Adult Winter Reading Program 2017

“Passport to Adventure”


Visit exotic locations with a dash of adventure. With the theme “Passport to Adventure,” readers will have the opportunity this year to sample a variety of travel and adventure titles. Registration opened on January 9th, 2017 and the program will run January 23rd through March 6th. The deadline for submitting the number of books read will be March 14th. To qualify for prizes, patrons must read at least 10 titles from the provided reading list.  If you haven’t already, register now!

Included in the program are books from 10 categories of travel featuring a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. Patrons may elect to enjoy the program by category or by individual title. Wolfner Library would like to thank the Library Users of Missouri for funding this year’s Adult Winter Reading Program.


Table of Contents 

Across the Pond

Appalachian Trails and Alpine Expeditions

Desert Caravan

Great American Road Trips

It’s a Jungle Out There

The Many Storied City

Space, the Final Frontier

Time and Time Again

Water Voyages

Wonders of the World


Across the Pond


Enjoy the Tuscan sun, sample Spanish tapas, and take in the history of European countries. No need to book a flight or pack a bag!


At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Read by Justine Eyre. Reading time: 10 hours, 13 minutes.
1944. After a disastrous New Year's Eve party, Maddie, her husband Ellis, and their friend Hank decide to head off to Scotland from Philadelphia to search out the Loch Ness Monster. As they live among the rationed locals, Maddie's awareness of those around her grows. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.


The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Read by Cassandra Campbell, Elea Oberon, and Steve West. Reading time: 10 hours, 57 minutes.
Parisian bookseller Jean Perdu prescribes particular books to cure emotional ills, but he himself is haunted by his lost love, Manon. New neighbor Catherine convinces him to read a letter Manon left behind twenty years ago, setting him on a journey to make peace with his past. Explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2015.


The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Mcfarlane

Read by Robin Sachs. Reading time: 11 hours, 25 minutes.
Author of The Wild Places (DB069068) recounts walking more than a thousand miles through England, Scotland, Spain, and other locales. Reflects on the ways people are shaped by the landscape and can connect with the past through nature. Commercial audiobook. 2012.


A Poet’s Bazaar: A Journey to Greece, Turkey, and up the Danube by Hans Christen Andersen

Read by Robert Blumenfeld. Reading time: 6 hours, 7 minutes.
The first American edition of this brief, personal journal of a trip that the much-loved Danish storyteller took in 1840-1841 through Mediterranean lands.


The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson

Read by Nathan Osgood. Reading time: 14 hours, 6 minutes.
Author of A Walk in the Woods (DB046519) and Notes from a Small Island (DB046281) returns to England twenty years after the latter book. Describes a number of sites he visits, including London, Oxford, and Morecambe Bay, and recounts historical and modern stories of residents. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2016.


Route 66 A.D.: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists by Tony Perrottet

Read by Mark Ashby. Reading time: 12 hours, 45 minutes.
Armed with history's oldest surviving guidebook, an Australian travel writer retraces tour routes of the first people to enjoy safe and easy recreational travel around their empire. Blending historical anecdotes, personal encounters, and commentary on the culture of tourism, Perrottet and his companion journey through Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. 2002.


Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 12 hours, 11 minutes.
Europe, 1944-1945. Anna Emmerich, a young Prussian aristocrat, flees westward with her mother, brother, and lover to escape the advancing Red Army. They encounter a war-ravaged country and people, among them Uri Singer, a Jew who becomes their protector. Violence, some strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2008.


Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes

Read by Suzann Toren. Reading time: 10 hours, 20 minutes.
American writer Frances Mayes finds a new lifestyle when she and her companion Ed purchase a large, abandoned, country home in Tuscany. The restoration of the house and garden are fraught with problems but also provide many pleasures. Mayes enjoys the flowers, the freshly grown vegetables, the cooking, and the quiet pace of sunny Tuscan summers. Bestseller.


Us by David Nicholls

Read by John Jessup. Reading time: 14 hours, 9 minutes.
On the eve of a month-long family vacation to visit the capitals of Europe, Connie tells her husband Douglas that she thinks she wants a divorce. Not wanting to cancel the trip, they set out with their seventeen-year-old son, Albie. Douglas tries to rekindle his relationships with both wife and boy. Strong language. 2014.


When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon

Read by Nona Pipes. Reading time: 12 hours, 35 minutes.
Greek-American restauranteur and widow Daphne travels to the Greek island of Erikousa with her young daughter to prepare for her wedding. While there, she learns her beloved grandmother's history and reconnects with her own past as she rethinks her future. 2014


Appalachian Trails and Alpine Expeditions


Take a hike through these adventure-packed tales of survival, friendship and tragic loss on mountains as far flung as Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa or as near as the White Mountains in New Hampshire.


