A poet’s memoir of taking an unplanned trip to the Bahamas and meeting a fishing guide who changed his life: “A splendid book.”—Jim Harrison in The New York Times Book Review Chris Dombrowski, a poet and passionate fly-fisher, had a second child on the way and an income hovering perilously close to zero when he received a miraculous email: can’t go, it’s all paid for, just book a flight to Miami. Thus began a journey that would eventually lead to the Bahamas and to David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide. Bonefish are prized for their elusiveness and their tenacity. And no one was better at hunting them than Pinder, a Bahamian whose accuracy and patience were virtuosic. He knows what the fish think, said one fisherman, before they think it. By the time Dombrowski meets him, though, Pinder has been abandoned by the industry he helped build. With cataracts from a lifetime of staring at the water and a tiny severance package after forty years of service, he watches as the world of his beloved bonefish is degraded by tourists he himself did so much to attract. But as Pinder’s stories unfold, Dombrowski discovers a profound integrity and wisdom in the bonefishing guide’s life. “A poet and Montana-based fly-fishing guide recounts his trip to the Bahamas, where he met an aging guide who taught him about fish and life…loosely links reflections on his experiences catching and releasing bonefish, the history and geography of the Bahamas, the construction of fishing rods, stories he has told his children, and the difference between fishing or hunting for sport and for dinner.”—Kirkus Reviews “Thematically complex, finely wrought, and profoundly life-affirming.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A look at the beloved American poet’s home and family, and a glimpse at the early years of Portland, Maine. When a former Revolutionary War general named Peleg Wadsworth finished building a two-story brick house on Congress Street in 1786, the “province of Maine” was still considered part of Massachusetts, and he could see the Fore River from his front door. The city would grow up around the structure, as the Wadsworth-Longfellow family flourished and made history within its walls—and in the fabric of young America’s culture and government. Peleg’s daughter, Zilpah, married Stephen Longfellow IV on the first floor, and they raised their eight children in the home with love and high standards. Their second-eldest son, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote his first childhood poem there before going on to pen great classics including “Paul Revere’s Ride” and Evangeline. Young Henry also watched his father help craft the Maine Constitution, and experienced revolutionary ideals of his home city. This book takes you inside the historic Longfellow House—and lets you explore the city that shaped a renowned American poet. Includes photos and illustrations
Outrageously irresponsible and undeniably liberating, Simon Gandolfi's OLD MAN ON A BIKE will fire the imaginations of every traveller, young or old.At 73 years old, Simon Gandolfi sets off from Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico to embark on a five and a half month journey culminating at 'the end of the world', Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. For Simon this is a journey of discovery. Leaving behind the safety and sanctuary of friends and family, he is truly alone but along the way he meets and talks with rich and poor, old and young, officials and professionals, agricultural and industrial workers. This expertly written travelogue reveals not only the stories of those he meets, and his own, but also that of Latin America, its attitudes to itself, to the USA and the UK in the aftermath of the Iraq war and the realities of the poverty and endemic corruption throughout much of this continent.
"Petkoff gives a flawless performance of this doctor/naturalist's memoir, conveying both his inquisitiveness and assuredness with aplomb." - AudioFile "A fascinating, lyrical book... Reisman's experiences in other cultures bring a richness and depth to The Unseen Body. The way he thinks about the body and medicine—the rivers and tributaries, the flowing and unclogging, the top-down organization of the brain—is extraordinary!"—Mary RoachIn this fascinating journey through the human body and across the globe, Dr. Reisman weaves together stories about our insides with a unique perspective on life, culture, and the natural world.Jonathan Reisman, M.D.—a physician, adventure traveler and naturalist—brings listeners on an odyssey navigating our insides like an explorer discovering a new world with The Unseen Body. With unique insight, Reisman shows us how understanding mountain watersheds helps to diagnose heart attacks, how the body is made mostly of mucus, not water, and how urine carries within it a tale of humanity’s origins.Through his offbeat adventures in healthcare and travel, Reisman discovers new perspectives on the body: a trip to the Alaskan Arctic reveals that fat is not the enemy, but the hero; a stint in the Himalayas uncovers the boundary where the brain ends and the mind begins; and eating a sheep’s head in Iceland offers a lesson in empathy. By relating rich experiences in far-flung lands and among unique cultures back to the body’s inner workings, he shows how our organs live inextricably intertwined lives—an internal ecosystem reflecting the natural world around us.Reisman offers a new and deeply moving perspective, and helps us make sense of our bodies and how they work in a way listeners have never before imagined. A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books
Mr Edgar Finchley, unmarried clerk, aged 45, is told to take a holiday for the first time in his life. He decides to go to the seaside. But Fate has other plans in store…
From his abduction by a cheerful crook, to his smuggling escapade off the south coast, the timid but plucky Mr Finchley is plunged into a series of the most astonishing and extraordinary adventures.
