Staff Pick

Patricia Schultz certainly does not disappoint with the newest edition of this now classic and ultimate travel guide. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: The World As You’ve Never Seen it Before (Artisan, $50) has been expanded to coffee-table size, making it even easier for travel lovers to flip through the pages pondering their next adventure and admiring the magnificent photographs that accompany each location. Fans of the first two editions will be thrilled with the updates and newcomers will appreciate how Schultz efficiently and expertly breaks down the world by region, with her more than thirty years of travel-writing experience. This collection makes a wonderful conversation piece during holiday get-togethers and can be a fantastic activity for families to discuss where they have been or dream of going.

 

1,000 Places to See Before You Die (Deluxe Edition): The World as You've Never Seen It Before Cover Image
$60.00
ISBN: 9781579657888
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Artisan - October 29th, 2019

Staff Pick

Like seas, deserts tend to be monotonous, disorienting, blinding, and endless. People can disappear in them without a trace. And unlike mountains, deserts don’t offer the incentive of a peak to scale—the goal is simply to make it out alive. So why explore a desert? For one thing, they’re not all the same. Some get as much as 35 cm of water a year, others as little as 5 mm. Some are gray, some pink—the sand covered with “a rind of ferric oxide.” Atkins, interested in “the axis where the absolute coexists with the infinite,” reports from the Empty Quarter, covering parts of Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia; the Great Victoria Desert in Australia; the Gobi and Taklaman in China; Kazakhstan’s Aralkum; the Sonoran and Black Rock Deserts in the American Southwest; and the Eastern Desert in Egypt. Each essay is beautifully done and reflects the particular region’s character, belying that desert monotony. In some, Atkins focuses on the natural landscape, in others on native culture, history, the foreign (usually British) explorers, or new rituals, like the Burning Man festival. Overall, his emphasis is spiritual. He views Middle Eastern deserts, especially, “through a biblical filter.” He stays in monasteries, delves into China’s Caves of the Thousand Buddhas and writes empathetically and poignantly about the British nuclear tests that left the Great Victorian Desert a radioactive wasteland, robbing Indigenous peoples of a landscape so sacred they made no distinction between the desert and the Ancestors. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book, but Atkins leaves many indelible moments: an eagle blinded by an atomic flash, the stages of dehydration, an evaporated lake like “an eyeless socket,” the untold numbers of migrants lost in the Sonoran Desert, bodies that have “simply been erased,” the geography once again “enlisted as cordon and executioner.”

The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385539883
Availability: Backordered
Published: Doubleday - July 24th, 2018

Staff Pick

With the looming devastation of our national treasure, the parks system, this book offers an understanding of their importance to our history and the sanity of our collective respect for the earth. In her reflective and calming voice, Williams offers her thoughts on the parks that have meant the most to her and the great loss from which we'll all be reeling if and when they are degraded. If you find yourself walking through or camping in a national park this summer, Williams will help you see yourself as a part of that landscape. Perhaps only when we again see ourselves as part of the landscape will we see these parks as sacred land worth saving.

The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374280093
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - May 31st, 2016

The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781250132147
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador - July 3rd, 2017

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