Always Climb Higher by Jeff Pagels

Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 6 hours, 15 minutes.
Paralympian Pagels discusses being paralyzed in a 1984 tree-cutting accident, his recovery, becoming involved in wheelchair sports, and eventually going to the Paralympics in Albertville, France, and winning gold medals. Explains how he then went on to climb mountains using a specialized chair. 2014.


The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman

Read by Barry Bernson. Reading time: 4 hours, 7 minutes.
In a parody of the sport, a hapless group of British mountaineers attempts to climb a 40,000-and-a-half-foot peak in the Himalayas with the help of 30,000 local porters. Introduction by Bill Bryson. 1956.


Following Atticus: Forty-eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan

Read by Gary Tipton. Reading time: 9 hours, 31 minutes.
Newspaperman examines his unique relationship with his hiking partner, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch. Explains how a fund-raising effort after a friend's death started man and dog's years of climbing in New Hampshire's White Mountains--188 peaks over three winters. Some strong language. 2011.


Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 8 hours, 57 minutes.
A journalist's first-hand report on the ill-fated Mt. Everest expedition of May 1996 in which a freak storm claimed the lives of nine adventurers. Describes the grueling ascent of the climbers, their sense of elation at reaching the peak, and the tragic events that followed. Strong language. Bestseller.


Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, The World’s Most Feared Mountain by Jennifer Jordan

Read by Erin Jones. Reading time: 12 hours, 42 minutes.
Journalist profiles the first five female mountaineers to summit K2, nicknamed "Savage Mountain" for its reputation as the world's most dangerous and second-highest peak. Portrays the background, abilities, motivations, and remarkable climbs of three women who died descending K2 and two who perished on other mountains. Some strong language. 2005


Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See by Erik Weihenmayer

Read by Dan Bloom. Reading time: 12 hours, 3 minutes.
In this adventure-packed memoir, the author recalls rebelling against becoming blind by age fifteen. Relates acquiring a passion for mountaineering and developing the character traits that enabled him to succeed. Covers his climbing exploits and his wedding on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Some strong language. 2001.


Touching the Void by Joe Simpson

Read by Ray Childs. Reading time: 8 hours, 38 minutes.
Mountain climber recounts his harrowing 1985 survival story of plunging off an Andean ice ledge, forcing his partner, Simon Yates, to cut the rope binding them. Describes Simpson's grueling descent with a broken leg and Yates's emotional turmoil believing his friend dead. Some strong language. Bestseller. 1988.


A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby

Read by Graeme Malcolm. Reading time: 7 hours, 14 minutes.
The wry account of an Englishman who leaves the London fashion industry for the adventure of hiking into Nuristan, a remote corner of Afghanistan. Accompanied by a Foreign Service friend, he takes a four-day beginner's course in mountain climbing in Wales before departing on their expedition. 1958.


A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

Read by Michael Consoli. Reading time: 10 hours, 6 minutes.
Bryson relates the adventures and misadventures of two totally unfit hikers as he and longtime friend Stephen Katz traverse the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail. Returning from more than twenty years in Britain, he set out to rediscover his homeland, but the two men find themselves awed by the terrain and stymied by the unfamiliar local culture. Some strong language. Bestseller.


Walking the Himalayas by Levison Wood

Read by Levison Wood. Reading time: 8 hours, 3 minutes.
British explorer and journalist describes his trek the length of the Himalayas, beginning in Afghanistan and ending 1,700 miles later in Bhutan. Describes travel conditions he and his guides encountered, individuals he met, the cultures he was introduced to, and advice he was given. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2016.


Desert Caravan


Nomads, naturalists, and eccentrics share their fascination with the harsh beauty of the desert.


Code Green: Experiences of a Lifetime by Kerry Lorimer

Read by Gordon Gould. Reading time: 9 hours, 30 minutes.
Guide to nearly one hundred global destinations. Promotes principles of responsible tourism to minimize environmental impact, maximize connections to other cultures, and benefit local communities. Offers information on seeing gorillas in Rwanda, tagging turtles in Australia, and counting macaws in Peru. Includes tips on accommodations and volunteering. 2006.


Daisy Bates in the Desert by Julia Blackburn

Read by Patricia Kilgarriff. Reading time: 7 hours, 7 minutes.
The British author creates a personal interpretation of the Irish-born writer who in 1913 at age fifty-four went to live in the deserts of Australia. Picking her way among Bates's prevarications, Blackburn sketches the eccentric's two marriages, her abandonment of her son, and her decades-long attachment to the Aborigines.


Desert Places by Robyn Davidson

Read by Corrie James. Reading time: 11 hours, 30 minutes.
An Australian woman recounts her travel experiences with a nomadic population in the desert of western India. She endures hardship and discomfort to record a disappearing way of life. Despite being a foreigner, a woman, and ignorant of the local language, she forges enduring friendships.


