Strange Stones

Author: Peter Hessler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062206244
Release Date: 2013-05-07
Genre: Travel

Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a far-ranging, thought-provoking collection of Peter Hessler’s best reportage—a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of his work. Over the last decade, as a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three books, Peter Hessler has lived in Asia and the United States, writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider in these two very different regions. This unusual perspective distinguishes Strange Stones, which showcases Hessler’s unmatched range as a storyteller. “Wild Flavor” invites readers along on a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China. One story profiles Yao Ming, basketball star and China’s most beloved export, another David Spindler, an obsessive and passionate historian of the Great Wall. In “Dr. Don,” Hessler writes movingly about a small-town pharmacist and his relationship with the people he serves. While Hessler’s subjects and locations vary, subtle but deeply important thematic links bind these pieces—the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between apparently opposing cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds.

Strange Stones

Author: Peter Hessler
Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 0062206230
Release Date: 2013-04-16
Genre: Travel

An absorbing, original, and ambitious work of reportage from the acclaimed New Yorker correspondent During the past decade, Peter Hessler has persistently illuminated worlds both foreign and familiar—ranging from China, where he served as The New Yorker's correspondent from 2000 to 2007, to southwestern Colorado, where he lived for four years. Strange Stones is an engaging, thought-provoking collection of Hessler's best pieces, showcasing his range as a storyteller and his gift for writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider. From a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China to a profile of Yao Ming to the moving story of a small-town pharmacist, these pieces are bound by subtle but meaningful ideas: the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds. Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of Peter Hessler's work.

Dispatches

Author: Michael Herr
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307814166
Release Date: 2011-11-30
Genre: History

"The best book to have been written about the Vietnam War" (The New York Times Book Review); an instant classic straight from the front lines. From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Dispatches makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. Michael Herr’s unsparing, unorthodox retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time. Dispatches is among the most blistering and compassionate accounts of war in our literature.

River Town

Author: Peter Hessler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062028983
Release Date: 2010-09-21
Genre: Travel

A New York Times Notable Book Winner of the Kiriyama Book Prize In the heart of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this ever-evolving country, Fuling is heading down a new path of change and growth, which came into remarkably sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the complex processes of understanding that take place when one is immersed in a radically different society. Poignant, thoughtful, funny, and enormously compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.

Oracle Bones

Author: Peter Hessler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061834127
Release Date: 2009-03-17
Genre: Travel

A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China's transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people. In a narrative that gracefully moves between the ancient and the present, the East and the West, Hessler captures the soul of a country that is undergoing a momentous change before our eyes.

Country Driving

Author: Peter Hessler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061969430
Release Date: 2010-02-09
Genre: Travel

“Hessler has a marvelous sense of the intonations and gestures that give life to the moment.” —The New York Times Book Review From Peter Hessler, the New York Times bestselling author of Oracle Bones and River Town, comes Country Driving, the third and final book in his award-winning China trilogy. Country Driving addresses the human side of the economic revolution in China, focusing on economics and development, and shows how the auto boom helps China shift from rural to urban, from farming to business.

Unsavory Elements

Author: Tom Carter
Publisher:
ISBN: 9881616409
Release Date: 2013-07-01
Genre: History

Featuring entirely original writings written exclusively for this work, this anthology is filled with 28 essays from foreigners who live or have lived in China for a significant period of time. The book contains beautiful and enlightening stories about China from such noteworthy writers as Simon Winchester, Peter Hessler, Susan Conley, and Alan Paul, among others. Through their personal stories, they illustrate the many sides of Chinese life—the weird, the fascinating, and the appalling—and share what it’s like to live, learn, and love as an outsider in a land unlike any other in the world.

The Registry

Author: Shannon Stoker
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062271730
Release Date: 2013-06-11
Genre: Fiction

Welcome to a safe and secure new world, where beauty is bought and sold, and freedom is the ultimate crime The Registry saved the country from collapse, but stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders. Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom. All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

Hidden Cities

Author: Moses Gates
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101602768
Release Date: 2013-03-21
Genre: Travel

In this fascinating glimpse into the world of urban exploration, Moses Gates describes his trespasses in some of the most illustrious cities in the world from Paris to Cairo to Moscow. Also, exclusive to this e-book, are firsthand accounts from the author's fellow travelers and family. Gates is a new breed of adventurer for the 21st century. He thrives on the thrill of seeing what others do not see, let alone even know exists. It all began quite innocuously. After moving to New York City and pursuing graduate studies in Urban Planning, he began unearthing hidden facets of the city—abandoned structures, disused subway stops, incredible rooftop views that belonged to cordoned-off buildings. At first it was about satiating a nagging curiosity; yet the more he experienced and saw, the more his thirst for adventure grew, eventually leading him abroad. In this memoir of his experiences, Gates details his travels through underground canals, sewers, subways, and crypts, in metropolises spanning four continents. In this finely-written book, Gates describes his immersion in the worldwide subculture of urban exploration; how he joined a world of people who create secret art galleries in subway tunnels, break into national monuments for fun, and travel the globe sleeping in centuries-old catacombs and abandoned Soviet relics rather than hotels or bed-and-breakfasts. They push each other further and further—visiting the hidden side of a dozen countries, discovering ancient underground Roman ruins, scaling the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges, partying in tunnels, sneaking into Stonehenge, and even finding themselves under arrest on top of Notre Dame Cathedral. Ultimately, Gates contemplates why he and other urban explorers are so instinctively drawn to these unknown and sometimes forbidden places—even (and for some, especially) when the stakes are high. Hidden Cities will inspire readers to think about the potential for urban exploration available for anyone, anywhere—if they have only the curiosity (and nerve!) to dig below the surface to discover the hidden corners of this world.

