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Kern County Library Staff Suggests...: The Traveler's Shelf

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Traveler's Shelf

Has the price of fuel made you rethink your summer vacation plans? Catch a ride with the latest adventures and road trips by renowned travel writers.

Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure by Cheryl and Bill Jamison - Combination travel guide and cookbook, James Beard Award winning authors of "The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking" set off on a 3 month trip to dine on the best local foods in 10 countries. The husband and wife team are adventurous travelers and eaters, the Jamison's bring diverse palates and place home.

Around the World in 80 Rounds: Chasing a Golf Ball from Tierra del Fuego to the Land of the Midnight Sun by David Wood - Ridding himself of all possessions except his golf clubs, Wood sets off for year-long tour of the golf courses of the world. Part zany travelogue, part golf memoir, his adventures on the green are the perfect read to accompany the 19th hole.

Hamburger America: One Man’s Cross-Country Odyssey to Find the Best Burgers in the Nation (with DVD) by George Motz - Whether you're an armchair traveler, a serious hamburger connoisseur, or a curious adventurer up for a road trip, Hamburger America will be your guide to reclaiming this precious slice of Americana. Documentary filmmaker Motz has made it his personal mission to save our nation's unique burger identity. He has traveled across the country in search of the best burger joints - those that have survived outside the fast-food mainstream - and has documented their rich histories and one-of-a-kind taste experiences.

Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man’s Attempt to Understand the World’s Most Mysterious Nation, or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid by J. Maarten Troost - Hailed as the Bill Bryson of the new generation, Troost brings China to life as you've never seen it before. His insightful, rip-roaringly funny narrative proves once again that he is one of the most entertaining and insightful armchair travel companions around.

Narrow Dog to Carcassonne by Terry Darlington - The true and hilarious story of 2 senior citizens who hatch a plan in a pub to sail across the English Channel to Carcassonne in a "narrow dog," a boat designed for inland canals. Along the way they outwit teenage vandals, survive storms at sea, cope with their aquaphobic whippet, and muse over hilarious docking faux pas. "One of the most hilarious travel memoirs ever written!"—Booklist

On a Hoof and a Prayer: Exploring Argentina at a Gallop
by Polly Evans - As a girl, Polly Evans dreamed about learning to ride—and in her mid-thirties the obsession returned. Determined to finally bite the bullet and saddle up, she set off for Argentina, a sprawling country where six-year-olds travel to school on horseback. From wine tasting in the Andes to exploring the legendary Perito Moreno Glacier, from investigating the myth of the gaucho to discovering her Welsh roots in Patagonia, Polly takes us along for an exhilarating, unforgettable ride as she finally lives out her dream—at a trot, a canter, and a gallop.

A Piano in the Pyrenees: The Ups and Downs of an Englishman in the French Mountains by Tony Hawks - Inspired by a childhood dream to learn to play the piano, Hawks buys a house in the French Pyrenees. Although the piano idea doesn't go as planned, Tony and his small group of friends haplessly attempt to integrate themselves into local village life, they learn more about themselves and each other than they ever thought possible.

Queen of the Road: True Tales of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own by Doreen Orion - Doreen and Tim are married psychiatrists with a twist: She's a self-proclaimed Long Island princess, grouchy couch potato, and shoe addict. He's an affable, though driven, outdoorsman. When Tim suggests "chucking it all" to travel cross-country in a converted bus, Doreen asks, "Why can't you be like a normal husband in a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?" But she soon shocks them both, agreeing to set forth with their sixty-pound dog, two querulous cats—and no agenda—in a 340-square-foot bus.

A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz - With the same sly humor and neighborly curiosity Horwitz roams the New World, surveying the destinations of history's foremost explorers: Leif Eiriksson (Newfoundland), Columbus (the Dominican Republic), Coronado (the Great Plains of America), and De Soto (Florida), to name just a few. What do North Americans think of those explorers now, anyway? Ride along with Horwitz—but let him suffer the sweat lodge alone—and discover for yourself.

Why I Came West: A Memoir by Rick Bass - A poignant look at the thirty-year journey of one of our country's great naturalist writers, Why I Came West explores how Rick Bass fell in love with the mystique of the West: as a dramatic landscape, as an idea, and as a way of life. Bass grew up in the suburban sprawl of Houston, spent eight years working in Mississippi as a geologist, until one day he packed up and headed west in search of something visceral, true, and real. He found it in the remote Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana, a unique place, where despite extensive logging not a single species has gone extinct since the last Ice Age. He describes his role as a reluctant environmental activist—sometimes at odds with his own neighbors—unable and unwilling to stand idly by and watch this treasured place disappear.


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