High Desert Promise: The Skinner Family Legacy by John Sackett Skinner

Read by Debby Queen. Reading time: 9 hours, 46 minutes.
The story of a pioneer family whose founding father, Silas Skinner, left the high seas as a mariner, first to become a miner, and then to establish a cattle ranch on the high desert plains of Jordan Valley, Oregon and Southwestern Idaho.  In the ensuing generations, the Skinners would leave an impression on the region, building roads and helping establish land management policies. This is their history told with horse sense, humor, and love for neighbors, family and the land. 


The Last Wilderness: A Journey across the Great Kalahari Desert by Nicholas Luard

Read by Richard Braun. Reading time: 9 hours, 43 minutes.
Naturalist Nicholas Luard and companions, on safari exploring the parks and game reserves that occupy one-fifth of Botswana, hope to sight the legendary black leopard, and to answer the question: Does the wilderness concern us?


The Man of the Desert by Grace Livingston Hill

Read by Mimi Bederman. Reading time: 5 hours, 35 minutes.
Socialite Hazel Radcliffe falls in love with reservation missionary John Brownleigh after he rescues her in the Arizona desert. Following her father's death Hazel decides to become a nurse and earn John's affections. 1914.


The Man-Eaters of Tsavo by J.H. Patterson

Read by Graeme Malcolm. Reading time: 6 hours, 57 minutes.
In colonizing Africa, Lt.Col. Patterson and his comrades traveled through desert and jungle to build roads and bridges. In 1907 Patterson wrote of his encounters with man-eating lions who terrorized his work crew. A film, The Ghost and the Darkness is based on Patterson's adventures.


Red Passion and Patience in the Desert by Terry Tempest Williams

Read by Mary Kane. Reading time: 5 hours, 30 minutes.
Stories, essays, and personal anecdotes intermingle to pay homage to the desert landscape and to plead for its preservation. Focuses on the wilderness of southern Utah and protests destructive incursions in the name of development. 2002.


Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by my Side by Susan Krieger

Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 8 hours, 7 minutes.
Stanford professor Krieger describes adapting to life with progressively limited vision caused by birdshot retinochoroidopathy. She writes of embarking upon local and long-distance trips and exploring the southwest desert with her guide dog Teela and her lover Hannah. 2010.


Walking the Gobi: A 1,600-Mile Trek across a Desert of Hope and Despair by Helen Thayer

Read by Michael McCullough. Reading time: 8 hours, 55 minutes.
New Zealand adventurer details the fulfillment of her fifty-year-old dream at age sixty-three. Describes spending eighty-one often-grueling days walking across the Mongolian Gobi Desert with her husband and two camels--after five years of planning and despite injuries from a car accident. 2007.


Great American Road Trips


Whether by car or wagon, backroads or highways, the adventure and romance of the open road calls to us.


Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon

Read by Paul Reinertson. Reading time: 17 hours, 28 minutes.
With humor and compassion, the author, who is part Indian, recounts his travels of some 12,000 miles along the backroads of America in his live-in van. Seeking out such obscure places as Dimebox, Texas; Nameless, Tennessee; and Lookingglass, Oregon, and in search of himself, he found an America that restored his beliefs. Some strong language. Bestseller 1983.


Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

Read by Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver. Reading time: 13 hours, 38 minutes.
Ninety-year-old Miss Isabelle asks Dorrie--the hairstylist Isabelle has come to consider like a daughter--to drive her to Cincinnati from Texas. Isabelle reveals her hidden past on the drive and helps Dorrie sort out her own life. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2013.


Dashing through the Snow by Debbie Macomber

Read by Allyson Ryan. Reading time: 4 hours, 33 minutes.
The holidays are coming, and Ashley Davison desperately wants to get home to Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland also needs to get to Seattle for an important job interview. When all flights from San Francisco are full and only one rental car available, the two agree to drive together. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2015.


Don’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

Read by Adenrele Ojo. Reading time: 9 hours, 3 minutes.
Five interracial half siblings come together for the first time. They embark on a cross-country road trip in an old station wagon to confront their absentee father before he dies. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2015.


Driver’s Education by Grant Ginder

Read by Conrad Feininger. Reading time: 8 hours, 29 minutes.
Finn, an editor of TV reality shows, is persuaded to deliver his grandfather's beloved car Lucy to him by driving it from New York to San Francisco. Following his grandfather's map, Finn relives the old man's exploits. Meanwhile, Finn's father Colin takes care of his aging parent. Strong language. 2013.


Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

Read by Kimberly Schraf. Reading time: 8 hours, 45 minutes.
Octogenarian Etta has never seen the ocean, so one day she leaves her Saskatchewan home intending to walk all the way to the Atlantic. Her husband is left behind, writing Etta letters he never sends and making papier-mache animals, while neighbor Russell sets off after her. Some strong language. 2015.


Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo

Read by Michael Kramer. Reading time: 8 hours, 22 minutes.
Author retraces the 1953 2,500-mile cross-country road trip of Harry and Bess Truman. Describes the Trumans' post-presidential life in Missouri, when they lived on Harry's army pension, and provides first-person accounts of the original journey. 2009.


On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Read by Dale Carter. Reading time: 1 hours, 50 minutes.
The diary, kept in a little five-cent notebook describes the journey made by covered wagon across the prairie frontier from South Dakota to Missouri. For grades 6-9 and older interested readers.


The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck

Read by Alec Volz. Reading time: 19 hours, 5 minutes.
Journalist and travel writer Rinker Buck not only describes the historical Oregon Trail but also recreates the westward journey himself. Over the course of four months, Buck and his brother travel the route by wagon, and Buck recounts their adventure. Strong language. 2015.


Roughing It by Mark Twain

Read by Ralph Bell. Reading time: 18 hours, 5 minutes.
A humorous account of a trip across the plains to California and then to Hawaii in the early 1860s. Full of exaggeration, fun, and high spirits.


It’s a Jungle Out There


Soldiers, hunters, castaways, and explorers relate tales of struggle, survival, and death in the jungle.


The African Queen by C.S. Forester

Read by John Horton. Reading time: 6 hours, 7 minutes.
A courageous English spinster and a tough Cockney team up to destroy a German boat, but first they must make a long, perilous trip on the river through the African jungle.


Death in the Long Grass by Peter Hathaway Capstick

Read by Buckley Kozlow. Reading time: 9 hours, 29 minutes.
A big-game hunter's adventures in the African bush describes terrifying experiences with lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffalo, hippos, rhinos, crocodiles, and snakes. This is also a book about death and how jungle beasts go about their kills. Violence.


Don’t Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz

Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time: 11 hours, 25 minutes.
After her husband leaves her, Eve Hardaway decides to take their anniversary Mexican jungle trip alone. Near the tour group's camp, Eve spots a menacing man and clues that a previous camper went missing. Soon she is running for her life. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2014.


Into the Heart of Borneo by Redmond O’Hanlon

Read by John Horton. Reading time: 8 hours, 2 minutes.
In 1983 British naturalist O'Hanlon and poet James Fenton set out for the unexplored Tiban mountains of central Borneo, a hazardous journey no one had attempted for nearly sixty years. With three Iban guides, one of them a chief, the two adventurers travelled upstream in a dugout canoe to the headwaters of the Baleh River. Their encounters and the discomforts of jungle life are humorously described. Strong language and descriptions of sex.


The Last Hill by Spencer Dunmore

Read by Carl Hess. Reading time: 6 hours, 20 minutes.
Cut off during the Japanese advance on Singapore in World War II, a British battalion sets up a counter-defense in the Malayan jungle. A contest of wills which erupts between a professional soldier and a gentleman soldier places their men in even greater danger.


The Mapmaker’s Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon by Robert Whitaker

Read by Lisette Lecat. Reading time: 12 hours, 29 minutes.
Recreates Peruvian socialite Isabel Godin's perilous 1769 journey across the Andes Mountains and down the Amazon River to join her husband, Jean, and his team of French mapmakers and scientists exploring the New World. Documents her perilous three-thousand-mile trek and his landmark expedition. 2004.


Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Read by L.J. Ganser. Reading time: 10 hours, 26 minutes.
Lord and Lady Greystoke are cast ashore on the African coast after a shipboard mutiny. They later die in the jungle, but their infant son survives (nursed by a family of great apes) to become Tarzan. Originally published as a novel; subsequently became the first in the series. 1914.


Tiger Sky by Rose Elver

Read by Miriam Wagner. Reading time: 5 hours, 28 minutes.
Trying to escape from the unwelcome advances of an ardent suitor, Selina Roxley becomes hopelessly lost near the foot of the Himalayas. Fortunately she is soon found by the masterful Luke van Meer, who promises to escort her safely back to civilization--but only after he and his companion complete their mysterious jungle expedition. Harlequin novel.


We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese by Elizabeth Norman

Read by Kerry Dunkin. Reading time: 13 hours, 30 minutes.
Traces the experiences of the army and navy nurses who were trapped on the Philippine Islands during World War II. Nicknamed the "Angels of Bataan and Corregidor," the women worked in makeshift jungle hospitals before being captured and sent to prison camps for three years. But all seventy-seven survived. Some violence. 1999.


Who Goes Out in the Midday Sun? An Englishman’s Trek through the Amazon Jungle by Benedict Allen

Read by Geoffrey Sherman. Reading time: 9 hours, 28 minutes.
Humorous account of the author's journey to the Amazon jungle from the Orinocon delta to the mouth of the Amazon River--"a route no one had attempted before," and one that experienced explorers deemed impossible to travel. Allen tells of his encounters with friendly natives, unfriendly foreigners seeking gold, and illness near the end of his exploration.


