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Sunday, January 25, 2009
The 100 Greatest (Non-Fiction) Adventure Books of All Time
Scanning through some stacks of old magazines to purge from my belongings to see what interesting things I might glean from them before they go to the recycle bin or the resale shop -- Here's a good one: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time as ranked by National Geographic Adventure about five years ago. (Better late than never.) The adjective "adventure" does not mean Allan Quartermain, for instance, but rather IRL figures like T.E. Lawrence, Charles Darwin, Charles Lindbergh, Robert Falcon Scott, Sir Richard Burton, Mark Twain, Ernest Shackleton, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Jacques Cousteau, Theodore Roosevelt, and others. For example:
17. Kon-Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl (1950) Nine balsa-wood logs, a big square sail, a bamboo "cabin" with a roof made of banana leaves—thus did Norwegian Heyerdahl and his companions set sail from Peru toward Polynesia to prove a point: that the South Pacific was settled from the east. Point proved? Maybe not, but it's one hell of a ride—a daring tale, dramatically told.