The Travelling Cat Chronicles
by Hiro Arikawa
"A life-affirming anthem to kindness and self-sacrifice, The Travelling Cat Chronicles shows how the smallest things can provide the greatest joy. We take journeys to explore exotic new places and to return to the comforts of home, to visit old acquaintances and to make new friends. But the most important journey is the one that shows us how to follow our hearts... An instant international bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles has charmed readers around the world. With simple yet descriptive prose,this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru's longtime friends. Or so Nana is led to believe..."
A Dog Named Beautiful: A Marine, a Dog, and a Long Road Trip Home by Rob KuglerStarring: Rob Kugler, a Marine veteran and photographer, and Bella, the sweet chocolate lab who was by his side when he returned home from war and dealt with the loss of his brother, who died fighting in Iraq.
What it's about: their poignant road trip around the U.S. after Bella was diagnosed with incurable cancer, as well as Rob's thoughts about purpose and life and his memories of the military and his family.
Will I need a hanky? Probably -- but you'll have some laughs too!
See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy
by Frances Mayes
What it is: an evocative, recipe-complemented travelogue through 13 regions of Italy by the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, who's often joined by her husband and her teenage grandson as she eats sumptuous meals in lovely locales.
Read this next: for more books that detail the good eats and fascinating sights in the off-the-beaten-path parts of Italy, pick up Elizabeth Helman Minchilli's Eating My Way Through Italy (also with recipes) or Matt Goulding's Pasta, Pane, Vino (which includes many color photos).
Jungle of Stone: The Extraordinary Journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick... by William CarlsenWhat it's about: Author William Carlsen explored the Yucatan jungle, retracing the steps of U.S. ambassador to Central America John L. Stephens and British architect Frederick Catherwood, who, in 1839, uncovered amazing 2,000-year-old Mayan ruins that forced a rethinking of recorded history.
Don't miss: how Carlsen skillfully brings Stephens' and Catherwood's personalities to life while recounting their adventures.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon KrakauerWhat it's about: Researching the commercialization of Mt. Everest in 1996, Jon Krakauer set out with a guide and other groups to trek to the summit. When a snowstorm hit, several people died, including two of the best mountaineers in the world.
What it is: a harrowing and evocative firsthand account of the events.
Read this next: The Climb, by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt, which offers a competing viewpoint of the tragedy; or the soon-to-be-released essay collection Classic Krakauer, out in October.
Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert KursonStarring: dedicated treasure hunters John Mattera and John Chatterton as well as legendary technology-averse hunter Tracy Bowden.
What happens: Author Robert Kurson (whose Shadow Divers also features Chatterton) compellingly traces the men's high-stakes quest to find the Golden Fleece, a sunken ship that once belonged to notorious English sea captain-turned-pirate Joseph Bannister.
For fans of: Stephan Talty's Empire of Blue Water, pirates, nautical history, and swashbuckling tales of derring-do.
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton SidesWhat it's about: the ill-fated 1879 expedition of the USS Jeannette, led by U.S. naval officer and explorer George Washington De Long, who was looking for a passage to the North Pole via the Bering Strait.
What's inside: a dramatic account -- informed by letters, diaries, expedition records, and news reports -- of what happened when the ship became trapped in pack ice for two years.
Read this next: Paul Watson's Ice Ghosts, which details the history of and contemporary search for shipwrecks from an 1845 Arctic expedition.
Contact your librarian for more great books!