A List of Books You Won't Find At The Airport Newstand

One advantage of winter is all the extra reading you can do.  Here’s a few books that you won’t find next to the Ken Follett/Scott Turow airport pulp; some are classics, some are little known to today’s reader, but all make great fireside companions.
1. The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz
So astonishing is this tale of a small group of ‘political’ prisoners’ who escape from a WWII Soviet gulag, that many people doubt its authenticity. I have read this amazing book a number of times, and every line rings true to me. The author and his comrades walked 4000 miles from Siberia to India, traversing the Gobi desert and the Himalayas, literally starving or dying of thirst most of the way. This story was recently filmed as The Way Back -- but read the book instead: it is mind-blowing!
2. Under The Red Sea Sun by Commander Edward Ellsberg
One of the great ‘unknown’ tales of WWII, this non-fiction account of Commander Ellsberg’s epic feat of reclaiming for the Allies the scuttled, sabotaged harbor of Massawa in Eritrea is a true page-turner. Thrown into the brutal equatorial heat of the destroyed Red Sea harbor, Ellsberg, America's naval pioneer of submarine rescue and salvage, is tasked not only with repairing the destroyed harbor but also salvaging a score of Axis warships scuttled in the entrances. …So little resources and backing did he have that Commander Ellsberg’s crew had to make their own rudimentary tools before they could even begin work. This story, with the demonic heat as the main character, harkens back to the seemingly lost concept of ‘Yankee Ingenuity.”
3. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
Long before Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Richard Hannay, James Bond, and Indiana Jones, there was Allan Quatermain. A British amalgam of many famous Great White Hunters in Africa, the stoic and resourceful Quatermain’s exploits in southern Africa have captivated the imagination of generations of adventure-seeking readers. And though it was published in 1885, this could well be the best Indiana Jones film never made…..
4. Greenmantle by John Buchan
The second installment in Buchan’s Richard Hannay series places the hero (first seen in the classic The Thirty-Nine Steps), a South African mining engineer-turned-counterespionage agent, into the midst of a German plot during WWI to raise a Moslem insurrection in Allied-held Middle Eastern countries. Not only does the story sound familiar to modern ears, it also gives the reader a terrific amount of historical background (author Buchan was a Scottish politician who went on to become the Governor General of Canada 1935 -1940)to the regions that remain inflamed today. Plot and story move at a breakneck pace, with the hero more often the hunted rather than the hunter.
5. The Complete Adventures of Gonad Man (Volume 1, 1993 -1999) by Mark Sutherland
This collection of Aussie artist Mark ‘Sutho” Sutherland’s Gonad Man comic strip places all the funniest, most classic episodes in one book. Don’t let the raunchy Aussie humor obscure the most wicked social commentary ever leveled upon the surfing sub-culture. And although Sutho has never been to the U.S., no one draws Seppos with such Reebok-and-white-sock insipidness and skewers the grasping American surf McIndustry with such clarity. A real hoot!