This first American edition of Captain Cook’s voyage is quite rare. A New Voyage, Round the World, in the Years 1768, 1769, 1770 and 1771, by Captain James Cooke in the Ship Endeavour, drawn up from his own Journal and from the Papers of Joseph Banks, Esq, was published in 1774. Cook ventured into uncharted areas and mapped parts of the globe that beforehand were virtually unknown. In this voyage, his first, he explored Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia. It contains fascinating commentary on first-time British encounters with newly-found native peoples, such as this on the Hottentots: “We were told that the priest certainly gives the nuptial benediction by sprinkling the bride and bridegroom with his urine.” This volume is missing the illustration, and the first two pages are detached, but the rest is firmly bound in its original leather covers.
Miner Bruce, the author of Alaska — Its History and Resources, Gold Fields, Routes and Scenery, first went to Alaska in 1899 and was impressed by its future possibilities. At the time, interest in Alaska –- particularly the Klondike -– was widespread because of the discovery of gold there. Bruce ’s advice was not to go unless ready to face the privations of a pioneer life. The book contains fabulous old photographs, including one of twin Eskimo sisters, and a series of fold-out maps detailing the various Klondike gold fields.
Reinhold Messner is one of the few – if not the – most accomplished mountaineers of our time. I ran into Messner briefly in 1997 when I was staying at Khan Tengri base camp in Central Asia. He was camping nearby while researching a book. Starstruck, I dared to ask him for his autograph on the only piece of paper I had, a postcard. He gruffly agreed, but I could tell he wasn’t pleased. A couple of years ago, when this book was first published, he spoke in Seattle and was utterly charming. My Life at the Limit is a fascinating account of his adventures, told in a question-and-answer format, not unlike the style that’s so popular with online communications today.