Historian, explorer and film-maker Tim Severin tops today’s Buffet with The Sinbad Voyage, one of the most memorable sailing stories of modern times. Tim received the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for the book, originally published in 1982.

timThe famous adventures of the medieval sailor Sindbad, as recorded in One Thousand and One Nights, was the inspiration for the project. After three years of research, Tim brought the project to Sur, Oman in 1980. He guided Omani shipwrights in the construction of the “Sohar”, an 87-foot replica of a ninth-century, lateen-rigged, cotton-sailed Arab dhow. The ship was built in seven months of hand-sawn wooden planks sewn together with nearly 400 miles of hand-rolled, coconut-husk rope.

Tim has made a career of retracing the storied journeys of mythical and historical figures. He has sailed a leather boat across the Atlantic in the wake of the Irish monk Saint Brendan, steered the replica of a Bronze Age galley to seek the landfalls of Jason and the Argonauts and Ulysses, ridden the route of the First Crusade from a castle in Belgium to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, travelled on horseback with the nomads of Mongolia to explore the heritage of Genghis Khan, and sailed the Pacific on a bamboo raft to test the theory that ancient Chinese mariners could have travelled to the Americas.

Tim attended Tonbridge School and studied geography and history at Keble College, Oxford, and now lives in Ireland.

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The Sindbad Voyage

History > Ships > Sailing Adventure
Author: Tim Severin
The Sindbad Voyage

Sindbad. Perhaps the greatest fictional sailor of them all.

But could his amazing voyages, recounted in the The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, be recreated in the modern world?

Or were they just the stuff of legend?

Author Tim Severin was determined to find out. After three years of research, he created a precise replica of an early Arab trading ship. Not a single nail was used in her construction — her planks were held together with 400 miles of coconut cord.

With a crew of twenty, including eight Omani sailors, his ship Sohar (named after the town said to have been Sindbad’s birthplace) completed a 6,000 mile journey by way of India, Sri Lanka, and across the Indian Ocean to Sumatra and Singapore, and finally through the China Sea to a tumultuous welcome in Canton.

Along the way, the crew had to swim among sharks while repairing the rudder, catch rainwater to drink while becalmed in the doldrums, and endure the battering of violent seas off the coast of Vietnam.



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Enemies Foreign And Domestic (The Enemies Trilogy)

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Author: Matthew Bracken
Enemies Foreign And Domestic (The Enemies Trilogy)

(568 pages in print edition)

BULLETS RAIN DOWN UPON A PACKED FOOTBALL STADIUM, killing dozens, and triggering a panic stampede which leads to a thousand more deaths. A police marksman kills the sniper, a mentally unbalanced Desert Storm veteran holding a smoking assault rifle. It’s an open and shut case, or so America is led to believe…

In the aftermath of the stadium massacre, an outraged public demands an end to the threat posed by assault rifles, and Congress passes emergency legislation banning their private possession. American gun owners have one week to turn in their semi-automatic rifles, or face mandatory five year federal prison terms.

Jimmy Shifflett, the alleged stadium sniper, is linked to a shadowy “gun club” in southeastern Virginia, which the FBI believes is a cover for a secret right wing militia terror group. Those who knew Shifflett the best don’t believe he was a member of any militia, or that he was guilty of the horrific mass murder.

But if he didn’t fire the “assault rifle” into the stadium, who did, and why?

A small band of Virginians, thrown together by fate, is forced to undertake a desperate odyssey through a minefield of government blackmail, official deception and covert death squads, to discover the truth behind the stadium massacre, and save their own lives.

The Truth About Butterflies: A Memoir

Memoirs  > Death & Grief
Author: Nancy Stephan
The Truth About Butterflies: A Memoir

They belong to each other, Nancy and Nicole–mother and daughter. They’re two halves of a whole, two facets of the same breath–until the day Nicole exhales. . . and never inhales again.

After the death of her daughter, and quickly losing her own battle with grief, Nancy decides to move from the house she can no longer bear to live in. While packing, she comes across a box in the attic. Inside this box, Nancy uncovers treasures she didn’t know existed and evidence that her and her daughter’s lives had been more divinely entwined than she could’ve imagined.

The Truth About Butterflies is a true story of grief, hope, and transformation, and a single enduring truth: Life cannot be restrained by death.

