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Books & Authors

Let's Go A-Wandering

When the viral tsunami of COVID19 crashed onto America’s shores in February we battened down the hatches. Only thing is, here in the Ozarks our feet are just now beginning to feel the damp. We’re all a bit cranky, because regardless of party-affiliation no one likes walking about with wet feet. With travel generally discouraged in an attempt to keep the levels rising further and a heat dome parked over the continent, it now seems like 2020’s next surprise is cabin fever in July. Whoever heard of cabin fever in July? Thanks again, 2020.

We may be staying home this summer lamenting the historical-for-all-the-wrong-reasons year we’re having, but you can still transport yourself to wholly different places and times if only you step into the right book. Here are a few such books...

 

A Walk in the Woods : Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
After living for many years in England, Bill Bryson moved back to the United States and decided to reacquaint himself with his country, and he sets off on a walk that is both amusingly ill-conceived and surprisingly adventurous.

Blue Highways : A Journey Into America by William Least Heat Moon
Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation's backroads. William Least-Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about those little towns that get on the map--if they get on at all--only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot Mississippi. His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience. ________ Eastward -- East by southeast -- South by southeast -- South by southwest -- West by southwest -- West by northwest -- North by northwest -- North by northeast -- East by northeast -- Westward. ________ Foreword ©2013 by Bill McKibben. ________ Includes index. ________ Originally published: Boston : Little, Brown, ©1982.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion. When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Huck is the ultimate American hero, taking on the realities of the world with simple wisdom and lively spirit. This work perfectly captures the coming of age of our country as Huck comes face-to-face with the truths of slavery, ignorance, violence, poverty, and a host of wild characters and adventures. Often associated with a younger audience but filled with riveting questions of human nature fit for any reader.

The Way of Wanderlust [Electronic Resource] : The Best Travel Writing of Don George by Donald W George
Electronic book. ________ Prologue : every journey is a pilgrimage -- Climbing Kilimanjaro -- A night with the ghosts of Greece -- Ryoanji reflections -- Connections : a moment at Notre-Dame -- Conquering Half Dome -- Impression : sunrise at Uluru -- Castaway in the Galapagos -- Machu Picchu magic -- A pilgrim at Stinson Beach -- Japan's past perfect -- Home for the holidays : a Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Connecticut -- In love, in Greece, in the springtime -- A day in the life of Dubbo -- A passage to Pakistan -- Insights into Nice at the Musee Matisse -- Treasures of Dubrovnik -- Letters from Jordan -- Baja : touched by a whale -- Building bridges in mostar -- Into Africa -- Making roof tiles in Peru -- Living-history lessons in Berlin -- At the Musee d'Orsay -- California epiphany -- Japanese wedding -- Prambanan in the moonlight -- In the pythion of time -- Finding salvation in the south seas -- The intricate weave -- Unexpected offerings on a return to Bali -- Spin the globe : El Salvador -- French connections in Saint-Paul-de-Vence -- Piecing together puzzles in Cambodia -- Epilogue : travel writing and the meaning of life. ________ Electronic reproduction.|bNew York|cTravelers' Tales|d2015|nAvailable via World Wide Web.

Travels With Charley : In Search of America by John Steinbeck
Reprint. Originally published: New York : Viking Press, 1962. ________ Thirty-five years ago, when searching for America was not yet the cliche it has since become, Steinbeck hit the highways with his French poodle, Charley. In a custom-built camper he named Rosinante after Don Quixote's steed, the two traveled the country--10,000 miles and 34 states. Their varied experiences comprise several slices of small-town, back-roads Americana. Steinbeck laments the rise of plastic-covered everything, the vacuousness of sad souls he encounters, and the homogenization of local and regional culture. But bright spots abound, and Steinbeck rarely forsakes his humor and his hope in the human spirit. He reluctantly swings through the segregated Deep South before he concludes his trip. Here, the ugly specter of racism pervades all, and Steinbeck's chronicle is profoundly disturbing.

Wild by Nature : From Siberia to Australia, Three Years Alone in the Wilderness on Foot by Sarah Marquis
Using her wits and skills as a hunter to get by, a woman describes her solo 10,000-mile trek across the Gobi desert where she encountered mafiosos, drug dealers, thieves on horseback, temperature extremes, dehydration, ringworm and dengue fever.

 

 

 

 

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