THE NILE, by Wilkinson NOTE: Meeting Online

Travel
Tuesday, June 1, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets online the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. To join, please email: bookgroups@politics-prose.com

The Nile: Travelling Downriver Through Egypt's Past and Present (Vintage Departures) By Toby Wilkinson Cover Image

The Nile: Travelling Downriver Through Egypt's Past and Present (Vintage Departures) (Paperback)

$19.00


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The Nile, like all of Egypt, is both timeless and ever-changing. In these pages, renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson takes us on a journey downriver that is both history and travelogue. We begin at the First Nile Cataract, close to the modern city of Aswan. From there, Wilkinson guides us through the illustrious nation birthed by this great river.
        We see Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple. We visit the fertile Fayum, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and finally, the pulsing city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the water. Along the way, Wilkinson introduces us to the gods, pharaohs, and emperors who joined their fate to the Nile and gained immortality; and to the adventurers, archaeologists, and historians who have all fallen under its spell. Peerlessly erudite, vividly told, The Nile brings the course of this enduring river into stunning view.

Toby Wilkinson earned a degree in Egyptology from the University of Cambridge, and is the recipient of several prestigious awards given in his field. He has published nine books, and received the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for his previous book, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt. He has appeared on radio and television as an expert on ancient Egyptian civilization and is a member of the international editorial board of the Journal of Egyptian History. Since 2003, he has been a Fellow at Clare College, University of Cambridge. He lives in Suffolk, England.

www.tobywilkinson.net 

Product Details ISBN: 9780804168908
ISBN-10: 0804168903
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 336
Language: English
Series: Vintage Departures
“Engaging. . . . Evocative. . . . The narrative moves comfortably among different time periods . . . smoothly guiding us on our Nile journey.” —The Washington Post

“Fascinating. . . . Compelling. . . . The Nile emerges as potent as ever, the sole bringer of life to Egypt.” —The Guardian (London)

“First-rate. . . . The Nile and the history it has engendered still manage to stir something in all of us.” —The Daily Beast
 
“Impressive. . . . Hugely entertaining. . . . Wilkinson’s book is bound to reawaken the joys of armchair traveling.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Tell[s] the entire layered story of Egyptian civilization. Wilkinson deftly mingles ancient lore from the Pharaonic past with tales of 19th-century tomb robbers and contemporary clashes between the competing imperatives to develop and preserve sites along the riverbanks.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“Masterful. . . .  Thoroughly enjoyable and gloriously catholic.” —The Times (London)

“Dexterously done and rich in detail. . . .  This is infectious stuff that should surely inspire its readers to a fresh bout of Egyptian adventures.” —The Telegraph (London)

“In this felucca voyage of the Nile, you see all of its history and you are constantly reminded that Egypt is also a living nation of today. . . . [Wilkinson] has done for popularizing this land what Michio Kaku and DeGrasse Tyson have done for astronomy and physics.” —The New York Journal of Books

“[A] gently meandering tour of the Nile River in the company of a deeply knowledgeable guide. . . . To understand the cataclysmic changes gripping Egypt at the moment, eminent British Egyptologist Wilkinson urges a return to the heart of the country, the Nile, the source of the country’s economy, spiritual beliefs and political structure.” —Kirkus Reviews

THE LUNATIC EXPRESS, by Hoffman NOTE: Meeting Online

Travel
Tuesday, April 6, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes By Carl Hoffman Cover Image

The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes (Paperback)

$15.00


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Indonesian Ferry Sinks.  Peruvian Bus Plunges Off Cliff. African Train Attacked by Mobs. 

Whenever he picked up the newspaper, Carl Hoffman noticed those short news bulletins, which seemed about as far from the idea of tourism, travel as the pursuit of pleasure, as it was possible to get. So off he went, spending six months circumnavigating the globe on the world's worst conveyances: the statistically most dangerous airlines, the most crowded and dangerous ferries, the slowest buses, and the most rickety trains. The Lunatic Express takes us into the heart of the world, to some its most teeming cities and remotest places: from Havana to Bogotá on the perilous Cuban Airways. Lima to the Amazon on crowded night buses where the road is a washed-out track. Across Indonesia and Bangladesh by overcrowded ferries that kill 1,000 passengers a year. On commuter trains in Mumbai so crowded that dozens perish daily, across Afghanistan as the Taliban closes in, and, scariest of all, Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., by Greyhound.

The Lunatic Express is the story of traveling with seatmates and deckmates who have left home without American Express cards on conveyances that don't take Visa, and seldom take you anywhere you'd want to go. But it's also the story of traveling as it used to bea sometimes harrowing trial, of finding adventure in a modern, rapidly urbanizing world and the generosity of poor strangers, from ear cleaners to urban bus drivers to itinerant roughnecks, who make up most of the world's population. More than just an adventure story, The Lunatic Express is a funny, harrowing and insightful look at the world as it is, a planet full of hundreds of millions of people, mostly poor, on the move and seeking their fortunes.