Welcome to Last Chance

Romance > Contemporary
Author: Cathleen Armstrong
Welcome to Last Chance (A Place to Call Home Book #1): A Novel

The red warning light on her car dashboard drove Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico. But as she encounters the people who make Last Chance their home, it’s her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life for Lainie’s comfort–especially since she’s on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

Yet in spite of herself, Lainie finds that she is increasingly drawn in to the dramas of small town life. An old church lady who always has room for a stranger. A handsome bartender with a secret life. A single mom running her diner and worrying over her teenage son. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little hick town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

Tears Fall at Night

Literature & Fiction > African American > Christian
Author: Vanessa Miller
Tears Fall at Night - (Book 1 - Praise Him Anyhow Series)

Life was good, God was blessing and the Marshall family was riding high, until Carmella Marshall’s husband, Nelson asks for a divorce and then moves in with his girlfriend—who also happens to be her twenty-three-year-old daughter’s best friend—her son gets arrested, her daughter drops out of college, the bills go unpaid, and then Carmella has a nervous breakdown.

The Marshalls have ups and downs like any other family. However, Carmella always thought that God would see them through anything. But when Nelson left and her life fell apart, she realized just how weak she could become, without the strength of God guiding her way. Through prayer, praise, and a love that bonds families together, Carmella renews her trust in the Lord and discovers a way to turn her life around.

Smart Customers, Stupid Companies: Why Only Intelligent Companies Will Thrive

Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales
Author: Michael Hinshaw, Bruce Kasanoff
Smart Customers, Stupid Companies: Why Only Intelligent Companies Will Thrive, and How To Be One of Them

Last decade, companies strove to be great. Now they need to act as smart as the customers they wish to serve. Why? Because acting dumber than your customers is not a sustainable business model.

This visually arresting book not only challenges business leaders to profit from the wave of disruptive innovation making customers smarter, but it also presents an actionable five-step plan for doing just that.

Hinshaw and Kasanoff explain that disruptive innovation is “already providing individuals with tools more advanced, in many cases, than the most sophisticated commercial enterprises had just five years ago,” and argue that “established firms will need to reinvent themselves and disrupt their own industries to stay alive.”

Cheffin’

Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Entertaining
Author: Brendan Cronin, Shannon Cronin
Cheffin'

Master Chef Brendan Cronin – the only Irish chef to attain the prestigious Swiss culinary title of ‘Chef de Cuisine Diplomé’, Swiss Master Chef – takes us on a global journey of gastronomic delight from his childhood on a small dairy farm in the West of Ireland, to cooking in great hotels in Limerick, Dublin and onward to the beckoning and beautiful Swiss Alps, Africa, and The Far East. We follow Brendan as he pursues his dream of becoming a skilled and accomplished chef while working for some of the best hotels in the world.

Along the way, Cronin describes the hospitality industry like the true professional he is, telling his story with passion, humor, and Irish wit – making us so hungry you will want to stop mid-chapter to try the many recipes included in this book. Cronin’s entertaining and informative narrative includes sweeping descriptions of local culture, geography, punctuated with captivating and often hilarious anecdotes of the multi-cultural kitchens and individuals with whom he worked. His eloquent stories of the many high-profile chefs and guests he met while working in the great 5-star hotels of the world, keeps us turning page-after-page leading to a surprising end.

50 Fitness Tips You Wish You Knew

Personal Health > Healthy Living
Author: Derek Doepker
50 Fitness Tips You Wish You Knew: The Best Quick And Easy Ways To Increase Motivation, Lose Weight, Get In Shape, And Stay Healthy

Do you wish you knew…

* A way to have enough motivation to lose weight even if you’re stressed out, busy, or have a million excuses? Tip #3 reveals the truth about how to tap into your brain’s motivational drives to make sure you never fail to reach a resolution again!

* The #1 reason people can’t lose weight that almost no other fitness programs even mention? Tip #4 reveals the one thing that keeps people from losing weight and getting healthy more than anything else along with a step-by-step method to make sure this one thing never sabotages your results!

* How to get your best night of sleep ever? Tip #5 reveals something that modern research has just discovered in the past couple years and normalize your circadian rhythms and help you sleep like a baby your first night using it – Hint: It’s NOT a supplement!

The Distant Shore

Women’s Fiction > Romance
Author: Mariam Kobras
The Distant Shore (Stone Trilogy)

There’s nothing like finding a letter on your breakfast table from a teenage son you knew nothing about, but that’s what happens to international rock star, Jonathon Stone. He drops everything to find the boy, and his mother, the girl he loved so many years ago who left him when his rock n roll life became too much for her to bear.

Seeing her is like falling in love all over again, and everything seems perfect, until someone sets out to destroy their idyllic life.

