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Armchair Travel December 2013
"I hadn’t realized until that moment how much I did not want to walk through that gate. What I wanted was to tell people I had volunteered in an orphanage. Now that I was actually here, the whole idea of my volunteering in this country seemed ludicrous."
~ from Conor Grennan's Little Princes
New and Recently Released!
Calcutta: Two Years in the City - by Amit Chaudhuri
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/10/2013
Share Calcutta%3a Two Years in the City ISBN-13: 9780307270245
ISBN-10: 0307270246
Though he grew up in Bombay and lives in England, award-winning author Amit Chaudhuri was born in Calcutta, a place to which he continues to feel connected. In this literary portrait of the British colonial capital of India, he evocatively depicts Calcutta's changing culture, diverse social classes (he spends time with everyone from the homeless to the bourgeois), and evolving politics (including the historic 2011 election) while also exploring the idea that "home and elsewhere" are "enmeshed intimately." Combining reportage with memoir and history, this eye-opening look at one of India's biggest cities might interest readers of Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers.
On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads - by Tim Cope
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/24/2013
Share On the Trail of Genghis Khan%3a An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads ISBN-13: 9781608190720
ISBN-10: 1608190722
Before preparing to ride 6,000 miles on horseback across the Eurasian Steppe, Australian Tim Cope's only previous experience riding a horse had occurred at the age of seven, lasted ten minutes, and resulted in a broken arm. Not letting that stop him from following the historic path of Genghis Khan, he heads to Mongolia, the homeland of the legendary empire builder, buys horses, and sets out. Though he'd thought the journey from there through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea, the Ukraine, and Hungary would take 18 months, it actually takes three long years. Along the way, he faces dire threats, including from horse thieves and wolves, deals with bureaucracy, acquires a faithful dog, and meets incredible people, especially the many families who provide him hospitality. If you'd enjoy "an exciting, detailed account of man versus adversity" (Kirkus Reviews), check out this book.
Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris - by Ann Mah
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books / Viking
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/26/2013
Share Mastering the Art of French Eating%3a Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris ISBN-13: 9780670025992
ISBN-10: 0670025992
A lifelong dream comes true for Ann Mah when her diplomat husband gets a plum assignment: Paris for three years! The duo move and start settling in when he is abruptly ordered to Iraq for a year...alone. Mah, a Chinese-American foodie and author, adapts to life by herself, explores the country, learns about its history, meets locals from all over, and researches (and eats!) signature regional dishes. Since this book's title alludes to the classic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child (who was also a diplomat's wife in Paris), readers might expect to find a few mouth-watering recipes included -- and they will not be disappointed. Francophiles will relish this thoughtful, amusing travelogue as will anyone curious about France's regional cuisine.
All Good Things: From Paris to Tahiti, Life and Longing - by Sarah Turnbull
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/12/2013
Share All Good Things%3a From Paris to Tahiti, Life and Longing ISBN-13: 9781592408689
ISBN-10: 1592408680
Readers who loved Sarah Turnbull's charming Almost French and have been wondering what happened next for her and her French husband now have their answer: they moved to Tahiti! The couple brought with them not only a sense of adventure but also a deep desire for a child, and Turnbull, "a perceptive, evocative guide to other lands and cultures" (Booklist), grapples with many emotions as she swims in a temperature-perfect lagoon each morning, learns about French Polynesia, spends time with both native Tahitians and fellow ex-pats, and gets IVF treatments. Those who liked Turnbull's first book for its witty, honest writing will find that here as well as an even more personal look at the author's life.
Walk in their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World? - by Jim Ziolkowski and James S. Hirsch
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/17/2013
Share Walk in their Shoes%3a Can One Person Change the World? ISBN-13: 9781451683554
ISBN-10: 1451683553
Jim Ziolkowski had a fast-track corporate finance job at the age of 24 -- but, moved by the extreme poverty he'd seen while traveling in India, Thailand, and Nepal, he quit in order to start a non-profit service-oriented program, buildOn, addressing global illiteracy and the problems of inner-city American youth. Even though Ziolkowski had no professional experience in education or fundraising, he had faith, and buildOn became a life-changing success, with over 550 schools built 20 years later. But it wasn't easy: Ziolkowski has had guns pointed at him in South Africa and Harlem, been bitten by poisonous snakes in Africa and South America, and suffered from malaria and dysentery (on four different continents!).
Making a Difference
Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption - by Katie Davis with Beth Clark
Publisher: Howard Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/04/2011
Share Kisses from Katie%3a A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption ISBN-13: 9781451612066
ISBN-10: 1451612060
After she graduated from high school, Tennessee teenager Katie Davis didn't pack for college like many of her peers -- she headed to Uganda. After going on a short mission trip there just months earlier, she was so moved by the Ugandans that she felt it was her calling to return to help them. Though her family and friends didn't understand, Katie could not be deterred. By that summer, she was in Africa teaching kindergarten, and at 19 years old, she adopted three homeless girls (the number is now in double digits), eventually establishing a ministry, Amazima, that cares for hundreds more. Though Christian readers will surely be inspired by Kisses from Katie, it is also "a refreshing read for those seeking the inspiration to follow the stirrings of their own hearts" (Kirkus Reviews).
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal - by Conor Grennan
Publisher: William Morrow
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/27/2011
Share Little Princes%3a One Man ISBN-13: 9780061930065
ISBN-10: 0061930067
For three months, 29-year-old Irish-American Conor Grennan volunteered at the Little Princes Children's Home, south of Kathmandu, in war-torn Nepal. Eventually, he learned that the institution wasn't housing orphans like he'd thought. The young boys (and two girls) had families who loved them -- but they'd been abandoned in the chaotic city by a lying child trafficker who had charged their rural parents huge sums of money to take them to a supposedly safe area where they would be taken care of. Appalled, Grennan set out to reunite the children who had captured his heart with their families. This inspiring debut by the likeable Grennan, who founded the non-profit charity Next Generation Nepal, may move you to both laughter and tears.
Mountains Beyond Mountains - by Tracy Kidder
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/01/2003
Share Mountains Beyond Mountains ISBN-13: 9780375506161
ISBN-10: 0375506160
For this portrait of charismatic infectious disease expert Dr. Paul Farmer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder traveled with the unconventional Harvard genius from Boston to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia. While in these far-flung places, Kidder watched the tireless Farmer not only provide medical aid but kindness and social care for numerous people. Farmer, who first became interested in Haiti in college after meeting Haitian immigrants working in North Carolina tobacco fields, continues to make the world a healthier and safer place. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews calls Mountains Beyond Mountains a "skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being."
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children - by John Wood
Publisher: Collins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/01/2006
Share Leaving Microsoft to Change the World%3a An Entrepreneur ISBN-13: 9780061121074
ISBN-10: 006112107X
Former Microsoft marketing executive John Wood experienced a profound change of perspective after a 21-day trekking vacation to Nepal in 1998. After seeing how intelligent the children of the country were but how few resources existed to school them, he eventually walked away from his high-powered career to create the non-profit Room to Read. Working throughout rural and poor communities in Asia and Africa, the program has created thousands of libraries and schools and helped numerous children learn to read. Combining business topics and travel stories, this "infectiously inspiring" (Publishers Weekly) memoir should prove enlightening for anyone who wants to translate business practices to nonprofit operations and invigorating for those who share Wood's desire to effect positive change in the world. Want to know more? Check out Wood's latest book, Room to Read.
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