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It's December 1997 and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia's Far East. The tiger isn't just killing people, it's annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. To their horrified astonishment it emerges that the attacks are not random: the tiger is engaged in a vendetta. Injured and starving, it must be found before it strikes again, and the story becomes a battle for survival between the two main characters: Yuri Trush, the lead tracker, and the tiger itself. As John Vaillant vividly recreates the extraordinary events of that winter, he also gives us an unforgettable portrait of a spectacularly beautiful region where plants and animals exist that are found nowhere else on earth, and where the once great Siberian Tiger - the largest of its species, which can weigh over 600 lbs at more than 10 feet long - ranges daily over vast territories of forest and mountain, its numbers diminished to a fraction of what they once were. We meet the native tribes who for centuries have worshipped and lived alongside tigers - even sharing their kills with them - in a natural balance. We witness the first arrival of settlers, soldiers and hunters in the tiger's territory in the 19th century and 20th century, many fleeing Stalinism. And we come to know the Russians of today - such as the poacher Vladimir Markov - who, crushed by poverty, have turned to poaching for the corrupt, high-paying Chinese markets. Throughout we encounter surprising theories of how humans and tigers may have evolved to coexist, how we may have developed as scavengers rather than hunters and how early Homo sapiens may have once fit seamlessly into the tiger's ecosystem. Above all, we come to understand the endangered Siberian tiger, a highly intelligent super-predator, and the grave threat it faces as logging and poaching reduce its habitat and numbers - and force it to turn at bay. Beautifully written and deeply informative, The Tiger is a gripping tale of man and nature in collision, that leads inexorably to a final showdown in a clearing deep in the Siberian forest. From the Hardcover edition.
In The Great Soul of Siberia, renowned tiger researcher Sooyong Park tracks three generations of Siberian tigers living in remote southeastern Russia. Reminiscent of the way Timothy Treadwell (the so-called Grizzly Man) immersed himself in the lives of bears, Park sets up underground bunkers to observe the tigers, living thrillingly close to these beautiful but dangerous apex predators. At the same time, he draws from twenty years of experience and research to focus on the Siberian tigers’ losing battle against poaching and diminishing habitat. Over the two years of his harrowing stakeout, Park’s poignant and poetic observations of the tigers draw a fiercely compassionate portrait of these elusive, endangered creatures.
African American historian Gerald Early refers to Jack Johnson (1878-1946), the first African American heavyweight champion of the world, as "the first African American pop culture icon." Johnson is a seminal and iconic figure in the history of race and sport in America. This manuscript is the translation of a memoir by Johnson that was published in French, has never before been translated, and is virtually unknown. Originally published as a series of articles in 1911 and then in revised form as a book in 1914, it covers Johnson's colorful life and battles, both inside and outside the ring, up until and including his famous defeat of Jim Jeffries in Reno, on July 4, 1910. In addition to providing information about Johnson's life, it is a fascinating exercise in self-mythologizing that provides substantial insights into how Johnson perceived himself and wished to be perceived by others. Johnson's personal voice comes through clearly-brash, clever, theatrical, and invariably charming. The memoir makes it easy to see how and why Johnson served as an important role model for Muhammad Ali and why so many have compared the two.
A meditation on escaping the chaos of modern life and rediscovering the luxury of solitude. Winner of the Prix Médicis for nonfiction, The Consolations of the Forest is a Thoreau-esque quest to find solace, taken to the extreme. No stranger to inhospitable places, Sylvain Tesson exiles himself to a wooden cabin on Siberia’s Lake Baikal, a full day’s hike from any "neighbor," with his thoughts, his books, a couple of dogs, and many bottles of vodka for company. Writing from February to July, he shares his deep appreciation for the harsh but beautiful land, the resilient men and women who populate it, and the bizarre and tragic history that has given Siberia an almost mythological place in the imagination. Rich with observation, introspection, and the good humor necessary to laugh at his own folly, Tesson’s memoir is about the ultimate freedom of owning your own time. Only in the hands of a gifted storyteller can an experiment in isolation become an exceptional adventure accessible to all. By recording his impressions in the face of silence, his struggles in a hostile environment, his hopes, doubts, and moments of pure joy in communion with nature, Tesson makes a decidedly out-of-the-ordinary experience relatable. The awe and joy are contagious, and one comes away with the comforting knowledge that "as long as there is a cabin deep in the woods, nothing is completely lost."
