“I began to get tired of staying in one place so long.” So said Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known to all as Mark Twain. Ironically, the quintessential American writer spent many years of his life living and traveling around the world. Sometimes because of wanderlust, sometimes because of economic necessity, he was on the go constantly. And along the way he encountered colorful characters, strange institutions and cultures, a variety of adventures and misadventures, all of which he incorporated into his travel writing-writing that reflects Twain’s matchless eye for irony, humor and, now and then, tragedy. Mark Twain on Travel is a timeless collection of some of Twain’s best writing, as he catalogued the antics of what he came to call “the damned human race.”
in Jack London on Adventure, are excerpts from his well-loved works, which were the result of his restless quest for experience, combined with “his observations of unalterable facts,” as editor Terry Mort writes in his introduction. Lose yourself in the sheer unending quietude of the North in “White Fang” and “The White Silence”; enter into the listless, worried mind of an elder in “The League of the Old Men”; prepare to sail around the world for seven years’ time alongside the author-turned-captain, himself, in “The Cruise of the Snark,” where the famed boat is built with each dollar earned from London’s writings; and peek into the observations of seasoned sailors and the foolish passengers they carry in “The Sea Wolf.” Mort ends with the statement, “A complex man and artist is hard to capture in a single image,” but in terms of the unlikely and unknown, London’s works here capture the thrill that burned in him so brightly.
Though he made his name and his fortune as an author of Western novels, Zane Grey’s best writing has to do with fishing. There he was free from the conventions of the Western genre and the expectations of the market, and he was able to blend his talent for narrative with his keen eye for detail and humor, much of it self-deprecating, into books and articles that are both informative and exciting.
The eve of World War II. A Hollywood producer’s murdered wife. Her husband’s guilty memory of a shipboard romance. A stolen painting signed “Picasso.” French gangsters. A beautiful courtesan. A shoot-out in a brasserie. All these and more confront Private Detective Riley Fitzhugh as he travels from Hollywood to the Riviera, Paris, and London in search of his client’s vanished dream girl and some answers.
When the British defeated the French at Quebec in 1759, they not only guaranteed Britain’s acquisition of Canada but also, unwittingly, paved the way for the American Revolution. But this is a larger story than just the single day of battle on September 13, 1759. The final action was the culmination of a summer-long campaign involving a series of engagements between the British Army, American Rangers and the Royal Navy on one side, and the French regulars, the Canadian militia and Indian allies on the other.
“If I were asked to teach someone to fish with a fly I would require that he read this book first. One of the acid tests of an introductory book…is that the text allow the reader to learn a skill independent of the illustrations. Fly casting is very difficult to teach in person, and even more so in print, yet this book contains the best, the most interesting, and the most effective introduction to fly casting I have ever read. I think Terry Mort puts the emphasis in the right places…He doesn’t neglect entomology, but he devotes twice as many words to trout behavior, a far more interesting and useful pastime if you must introduce a scientific bent into your fishing. If this is your first fly-fishing book, you are very fortunate – you’re starting off on the right track. If you’ve read others before, I think you’ll agree with me that you wish this had been your first.” — Tom Rosenbauer, Author of The Orvis Guide to Small Stream Fly Fishing
A fascinating account of a dramatic, untold chapter in Hemingway’s life—his pursuit of German U-boats during World War II. From the summer of 1942 until the end of 1943, Ernest Hemingway lived in Havana, Cuba, and spent much of his time in the Gulf Stream hunting German sub- marines in his wooden fishing boat, The Pilar. This phase of Hemingway’s life has only been briefly touched upon in biographies of Hemingway but proved to be of enormous importance to him. At the time, the U-boats were torpedoing dozens of Allied tankers each month and threatened America’s ability to wage war in Europe. Hemingway’s patrols were supported by the U.S. Navy, and he viewed these dangerous missions as both patriotic duty and pure adventure. But they were more than that: they provided some literary basis for The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream.