Arousing the Buy Curious: Real Estate Pillow Talk

Real Estate > Buying & Selling Homes
Author: Becki Saltzman
Arousing the Buy Curious: Real Estate Pillow Talk for Patrons and Professionals

This entertaining and instructional romp will ignite incredible real estate results…and it is not rated PG-13. Whether you’re looking to hire a real estate professional or striving to enhance your real estate career, you need this book.

For Buy Curious Professionals: This book contains the best techniques in all the land for providing top real estate representation to your clients and lining your pockets accordingly. Sexy mind-science is here along with the hilarious and instructive stories that we have all been waiting for.

For Buy Curious Patrons: This book will save you way more money than you ever spent to buy it. There is no other book that will give you the real inside scoop on real estate. Not with naughty words, anyway.

TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?

The Quarry

Humor & Satire > Thrillers
Author: Iain M. Banks
Regular Price $9.99, Today $2.99
The Quarry

Eighteen-year-old Kit is weird: big, strange, odd, socially disabled, on a spectrum that stretches from “highly gifted” at one end, to “nutter” at the other. At least Kit knows who his father is; he and Guy live together in a decaying country house on the unstable brink of a vast quarry. His mother’s identity is another matter. Now, though, his father’s dying, and old friends are gathering for one last time.

“Uncle” Paul’s a media lawyer now; Rob and Ali are upwardly mobile corporate bunnies; pretty, hopeful Pris is a single mother; Haze is still living up to his drug-inspired name twenty years on; and fierce, protective Hol is a gifted if acerbic critic. As young film students they lived at Willoughtree House with Guy, and they’ve all come back because they want something. Kit, too, has his own ulterior motives. Before his father dies he wants to know who his mother is, and what’s on the mysterious tape they’re all looking for. But most of all he wants to stop time and keep his father alive.

Rock Her

Romance > Contemporary
Author: Rachel Cross
Regular Price $4.99, Today $0.99
Rock Her (Crimson Romance)

She’s a small town nurse who had to grow up fast. He’s rock music’s most infamous guitarist. When a day at the beach turns life or death, their worlds collide, and no one will ever be the same.

Kate Gibson’s life has been all about family. She spent her high school years taking care of her dying mother, and her college years raising her younger sister.

Alec Sawyer’s past was an excess of everything: drugs, parties, rock, sex, and money. His downfall had been long, spectacular, and public.

Thrown together by fate and the media, Kate and Alec find themselves falling in love. But dating in the spotlight has its downside, and some secrets are better left in the dark.

Principle-Centered Leadership

Self-Help > Success
Author: Stephen R. Covey
Regular Price $9.99, Today $1.99
Principle-Centered Leadership

This book asks the fundamental question, how do we as individuals (and organizations), not only survive but thrive amid tremendous change? More, why are our efforts to improve continuing to fail despite the millions of dollars we spend in time, capital, and human effort every year? How do we combat all of this by unleashing the full measure of our creativity, talent, and energy in the midst of this pressure? Is it realistic to believe that we can find balance in our personal life, family life, and professional life?

Author Stephen R. Covey shows that the answer to these concerns is Principle-Centered Leadership; a long-term, inside-out approach to developing people and organizations. Covey tells that the key to dealing with the challenges that we face today is the recognition of a principle-centered core within not only each of us, but within our organizations. Covey offers insights and guidelines that demonstrate how we can apply these principles both at work and at home which will lead not only to an increase in our productivity and the quality of our work, but also to a new appreciation of the importance of establishing more personal and professional relationships as we strive to enjoy a more balance, more rewarding and ultimately more effective life.

Memento Nora

Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy
Author: Angie Smibert
Regular Price $9.99, Today $2.99
Memento Nora

In Nora’s world you don’t have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC–a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take the pill that will erase it. But at TFC, a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora’s life. She doesn’t take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember. With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. It’s an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever?

A Duty to the Dead

Mystery > Historical
Author: Charles Todd
Regular Price $9.99, Today $2.99

A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford Mysteries)

Charles Todd, author of the resoundingly acclaimed Ian Rutledge crime novels debuts an exceptional new protagonist, World War I nurse Bess Crawford, in A Duty to the Dead. A gripping tale of perilous obligations and dark family secrets in the shadows of a nightmarish time of global conflict, A Duty to the Dead is rich in suspense, surprise, and the impeccable period atmosphere that has become a Charles Todd trademark.

“Readers who can’t get enough of Maisie Dobbs, the intrepid World War I battlefield nurse in Jacqueline Winspear’s novels…are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”
New York Times Book Review

… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2