Armchair adventures for winter reading

In the Stacks

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2003

This week's column offers armchair adventures for the winter!

• "Route 66 A.D." by Tony Perrottet. When Tony discovered the world's oldest surviving guidebook (from Roman times) in the New York Public Library, he had an idea - why not recreate the journey with his girlfriend? So, off they went, starting in Pompeii and ending at the Nile, discovering that bad food, crowds, and pushy tour guides are not modern maladies.

• "The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow," by AJ Mackinnon. When AJ, whose hero is Doctor Doolittle (because he "sailed away in a ship... and bumped into Africa"), decides to go on a two-week sailing trip, his friends know that anything can happen. A year later, AJ had made it all the way from Wales to Romania, alternately sailing, rowing and being towed, and he found that one can still be captured by pirates.

• "The Hard Way," by Mark Jenkins. An adventure writer for a variety of magazines, Jenkins' specialty is doing things the most difficult way possible. And he's done just about everything - climbed in foggy Scotland, caught thieves in Mombasa, biked in Tibet, and canyon-climbed in Australia. His attention to his inner life takes these adventures beyond the physical, into the realm of epic.

• "Blue Latitudes," by Tony Horwitz. On a quest to follow in Captain Cook's wake, Tony and a friend climb aboard a replica of Cook's ship and sail to the Pacific Islands to see for themselves what influence Cook had. Not content to stop there, they go from Australia and New Zealand to Alaska and Siberia, meeting Tahitian beauty queens and Aleut elders.

• "A House Somewhere," edited by Don George and Anthony Sattin. This collection of essays by émigrés in a variety of situations gives readers a little taste of what it is like to live in a culture not your own for an extended period. Includes writings by Isabel Allende, Pico Iyer, Vida Adamoli, and Lily Brett.

• "Lost in the Arctic," by Lawrence Millman. Writing about more than the Arctic, Millman is fascinated by the odd and difficult. Headhunters, Inuit weather forecasting, Irish Tinkers, bog people, and itinerant poets all populate this collection of essays and stories. Seventeen new pieces to intrigue and entertain!

• "Vagabonding," by Rolf Potts. A "how-to" guide to the art of long-term world travel, this starts out with a chapter on the basics: Convincing yourself that you can and want to throw your everyday life out for a life of travel. Other chapters proceed logically through saving the money to do it, diplomatically quitting your job, meeting new people, and, finally, coming home again.

Author alert! Come to the Downtown Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 25th to meet Erika Warmbrunn, author of "Where the Pavement Ends," and hear more about her adventures bicycling through Mongolia, China, and Vietnam.

If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249 or take a look at our Web site, (

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