His rural adventure takes him gradually westward through the English countryside and back, via a smuggling yacht, to London.
This gentle comedy trilogy was a runaway bestseller on first publication in the 1930s and retains a timeless appeal today. It has been dramatized twice for BBC Radio, with the 1990 series regularly repeated.What people are saying about the Mr Finchley series:
‘Wonderful character from a kinder slower England between the wars.’
‘An overlooked gem. An innocent picaresque novel set in an arcadian version of mid 20th century England. The literary equivalent of naive painting, it narrates the adventures of a respectable upper middle-aged man who takes retirement.’
‘An antidote to the rush of the early 21st century.’
‘A thoroughly enjoyable stroll through a vanished England with some lovable characters. Don't expect modern, fashionable agonisings, here there is good, evil, and understanding. A lovely reminiscent wallow of a read.’
‘Gentle well told simple story, full of pleasant surprises, and a mild mannered believable hero. Loved it to bits.’
‘So gentle, it hurts.’
‘There is a freshness about the writing which is charming and that disarms criticism. Don't expect any great profundities, a gripping plot or inter-character tensions - these books are of the world of Billy Bunter and William Brown - but do expect a very well-written and enjoyable romp through early twentieth-century England in the company of an engaging protagonist.’
‘A delightful story of a man who finds himself jolted out of his comfort zone and taken on a journey beyond his wildest imaginings.’
‘Another lovely book detailing the adventures of Mr Finchley in altogether far too short a series. Full of humour and a book I was sorry to finish as I wanted it to go on and on.’
‘Highly recommended for anyone seeking an entertaining amusing read.’
‘A delight to be transported to an England I never knew despite growing up in the 1950s and to experience the countryside through the sharp eyes of the author who obviously had a great love of all things rural.’Editorial reviews:
‘Quite delightful, with an atmosphere of quiet contentment and humour that cannot fail to charm … The longer we travel with Mr Finchley, the better we come to love him. He makes us share his bread and cheese, and beer and pipe. His delight at the beauties of the countryside and his mild astonishment at the strange ways of men are infectious.’ Daily Telegraph
‘His gift of story-telling is obviously innate. Rarely does one come on so satisfying an amalgam of plot, characterisation and good writing.’ Punch
‘A paean to the beauties
Titletown, USA turns into Ghost Town, USA with chilling tales of weird Wisconsin. Green Bay has always been a city with a fierce sense of tradition complemented by a friendly atmosphere. Those qualities seem to attract not only living visitors but also spirits of the dead. Tour the city’s haunted past with Tim Freiss as he follows the trail of the tragic, the inexplicable and the just plain spooky. From the desecration of the father of Wisconsin’s burial spot to the winery that was a stop on the Underground Railroad to the nightclub haunted by a bullet-riddled love triangle, Haunted Green Bay stirs up the kind of history that keeps us awake a little bit longer once the lights are out. Includes photos!
Shipwreck of the Whale-ship Essex (1821) is a memoir by Owen Chase. As 21-year-old first mate of the Essex, he left Nantucket on August 12, 1819 on a two-and-a-half-year whaling voyage. On the morning of November 20, 1820, a sperm whale (c. 26 m), twice rammed Essex, sinking her 3,700 km west of South America. The closest known islands, the Marquesas, were more than 1,900 km to the west and the captain intended to make for them but the crew feared the islands might be inhabited by cannibals and voted to make for South America. Unable to sail against the trade winds, the boats had to sail south for 1,600 km before they could use the Westerlies to turn towards South America, which would still lie another 4,800 km to the east. Of the 21 men in three whale boats who began the journey, eight survived: three who chose to remain on a barely habitable island and five in two boats who attempted to reach South America and who were forced to resort to cannibalism to remain alive.
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