Category Archives: Travel

nto Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster Download

Published Post author

nto Thin Air - A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

National Bestseller 

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that “suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down.” He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more–including Krakauer’s–in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer’s epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer’s highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber’s death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous assessment of others’ actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself.

This updated trade paperback edition of Into Thin Air includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy.  “I have no doubt that Boukreev’s intentions were good on summit day,” writes Krakauer in the postscript, dated August 1999. “What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev’s refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn’t the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients.” As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air‘s denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer’s tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored The Climb, Boukreev’s version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer recounts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in an avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I.

In 1999, Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters–a prestigious prize intended “to honor writers of exceptional accomplishment.”  According to the Academy’s citation, “Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.  His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind.”

August 23, 2015

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette Download

Published Post author

In the Kingdom of Ice - The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

A Best Book of the Year

USA Today * Time Magazine * Washington Post * Miami Herald * Richmond Times Dispatch * Christian Science Monitor * Daily Beast * Minneapolis Star Tribune

On July 8, 1879, Captain George Washington De Long and his team of thirty-two men set sail from San Francisco on the USS Jeanette.

Heading deep into uncharted Arctic waters, they carriedthe aspirations of a young country burning to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the Jeannette’s hull was breached by an impassable stretch of pack ice, forcing the crew to abandon ship amid torrents of rushing of water. Hours later, the ship had sunk below the surface, marooning the men a thousand miles north of Siberia, where they faced a terrifying march with minimal supplies across the endless ice pack.

Enduring everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and labyrinths of ice, the crew battled madness and starvation as they struggled desperately to survive. With thrilling twists and turns, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most brutal place on Earth.

August 21, 2015

Rand McNally 2016 Large Scale Road Atlas (Rand Mcnally Large Scale Road Atlas USA) Download

Published Post author

Rand McNally 2016 Large Scale Road Atlas (Rand Mcnally Large Scale Road Atlas USA)

Give road-weary eyes a break with this spiral-bound Large Scale edition featuring all the accuracy you’ve come to expect from Rand McNally, only bigger. Updated atlas contains maps of every U.S. state that are 35% larger than the standard atlas version plus over 350 detailed city inset and national park maps and a comprehensive, unabridged index. Road construction projects and updates highlighted for every state and conveniently located above the maps. Contains mileage chart showing distances between 77 North American cities and national parks with driving times map. Tough spiral binding allows the book to lay open easily.
Other Features
Best of the Road® – Our editor s favorite road trips from our Best of the Road® collection follows scenic routes along stretches of coastline, both east and west, to forests mountains, and prairies; and through small towns and big cities. For a weekend or a week there s something for everyone.
Tell Rand! As much as we work to keep our atlases up to date, conditions change quickly and new construction projects begin frequently. If you know of something we haven’t captured in our atlas, let us know at randmcnally.com/tellrand.

August 19, 2015

Rick Steves Italy 2015 Download

Published Post author

Rick Steves Italy 2015

You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in Italy.

From the beaches to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, Italy has it all. With this book, you’ll trace Italian culture from Rome’s Colosseum to Michelangelo’s David to the bustling elegance of Milan. Experience the art-drenched cities of Venice and Florence, explore the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum, and learn how to avoid the lines at the most popular museums. Discover the villages of Tuscany and Umbria and the lazy rhythms of the Cinque Terre. Shop at local market stalls, sip a cappuccino at an outdoor café, and pick up a picnic lunch at an allimentari. Relax and enjoy the life ofBella Italia!

Rick’s candid, humorous advice will guide you to good-value hotels and restaurants. He’ll help you plan where to go and what to see, depending on the length of your trip. You’ll get up-to-date recommendations about what is worth your time and money. More than just reviews and directions, a Rick Steves guidebook is a tour guide in your pocket.

August 14, 2015