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Over The Horizon

5 Books | by Matt Checkowski

Non-fiction to faraway places.

The Old Patagonian Express

The Old Patagonian Express

Books

Each time Paul Theroux takes a trip - "The Great Railway Bazaar, Riding the Iron Rooster" - the result is unmistakably Paul Theroux. And he has never been sharper than in "The Old Patagonian Express." Starting with a rush-hour subway ride to South Station in Boston to catch the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, he winds up on the polky, wandering Old Patagonian Express steam engine ("a kind of demented samovar on wheels"), which comes to a halt in a desolate land of cracked hills and thorn bushes.

Predators I Have Known

Predators I Have Known

Books

An adrenaline-fueled travel memoir of life in the wild among the planet’s most ferocious and fascinating predators.Over the last forty years, New York Times–bestselling author  Alan Dean Foster has journeyed around the globe to encounter nature’s most fearsome creatures. His travels have taken him into the heart of the Amazon rain forest on the trail of deadly tangarana ants, on an elephant ride across the sweeping green plains of central India in search of the elusive Bengal tiger, and into the waters of the Australian coast to come face-to-face with great white sharks. Packed with pulse-pounding adventure and spiked with rapier wit, Predators I Have Known is a thrilling look at life and death in the wild.

The Innocents Abroad

The Innocents Abroad

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This travel-book chronicles Twain's pleasure cruise on board the chartered vessel 'Quaker City' through Europe and the Holy Land with a group of religious pilgrims. Twain makes constant criticisms of various aspects of culture and society he meets while on his journey, some more serious than others, which gradually turn from witty and comedic to biting and bitter as he progresses closer to the Holy Land. Show Excerpt needed it: the bold originality, the extraordinary character, the seductive nature, and the vastness of the enterprise provoked comment everywhere and advertised it in every household in the land. Who could read the program of the excursion without longing to make one of the party? I will insert it here. It is almost as good as a map. As a text for this book, nothing could be better: EXCURSION TO THE HOLY LAND, EGYPT, THE CRIMEA, GREECE, AND INTERMEDIATE POINTS OF INTEREST. BROOKLYN, February 1st, 1867 The undersigned will make an excursion as above during the coming season, and begs to submit to you the following programme: A first-class steamer, to be under his own command, and capable of accommodating at least one hundred and fifty cabin passengers, will be selected, in which will be taken a select company, numbering not more than three-fourths of the ship's capacity. There is good reason to believe that this company can be easily made up in this immediate vicinity, of mutual friends and acquaintances. The steamer will be provided witht

Without You, There Is No Us

Without You, There Is No Us

Books

A haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign   Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki has gone undercover as a missionary and a teacher. Over the next six months, she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them English, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at PUST is lonely and claustrophobic, especially for Suki, whose letters are read by censors and who must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but from her colleagues—evangelical Christian missionaries who don't know or choose to ignore that Suki doesn't share their faith. As the weeks pass, she is mystified by how easily her students lie, unnerved by their obedience to the regime. At the same time, they offer Suki tantalizing glimpses of their private selves—their boyish enthusiasm, their eagerness to please, the flashes of curiosity that have not yet been extinguished. She in turn begins to hint at the existence of a world beyond their own—at such exotic activities as surfing the Internet or traveling freely and, more dangerously, at electoral democracy and other ideas forbidden in a country where defectors risk torture and execution. But when Kim Jong-il dies, and the boys she has come to love appear devastated, she wonders whether the gulf between her world and theirs can ever be bridged. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life in the world's most unknowable country, and at the privileged young men she calls "soldiers and slaves."

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