The Many Storied City

These books profile cities of the world and take you on an intimate tour of notorious neighborhoods and sparkling nightlife. Meet the colorful residents and navigate the streets with a seasoned guide.


Dancing with the Devil in the City of God Rio de Janeiro on the Brink by Juliana Barbassa

Read by Carol McPherson. Reading time: 12 hours, 12 minutes.
Rio de Janeiro is a city of extremes, from carnival's hedonistic delights to soft seductive samba beats coming from every open window.  But there is the dark side too, for years, Rio was ravaged by inflation, drug wars, and corrupt leaders.  Now Rio is ready to remake itself into a global, modern capital ready for its turn on the world stage. Unrated.


Dave Barry Does Japan by Dave Barry

Read by Barry Bernson. Reading time: 4 hours, 36 minutes.
Essays resulting from Barry's 1991 trip to Japan with his wife and son, courtesy of his publisher. Barry comments on: attempts to learn Japanese and to sightsee in a Tokyo without street names; attendance at a Kabuki theater, where one hour appears to him equivalent to seventeen hours; and the diet of sumo wrestlers, who apparently prepare for matches by eating 275 quarts of ice cream every day. Bestseller.


Feet on the Street: Rambles around New Orleans by Roy Blount

Read by Paul Boehmer. Reading time: 3 hours, 45 minutes.
Author of Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor (DB047634) takes the reader on a walking tour of New Orleans, Louisiana, describing its history, weather, food, and colorful residents. Speculates on problems that could occur because the city is situated below sea level. Strong language, some descriptions of sex, and some violence. Commercial audiobook. 2005


The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld by Herbert Asbury

Read by L.J. Ganser. Reading time: 13 hours, 19 minutes.
Uses police records, newspapers, and criminals' memoirs to chronicle the crime permeating New York City in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Includes the history of such notorious neighborhoods as the Bowery, Hell's Kitchen, and Five Points. Some violence and some strong language. 1927.


Travels in a Blue Chair: Alaska to Zambia, Ushuaia to Uluru; a Series of Short Stories by Walt Balenovich, et al.

Read by Guy Williams. Reading time: 13 hours, 55 minutes.
Balenovich, who had polio in childhood, recounts adventures in his blue-colored wheelchair--a device he believes does not confine him, but gives him the freedom to travel and meet new friends. Describes exploring Australia's Great Barrier Reef, celebrating Chinese New Year in Thailand, and breaking a knee in Zambia. 2007.


Holidays in Hell by P.J. O’Rourke

Read by Barry Bernson. Reading time: 9 hours, 52 minutes.
Foreign correspondent O'Rourke is bored with ordinary travel, which he considers passe. For him it's the unusual that becomes exciting. This collection includes travel vignettes in which O'Rourke describes the hellholes around the globe where he has gone looking for truth, trouble, and a good time: the war zones of Lebanon, the nightlife in Poland, Christmas in El Salvador, and Heritage USA. Some strong language. Bestseller. 1988.


Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--as Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor

Read by Jake Williams. Reading time: 13 hours, 57 minutes.
Collection of eighty-three essays on life in and around London. Topics cover arriving in the city, seeing the sights, earning a living, and keeping the peace. Written by people from all walks of life, including a plumber, taxi driver, beekeeper, singer, and terrorist suspect. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2011.


Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard

Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 9 hours, 25 minutes.
Food-loving American author recounts falling in love with a Frenchman and French cuisine--from being seduced over fresh mint tea in a tiny Parisian apartment to her joy in taking meandering walks and dining in favorite bistros. Explains that food is a gateway to understanding French culture. Includes recipes. 2010.


Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup

Read by Mark Ashby. Reading time: 9 hours, 57 minutes.
Mumbai, India. Uneducated waiter Ram Mohammad Thomas wins a billion rupees on a quiz show but is accused of cheating and thrown into jail. In flashback-accounts to his lawyer, Ram explains his past adventures supplied him the winning answers. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller.  2005.


Toronto Noir by Janine Armin

Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 8 hours, 10 minutes.
Crime stories set in North America's most multicultural city outside of Miami--known also for its cold winters, strong beer, and transportation options. The sixteen entries include Peter Robinson's "Walking the Dog," in which a husband and wife each plan the other's murder. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2008.


Space, the Final Frontier


Explore the adventurous lives of men and women who dared to travel to the moon, to other planets and other galaxies.  This mostly non-fiction set of books includes a few works of speculative fiction about distant space travel.


2001, a Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Read by Michael Kramer. Reading time: 7 hours.

On a voyage into the unexplored universe, the spacecraft Discovery hurtles its human passengers through time toward a confrontation with an unknown, powerful intelligence. Written for the production of a science fiction film of the same name. 1968.


