It's time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world.
Talk about a bucket list: here are natural wonders—the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that's so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan's 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England.
Created by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, ATLAS OBSCURA revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveler as the die-hard adventurer.
Anyone can be a tourist. ATLAS OBSCURA is for the explorer.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS, FOND FAREWELLS, DEATHBED DIATRIBES, AND EXCLAMATIONS UPON EXPIRATION
A collection of the notable last recorded words of the dying, Famous Last Words is, unexpectedly, bursting with life, hope, wisdom, and often laughter. Here are writers, philosophers, athletes, gangsters, kings, queens, movie stars, and politicians, in all sorts of moods and states of preparedness. Some merely want to say goodbye to loved ones, others want to create a legacy. And some are caught completely off guard, like Civil War general John Sedgwick, answering his troops' urgings to take cover: They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!
There's the droll: It's the wallpaper or me. One of us has to go (Oscar Wilde); the blasé: How are the Mets doing today? (Moe Berg); the cranky: It wasn't worth it (Louis B. Mayer); the wistful: That was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted (Lou Costello); the optimistic: I shall hear in heaven! (Beethoven); and the overly optimistic: I've never felt better (Douglas Fairbanks).
Ultimately, every one of these parting statements is a reflection of the person behind it. Each is accompanied by a mini-biography of the speaker, including the context of death, from the golf course (That was a great game of golf, fellers Bing Crosby) to a favorite armchair (Go on, get out. Last words are for fools who haven't said enough-Karl Marx).
Hardcover. 192 pages.
ABOUT RAY ROBINSON
Ray Robinson is a former magazine editor, journalist, and author of many books, including Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig and His Times; and Yankee Stadium: 75 Years of Drama, Glamour, and Glory. He lives in New York City with his wife, Phyllis, and his Norwich Terrier, Penelope
It's an irresistible combination: Brad Meltzer, a born storyteller, counting down the world's most intriguing unsolved mysteries. And to make this richly illustrated book even richer, each chapter invites the reader along for an interactive experience through the addition of removable facsimile documents—the evidence! It's a treasure trove for conspiracy buffs, a Griffin and Sabine for history lovers.
Adapted from Decoded, Meltzer’s hit show on the HISTORY network, History Decoded explores fascinating, unexplained questions. Is Fort Knox empty? Why was Hitler so intent on capturing the Roman “Spear of Destiny”? What’s the government hiding in Area 51? Where did the Confederacy’s $19 million in gold and silver go at the end of the Civil War? And did Lee Harvey Oswald really act alone? Meltzer sifts through the evidence; weighs competing theories; separates what we know to be true with what’s still—and perhaps forever—unproved or unprovable; and in the end, decodes the mystery, arriving at the most likely solution. Along the way we meet Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Nazi propagandists, and the real DB Cooper.
Bound in at the beginning of each story is a custom-designed envelope—a faux 19th-century leather satchel, a U.S. government classified file—containing facsimiles of relevant evidence: John Wilkes Booth’s alleged unsigned will, a map of the Vatican, Kennedy’s death certificate. The whole is a riveting, interactive adventure through the compelling world of mysteries and conspiracies.
“Fascinating.”—Men’s Health, Best Beach Reads for Sports Fans
On the Origins of Sports is an illustrated book built around the original rules of 21 of the world’s most popular sports, from football and soccer to wrestling and mixed martial arts. Never before have the original rules for these sports coexisted in one volume. Brimming with history and miscellany, it is the ultimate sports book for the thinking fan.
Each sport’s chapter includes a short history, the sport’s original rules, and a deeper look into an element of the sport, such as the evolution of the baseball glove; sports with war roots; a compendium of sports balls; and iconic sports trophies.
Written by ESPN The Magazine’s former editor in chief, Gary Belsky, and executive editor, Neil Fine, and filled with period-style line drawings in a handsome package, On the Origins of Sports is a book that sports fans and history buffs alike will want to display on their coffee tables, showcase on their bookshelves, and treasure for generations.