30 Days in Sydney$10.49 Add to cart
After living abroad for years, novelist Peter Carey returns home to Sydney and attempts to capture its character with the help of his old friends, drawing the reader into a wild and wonderful journey of discovery and rediscovery as bracing as the southerly buster that sometimes batters Sydney’s shores. Famous sights such as Bondi Beach, the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the Blue Mountains all take on a strange new intensity when exposed to the penetrating gaze of the author and his friends.
438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea$13.99 Add to cart
Declared “the best survival book in a decade” by Outside Magazine, 438 Days is the true story of the man who survived fourteen months in a small boat drifting seven thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean.
On November 17, 2012, two men left the coast of Mexico for a weekend fishing trip in the open Pacific. That night, a violent storm ambushed them as they were fishing eighty miles offshore. As gale force winds and ten-foot waves pummeled their small, open boat from all sides and nearly capsized them, captain Salvador Alvarenga and his crewmate cut away a two-mile-long fishing line and began a desperate dash through crashing waves as they sought the safety of port.
Fourteen months later, on January 30, 2014, Alvarenga, now a hairy, wild-bearded and half-mad castaway, washed ashore on a nearly deserted island on the far side of the Pacific. He could barely speak and was unable to walk. He claimed to have drifted from Mexico, a journey of some seven thousand miles.
A “gripping saga,” (Daily Mail), 438 Days is the first-ever account of one of the most amazing survival stories in modern times. Based on dozens of hours of exclusive interviews with Alvarenga, his colleagues, search-and-rescue officials, the remote islanders who found him, and the medical team that saved his life, 438 Days is not only “an intense, immensely absorbing read” (Booklist) but an unforgettable study of the resilience, will, ingenuity and determination required for one man to survive more than a year lost and adrift at sea.
The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild$10.99 Add to cart
From one of the finest nature writers at work in America today-a lyrical, dramatic, illuminating tour of the hidden domain of wild animals.
Whether recalling the experience of being chased through the Grand Canyon by a bighorn sheep, swimming with sharks off the coast of British Columbia, watching a peregrine falcon perform acrobatic stunts at 200 miles per hour, or engaging in a tense face-off with a mountain lion near a desert waterhole, Craig Childs captures the moment so vividly that he puts the reader in his boots.
Each of the forty brief, compelling narratives in The Animal Dialogs focuses on the author’s own encounter with a particular species and is replete with astonishing facts about the species’ behavior, habitat, breeding, and lifespan. But the glory of each essay lies in Childs’s ability to portray the sometimes brutal beauty of the wilderness, to capture the individual essence of wild creatures, to transport the reader beyond the human realm and deep inside the animal kingdom
Auntie Poldi and the Handsome Antonio$9.99 Add to cart
The latest installment in Mario Giordano’s best-selling series of charming mysteries, starring Sicily’s most glamorous gumshoe, Auntie Poldi.
All the beloved, irascible Auntie Poldi wanted from her Sicilian retirement was time to enjoy the sunshine, a free-flowing supply of wine, and a sultry romance with Chief Inspector Vito Montana. But then her idyll is rudely disrupted by the last person she wants to see on her doorstep: John Owenya, detective inspector with the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs, who is also her estranged lying cheat of a husband.
Not only is John’s sudden reappearance putting a kink in Poldi’s dreamy love affair with Montana, but his presence also comes with a plea for help—and unwanted clashes with the Mafia.
Where is John’s half-brother? What is the ten-million-dollar “it” that John’s brother was last seen with, which has both the Sicilian and the Tanzanian mobs in a frenzy? With only a postcard that has a phone number and a name, “Handsome Antonio,” on the back, Auntie Poldi hops begrudgingly (albeit with a great deal of gumption and panache) back into the saddle (in this case, an immaculate red Maserati Cabrio from the eighties with cream leather upholstery). The faster she finds Handsome Antonio, the sooner she can get John Owenya out of her hair and her love life. But the people Poldi discovers along the way may very well knock her immaculate wig askew.
Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child$14.99 Add to cart
Julia Child became a household name when she entered the lives of millions of Americans through our hearts and kitchens. Yet few know the richly varied private life that lies behind this icon, whose statuesque height and warmly enthused warble have become synonymous with the art of cooking.