The Forever War by Joe W. Haldeman

Read by Rick Rohan. Reading time: 7 hours, 26 minutes.
William Mandella is drafted after college to fight a war in outer space. William only ages months while earthlings age by decades. He finds civilization completely changed each time he returns from bloody combat. After 1,143 years, the war's end brings him home. Some strong language. Hugo and Nebula Awards.


The Hazards of Space Travel: A Tourist’s Guide by Neil F. Comins

Read by John Haag. Reading time: 9 hours, 13 minutes.
Scientific facts and fictional log entries from an imaginary astronaut reveal the risks and challenges awaiting tourists in outer space. Discusses air, land, and water problems on other planets; reentry and impact dangers; equipment failures; and radiation, medical, and mental health issues. Examines likely locations. 2007.


The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America’s Race in Space by Eugene Cernan

Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time: 13 hours, 55 minutes.
This memoir of a space pioneer describes his personal experiences during his years with NASA, especially the flights of Gemini 9, Apollo 10, and Apollo 17. Cernan recalls the technical problems, his relations with fellow astronauts, and some family repercussions--but mostly the thrill of being in space and walking on the moon. 1999.


The Martian by Andy Weir

Read by J.P. Linton. Reading time: 12 hours, 45 minutes.
Six days after becoming the first man to walk on Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is caught in a windstorm. Though his support crew thinks he died, Mark survived and now faces abandonment, failed machinery, and a hostile environment. Strong language. Bestseller. 2011.


The New Guide to the Planets by Patrick Moore

Read by Eric Zwemer. Reading time: 6 hours, 54 minutes.
Non-technical descriptions of the planets. Topics include how the planets came into being, space travel, life on other planets, and what may lie beyond our solar system.


Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

Read by Mary Kane. Reading time: 9 hours, 51 minutes.
Popular-science writer explores the human elements of space travel, including having bowel movements in zero gravity, coping with motion sickness and sexual urges, maintaining personal hygiene, and more. Bestseller. 2010.


Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers, and Pilots is Boldly Privatizing Space by Michael P. Belfiore

Read by Joe Wilson. Reading time: 10 hours, 46 minutes.
Traces the development of commercial space travel beginning with the ten-million-dollar X Prize competition in 2004 for the first private U.S. rocket launch. Details entrepreneurs' efforts to develop the necessary technology and business plans to fly paying customers into space. Some violence and some strong language. 2007.


Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

Read by Joe Wilson. Reading time: 8 hours, 55 minutes.
Kris Kelvin travels to the planet Solaris to study its vast ocean. After his arrival, however, he encounters a long-dead lover who is not what she seems. Over time, the scientists on Solaris begin to theorize that the Solaris ocean may actually possess sentience. Originally published in French in 1961. 1970


Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Read by Laurie Bialik. Reading time: 14 hours, 58 minutes.
America's space program is at a turning point. After decades of global primacy, NASA has ended the space shuttle program. Tyson--one of our foremost thinkers on all things space--illuminates the past, present, and future of space exploration and brilliantly reminds us why NASA matters now as much as ever.


Time and Time Again

Indulge humanity’s favorite daydream of breaking the bonds of time.  These book selections speculate about the future and let us touch our own history.


Dark Matter: A Novel by Blake Crouch

Read by Jon Lindstrom. Reading time: 10 hours, 10 minutes.
After being kidnapped, Jason Dessen wakes up to an unfamiliar life in which his wife is not his wife and he has no son. Rather than a college professor, Jason finds he is a celebrated genius of remarkable achievement. He struggles to determine which life is real. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2016.


The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Read by Yolande Bavan. Reading time: 12 hours, 32 minutes.
In an alternate 1985 England, literature is a mass obsession, time travel is commonplace, and literary characters can be killed. When Jane Eyre is kidnapped, literary detective Thursday Next vows to rescue her. But Thursday may find herself trapped forever inside the pages of the classic novel from which Jane has been abducted. Thursday Next series, book 1.  2001.


The House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurier

Read by Jim Zeiger. Reading time: 12 hours.
A young Englishman who is visiting a friend at his old house on the Cornish coast is induced to test a hallucinogenic drug that transports him back to the fourteenth century. He observes the people who lived then and returns many times to find out what happens to them. Descriptions of sex and some violence.


No Enemy but Time by Michael Bishop

Read by Bob Askey. Reading time: 13 hours, 30 minutes.
While on a time-travel assignment in prehistoric Africa, John Monegal joins a group of early prehumans. He shares in the intimate life of the group and in their struggle for survival in a brutal world. After fathering a child, he returns to the present, where he finds the conflicting realities of two different lives in two different times have changed him forever. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Nebula Award.


Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration of the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku

Read by Butch Hoover. Reading time: 13 hours, 5 minutes.
Physicist and author of Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the Twenty-first Century (RC 46238) explores impossibilities that may be realized in the future. Includes speculation on scientific advances such as teleportation, psychokinesis, intelligent robots, time travel, invisibility, and precognition.  Bestseller. 2008.


