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It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. So, she travels to Rome, where she learns Italian from handsome, brown-eyed identical twins and gains twenty-five pounds, an ashram in India, where she finds that enlightenment entails getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor, and Bali where a toothless medicine man of indeterminate age offers her a new path to peace: simply sit still and smile. And slowly happiness begins to creep up on her.
Whether he's fighting fires, passing a kidney stone, hammering down I-80 in an 18-wheeler, or meditating on the relationship between cowboys and God, Michael Perry draws on his rural roots and footloose past to write from a perspective that merges the local with the global.
Ranging across subjects as diverse as lot lizards, Klan wizards, and small-town funerals, Perry's writing in this wise and witty collection of essays balances earthiness with poetry, kinetics with contemplation, and is regularly salted with his unique brand of humor.
`Watch out for men with too much wooden jewellery, Amy. I know what you're like... you'll let them sucker you in with their yoga chat but essentially, they're unwashed... and you don't want to put your face anywhere near an unwashed penis, let me tell you.' Carol, receptionist Having announced her plans to quit her job and backpack around South America, humourist and gonzo journalist Amy Baker found herself on the receiving end of a whole bunch of over-the-top and seemingly unnecessary advice. Amy shrugged it all off of course... that is, until she ran into trouble. After falling into a crevasse, swimming in crocodile-infested waters, dodging cocaine con artists and encountering handsome soothsayers, Amy soon starts to wonder if her Mum, boss and Carol from reception really were onto something. Weighing up their advice against that of known `Clever People' like Tina Fey, Salvador Dali and Mother Teresa, Amy finally establishes once and for all who it might actually pay to listen to.
Few corners of the earth still remain shrouded in secrecy and mystery. Few places are left where Western feet have never trod. Such a region -- of unknown allurements, of strange and savage desert dwellers, of extraordinary skyscraping cities rising like phantoms out of the sand, of shadeless glitter and thirst and wonderment -- is the Hadhramut ("in the presence of death") in southwestern Arabia. Norman Pearn risked his life to visit this unvisited Arabian wonderland, much of which is unmarked on any map, with odds of two thousand to one being laid against the possibility of his return. His remarkable and memorable travel commentary not only adds an important contribution to the romantic story of Arabia, it gives also the personal record of fascinating experiences and adventures while following in the steps of the Queen of Sheba who once ruled this land. Guided by instructions left to him by one of Lawrence of Arabia's lieutenants, Pearn found signal traces of Sheba's past -- the only queen in Arabian history.
Weinig mense spit diep in hulle spaargeld in, sluit hulle huis en klim vir drie maande van afsondering op ’n kanaalboot in die verre Engeland. Op hul eie. Sonder ervaring. Sonder ’n bootliksens. Sonder die voorwete dat alles goed sal afloop.
Annelie en die ou gryse het besluit om die kanaalpad te vat en reg in die snerpende winter in te vaar. Om te toets wat hulle nŠ vier-en-veertig jaar van saamwees in mekaar oorhet. Om te besin oor die roete van die allerlaaste vyftien sterkerige jare wat dŠlk voorlÍ. Om herinneringe te vergaar vir die stil dae op die ouetehuisstoep. En om mekaar vergifnis te gee vir sovele sondes. Min sou hulle kon voorsien dat die reis van hosannas ook ’n reis van tappende ontberings en rasperende emosies sou wees. En dat hulle meer as een maal die boot wou verlaat en die kinders bel om hulle te kom haal.
Maar tot op die een-en-neŽntigste dag het hulle vasgehou aan die idille. En aan mekaar.
BBC Countryfile Magazine praised Dixe Wills for writing `intelligently and amusingly, with evident excitement and imagination', qualities that he brings to Tiny Churches. Beautifully presented in full colour throughout, the book uncovers 60 of the loveliest and most diminutive places of worship in Britain, many of which are known only to locals. Each church is so tiny that fewer than 50 people could fit comfortably inside, each is open to the public and many boast fabulous wall paintings, stained glass and artworks as well as fascinating histories. Representing a unique slice of British local history and attitudes, tiny churches are the great survivors of the world. Still standing after centuries of religious unrest and the meddling of the Victorian `church improvers', they live on in this most irreligious of centuries, scattered all over Britain. Each entry features information on how and when to visit the church, a concise round-up of its history and details of any must-see architectural features.
