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National Bestseller and Honorable Mention Award Winner in the Outdoor Literature category of the 2017 National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) — “A beautiful book about family and finding a way to achieve more than you ever thought possible.” —Brad Meltzer, NYT bestselling author Erik Weihenmayer is the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Descending carefully, he and his team picked their way across deep crevasses and through the deadly Khumbu Icefall; when the mountain was finally behind him, Erik knew he was going to live. His expedition leader slapped him on the back and said something that would affect the course of Erik’s life: “Don’t make Everest the greatest thing you ever do.” No Barriers is Erik’s response to that challenge. It is the moving story of his journey since descending Mount Everest: from leading expeditions around the world with blind Tibetan teenagers to helping injured soldiers climb their way home from war, from adopting a son from Nepal to facing the most terrifying reach of his life: to solo kayak the thunderous whitewater of the Grand Canyon. Along the course of Erik’s journey, he meets other trailblazers—adventurers, scientists, artists, and activists—who, despite trauma, hardship, and loss, have broken through barriers of their own. These pioneers show Erik surprising ways forward that surpass logic and defy traditional thinking. Like the rapids of the Grand Canyon, created by inexorable forces far beneath the surface, No Barriers is a dive into the heart and mind at the core of the turbulent human experience. It is an exploration of the light that burns in all of us, the obstacles that threaten to extinguish that light, and the treacherous ascent towards growth and rebirth.
The incredible bestselling book from the author of No Barriers and The Adversity Advantage Erik Weihenmayer was born with retinoscheses, a degenerative eye disorder that would leave him blind by the age of thirteen. But Erik was determined to rise above this devastating disability and lead a fulfilling and exciting life. In this poignant and inspiring memoir, he shares his struggle to push past the limits imposed on him by his visual impairment-and by a seeing world. He speaks movingly of the role his family played in his battle to break through the barriers of blindness: the mother who prayed for the miracle that would restore her son's sight and the father who encouraged him to strive for that distant mountaintop. And he tells the story of his dream to climb the world's Seven Summits, and how he is turning that dream into astonishing reality (something fewer than a hundred mountaineers have done). From the snow-capped summit of McKinley to the towering peaks of Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro to the ultimate challenge, Mount Everest, this is a story about daring to dream in the face of impossible odds. It is about finding the courage to reach for that ultimate summit, and transforming your life into something truly miraculous. "An inspiration to other blind people and plenty of us folks who can see just fine."—Jon Krakauer, New York Times bestselling author of Into Thin Air From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the acclaimed author of Conquistador comes this thrilling account of one of history’s greatest adventures of discovery. With cinematic immediacy and meticulous attention to historical detail, here is the true story of a legendary sixteenth-century explorer and his death-defying navigation of the Amazon—river of darkness, pathway to gold. In 1541, the brutal conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro and his well-born lieutenant Francisco Orellana set off from Quito in search of La Canela, South America’s rumored Land of Cinnamon, and the fabled El Dorado, “the golden man.” Driving an enormous retinue of mercenaries, enslaved natives, horses, hunting dogs, and other animals across the Andes, they watched their proud expedition begin to disintegrate even before they descended into the nightmarish jungle, following the course of a powerful river. Soon hopelessly lost in the swampy labyrinth, their numbers diminishing daily through disease, starvation, and Indian attacks, Pizarro and Orellana made a fateful decision to separate. While Pizarro eventually returned home barefoot and in rags, Orellana and fifty-seven men, in a few fragile craft, continued downriver into the unknown reaches of the mighty Amazon, serenaded by native war drums and the eerie cries of exotic predators. Theirs would be the greater glory. Interweaving eyewitness accounts of the quest with newly uncovered details, Buddy Levy reconstructs the seminal journey that has electrified adventurers ever since, as Orellana became the first European to navigate and explore the entire length of the world’s largest river. Levy gives a long-overdue account of the native populations—some peaceful and welcoming, offering sustenance and life-saving guidance, others ferociously hostile, subjecting the invaders to gauntlets of unremitting attack and intimations of terrifying rituals. And here is the Amazon itself, a powerful presence whose every twist and turn held the promise of new wonders both natural and man-made, as well as the ever-present risk of death—a river that would hold Orellana in its irresistible embrace to the end of his life. Overflowing with violence and beauty, nobility and tragedy, River of Darkness is both riveting history and a breathtaking adventure that will sweep readers along on an epic voyage unlike any other. From the Hardcover edition.