Till the End of Time by Allen Appel

Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 14 hours, 13 minutes.
While his journalist girlfriend works on a story about Japanese biochemical experimentation, time-traveler Alex Balfour finds himself transported back to World War II. His knowledge of the war's outcome, and the atrocities he and his girlfriend discover, put Alex in a position to change history. The star-studded cast ranges from Albert Einstein to Betty Grable. Strong language, explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 1990.


The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Read by David Palmer. Reading time: 3 hours, 21 minutes.
In this short novel, the first of Wells’ works in science fiction, the Time Traveler constructs a machine that will enable him to travel backward or forward in time. He travels far into the future and reappears disheveled, pale, and haggard. 1895.


Time Machines: The Greatest Time Travel Stories Ever Written by Bill Adler

Read by Gary Roan. Reading time: 13 hours, 50 minutes.
Anthology of twenty-two time travel short stories. Personal favorites of the editor ranging from Edgar Allan Poe's "Three Sundays in a Week" written in 1850 to Derryl Murphy's "What Goes Around" from 1997. For senior high and older readers.


The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer

Read by Barry Bernson. Reading time: 15 hours, 26 minutes.
British historian uses primary sources to portray everyday life during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Describes the people, landscape, religion, homes, food, fashion, medicine, law, and entertainment of the era. Companion to The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England (DB077509). 2012.


Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

Read by Jim Zeiger. Reading time: 12 hours, 36 minutes.
Adrian "Shel" Shelborne invites his friend Dave to go back in history to Renaissance Italy to search for his missing father, a gifted physicist and creator of a time-travel device. Shel and Dave explore foreign lands and witness important events--but then Shel decides to visit the future. 2009.


Water Voyages

Climb aboard and encounter pirates on the high seas, smugglers hidden among the islands, and lost tribes along the Amazon.


Amazon Journey by John M. Ridgeway

Read by Phil Regensdorf. Reading time: 10 hours, 16 minutes.
Three men and a woman--who hardly know each other and have nothing in common except their love of adventure--set out in a small boat to explore the mighty Amazon River, from its source high in the Andes to its mouth some four thousand miles away. The journey was successfully completed despite such hazards as insects, wild animals, altitude sickness, and constant personality clashes.


China Sea by David Poyer

Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time: 12 hours, 20 minutes.
Naval commander Dan Lenson relieves the skipper of the frigate Gaddis to deliver the decommissioned ship to Pakistan. Instead he finds himself fighting pirates in the South China Sea with an undermanned, undergunned, and near-mutinous crew as a typhoon approaches. Strong language, some descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2000.


The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander

Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 7 hours, 24 minutes.
Chronicles the survival of Ernest Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men marooned on ice floes off the coast of Antarctica in 1915. Recounts the entrapment and later destruction of their ship, the Endurance, by pack ice and the hardships the men suffered before their rescue in 1916. Bestseller.


The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time: 9 hours, 58 minutes.
Pi Patel, the sole human survivor of a shipwreck, is in a lifeboat with an injured zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and an adult Bengal tiger. Strangely, after 227 days in the Pacific, the boy and the tiger make landfall. Some violence. 2001.


On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

Read by Ronald B. Meyer. Reading time: 11 hours, 39 minutes.
Young John Chandagnac is just a bookkeeper and a puppeteer when he sails off to Haiti in 1718 to reclaim his father's lost plantation and inheritance. But when he enters the Caribbean Sea, the demonic pirate and master of voodoo, Blackbeard, commandeers his ship and forces the young man into piracy, sorcery, and strange battles against foes both human and supernatural.


Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Read by Alexander Strain. Reading time: 8 hours, 12 minutes.
Jamaica, 1665. Captain Charles Hunter of the Cassandra assembles a motley crew to infiltrate the Spanish fortress on Matanceros Island and steal its gold. An adventurous, bloody raid ensues against the outpost's garrison and its savage commander, Cazalla. Violence and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2009.


The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong by Edward A. Gargan

Read by Peter Johnson. Reading time: 14 hours, 21 minutes.
Chronicle of an American journalist's year-long journey along the Mekong River. Obsessed with Asia, Gargan pursued the challenge of backpacking alone down the river's 3,050 mile course from Tibet to the South China Sea, through six countries. Offers insights and observations on the people and places he encounters and on the rigors of his adventure. 2002.


Running the Amazon by Joe Kane

Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 11 hours, 9 minutes.
An account of the only expedition to negotiate the entire length of the Amazon River, from its headwaters in the Andes Mountains, to where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. In August of 1985, ten men and a woman began the adventure. They encountered Indians who had never before seen strangers, camped near a cocaine factory, and were beset by cold, heat, and hunger. Six months later, four of the eleven reached the Atlantic. Bestseller.


