I love books like National Geo’s 100 Best Affordable Vacations. They’re great for browsing, for dreaming and for pure delight in anticipation of an ad...moreI love books like National Geo’s 100 Best Affordable Vacations. They’re great for browsing, for dreaming and for pure delight in anticipation of an adventure. Broken up into four segments, Americana, Into the Wild, Quest for Knowledge, Body & Soul, each provides enough suggestions for even the most traveled of us.
Those I’ve already done provide a bit of nostalgia and reminiscence, others that are on my list make me yearn to get away. Monarch Butterflies in Morelia, Mexico, dig deeper into Nova Scotia, hop a ferry to Alaska or some other exotic locale, all sound delightful and even as the book professes, affordable.
I was pleased to note that are at least 3 more 100 Best in this vacation series published by National Geographic. I’m going to order another and dream on… (less)
Impressed doesn't cover the half of it. Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History- Making Race Around the World is one romp of an advent...moreImpressed doesn't cover the half of it. Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History- Making Race Around the World is one romp of an adventure. A fan of vicarious thrills, this book gave me more than my money's worth. Who could not love the intrepid spirit of both these women and what they accomplished?
Of course I had heard the name Nellie Bly but truly knew little about her. Born Elizabeth Jane Cochran I was surprised to read what lengths she would go to for a good news story for New York's The World. From buying a baby to expose the slave trade, to feigning insanity to report on the mistreatment of women in Blackwell Island Insane Asylum there was little Bly wouldn't do for an expose. None though would bring her the acclaim and fame of her proposal to beat Jules Vern's 80 day around the world trip. With just a single grip to carry her needs and "dressed in a snugly fitted two-piece garment of dark blue broadcloth trimmed with camel's hair", she sets out on the journey of a life-time. Little did she realize rival magazine, The Cosmopolitan headed by John Brisben Walker, would pit his own candidate, Elizabeth Bisland, against her to circumnavigate the world in less than 80 days. Bly sets out in New York heading across the Atlantic, whereas Bisland's route takes her west across, 8 1/2 hours behind Nellie.
The race was enough to keep my interest but there's so much more for the reader to appreciate. A memoir not only of the women, Bly and Bisland but a period piece of New York and journalism. Nellie Bly's determination and fearless nature help to build a strong foundation for the right for women to hold leadership roles in the workplace.
Riveting narrative non-ficiton. Put it on your list.
Note - These comments are in regards to an e-galley edition provided by the publisher. I have been waiting for publication to post my thoughts.(less)
Quirky, irky book by some young traveler's who met in a Brooklyn hostel and decided to write this book to help us all "just do it". Get out there and...moreQuirky, irky book by some young traveler's who met in a Brooklyn hostel and decided to write this book to help us all "just do it". Get out there and travel without the worry of draining the bank account. Gives suggestions for things to do on the cheap in many locales of the world and discusses hostels, choosing a backpack, transportation, food, toilets, etc. The title gives a hint to the writing style. I may be sexy and broke, but young I'm not and this definitely is written as only the young can.
Worth a browse through as anyone, even an older gal like me can learn some new tricks!(less)
The view of Mount Rainier from Seattle is breathtaking. You can't view this majestic mountain without wondering its origin and stories. Last June when...moreThe view of Mount Rainier from Seattle is breathtaking. You can't view this majestic mountain without wondering its origin and stories. Last June when visiting Washington State I had a day to drive towards and through a bit of Mt. Rainier National Park. Setting out from Seattle, the day started out warm and balmy but as we drove higher and higher the weather quickly turned to ice, sleet and snow, temperature dropping quickly to the low 40's. My plan was to take the Crystal Mountain Summit Gondola Ride. If only. Closed for a few more weeks. Still the drive was scenic and I got to see a bit of the park including Longmire, Paradise, some glaciers and enjoyed a late lunch at The Sunrise Visitor Center, the only thing I could find open. Of course one day visiting Mt. Rainier is like seeking a straw in a haystack. No time this trip to explore more so buy the book.
The Challenge of Rainier is comprehensive, yet not in a narrative fashion which may lose some readers. It met my expectations and my needs. History, formation, exploration, mountaineering while explaining the lure and legend of this great mountain.
Though I do not hike anything that needs crampons and detest ice and snow, I understand the why. I can imagine the thrill of reaching the your goal of the summit and certainly Rainier's is a special achievement. Even animals wish to make it as evidenced by spotting of bear, a porcupine, ground squirrel, raven and even bumblebees. Dr. Richard Emerson, a mountaineer-sociologist describes the why this way
"To a climber, the summit defines a problem, but pleasure is found in the process f solving, not in the solution...I predict a long future for this game."
The author says the reasons have undergone subtle changes over the years. "Years ago the sport's attraction was the basic simplicity and directness of purpose--its freedom from material restrictions, organizations, and legalities. Today, after many decades of having to be explained and justified, climbing for its own sake has become accepted by the general public."
After reaching the summit the climber dutifully signs his name in the register boxes. Mission completed.
More than the why of climbing I marvel at the dedication of those who immediately and at risk to themselves, jump in when help is needed when a climb goes wrong. These men/women are given their due. Amazing people.
There are lots of statistics here with stories of the triumphs and tragedies as the subtitle promises. Who climbed, who made it, who didn't, the oldest, the youngest, etc. Citing just one, Al Gore and his 15 year old son, Albert III made the summit in severe windstorm in 1999. Most members of this party turned back including his Secret Service men. I love that of this printing the oldest male Bill Painter of Richland, WA climbed the mountain at age 82 (2005), 83 (2006) and 84 (2007) in his efforts to keep his record.
This sentiment caught my eye and while I love to travel out of the country there's a simple truth here: "It is un-American to visit other shores when our own country contains so many places of interest" from a publication by E.S. Ingraham (1895)
My last thought on completion is the respect I feel for those who "listen to the mountain" and heed the advice of Ed Viesturs in his introduction "Just because you love the mountains, it doesn't mean they love you." He is correct in his summation that The Challenge of Rainier will provide great insight into what Mount Rainier is all about.
Wish I had read this before visiting China but enjoyed revisiting the land and people through Troost's book. Many have compared this to Bill Bryson's...moreWish I had read this before visiting China but enjoyed revisiting the land and people through Troost's book. Many have compared this to Bill Bryson's travel narratives and I'd agree that if you like Bryson Lost On Planet China might be for you.
Balancing his laugh out funny tales with a history of a place and people that defies time, Troost gives us an armchair picture of this country.
My kind of book. I loved it all the way home. If you're planning a trip to China or if you wish you could add this to your list of must reads. (less)