The Golden Spruce is the story of a glorious natural wonder, the man who destroyed it, and the fascinating, troubling context in which his act took place. A tree with luminous glowing needles, the golden spruce was unique and, biologically speaking, should never have reached maturity; Grant Hadwin, the man who cut it down, was passionate, extraordinarily well-suited to wilderness survival, and to some degree unbalanced. But as John Vaillant shows, the extraordinary tree stood at the intersection of contradictory ways of looking at the world; the conflict between them is one reason it was destroyed. Taking in history, geography, science and spirituality, this book raises some of the most pressing questions facing society today. The golden spruce stood in the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), an unusually rich ecosystem where the normal lines between species blur. Without romanticizing, Vaillant shows that this understanding is typified by the Haida, the native people who have lived there for millennia, and for whom the golden spruce was an integral part of their history and mythology. But seen a different way, the golden spruce stood in block 6 of Tree Farm License 39. Grant Hadwin had worked as a remote scout for timber companies. But over time Hadwin was pushed into a paradox: the better he was at his job, the more the world he loved was destroyed. On January 20, 1997, with the temperature near zero, Hadwin swam across the Yakoun River with a chainsaw. He tore into the golden spruce, leaving it so unstable that the first wind would push it over. A few weeks later, Hadwin set off in a kayak across the treacherous Hecate Strait to face court charges. He has not been heard from since. Vaillant describes Hadwin’s actions in engrossing detail, but also provides the complex environmental, political and economic context in which they took place. The Golden Spruce forces one to ask: can the damage our civilization exacts on the natural world be justified?
This “extraordinary” novel of one man’s border crossing reveals “a human history of sorrow and suffering, all of it beginning with the thirst to be free” (NPR). Héctor is trapped. The water truck, sealed to hide its human cargo, has broken down. The coyotes have taken all the passengers’ money for a mechanic and have not returned. Héctor finds a name in his friend César’s phone: AnniMac. A name with an American number. He must reach her, both for rescue and to pass along the message César has come so far to deliver. But are his messages going through? Over four days, as water and food run low, Héctor tells how he came to this desperate place. His story takes us from Oaxaca—its rich culture, its rapid change—to the dangers of the border, exposing the tangled ties between Mexico and El Norte. And it reminds us of the power of storytelling and the power of hope, as Héctor fights to ensure his message makes it out of the truck and into the world. Both an outstanding suspense novel and an arresting window into the relationship between two great cultures, The Jaguar’s Children shows how deeply interconnected all of us are. “This is what novels can do—illuminate shadowed lives, enable us to contemplate our own depths of kindness, challenge our beliefs about fate. Vaillant’s use of fact to inspire fiction brings to mind a long list of powerful novels from the past decade or so: What is the What by Dave Eggers; The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif; The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.” —Amanda Eyre Ward, The New York Times Book Review “[A] heartbreaker . . . Wrenching . . . with a voice fresh and plangent enough to disarm resistance.” —The Boston Globe “Fearless.” —The Globe and Mail
“The quintessential novel of boxing and corruption.” (USA Today). “Toro” Molina certainly looks the part. He’s built like the Minotaur, but few would guess at the fear consuming the Argentine farmer and former circus performer after he’s brought to the United States to be the next heavyweight champion of the world. The problem is that Molina can’t box at all. But monstrous fight promoter Nick Latka fixes every fight on the way to the championship, and builds Toro’s renown with the help of cynical sports journalist Ed Lewis and a host of lackeys. First published in 1947, The Harder They Fall stands as a powerful exposé of professional boxing by one of the sport’s true poet laureates. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Budd Schulberg including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate.

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