In a Sunburned Country
Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity.
Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.
Bill Bryson has an excellent way with words, especially with his descriptive writing. For a travel writer, I suppose this is a must. He's also a humorist, and I laughed out loud on at least a half a dozen occasions while enjoying his adventures down under. Particularly amusing were his descriptions of a Cricket match, of a particularly bad hotel in Darwin and and of a drunken night in the Outback.
The Rough Guide to Australia (Rough Guide to…)
The Rough Guide to Australia is the indispensable travel companion to this vast, stunning, totally unique destination. Whether you're making a bee-line for the beaches, stepping out on a wine tour, heading-off on an Outback adventure or packing it...
This is another guide written in the same sort of format as Lets Go and Lonely Planet. It is a lot thicker than the Lets Go version and believe me, weight and space are important when lugging the thing around a whole continent. Let's Go also has a fair bit more information than Rough Guide in fewer pages. I also don't like the paper the pages are made of in this book as it's not a nice texture, is very thin and the pages stick together when the book's been inside a hot backpack and just don't feel nice turning the pages when it's a bit humid. Rough Guide is also rather opinionated on everything from each hostel to local information booth staff friendliness. I must say I do agree with some comments but a lot I never had the same experiences. That's the thing about travelling one person can have a great experience with a tourism operator and the next not so good. It depends who else is on the tour, in the room, which staff member you get and so on. If this was a constantly updated website that encourages feedback and changed the information regularly than I would see a place for it but not in a guide book. If you follow the author's opinion you'll miss out on some great experiences and even the places he recommends you may still have a bad time at. That's just the way tourism is. I'd recommend Lets Go over this for backpacking around Australia.
Sailing Down the Moonbeam [Kindle Edition]
With a destination loosely defined as the rest of the world, Mary and her husband Tom leave family, friends and successful careers for a multi-year sailing voyage.
As the voyage takes her farther and farther from her traditional support systems, her world becomes more and more defined by forces outside her control. Mary's travels through often uncharted island communities, provides a compelling metaphor for a journey of self-discovery.
Mary Gottschalk's book is a lesson for all mid-life adults who believe they know themselves and their spouses well until they choose to leave the context of lives they've carefully arranged to pursue a dream - when they leave a life out of the comfort zone.
This book isn't about the technical preparations to prepare a boat for a sail around the world. No. It's a lesson about how your closest relationships change in unforseen circumstances (circumstances beyond your control) such as sailing around the world or navigating other bumpy waters life presents (job loss, crippling illness, death of a parent or spouse, moving to a new city). Part soap opera, part adventure travel book, part self-help guide, this book is a quick read and a cautionary tale for every couple that dreams about packing it all in to sail the world.