In this biography we meet the earthy and outrageous Julia, who, at age eighty-five, remains a complex role model. Fitch, who had access to all of Julia’s private letters and diaries, takes us through her life, from her exuberant youth as a high-spirited California girl to her years at Smith College, where she was at the center of every prank and party. When most of her girlfriends married, Julia volunteered with the OSS in India and China during World War II, and was an integral part of this elite corps. There she met her future husband, the cosmopolitan Paul Child, who introduced her to the glories of art, fine French cuisine, and love. Theirs was a deeply passionate romance and a modern marriage of equals.
Julia began her culinary training only at the age of thirty-seven at the Cordon Bleu. Later she roamed the food markets of Marseilles, Bonn, and Oslo. She invested ten years of learning and experimentation in what would become her first bestselling classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now, her career is legend, spanning nearly forty years and still going strong. Generations love the humor and trademark aplomb that have made Julia a household name. Resisting fads and narrow, fanatical conventions of health-consciousness, Julia is the quintessential teacher. The perfect gift for food lovers and a romantic biography of a woman modern before her time, this is a truly American life.
Appetites: A Cookbook$25.99 Add to cart
Written with the no-holds-barred ethos of his beloved series, No Reservations and Parts Unknown, the celebrity chef and culinary explorer’s first cookbook in more than ten years—a collection of recipes for the home cook.
Anthony Bourdain is a man of many appetites. And for many years, first as a chef, later as a world-traveling chronicler of food and culture on his CNN series Parts Unknown, he has made a profession of understanding the appetites of others. These days, however, if he’s cooking, it’s for family and friends.
Appetites, his first cookbook in more than ten years, boils down forty-plus years of professional cooking and globe-trotting to a tight repertoire of personal favorites—dishes that everyone should (at least in Mr. Bourdain’s opinion) know how to cook. Once the supposed “bad boy” of cooking, Mr. Bourdain has, in recent years, become the father of a little girl—a role he has embraced with enthusiasm. After years of traveling more than 200 days a year, he now enjoys entertaining at home. Years of prep lists and the hyper-organization necessary for a restaurant kitchen, however, have caused him, in his words, to have “morphed into a psychotic, anally retentive, bad-tempered Ina Garten.”
The result is a home-cooking, home-entertaining cookbook like no other, with personal favorites from his own kitchen and from his travels, translated into an effective battle plan that will help you terrify your guests with your breathtaking efficiency.
The Artisans: A Vanishing Chinese Village$15.99 Add to cart
Evoking Studs Terkel, Shen Fuyu delivers a rollicking deep dive into working life in a small village in rural China, tracing the last 100 years of history.
Born in Shen Village in Southeast China, Shen Fuyu grew up in a family of farmers. Years later, Shen, now a writer, returned to his hometown to capture the village’s rich history in the face of industrialization.
Through his own childhood memories and those of his ancestors, Shen resurrects the working life of Shen Village through interlinked stories of fifteen artisans as their lives intersect over the course of a century. While Shen’s view of his hometown and his heritage is tinged with nostalgia, he does not romanticize it. Nor does he sugarcoat the backbreaking difficulty of life in rural China, but he still captures its small satisfactions and joys of loving one’s work with a great deal of care.
In an acerbic, earthy and unsparing style that swings from poignancy to comedy, sometimes within a single paragraph, Shen evokes the spirits of these workers—a bamboo-weaver and his beloved bull, a carpenter’s magical saw, the deserter who became the village lantern-maker and a rebellious woman who beats up her own kidnapper.
A reflection on the vicissitudes of small-town life during the epic shift from agricultural to industrial civilization, The Artisans vividly details the hardships, friendships and communal mythmaking of a disappearing community.
101 Things You Didn’t Know About Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Tradition of the Emerald Isle$9.95 Add to cart
Discover the truth behind the myths of the Emerald Isle
Forget about shamrocks, leprechans, and all that blarney; 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History dispels the myths and tells the true story of the Irish.
Inside, you’ll learn about:
Lives of the ancient Celts before the British invasions
Famous Irish including Michael Collins, Charles Parnell—and Bono!
The potato famine and emigration (were there really gangs of New York?)
Irish music and dance
Complete with an Irish language primer and pronunciation guide, 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History is an informative reference for anyone who loves the Irish.