Carl Hoffman has driven the Baja 1000, ridden reindeer in Siberia, sailed an open dinghy 250 miles, and traveled to 65 countries.  When he's able to stay put for more than a few months at a time, he lives in Washington, D.C., where his three children make fun of him on a pretty constant basis. He is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and Wired magazines, and his stories about travel and technology also appear in Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Men's Journal and Popular Mechanics.
Product Details ISBN: 9780767929813
ISBN-10: 0767929810
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: June 7th, 2011
Pages: 304
Language: English
“This book is fabulous. The lean description, the weave of old and new perspective, the personalities, the real-people wisdom, and that the danger is as real as we don't want to think it is.  The Lunatic Express is refreshing, liberating, and a paean to true Travel.  Hoffman opened my eyes to the off-the-grid traveler, clearly most of the world, and made me cry. The last pages struck home; the duality of escape and harbor are the blessing and curse of life.” -- Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler
 
 
“Reinvented the travel log as the supreme theater of paradox…a search for an unholy grail—something freakish; something dangerous; something authentic… Take this ride.” -Richard Bangs, Producer/Host of the Public Television series, Adventures with Purpose

"There are two possibilities: we move through the world, or the world moves through us. Carl Hoffman's clever, funny, fearsome book does both. It takes us into the frantic fear and pitiless extinctions that punctuate the simple struggle to get from home to anywhere, for so many of the world's people. But it also takes us into the heart of the writer: and that journey, with its beauty and compassion, its conscience and courage, is so thrilling that we hope the ride never ends." -- Gregory David Roberts, author of SHANTARAM

“Carl Hoffman, a courageous and interestingly untroubled man from Washington, D.C., has done a great service by reminding us, in The Lunatic Express, of this abiding truism: that the world’s ordinary traveler is compelled to endure all too much while undertaking the grim necessities of modern movement…Mr. Hoffman spent a fascinating year going around the world precisely as most of the world's plainest people do—not on JetBlue or United or American or Trailways, modes of transport that look positively heavenly by comparison, but in the threadbare conveyances of the planet's billions….He learns along the way a great deal about the habits of the world's peripatetic poor, and he writes about both the process and the people with verve and charity, making this book both extraordinary and extraordinarily valuable….It is a wise and clever book too, funny, warm and filled with astonishing characters. But it also represents an important exercise, casting an Argus-eye on a largely invisible but un-ignorable world. It is thus a book that deserves to be read widely. Perhaps in some airport in a blinding rainstorm in the Midwest, while waiting for yet another infernally delayed American plane.” – Simon Winchester, Wall Street Journal

OUR TOWNS, by Fallows NOTE: Meeting Online

Travel
Tuesday, March 2, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America By James Fallows, Deborah Fallows Cover Image

Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America (Paperback)

$16.95


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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • "James and Deborah Fallows have always moved to where history is being made.... They have an excellent sense of where world-shaping events are taking place at any moment" —The New York Times • The basis for the HBO documentary streaming on HBO Max

For five years, James and Deborah Fallows have travelled across America in a single-engine prop airplane. Visiting dozens of towns, the America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems—from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge—but it is also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics. At times of dysfunction on a national level, reform possibilities have often arisen from the local level. The Fallowses describe America in the middle of one of these creative waves.

Their view of the country is as complex and contradictory as America itself, but it also reflects the energy, the generosity and compassion, the dreams, and the determination of many who are in the midst of making things better. Our Towns is the story of their journey—and an account of a country busy remaking itself.
JAMES FALLOWS has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic for more than thirty-five years, reporting from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, and across the United States. He is the author of eleven previous books. His work has also appeared in many other magazines and as public-radio commentaries since the 1980s. He has won a National Book Award and a National Magazine Award. For two years he was President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter.

DEBORAH FALLOWS is a linguist and writer who holds a PhD in theoretical linguistics and is the author of two previous books. She has written for The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, and The Washington Monthly, and has worked at the Pew Research Center, Oxygen Media, and Georgetown University. She and her husband have two sons and five grandchildren.
Product Details ISBN: 9780525432449
ISBN-10: 0525432442
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Pages: 432
Language: English
"James and Deborah Fallows have always moved to where history is being made.... They have an excellent sense of where world-shaping events are taking place at any moment—and a fervent commitment to be there to see it happen.... In these cities, the Fallows argue, citizen participants are coping with declining industries, creating new civic cultures, assimilating waves of immigration, and collaborating across party-lines to revive everything from arts programs to tech seedbeds."—David Brooks, The New York Times

"A tonic of a book about the can-do America unready to succumb to rot."—Roger Cohen, The New York Times

“I’ve been waiting for this book for years. . . . Buy this book. . . . This country is more united than divided...and this book will prove it.”—Joe Scarborough, co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC

“Knowing the Fallows and their work, I assumed this new co-authored book of theirs would be typically savvy, sensitive, articulate and prescient. What I didn't expect was how a record of experiences of current middle American communities, through their lenses, would be such a page turner! I've guessed for many years that real change in this world would be effected by and within small communities—places where people feel connected and capable of impact on some larger scale. Our Towns is a monumental validation of that hypothesis—with real stories and real people, who are really getting things done. James & Deborah—thanks for your journey, your open and honest observations, and helping to shine light for us at the end of many tunnels.” —David Allen, author of Getting Things Done; the Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Our Towns will become a classic, joining the ranks of American odysseys from De Tocqueville to Dos Passos. The landscape unfurls beneath us; the language of different regions echoes in our ears. Most important, this book is a tonic for what ails us as a nation, a captivating story of energy and renewal across the land.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter, President & CEO, New America

“In the tradition of John Steinbeck and Studs Terkel, the Fallows have crisscrossed the country in search of the extraordinary strength and character of ordinary people and places. What they’ve found—in towns we know and others off the beaten path—should give us all great hope for the future.” —California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

"Reminiscent of Charles Kuralt's On The Road with Charles Kuralt, this unique look at the heart of America will bring hope and insight to readers. Highly recommended."—David Miller, Library Journal 

“An illuminating trip through ‘parts of the country generally missed by the media spotlight.’ . . . Writing with lively curiosity and open minds, the couple have created textured portraits of 29 American cities, from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Eastport, Maine, to Redlands, California. . . . A well-reported, optimistic portrait of America’s future.” Kirkus Reviews

“An eye-opening, keenly optimistic reminder of the strength of America’s vital center.” —Publishers Weekly

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