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10 Signs You’ve Been Stripping Too Long

Chuck Palahniuk, author of “Fight Club,” has just come out with “Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon,” a loving ode to his home town, Portland, Oregon, which, among other things, has the highest concentration of nude dancing clubs in the nation (with the possible exception of Anchorage, Alaska). “Sign #1: At the store, you lean over and pick ... Read More »

The Last Place on Earth

The Last Place on Earth" describes the race for the South Pole: no rattling yarn of derring do, but a piercing analysis of the differences in personality, management style and philosophy of exploration that meant that one side (Amundsen) won the race, and came back safe and well, and the other (Scott) lost the race, and perished on their return. Fascinating, and full of lessons to be drawn for life and business. Read More »

Old Glory

Crouched unger the willow below the mill, I lobbed my baited hook into the pool and watched the water spread. The Mississippi was my best invention; a dream which was always there, like a big friendly room with an open door, into which I could wander at will. Read More »

The Backpacker

The Backpacker is a true story about an English office worker named John Harris who, near the end of a three-week holiday in India, decides to chuck a life of security and monotony and begin a life on the backroads of Asia. In this tale, John takes the reader on a wild ride through the islands of Thailand, down Malaysia ... Read More »

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Pop-science writing is a hard thing to do well, and books frequently fail because they're pitched just over the heads of the intended audience. If ever there was a writer sure to avoid that pitfall, Bill Bryson is the guy. Read More »

The Bad Guide to Vienna

Everything about Vienna except what you need to know Read More »

Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before – Tony Horwitz

“Ambition leads me not only further than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go.” - The Journal of Captain James Cook. So opens Blue Latitudes, author Tony Horwitz’s searching, thoughtful and funny examination of Captain James Cook, whose three great voyages to the Pacific from 1768 to 1779 ... Read More »

1 Million Strangled Ducklings Can’t Be Wrong

Paris' legendary restaurant Tour d'Argent will serve its 1 millionth duck next week. But the writeup sounds as if it were written by PETA or the author of the Crunchy Frog sketch. Read More »

At Yacquitepec — A Ghost Mountain poem

In the 1960s, a counter-culture sprung up that preached self-sufficiency, living off the land, doing your own thing, flaunting convention and running around as naked and natural as the land around you. Before the counter-culture was cool, there was Marshal South. In 1932, at the height of the depression, South decided he had had enough of civilization. He packed his ... Read More »

The Proper Walking Process

Did I ever mention that three years of my elementary school education and all four years of my high school ordeal were spent in Japan? Oh. Sorry — I could’ve sworn I had said it somewhere. And no, I don’t/can’t speak Japanese. In high school, my mother convinced me to take Spanish. She said I would have the opportunity to ... Read More »