Sacred Monkey River: A Canoe Trip with the Gods by Christopher Shaw

Read by John Horton. Reading time: 10 hours, 21 minutes.
During a raft, boat, and kayak expedition, Shaw explores the Usumacinta River at the Guatemalan and Mexican border, homeland of the ancient Mayas. He combines anthropological and historical knowledge of the area with vivid details of his contact with rebel soldiers, other travelers, drug smugglers, and dangerous river rapids. 2000.


Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome

Read by Peter Lavezzoli. Reading time: 5 hours, 45 minutes.
Tale of three overworked Englishmen who take a boating holiday on the Thames. George, William, and the narrator--accompanied by Montmorency, the dog--anticipate the joys of long, lazy summer days but instead face uncooperative camping equipment, inclement weather, rampant hypochondria, and other disasters. 1889.


Wonders of the World

Whether ancient or modern, exploring these natural wonders and man-made landmarks will mystify you.


The Alhambra, Palace of Mystery and Splendor by Washington Irving

Read by Guy Sorel. Reading time: 6 hours, 55 minutes.
Legends, traditions, and tales which the centuries have woven around the ruins of the intriguing Moorish palace in the heart of Granada, Spain. For high school and adult readers.


Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King

Read by Annie Wauters. Reading time: 6 hours, 42 minutes.
Discusses the intermittent construction during the 1300s of a cathedral in Florence that would require the largest dome in the world. Explains how this led to the 1418 competition for solving the architectural puzzle; how it was won by Filippo Brunelleschi, a clockmaker; and how he achieved engineering marvels. 2000.


Dreams of Iron and Steel: Seven Wonders of the Nineteenth Century, from the Building of London Sewers to the Panama Canal by Deborah Cadbury

Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 11 hours, 24 minutes.
Historian and Emmy Award-winning producer surveys monumental engineering feats rooted in the Industrial Revolution. Profiles the personal and financial struggles of visionaries and workers behind Britain's mammoth oceangoing ship the Great Eastern, Scotland's Bell Rock lighthouse, and America's Transcontinental Railroad, Brooklyn Bridge, Hoover Dam, and others. 2003.


Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge by Kevin Starr

Read by Barry Bernson. Reading time: 4 hours, 45 minutes.
Author of California: A History (DB061161) describes the creation and artistry of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge--completed in 1937. Highlights the personalities involved in building one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, including engineers, politicians, bankers, and architects. Bestseller.  2010.


How the Canyon became Grand: A Short History by Stephen J. Pyne

Read by Jake Williams. Reading time: 7 hours, 13 minutes.
The author describes how conquistadors and later explorers dismissed the Grand Canyon as being useless until nineteenth-century artists and intellectuals began to proclaim its unique beauty. Portrays the changing attitudes towards the environment culminating in a more ecological view of natural phenomena.


Liberty Falling by Nevada Barr

Read by Suzanne Toren. Reading time: 11 hours.
Park ranger Anna Pigeon is in New York to visit her critically ill sister, Molly, but becomes involved in the case of two suicides ("jumpers") at the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. Anna discovers that the deaths are related to a more sinister plot. Some violence and some strong language. 1999.


The Message of the Sphinx: A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval

Read by Lou Harpenau. Reading time: 11 hours, 36 minutes.
Hancock and Bauval attempt to decipher the mysteries of the Great Sphinx of Egypt, which they claim is eight thousand years older than formerly believed. The authors use computer simulations of ancient skies to support their theories as to the origin and meaning of the Great Sphinx and also the three pyramids of Giza. Bestseller.


The Forbidden City by May Holdsworth

Read by Yolande Bavan. Reading time: 2 hours, 23 minutes.
Chronicle of the history, architecture, daily life, treasures, and ceremonies of the imperial palace, called the Forbidden City, in Peking (now Beijing), China. Built in 1420 during the Ming dynasty, the capital of the “celestial empire” housed the emperor, his concubines, and eunuchs. 1998.


Walking the Big Wild: From Yellowstone to the Yukon on the Grizzly Bears’ Trail by Karsten Heuer

Read by Ralph Lowenstein. Reading time: 10 hours, 11 minutes.
Wildlife biologist and park warden documents his eighteen-month journey along the Rocky Mountains to assess the health of the ecosystem and the feasibility of a wildlife reserve network. Chronicles his personal and wilderness adventures over thousands of miles by foot, skis, and canoe with his border collie, Webster. 2004.


The Washington Monument: It Stands for All by Thomas B. Allen

Read by Jack Fox. Reading time: 4 hours, 39 minutes.
A history of the monument that commemorates the country's first president and is the tallest freestanding structure in Washington, D.C. Contains a brief biographical sketch of Washington, a chronology of the monument's construction and its 1998 restoration, and highlights of events that happened nearby on the Mall. 2000.