100 Best Volunteer Vacations to Enrich Your Life$9.99 Add to cart
Travel industry experts report that more and more people are combining vacations with volunteer work—the growing phenomenon called “voluntourism.” Professionals predict this will be a key growth area for years to come; the voluntourists themselves find it a rewarding activity, good for body and soul.
And nobody provides such a fun, inviting overview of the possibilities as savvy travel writer Pam Grout in the latest title in our 100 Best Vacations series. With its elegant two-color design, playful cover, and winningly positive goal, it’s a travel guide with heart, inexpensive yet inspiring—an ideal gift book for people who care to share.
From building houses in Appalachia to saving sea turtles in Costa Rica to teaching English in Thailand, this book is a rich resource of ways to use your skills to help out the world and reap some lasting benefits yourself. Like its two predecessors, it includes an engagingly descriptive menu of choices for tastes and talents of all kinds, along with detailed specifics to turn good intentions into satisfying reality. Throughout, sidebars describe nearby places to visit, little-known facts, and more, providing depth and variety, while a comprehensive resource listing gives additional information about the different organizations offering volunteer vacations.
101 Places Not to See Before You Die$8.99 Add to cart
“I had no idea so many god-awful places exist in this world….Catherine Price is a hilarious guide to all that is sucky.”
—Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer
Irreverent and compulsively readable, 101 Places Not to See Before You Die highlights desitinations we can all live without–like Jupiter’s Worst Moon, an Outdoor Wedding During the 2021 Reemergence of the Great Eastern Cicada Brood, and fan hours at the Las Vegas Porn Convention–while reminding us why we’re willing to put up with the bed bugs and the food poisoning and set out to explore the world.
Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace$10.99 Add to cart
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING JASON SEGAL AND JESSE EISENBERG, DIRECTED BY JAMES PONSOLDT
An indelible portrait of David Foster Wallace, by turns funny and inspiring, based on a five-day trip with award-winning writer David Lipsky during Wallace’s Infinite Jest tour
In David Lipsky’s view, David Foster Wallace was the best young writer in America. Wallace’s pieces for Harper’s magazine in the ’90s were, according to Lipsky, “like hearing for the first time the brain voice of everybody I knew: Here was how we all talked, experienced, thought. It was like smelling the damp in the air, seeing the first flash from a storm a mile away. You knew something gigantic was coming.”
Then Rolling Stone sent Lipsky to join Wallace on the last leg of his book tour for Infinite Jest, the novel that made him internationally famous. They lose to each other at chess. They get iced-in at an airport. They dash to Chicago to catch a make-up flight. They endure a terrible reader’s escort in Minneapolis. Wallace does a reading, a signing, an NPR appearance. Wallace gives in and imbibes titanic amounts of hotel television (what he calls an “orgy of spectation”). They fly back to Illinois, drive home, walk Wallace’s dogs. Amid these everyday events, Wallace tells Lipsky remarkable things—everything he can about his life, how he feels, what he thinks, what terrifies and fascinates and confounds him—in the writing voice Lipsky had come to love. Lipsky took notes, stopped envying him, and came to feel about him—that grateful, awake feeling—the same way he felt about Infinite Jest. Then Lipsky heads to the airport, and Wallace goes to a dance at a Baptist church.
A biography in five days, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself is David Foster Wallace as few experienced this great American writer. Told in his own words, here is Wallace’s own story, and his astonishing, humane, alert way of looking at the world; here are stories of being a young writer—of being young generally—trying to knit together your ideas of who you should be and who other people expect you to be, and of being young in March of 1996. And of what it was like to be with and—as he tells it—what it was like to become David Foster Wallace.
“If you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think it’s probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do it. I know that sounds a little pious.”
—David Foster Wallace
The Alps: A Human History From Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond$12.99 Add to cart
“An entertaining, turbocharged race among the high mountain passes of six alpine countries.” —Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review
For centuries the Alps have been witness to the march of armies, the flow of pilgrims and Crusaders, the feats of mountaineers, and the dreams of engineers. In The Alps, Stephen O’Shea (“a graceful and passionate writer”—Washington Post) takes readers up and down these majestic mountains. Journeying through their 500-mile arc across France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, he explores the reality behind historic events and reveals how the Alps have profoundly influenced culture and society.