Fascinating Folks

Some of these people did fascinating things, some lived in fascinating places which made their ordinary lives fascinating, some were just "ordinary" people who found themselves in unusual circumstances, and some were just plain "different."

Solomon Time: An Unlikely Quest in the South Pacific

By Will Randall

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"Who hasn't fantasized about dismantling his or her hassled, wired-up life for a simpler existence? Yet who among us has the will and opportunity to do it? The answer, of course, is very few. Will Randall, a young English schoolmaster, had such a chance -- and took it. He uprooted his conventional First World life and let himself be blown to one of the farthest and most beautiful corners of the earth, the Solomon Islands of the South Pacific. In the entertaining tradition of Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country, this is the story of Solomon Time.

"From the first, it's an improbable journey. In a chance encounter on a rugby field, Randall meets a doddering old man known as 'the Commander,'  who has retired to England after running a cocoa plantation in the South Pacific for thirty years. Six months later, the Commander dies and his will is read: he wants someone to travel to his beloved, long-missed island -- where his plantation has fallen into ruin -- and devise a way for the natives to support themselves. If successful, they might avoid poverty, build a new school, and even fend off the greedy developers circling their peaceful waters. It's a mission of noblesse oblige, yet possibly a fool's errand, too. Randall agrees to go. ... a moving and witty account of one man's accidental adventure in paradise ... ."

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Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

By Oliver Sacks

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"In an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary mind, the distinguished neurologist who wrote Awakenings offers an account of his youth as fascinating as his celebrated case histories. Overflowing with humor, sadness, sensuous recollection, and the almost physical rapture of discovery, this bestseller re-creates the wonder of science as it is first experienced."

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

By John Berendt

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Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.
Available on audio as well as in a movie version starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack.

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Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood

By Alexandra Fuller

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Fuller's memoir of a childhood dominated by the Rhodesian civil war of 1971-1979 captures the fascinating life of a white family living in one of the most remote regions of Africa.

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