The Wet and the Dry

Author: Lawrence Osborne
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780770436896
Release Date: 2013-07-23
Genre: Travel

Selected as a Top Ten Book of the Year by Dwight Garner, New York Times A “fearlessly honest account” (Financial Times) of man’s love of drink, and an insightful meditation on the meaning of alcohol consumption across cultures worldwide Drinking alcohol: a beloved tradition, a dangerous addiction, even “a sickness of the soul” (as once described by a group of young Muslim men in Bali). In his wide-ranging travels, Lawrence Osborne—a veritable connoisseur himself—has witnessed opposing views of alcohol across cultures worldwide, compelling him to wonder: is drinking alcohol a sign of civilization and sanity, or the very reverse? Where do societies fall on the spectrum between indulgence and restraint? An immersing, controversial, and often irreverent travel narrative, The Wet and the Dry offers provocative, sometimes unsettling insights into the deeply embedded conflicts between East and West, and the surprising influence of drinking on the contemporary world today. Now with an excerpt from Lawrence Osborne's latest novel, The Ballad of a Small Player.

Black Planet

Author: David Shields
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
ISBN: 9780307767103
Release Date: 2012-06-27
Genre: Social Science

The National Basketball Association is a place where, without ever acknowledging it, white fans and black players enact and quietly explode virtually every racial issue and tension in the culture at large. In Black Planet, David Shields explores how, in a predominantly black sport, white fans--including especially himself--think about and talk about black heroes, black scapegoats, black bodies. During the 1994-95 NBA season, Shields went to the Seattle SuperSonics' home games; watched their away games on TV; listened to interviews and call-in shows; talked, or tried to talk, to players, coaches, and agents; attended charity events; corresponded with members of the Sonics newsgroup on the Web. He kept a journal and over the next few years transformed that journal into this book, which is focused sharply on white spectators' relationship to black athletes, in particular Shields' own identification with Gary Payton, the team's language-besotted point-guard. Through the apparently simple vehicle of a daily diary running from November 5, 1994 to May 5, 1995, and ranging from a dispute between two fans over the sale of a ticket to the national media frenzy surrounding Charles Barkley's jest "That's why I hate white people," David Shields confronts the nature of racism (including his own)--the otherness in ourselves that we project onto strangers. He takes us via sports passion deep into the American racial divide. From the Hardcover edition.

Factory Girls

Author: Leslie T. Chang
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 9780385528528
Release Date: 2008-10-07
Genre: Social Science

An eye-opening and previously untold story, Factory Girls is the first look into the everyday lives of the migrant factory population in China. China has 130 million migrant workers—the largest migration in human history. In Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang, a former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing, tells the story of these workers primarily through the lives of two young women, whom she follows over the course of three years as they attempt to rise from the assembly lines of Dongguan, an industrial city in China’s Pearl River Delta. As she tracks their lives, Chang paints a never-before-seen picture of migrant life—a world where nearly everyone is under thirty; where you can lose your boyfriend and your friends with the loss of a mobile phone; where a few computer or English lessons can catapult you into a completely different social class. Chang takes us inside a sneaker factory so large that it has its own hospital, movie theater, and fire department; to posh karaoke bars that are fronts for prostitution; to makeshift English classes where students shave their heads in monklike devotion and sit day after day in front of machines watching English words flash by; and back to a farming village for the Chinese New Year, revealing the poverty and idleness of rural life that drive young girls to leave home in the first place. Throughout this riveting portrait, Chang also interweaves the story of her own family’s migrations, within China and to the West, providing historical and personal frames of reference for her investigation. A book of global significance that provides new insight into China, Factory Girls demonstrates how the mass movement from rural villages to cities is remaking individual lives and transforming Chinese society, much as immigration to America’s shores remade our own country a century ago.

Tony Wheeler s Dark Lands1

Author: Tony Wheeler
Publisher: Lonely Planet
ISBN: 9781743601044
Release Date: 2013-09-01
Genre: Travel

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher* Greedy Lords, dubious heroes, wicked relations and innocents in peril - today's world sounds like a grim fairytale! Travelling along the infamous 'Axis of Evil' led to Tony Wheeler's Bad Lands - now he's going deeper into the world's darkest corners to explore a rogue's gallery of troubled nations. Every country has its problems, but some problems seem so vexed, so intractable, so absurd, you can only shake your head. Tony Wheeler trains his well-travelled eyes on some of these places and attempts to understand how things got so messed up. Along the way he gets stoned (with the thrown variety) in Palestine, scores a speeding ticket in Zimbabwe, gets arrested for photographing a bar in the Congo, and visits Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad in Pakistan. Join Tony and find out if there's a happily-ever-after in these tales from the dark side. Author: Tony Wheeler About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places where they travel. TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia) *#1 in the world market share - source: Nielsen Bookscan. Australia, UK and USA. March 2012-January 2013

Looking for Transwonderland

Author: Noo Saro-Wiwa
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
ISBN: 9781619020078
Release Date: 2012-08-21
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Noo Saro-Wiwa returns to Nigeria for the first time since her activist father died there, a trip on which she is struck by the level of government corruption but also by the country's unique geography and captivating population.