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Lands of Lost Borders
Lands of Lost Borders: Biking Out of Bounds on the Silk Road | Kate Harris
19 posts | 12 read | 16 to read
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review
8little_paws
Pickpick

Absolutely gorgeous writing from a brilliant person. This account of science, geography, nationalism, bike travel, exploration, you name it, manages to tie everything together in a way that was completely satisfying to me even if I wouldn't have taken this trip in the same manner she did. I immediately want to read it again.

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NotCool
Pickpick

Excellent travelogue, adventure, history of exploration, Bildungsroman, and examination of philosophies of borders.

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Sjhaug
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Pickpick

Beautiful memoir, I hope my kid does something like this someday!

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GlassAsDiamonds
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Mehso-so

Opinionated kitty who would NOT move aside, I‘m a huge admirer of the author and I really wanted to love this this book... but I didn‘t. The narrative throughout was jerky, oddly paced and all over the time spectrum and, while lyric and approaching poetic, her random flights of fancy were often annoyingly jarring. Harris takes the idiocy of national borders as her thesis and is eloquent doing so. ⬇️

GlassAsDiamonds Her environmental insights are skilful, well researched and heart wrenching but her obvious passion didn‘t overcome the technical problems for me. So-so I wish was a pick. Also... #catsofLitsy 😊 10mo
Mitch Your cat‘s a 5 ⭐️ from me ! ❤️ 10mo
40 likes2 comments
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GlassAsDiamonds
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😂😂😂😂 Yep. (Okay, this shouldn‘t make me laugh but hey, Indian traffic, it‘s laugh or cry!!).

The next line, which spans two pages, is: “ The sudden, jerky movements with which we manoeuvred around [a group of monkeys on the road] made us look deranged ourselves - a word from the French meaning “to flee from orderly rows”, and the organising principle for traffic in India”.

😂😂😂 So true, so very very true!

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GlassAsDiamonds
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Nope - now we‘re on a page where we‘ve acknowledged the crazy despot the populace are terrified of in one paragraph ... then gone on to “how we ignored local laws and bribed our way across Uzbekistan because we didn‘t set out with enough money to pay for hotels”.... 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ THIS! This is why subsequent travellers can have such a hard time. Idiots like this. 😡Lands of Lost Borders is not going to end up a Pick from me.

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GlassAsDiamonds
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I think this is why the book is annoying me (Also, it‘s moments of brilliance are bogged down with random flights of semi-lyric fantasy that probably should have been mercilessly edited out). Anyway - point: you set out to cycle the Silk Road and yet knowingly also set out to break rules in the former USSR nations of Central Asia and China. With PHDs each, they‘re not unintelligent but they sure are stupid (which drives most of the “suspense”).

Cinfhen “We brushed off these concerns” ~ I‘m sorry but I‘m gonna have to shout MORON!!! Ugh!!! I hate when intelligent people do really DUMB things and usually at the expense of others 😬🙄 10mo
jpmcwisemorgan @Cinfhen Yes, & if things go badly they‘d want someone to step in to save them. I don‘t think people should go to prison, be beaten, etc. for stupid choices but at the same time they knew the rules & flat out decided to ignore them. If you spend even a tiny bit of time online looking into customs/laws & consequences you‘d know what to expect. The State Department usually has information for travelers & other countries do as well. 10mo
Cinfhen Exactly @jpmcwisemorgan it‘s almost like they believe they are above the rules 😝 when I read the memoir by Amanda Lindhout my heart was breaking for her (she suffered terribly) yet she put herself & her boyfriend in harms way. And her parents suffered so much too 😢😢☹️😞 10mo
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GlassAsDiamonds @Cinfhen & @jpmcwisemorgan - EXACTLY!!! I shouldn‘t be surprised, the books starts with them running the Chinese checkpoint into Tibet potentially in the early 2000‘s (the timelines of the book are a little hard to figure). If they tried that now, I suspect they‘d be shot. 😡 (these stupid choices, I‘m afraid I‘ve got no sympathy for - laws exist for a reason. If the local punishment is jail time, I don‘t see why they should be exempted). 10mo
jpmcwisemorgan I‘d say yes to jail time but I also know that jail in other countries is often worse even than our own jails, which are terrible. I‘d hate for someone to die because they made such a stupid decision - although on some days I might just shrug and say, well, that‘s what you get. I worry that makes me a super crappy person so I try not to think like that. 😬 10mo
Cinfhen Jail/ captivity is probably worse than death in some of those countries for sure @jpmcwisemorgan but there is stupidity and I‘m above it all arrogance. NOT that I wish ill on any of these people. It‘s probably a bit of youth, immaturity and lack of fear that causes people to make really BAD decisions 10mo
GlassAsDiamonds @Cinfhen I don‘t know - I suppose there‘s always a possibility of release with jail time. Death is a tad final... 😜 @jpmcwisemorgan - I tend to fall into the “the laws are the laws and you don‘t get a special exemption because your [insert any reason]”. Maybe a super crappy person here too (but then a Justice system only works if it‘s applied to everyone equally without fear or favour). It‘s not getting better btw, they‘re now bribing ppl🤦🏻‍♀️ 10mo
23 likes7 comments
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GlassAsDiamonds
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Still going with Lands of Lost Borders. This time thought, it‘s all on me - came down with a cold (in 36c/98f weather which is just mean, thank you VERY MUCH Mumbai) but I‘m always a sucker for a Muir quote.