Through the author's travels in Europe and the United States, Try to Get Lost explores the quest for place that compels and defines us: the things we carry, how politics infuse geography, media's depictions of an idea of home, the ancient and modern reverberations of the word 'hotel,' and the ceaseless discovery generated by encounters with self and others on familiar and foreign ground. Frank posits that in fact time itself may be our ultimate, inhabited place the vastest real estate we know, with a stunningly short lease.
A story about dirt--and about sun, water, work, elation, and
defeat. And about the sublime pleasure of having a little piece of
French land all to oneself to till.
TV presenter, writer and adventurer Alice Morrison gives her own unique and personal insight into Morocco, the place she's made her home. When Alice Morrison headed out to Morocco, it was to take on one of the most daunting challenges: to run in the famous Marathon des Sables. Little did she expect to end up living there. But once she settled in a flat in Marrakech, she was won over by the people, the spectacular scenery and the ancient alleyways of the souks. Soon she was hiking over the Atlas mountains, joining nomads to sample their timeless way of life as they crossed the Sahara desert, and finding peace in a tranquil oasis. Despite more than 10 million tourists coming to Morocco each year, there are remarkably few books about its people, their customs and the extraordinary range of places to visit, from bustling markets to vast, empty deserts. Alice makes sure she samples it all, and as she does she provides a stunning portrait of a beautiful country. As a lone woman, she often attracts plenty of curiosity, but her willingness to participate - whether thigh deep in pigeon droppings in a tannery or helping out herding goats - ensures that she is welcomed everywhere by a people who are among the most hospitable on the planet. Alice came to fame with her BBC2 series Morocco to Timbuktu, and now she joins the ranks of great travel writers who can bring a country vividly to life and instantly transport the reader to a sunnier place. If you're thinking of going to Morocco, or you want to recall your time there, Adventures in Morocco is the ideal book.
Notes from Africa traces the rise of popular music on the continent - beginning in the 1980s when the term 'world music' was coined as a marketing label and African musicians, notably Youssou N'Dour and his contemporaries, began to appear on the international stage. This book explains the musical styles that developed from the 1960s, when many African countries gained their independence. It covers developments in music and society in Senegal, in West Africa and around the continent during the post-independence years and right up to the present day. Jenny Cathcart, drawing on her personal experience in Senegal and her work alongside Youssou N'Dour, offers stories and portraits of daily life in Africa. The results are fresh insights into contemporary culture, religion and politics - as well as future collaborations and developments not only on the continent but in the African diaspora too.
A travel book by a reflective and observant resident of Oman at the end of World War II giving a very interesting account of the topography, races, customs and industries of the then Persian Gulf, inevitably throwing much light on the British influences and interest in the region.
There is probably not a London suburb with more intense historical connections, more diversity and more astonishing buildings and artefacts than Greenwich. There are sections on MARITIME GREENWICH - home of the Maritime museum and the CUTTY SARK; ROYAL GREENWICH - Greenwich Park was Henry VIII's favourite residence and where he met Anne Boelyn; SCIENTIFIC GREENWICH - home of the Royal Observatory and GMT and of course The Dome itself...
Bodie was on death row in a Los Angeles shelter, having been abandoned by his owner. Belinda was in a heap on the floor of her vintage apartment, having been dumped by the man of her dreams. Two lost souls ready to find a new life. Together they embark on a 2,000-mile West Coast road trip taking in spectacular Big Sur, a pack run in the wilds of Oregon, afternoon tea at Doris Day's dog-loving hotel in Carmel, a fragrant encounter with the creator of Kennel No.5 furfume and a bar stop in a small town near San Francisco where a dog was elected mayor, two years running... Join Belinda and Bodie on this soul-searching adventure along one of the most iconic highways in America and you too will feel the wind in your hair and a wag in your tail.
THE BOOK BEHIND THE HIT CHANNEL 5 DOCUMENTARY
A glimpse of life inside the world’s most secretive country, as told by Britain’s best-loved travel writer.
In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations. His resulting documentary for Channel 5 was widely acclaimed.
Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw – and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn’t want him to see – but recounts the conversations he had with the country’s inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited – one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure.
Written with Palin’s trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.
A deeply affecting memoir of a childhood in Africa and the continent's horrendous wars, which Hartley witnessed at first hand as a journalist in the 1990s. Shortlisted for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction, this is a masterpiece of autobiographical journalism. Aidan Hartley, a foreign correspondent, burned-out from the horror of covering the terrifying micro wars of the 1990s, from Rwanda to Bosnia, seeks solace and solitude in the remote mountains and deserts of southern Arabia and the Yemen, following his father's death. While there, he finds himself on the trail of the tragic story of an old friend of his father's, who fell in love and was murdered in southern Arabia fifty years ago. As the terrible events of the past unfold, Hartley finds his own kind of deliverance. `The Zanzibar Chest' is a powerful story about a man witnessing and confronting extreme violence and being broken down by it, and of a son trying to come to terms with the death of a father whom he also saw as his best friend. It charts not only a love affair between two people, but also the British love affair with Arabia and the vast emptinesses of the desert, which become a fitting metaphor for the emotional and spiritual condition in which Hartley finds himself.
In her forties Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis decided to trade in her landlubber life - a nice house in Cardiff and a sensible job at the BBC - for life aboard a small yacht with her husband Leighton, a former bosun with the Merchant Navy and now in his mid-sixties. "We bought our first sailing boat by accident... She was a twenty-three-foot Intro class racer called Nitro, had a yellow hull and was totally unsuitable for beginners, so we bought her and started to learn how to sail in the Bristol Channel. Not long afterwards we were talking about renting out the house and sailing around the world." After buying a yacht - Jameeleh - and teaching themselves to sail it (a process not without its fair share of disasters, from psychotic seas off St. Govan's Head to broken ribs off Ballycotton), Gwyneth and Leighton set out to cross the Atlantic. Unfortunately Gwyneth's incessant seasickness and Leighton's daily deterioration into a moody Captain Bastard were not the only catastrophes with which they had to contend. This strange, stirring and often hilarious account of their voyage is as much a beginner's guide to sailing as it is a portrait of a marriage under the pressure of depression, both medical and meteorological. Gwyneth Lewis's training as a poet and film-maker lends her prose a wonderfully visual quality, and her contagious optimism in the face of inconceivable adversity - not much more could possibly have gone wrong - makes this unique book both touchingly witty and incredibly wise.
"Nobody who has not taken one can imagine the beauty of a walk
through Rome by full moon," wrote Goethe in 1787. Sadly, the
imagination is all we have today: in Rome, as in every other modern
city, moonlight has been banished, replaced by the twenty-four-hour
glow of streetlights in a world that never sleeps. Moonlight, for
most of us, is no more.
The history of the African Association, the world's first geographical society, dedicated to the exploration of the interior of a continent known only through legend and vague report. Africa was once seen as an El Dorado - a gold-encrusted continent of hope and prosperity, where the ancient civilisations of the Phoenicians and the Egyptians might have survived intact. The African Association, the world's first geographical society, set itself the task of revealing the mysteries of the interior of Africa. Founded in 1788 by a group of London-based gentlemen, made famous by the amazing exploits of its adventurers, for forty-three years it was engaged in a quest for geographical knowledge, personal glory, immense wealth and the fulfilment of national ambitions. There are two strands to the narrative. First there are the people who planned and paid for expeditions, the geographers, scholars, politicians, humanitarian activists and sharp-eyed traders, the richest commoner in England and two former prime ministers among them. Theirs is a lively tale of tavern meetings, court lobbying and salon intrigue during one of the most dramatic periods of world history. Then there are the adventurers, a mixed group of ex-cons and social outcasts - British, French, Germans and Americans among them - who went to the magical continent in search of glory and the unknown. They included Mungo Park, whose account of his travels was a bestseller for more than a century, and Jean Louis Burckhardt, discoverer of Petra and Abu Simbel. Each of their journeys was extraordinary, packed with drama and excitement, made notable by geographical discoveries and, with very few exceptions, ending in death. An outstanding account of a unique period characterised by the passion, ambition, courage and sheer sense of adventure of its participants.
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