NORWAY — A book discussion series titled Amazing Journeys and featuring writings on four modes of travel will begin next week at the Norway Memorial Library on Main Street.

“Travel writing is a vast genre, but for this we tried to pick four different modes of travel: boat, car, train, foot,” said Ann Siekman. “We also wanted to select different locations, different ways of writing about journeys or unique experiences or reasons for the journey. It is again a very interesting group of books.”

The four books, which are available through library, are

* “The River of Doubt,” Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard

* “Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory,” by Peter Hessler

* “The 8:55 to Baghdad: From London to Iraq on the Trail of Agatha Christie and the Orient Express,” by Andrew Eames

* “The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe,” by Chet Raymo.

Participants can come to any of the discussions because they will stand independently even though they follow a common theme, Siekman said.

“The River of Doubt” follows Teddy Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration in a dugout canoe down a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon, one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. Snaking through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world, Roosevelt, his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon, are haunted by Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows, piranhas that glide through its waters, and boulder-strewn rapids that turn the river into a roiling cauldron, Siekman said in a statement.

“Country Driving” is the story of the Jeep Cherokee named “the City Special” that Peter Hessler uses to acquire his Chinese driver’s license and discover the real China. Over seven years he crisscrosses China, first following the 7,000-mile Great Wall, then turning to the farmlands and ultimately, China’s urban areas, tracking how the automobile and improved roads are transforming China.

Readers can also enjoy the account of Andrew Eames’ train ride across Europe to the Middle East in his book, “The 8:55 to Baghdad: From London to Iraq on the Trail of Agatha Christie and the Orient Express.” It follows the route Agatha Christie took in 1928. When the company of pre-World War II upper class snobs threatens to become boring, he takes a bus to cross the border into Iraq on the eve of war in 2003.

“The Path” by Chet Raymo is an account of his 40-year daily walk along a one-mile path from his house to the college where he taught. With each step, the landscape he traversed became richer, suggesting ever deeper aspects of astronomy, history, biology and literature, and making the path universal in scope. His insights inspire people to turn their local paths into portals to greater understanding of the interconnectedness with nature and history, Siekman said.

The discussions begin at 6:30 p.m. The schedule is:

* Sept. 20,  “The River of Doubt.”

* Oct. 11, “Country Driving.”

* Nov. 1, “The 8:55 to Baghdad.”

* Nov. 15, “The Path.”

Siekman and Allison Rosenblatt will be the facilitators. Library hosts will be Katherine Morgan and Julia Hoisington.

To register or request copies of the books visit the information desk at the library. For more information, call 743-5309 or go to

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