These books are ideal for when time is short and you’re not really in the mood to escape into the fantasy world of a novel. The articles and essays within are informative, entertaining, or even downright hilarious, but every one of the stories you’ll find there is true.
The man-eating proclivities of Komodo dragons. The complicated art of being a cowgirl. A picaresque ramble with a merry band of tree-cleaners. The big-wave crusaders of the world’s best surfers. For the past twenty years, Outside magazine has set the standard for original and engaging reports on travel, adventure, sports, and the environment.
Along the way, many of America’s best journalists and storytellers–including such writers as Jon Krakauer, Tim Cahill, E. Annie Proulx, Edward Abbey, Thomas McGuane, David Quammen, and Jane Smiley–have made the magazine a venue for some of their most compelling work. The Best of Outside represents the finest the award-winning magazine has to offer: thirty stories that range from high action to high comedy. Whether it’s Jonathan Raban sailing the open sea, Susan Orlean celebrating Spain’s first female bullfighter, or Jim Harrison taking the wheel on a cross-country road trip, each piece can be characterized in a word: unforgettable. Commemorating Outside magazine’s twentieth anniversary, The Best of Outside is one of the most entertaining and provocative anthologies of the decade.
“Undeniably exquisite . . . The essays in the collection [are] meditations that reveal not only how science actually happens but also who or what propels its immutable humanity.” — Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
“A stimulating compendium.” — Kirkus Reviews
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author Deborah Blum selects the year’s top science and nature writing from writers who balance research with humanity and in the process uncover riveting stories of discovery across the disciplines.
One Amazon reviewer says:
“This was the best written and most informative collection of science and nature writing I have ever read. Without a doubt it is the best book I have read this year. I purchased 10 copies to give as gifts because I learned so much from its contents.”
In Hold the Enlightenment, America’s favorite and funniest adventure writer returns with his most entertaining collection of essays yet, as he travels the globe and faces down challenges that are animal, topographical—and human.
Hold the Enlightenment takes Tim Cahill to sites as far-flung as Saharan salt mines, the Congolese jungle, and Hanford, Washington, home of the largest toxic-waste dump in the Western hemisphere. With his trademark wit and insight, Cahill describes stalking the legendary Caspian tiger in the mountains bordering Iraq, slogging through a pitch-black Australian eucalyptus forest to find the nocturnal platypus, diving with great white sharks in South Africa, staving off enlightenment at a yoga retreat in Jamaica, and much, much more. In these essays, vivid and masterly storytelling combine with outrageously sly humor and jolts of real emotion to show one of the most popular journalists of our time at the absolute peak of his game.
Sixty-five of the world’s leading writers open up about the books and authors that have meant the most to them
Every Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn with anticipation to see which novelist, historian, short story writer, or artist will be the subject of the popular By the Book feature. These wide-ranging interviews are conducted by Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, and here she brings together sixty-five of the most intriguing and fascinating exchanges, featuring personalities as varied as David Sedaris, Hilary Mantel, Michael Chabon, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, and James Patterson. The questions and answers admit us into the private worlds of these authors, as they reflect on their work habits, reading preferences, inspirations, pet peeves, and recommendations.
By the Book contains the full uncut interviews, offering a range of experiences and observations that deepens readers’ understanding of the literary sensibility and the writing process. It also features dozens of sidebars that reveal the commonalities and conflicts among the participants, underscoring those influences that are truly universal and those that remain matters of individual taste.
For the devoted reader, By the Book is a way to invite sixty-five of the most interesting guests into your world. It’s a book party not to be missed.
Marco Polo Didn’t Go There is a collection of rollicking travel tales from a young writer USA Today has called “Jack Kerouac for the Internet Age.” For the past ten years, Rolf Potts has taken his keen postmodern travel sensibility into the far fringes of five continents for such prestigious publications as National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, and The New York Times Magazine. This book documents his boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys—from getting stranded without water in the Libyan desert, to crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand, to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram.
Marco Polo Didn’t Go There is more than just an entertaining journey into fascinating corners of the world. The book is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing a “commentary track”—endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. Offbeat and insightful, this book is an engrossing read for students of travel writing as well as armchair wanderers.