and his crew of 1869 to that of tourists falling off its rims in Y2K.

    These accounts of the 550 people who have met untimely deaths in the Canyon set a new high water mark for offering the most astounding array of adventures, misadventures, and life saving lessons published between any two covers. Over the Edge promises to be the most intense yet informative book on Grand Canyon ever written. ... Read more

    Reviews (43)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Respect The Canyon
    I haven't been to the Canyon yet, but it's on my list of destinations to make in my lifetime. After reading "Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon" I'll know to be careful when I get there. I was unaware that the place is so hazardous--other than the obvious, that a fall off the edge is likely fatal. I read the book for the reason I assume the authors (and certainly the publisher) expect people to read it: morbid curiosity. And I suspected that was going to be the intellectual depth of their work. I was wrong.

    The book is not highbrow literature by any stretch, but there is more research invested than I expected. The writers, Michael Ghiglieri and Thomas Myers, both experienced canyoneers, exert maximum effort to dissect the statistics and draw conclusions about the causes of death and what steps individuals and/or regulatory agencies might do to prevent more. This level of detail may be a turnoff to some readers, but I found it interesting and useful.

    The authors can rest assured they've written an entertaining book that, through its popularity, might even help prevent an unnecessary death someday. ...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Over the Edge
    This book is a must read for anyone planning to venture into the Grand Canyon. It chronicles every known death in the canyon and on its rims. Morbid? Perhaps, but the book's real aim is to keep you the reader from making the sorts of decisions that have led to hundreds of people's deaths.

    The fatal incidents are grouped into categories: falls from the rim, falls within the canyon, heat/dehydration, drowning, etc. Some cases are covered in just a sentence or two; others are described in riveting detail. It's a hard book to put down.

    Having made 15 backpacking trips into the canyon, most of them a week long, I figured I knew everything there was to know about safe and sensible behavior in the canyon. But even for me this book was a real eye-opener. For someone going to the canyon for the first time or the hundredth time, "Over the Edge" just might be a life-saver.

    5-0 out of 5 stars death
    i really liked this book,cause it told me everything about the canyon that a traverler, really needs to know before he goes there,the canyon is the most beautifull sight to behold in all its glory,its really amazing, and majestic,but at the same time it can be dangerous,we must have a respect for the canyon, this book will not only tell you about the dangers from falling,and drowning,but will tell you the full history of the grand canyon,these are events that really took place,i hope that everyone who intends to visit the grand canyon,will read this book first,so they can enjoy all the grand canyon has to offer,and live to tell about it....

    5-0 out of 5 stars Preserve your Life; read this book!
    Having just returned from my second cross-canyon hike, and my third trip to the bottom of Grand Canyon, I say this simply: BUY AND READ THIS BOOK BEFORE YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP! I was somewhat surprised to find that the book contains much, much more than just tales of death. The two authors are supremely qualified to write about the canyon: One is a former ranger there, and the other is a former doctor there, and both have hiked extensively for years there. The advice they give is some of the best I've ever read in any source, and their explanations of phenomena like flash floods, for example, are the best I've ever seen. I wish I had read this book before my first trip, which was done with an overweight pack and too little knowledge. My last trip was better, with a pack that weighed 33 pounds (vs the 65 of the first one).
    BUY and READ this book!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous reading!
    Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, I have visited the Canyon numerous times throughout my life. And the one question that has always been with me when I see the Canyon is "How many people fall off each year?". In the gift shop of El Tovar, I discovered this book, however, was stuck paying the gift shop price!! The book not only answered my rather morbid question; it took me on a complete journey of stories of those with poor judgement, freak accidents, and those who were just innocent victims of the unknown in such a tremendous place. It is such an eye opener to all of those who have been to the Canyon...and also for those planning to someday visit! I would even be as to so bold so say that those who haven't been to the Canyon SHOULD read this book before entering...it could possibly save your life. This is one of the greatest books I have ever read...and will recommend it to all who are interested in learning a completely different, if not macabre version of what should be a fun, relaxing, family vacation spot! ... Read more


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