Worlds to Explore: Classic Tales of Travel and Adventure from National Geographic Info

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Average Ratings and Reviews
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3.66

127 Ratings

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Reviews for Worlds to Explore: Classic Tales of Travel and Adventure from National Geographic:

5

Jan 28, 2017

An insanely good book, made the better by finding a mint copy at my local library's annual book sale for just $2 - thanks to whoever donated this, but WHY WOULD YOU NOT KEEP THIS FOREVER?

As the description says, this is a collection of Nat Geo articles written between 1890 and 1957, when the magazine "went commercial" and started putting photographs on its covers. All the writers are experts in their areas, and while some of the names and achievements are well known - Teddy Roosevelt's epic An insanely good book, made the better by finding a mint copy at my local library's annual book sale for just $2 - thanks to whoever donated this, but WHY WOULD YOU NOT KEEP THIS FOREVER?

As the description says, this is a collection of Nat Geo articles written between 1890 and 1957, when the magazine "went commercial" and started putting photographs on its covers. All the writers are experts in their areas, and while some of the names and achievements are well known - Teddy Roosevelt's epic safari in Africa, Roy Chapman Andrews in Mongolia, Tenzing and Hillary on Everest, William Beebe in his bathysphere - the best pieces are by people I didn't (but obviously should) already know. Carl Akeley, the big game hunter and taxidermist behind the magnificent African mammals wing of the American Museum of Natural History; Major Keith-Roach, who ruled Darfur in isolation much like Kevin Costner in "Dances With Wolves;" nearly 50 stories in all and each of them a gem.

The book is divided into 12 geographic categories whose titles alone get the juices flowing - The World of Africa; Remote Corners of the Russian Empire; Along China's Turbulent Frontiers; Lost Worlds of the Amazon and Orinoco; The Himalayan Realm; etc. - and I could easily add this book to a dozen more categories than the few I've listed it under. Obviously, some stories are more interesting than others, and I ended up just skipping a few I didn't care about at the time (but may get back to someday.)

TO MY ARMCHAIR TRAVELING FRIENDS: I cannot over-recommend this 10-star book. It's a perfect nightstand companion - but I challenge you to stop after reading just one adventure before turning off the light! And best of all is, NEW COPIES OF THIS BOOK ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON FOR AROUND $6 (INCLUDING SHIPPING) - SO BUY A COPY TODAY!!

POSTSCRIPT: In retrospect - and in light of some of the other, more depressing books and movies I've been reading/watching recently, (e.g., Elizabeth Kolbert's excellent but brutally depressing The Sixth Extinction,; Leonardo DiCaprio's "Before The Flood") - it's interesting and ultimately disheartening that these stories end in the late '50's - because it wasn't long afterwards that mankind's "spirit of discovery" gave way to it's "thirst for exploitation." And so you have to wonder just how much of today's rapacious logging and drilling and poaching and everything else got it's start in the sort of "travel and adventure" so wonderfully described here. Certainly the world was a more unspoiled and diverse place when there were still large unexplored areas on the map. But what's done is done, and certainly none (or very little) of the blame for what happened next can be laid at the feet of the amazing people that this book celebrates. ...more
4

Oct 09, 2016

انا بحب الرحلات والكلام عنها
ياريت الكل يقراه
كتاب ممتع ومشوق جداااااااااا
4

Jul 22, 2019

Marvelous collection of articles from National Geographic magazine, mostly from a time before the pictures could help tell the story. Each starts with a short bio of the author - found myself looking for more information about many of them online as they weren't familiar names, only to discover they should have been because of the discoveries they had made, the books they had written, the lives they had led -& then each was a wonderful depiction of an adventure somewhere in the world (or up Marvelous collection of articles from National Geographic magazine, mostly from a time before the pictures could help tell the story. Each starts with a short bio of the author - found myself looking for more information about many of them online as they weren't familiar names, only to discover they should have been because of the discoveries they had made, the books they had written, the lives they had led -& then each was a wonderful depiction of an adventure somewhere in the world (or up in the stratosphere). The sort of book I can't read quickly, one essay after another, but still would like to have in my collection ...more
5

Nov 26, 2017

EXACTLY the kind of adventure book, true adventure that is, that I've been looking for! Simon Winchester helps to feed the exploration addiction that simmers and percolates in so many armchair adventurers. The added bonus is the authors of each piece were among the first to confront new cultures and original adventures. I liked, too, that the book was divided into geographical segments, easier to visualize when areas are presented in chunks as laid out by Jenkins and Winchester.
4

Jan 09, 2018

Really felt like travelling back in time, and across the entirety of the globe.
2

Jul 24, 2009

You know this book must be pretty dull if I gave it two stars, because if you've looked at any of my other reviews you'll see that I'm addicted to cheesy travel books, and yet this one (probably the most intellectual of them all) had me completely bored. Perhaps its the fact that it focuses more on the local wildlife than the culture. This really all depends on what sort of traveler you are, and what you like to get out of your travel books. I'm sure this book is great for many people, but for You know this book must be pretty dull if I gave it two stars, because if you've looked at any of my other reviews you'll see that I'm addicted to cheesy travel books, and yet this one (probably the most intellectual of them all) had me completely bored. Perhaps its the fact that it focuses more on the local wildlife than the culture. This really all depends on what sort of traveler you are, and what you like to get out of your travel books. I'm sure this book is great for many people, but for me, it was simply a struggle. ...more
5

May 27, 2012

I was only halfway into this book when I had to return it to its owner, and its been haunting me ever since! From describing a night camping in the desert with gypsies, to crazy cycling adventures, to an rhino attack on Roosevelt's entourage in Africa, here are epic journeys made by pioneers before globe-trotting became fashionable, when the only road *was* the one less travelled!

Rather than waiting to borrow from my friend again, I think I'm finally going to get myself a personal copy.
4

Jul 05, 2007

Not as good as actually being there, of course, but no malaria, either. Magnificent tales of inspired lunacy, near death and occasional scientific investigation from the late 19th and early 20th century.
3

Sep 12, 2008

I didn't enjoy all of the stories (especially those about killing lions and tigers. Boo!), but many of them were fun to read and shed light on what it was like to travel before the world became so interconnected.
3

Aug 16, 2008

It was interesting to read most of the stories, but the best of all were the pictures, splendid pictures takes the imagination to new levels.
0

Apr 08, 2010

Loved this book! A chain of extraordinary stories on how the world was open to those who wanted to know by those who had courage to explore the unknown!
0

Apr 29, 2009

This series of short stories is a good book to pick up from time to time to mentally travel to an exotic location.
3

Dec 14, 2007

B- Skimmed some of the stories, others didn't read, and others were quite fascinating, like the story about Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzen on Mt Everst

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