From Columbus to Cabeza de Vaca and more, epic journeys of discovery.



The Four Voyages

By Christopher Columbus


"Being his own log-book, letters and dispatches drawn from the Life of the Admiral by his son Hernando Colon and other contemporary historians," this volume, edited and translated by J. M. Cohen, presents with startling immediacy the hazards, hopes, and excitement of his feats of navigation and exploration.






The Last Voyage of Columbus

By Martin Dugard


This thrilling adventure narrative relates the epic tale of Christopher Columbus's fourth and final journey to the New World, a voyage that was by far his most perilous and consequential. Dugard's inviting account will leave you awed by Columbus's bravura and maritime mastery, and thrilled by the dangerous obstacles -- hurricane, mutiny, war -- he overcame.





A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca

By Andres Resendez


In this absorbing telling of largely unknown story, Resendez recreates the fascinating adventure of a 1528 Spanish mission to Florida, led by Royal Treasurer Cabeza de Vaca. A Caribbean hurricane drove the flotilla 900 miles off course, and after landing, the Spaniards began an ill-fated overland search for gold. Only 4 out of 300 would survive the journey, including Cabeza de Vaca. His epic, nightmarish journey in the New World included a crossing the Gulf of Mexico by raft, fighting with hostile Indians, resorting to cannibalism, being taken as a slave, becoming a "medicine man," and walking from Texas to Mexico.



Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World

By Douglas Hunter


On the 400th anniversary of Hudson's historic 1609 voyage, Hunter recounts the English explorer's many travails and his ultimate discovery of the magnificent river that today bears his name. Hudson's is a story filled with international intrigue, cutthroat business rivalries, and one intrepid man's unstoppable urge to explore new territories.





Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe

By Laurence Bergreen


Bergreen ably recounts pioneering Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan's supremely dangerous 1519 attempt to sail around the world. "It was a dream as old as the imagination," writes Bergreen of the explorer's goal, "a voyage to the ends of the earth" that many mariners before Magellan believed to be both impossible and fatal. In a sense, Magellan disproved the former, but not the latter: while one of the ships in his small fleet successfully circumnavigated the globe, Magellan himself died before the vessel made it back to Portugal.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.