In February 1861, the twelve-year-old son of Arizona rancher John Ward was kidnapped by Apaches. Ward followed their trail and reported the incident to patrols at Fort Buchanan, blaming a band of Chiricahuas led by the infamous warrior Cochise. Though Ward had no proof that Cochise had kidnapped his son, Lt. George Bascom organized a patrol and met with the Apache leader, who, not suspecting anything was amiss, had brought along his wife, his brother, and two sons. Despite Cochise’s assertions that he had not taken the boy and his offer to help in the search, Bascom immediately took Cochise’s family hostage and demanded the return of the boy. An incensed Cochise escaped the meeting tent amidst flying bullets and vowed revenge.What followed that precipitous encounter would ignite a Southwestern frontier war between the Chiricahuas and the US Army that would last twenty-five years.
The second novel in the Ethan Grey trilogy. Ethan Grey has seen too many good people die to regret killing the bad ones. An educated man, a former sailor who shelled Vicksburg for the Union Navy, Grey has come to Hell’s own training ground on the Mexican border. The Pinkertons want him to find out who hijacked an army payroll and left eight soldiers dead beneath the blazing sun. Amid ambush and bloody betrayal, he’s right at home.
The best baseball novel of the season – ANY season. No fans are more perpetually disappointed than those of the Chicago Cubs—a team that has not won a World Series since 1908. And chief among the forlorn is Jack Frost. From his assigned seat in the cafeteria at the Bide Awhile Rest Home, Jack reads the sports pages every day and checks out the standings. In the middle of June, the Cubs are already thirteen and a half games out. Last place again—or rather, still. Into this sea of depression drops one Clarence Beazely, a new resident at the home and a baseball fan. But Beazely is not your everyday fan, nor is he your everyday rest home resident. He has extraordinary powers, and in a very friendly way he offers Jack a tantalizing deal. Of course it comes at a cost, but if the price seems a little steep, does it really matter as long as the Cubs might have a chance to be… WORLD CHAMPIONS?
The first novel in the Ethan Grey trilogy. “It’s not my fight,” said Ethan Grey. It didn’t matter. Mexico was at war, and he was in it. He’d wanted a cruise in warm waters, a chance to forget the war he’d just fought, the War Between the States. But the ship he chose so casually had another mission, and like it or not Ethan Grey was on board. The storms at sea, the battles with enemy ships, the long trip overland through hostile territory, the flight from French mercenaries; it became his war, too. But this time, at least it was simpler. It was just a fight for his friends. And for Maria.
The third novel in the Ethan Grey trilogy. T. A. [Terry] Mort is a shining new star in Western fiction. His novels are drenched in period detail and evoke a time in American Western history (the 1880s) that few writers have been able to capture successfully. His work is colorful, with solid, believable characterizations. Mort writes in the tradition of the finest Western storytellers: Ernest Haycox, Louis L’Amour, and Larry McMurtry. Mort’s protagonist, Ethan Gray, like Brand’s Destry and L’Amour’s Sackett Brothers, is larger than life, but nevertheless believably human.” In this book Ethan travels the length of Arizona in pursuit of assorted criminals, and along the way, to his surprise, he also acquires a family.
In the summer of 1874, Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer led an expedition of some 1000 troops and more than one hundred wagons into the Black Hills of South Dakota. This fascinating work of narrative history tells the little-known story of this exploratory mission and reveals how it set the stage for the climactic Battle of the Little Bighorn two years later. What is the significance of this obscure foray into the Black Hills? The short answer, as the author explains, is that Custer found gold. This discovery in the context of the worst economic depression the country had yet experienced spurred a gold rush that brought hordes of white prospectors to the Sioux’s sacred grounds. The result was the trampling of an 1868 treaty that had granted the Black Hills to the Sioux and their inevitable retaliation against the white invasion.
Hollywood in the Thirties: Nazi saboteurs, gangsters running gambling ships, British spies and diplomats, FBI agents, starlets looking for the big break, cheap hustlers on the fringes of the law, local cops – some are friends and some are adversaries, but all are involved somehow with Riley Fitzhugh, a private eye who’s wondering whether the death of an English aristocrat really was an accident.