Category Archives: Travel

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

The-lost-city-z

I can’t think of a better summer read than David Grann’s 2009 book, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. This is the fascinating, page turning, nail biting true story of Percy Fawcett, a real-life Indiana Jones type adventurer who inspired Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World”, dedicated his life to finding the lost city of El Dorado deep in the Amazonian jungle, and the mystery of what became of him. The task of finding El Dorado is an unimaginably dangerous one; many hundreds have tried, and few have come out of the jungle alive, most disappearing without a trace, even as late as a 1996 expedition where none (of sixteen strong) was ever seen or heard from again. We watch this story unfold through a humorous and unlikely lens: an admittedly out of shape journalist from New York with no experience in the field deciding to go to the jungle and hunt for clues about Fawcett’s journey, 80 years later. Beginning with Fawcett’s early adventuring days hunting down legendary caves filled with gold and jewels in colonial Sri Lanka, to his days “learning how to be an adventurer” in the Royal Geographical Society, and finally to his final days trekking through the Bolivian rainforest, I could not put this book down and it sent me on a series of frenzied Google searches, my mind hungry for more information. I already plan to re-read this book and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a well written mystery with a side of history. (Submitted by Mandi)

You are welcome to borrow The Lost City of Z at Surrey Libraries!

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Gorge, my journey up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds by Kara Richardson Whitely

Image result for Gorge, my journey up KilimanjaroTo hike Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, is already an accomplishment. To do it twice is a triumph, but to do it while weighing 300 pounds, well, that was thought to be impossible. Kara’s struggling story of food addiction, family problems, low self-image, and her raw feelings of failure and shame are honest and unforgettable. The way that she was able to overcome these challenges are an inspiration. (Submitted by YR.)

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Meet Me at the Emotional Baggage Claim by Lisa Scottoline

Meet Me at The Emotional Baggage Claim by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella was a humorously written selection of short essays on various topics narrated by mother and daughter. If you are about to go on a road trip with your mom or daughter, this audiobook will make a great read for both of you. This book truly warmed my heart and made me laugh many times.  I found myself longing to share similar experiences with mom. (Submitted by Ilona).

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The World’s Best Street Food: where to find it and how to make it

lonely planet worlds best street food imageThis Lonely Planet book is the next best thing to taking a trip around the world – without leaving my kitchen. It offers examples of delicious food from around the world, as well as recipes for making these tasty items yourself. There are even substitution suggestions for hard-to-find ingredients. The chai recipe was delicious – if a trip to India isn’t in the cards this year, this will do just fine. (submitted by AA)

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Sibir: my discovery of Siberia

This book took me completely by surprise – it was fascinating.  This is Farley Mowat’s account of his first trip to Siberia in 1966.  It is a guided tour of the hospitable, resourceful and colourful people who enlightened him on his journeys across the U.S.S.R.  There are stories of ingenuity in how dams and buildings were built in the ‘eternal frost,’ tales of lifelong friendships made and situations during which hilarity ensues.  This book travelled with me and its stories will continue to resound. (submitted by library customer SS)

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Revolution: the year I fell in love and went to join the war

I really enjoyed this memoir from Deb Olin Unferth on the travels of her youth.  It is a coming-of-age story about a young American idealistic girl who went to join the “revolution” in Central America in mid-80s, along with her boyfriend. Very funny and honest. (submitted by SF)

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In a Sunburned Country – Bill Bryson

This book follows Bill Bryson’s travels across Australia.  He stops at several major cities and makes his way through the Outback, visiting both well-known and long-forgotten points of interest. Along the way, he recites wonderful bits of history, painting a vivid picture of the country.  It is laugh-out-loud hilarious, brutally honest, and will make you want to plan a visit to see it all for yourself. (submitted by CT)

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