In an astonishing work of scholarship that reads like an adventure thriller, historian Buddy Levy records the last days of the Aztec empire and the two men at the center of an epic clash of cultures. “I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only with gold.” —Hernán Cortés It was a moment unique in human history, the face-to-face meeting between two men from civilizations a world apart. Only one would survive the encounter. In 1519, Hernán Cortés arrived on the shores of Mexico with a roughshod crew of adventurers and the intent to expand the Spanish empire. Along the way, this brash and roguish conquistador schemed to convert the native inhabitants to Catholicism and carry off a fortune in gold. That he saw nothing paradoxical in his intentions is one of the most remarkable—and tragic—aspects of this unforgettable story of conquest. In Tenochtitlán, the famed City of Dreams, Cortés met his Aztec counterpart, Montezuma: king, divinity, ruler of fifteen million people, and commander of the most powerful military machine in the Americas. Yet in less than two years, Cortés defeated the entire Aztec nation in one of the most astonishing military campaigns ever waged. Sometimes outnumbered in battle thousands-to-one, Cortés repeatedly beat seemingly impossible odds. Buddy Levy meticulously researches the mix of cunning, courage, brutality, superstition, and finally disease that enabled Cortés and his men to survive. Conquistador is the story of a lost kingdom—a complex and sophisticated civilization where floating gardens, immense wealth, and reverence for art stood side by side with bloodstained temples and gruesome rites of human sacrifice. It’s the story of Montezuma—proud, spiritual, enigmatic, and doomed to misunderstand the stranger he thought a god. Epic in scope, as entertaining as it is enlightening, Conquistador is history at its most riveting. From the Hardcover edition.
Η εξαιρετικά καλογραμμένη συλλογή διηγημάτων του Anthony Marra, σκιαγραφεί μια πλειάδα αξέχαστων χαρακτήρων των οποίων οι ζωές διασταυρώνονται μεταξύ τους με τρόπο σπαραχτικό. Την δεκαετία του 1930 στο Λένινγκραντ, ένας ζωγράφος-διορθωτής επεξεργάζεται επίμαχες φωτογραφίες για λογαριασμό του Κόμματος του Στάλιν, σβήνοντας και αλλοιώνοντας πρόσωπα με τον αερογράφο του. Μαγεμένος από την εικόνα μιας μπαλαρίνας, βρίσκεται κατηγορούμενος για σχέση με την πολωνική κατασκοπεία. Μια ομάδα γυναικών αφηγείται τις ιστορίες της αλλά και αυτές των γιαγιάδων τους, πρώην κρατουμένων της Γκουλάγκ, που εγκαταστάθηκαν σε πόλη ορυχείων της Σιβηρίας. Δύο ζεύγη αδερφών μοιράζονται μια άγρια, προστατευτική αγάπη. Νεαροί άνδρες σε ολόκληρη τη πρώην Σοβιετική Ένωση αντιμετωπίζουν τη βία στο σπίτι και στο στρατόπεδο. Μεγάλες θυσίες γίνονται και στο όνομα ενός πετρελαιοειδούς τοπίου, το οποίο είναι συνηθισμένο εκτός από το σχεδόν ακατανόητο ειρηνικό παρελθόν που απεικονίζει. Ο Τσάρος της αγάπης και της τέκνο, με εκπληκτική πρόζα μιλά για τη ματαιότητα της προσπάθειας να εξαλειφθούν άνθρωποι και γεγονότα, για την ανθρώπινη προσαρμοστικότητα, το παράλογο της ζωής και του πολέμου, αλλά και το πόσο μικρή είναι η ζωή μας σε σχέση με το μέγεθος του σύμπαντος.

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