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GlassAsDiamonds
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Struggling with this one. It‘s a good book but the author keeps veering wildly off tangent. Sometimes they‘re flashbacks and sometimes they‘re random philosophy like the above that just makes me argumentative (wildness vs wilderness and the merits of each...). Probably though, I just need more sleep... someone else tell me if this is slightly annoyingly phrased in the middle of a travel narrative currently in Azerbaijan...?

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GlassAsDiamonds
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“Helping” a friend who threw her back out with her riding students in Shanghai (FYI, I am terrible at cleaning hooves 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️). Sometimes life sounds a lot more glamorous than say the reality of squat toilets but this morning, life is good.

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GlassAsDiamonds
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1). Off to help some friends pack up thejr life in Shanghai (casualties of some nasty corporate politics 💔) and enjoy some old stomping grounds for a few weeks!!
2). Very good so far. Fingers crossed!
3). Maybe a walking tour (playing serious tourist when not packing to help them farewell the city. Should be fun!)
4). Metal hand painted tiffin boxes in a lounge display
5). “it‘s the story”....
#Humpdaypost

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Floresj
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Pickpick

There‘s so much to love about this book: Harris‘s wonderful writing, the travel via bike along the Silk Road, the cultural observations, and the history of science and exploration. I‘m so impressed with her courage to bike with Mel for 9 months by camping and couch surfing throughout multiple countries. The wanderlust that Kate beautifully depicts is contagious. Wonderful, engaging read!

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GlassAsDiamonds
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Love the last line but couldn‘t cut it all down!

RaimeyGallant Lovely. 11mo
22 likes1 comment
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GlassAsDiamonds
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Ahhhh hope.... 😂🤦🏻‍♀️😂🤦🏻‍♀️😂

The author is very human but so far, I‘ve got a massive crush on Mel, her traveling companion.

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GlassAsDiamonds
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Two birds, one stone! A quote from Lands of Lost Borders which is proving a delight and my entry for today‘s #tarottakeover #octoberphotochallenge (SURELY I can manage ten days of photos???? 😶🤞🏻😶🤞🏻😶). Okay, The Sun: what‘s more vital and incognito than the burning desire for exploration and adventure?

ErinSueMreads Seriously though! I‘ve been having terrible wanderlust lately so I‘m totally feeling this one! And you can totally come up with things for all the prompts! (edited) 12mo
GlassAsDiamonds It is interesting for that but if you need to stick to a 9-5.... maybe not!! It would probably make wanderlust worse. Maybe. Watch this space & I‘ll let you know! 😂🤦🏻‍♀️😂🤦🏻‍♀️ 12mo
ErinSueMreads Good to know 😂😂. 11mo
31 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Jediash1
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Pickpick

I love to travel, but I‘m not the most adventurous risk-taker. 😉 But I really loved Kate Harris‘ beautifully written reflection on her bicycle trip following the ancient Silk Road. As much a philosophical treatise on exploration as it is a travelogue, this was a fascinating book. 🗻🚲🌲

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EMWF
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"We need this world, and this world doesn't need us. Why do we persist in behaving as if the converse were true?" Kate Harris will be at #emwf18 to read from Land of Lost Borders, a travelogue that chronicles her journey biking the ancient Silk Road, and weaves adventure with deep reflection and the history of science and exploration. bit.ly/2Kq7JXw @PenguinRandomCa #canlit

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candority
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It‘s been a long day, so I‘m crawling into bed earlier than usual. I‘m hoping to read a few chapters of my new book before my eyes close 😴 #emwf18 #canlit

ReadingisMyPassion Oh I want to read this one. 12mo
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underground_bks
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Pickpick

I don‘t often pick up travel books, but I was wooed to this memoir of biking the Silk Road by comparisons to Rebecca Solnit and Cheryl Strayed. I don‘t know if I agree 100% with the use of those names, but I enjoyed the trip, learned a lot about the history and geography of the area, and was enthralled by Harris‘ lyrical writing. This is a writer I‘ll watch out for. I look forward to seeing where the road takes her next.