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Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents [Kindle Edition]

Marty Essen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

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Paperback $17.07  
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Book Description

Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents follows Marty and Deb Essen on a three-and-a-half-year-long adventure to some of the wildest places on all seven continents.

The American couple began crisscrossing the globe with the simple intention of searching for rare and interesting wildlife. When their travels coincided with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the added element made them unwitting ambassadors for peace. Their experiences--from amusing to life threatening--changed their lives forever.

This is not your average travelogue. Marty Essen has written a book that entertains, informs, and poignantly reminds us that we all share a small planet.

Locations visited include: Belize, Peru (the Amazon Rainforest), Argentina, Australia (Queensland), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, and Northwest Territories), Antarctica, Europe (Spain, France, Switzerland, and Andorra), Malaysia (Borneo), and Africa (Zimbabwe).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Winner: Green Book Festival Award for Animals
Winner: Benjamin Franklin Award for Travel/Essay
Winner: National Indie Excellence Book Award for Travel/Essay
Winner: Best Books Book Award for Travel/Essay
Bronze: ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award for Travel/Essay
Bronze: IPPY Award for Travel/Essay
Finalist: Nautilus Award for Animals/Nature
Minneapolis Star-Tribune Top-10 "Green" Book

From the Author

Writing Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents was quite the experience! I devoted each chapter to a different continent, plus Central America.
My process for creating the book was to go on an adventure; write the chapter; and then head out again. In all, my travels spanned three-and-a-half years, and my writing and research time totaled more than twelve thousand hours!
Here's where I went during my travels: Peru (the Amazon Rainforest), Argentina, Australia (Queensland), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, and Northwest Territories), Antarctica, Europe (Spain, France, Switzerland, and Andorra), Malaysia (Borneo), and Africa (Zimbabwe).
Since I was essentially writing the book "live," one of my trepidations was that a trip might turn out to be boring. If that happened, would I have to subject my readers to a snoozer of a chapter? Fortunately, something exciting and magical happened on every adventure!
Something else magical has happened: Cool Creatures, Hot Planet has become a book with a life of its own. After the print edition came out in 2007, it won six national awards. That led to a live, multi-media version of the book, called Around the World in 90 Minutes. I have been performing Around the World in 90 Minutes at colleges and other venues since late 2007. My show is still going strong. If I'm in your area, I hope you will check it out--you'll have a blast. You can find my tour schedule on Amazon's Marty Essen page.
Finally, December 2012 marked the release of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet on Kindle. A Kindle release wasn't part of the plan, but after purchasing a Kindle Paperwhite for myself, I fell in love with the format. I found that I could read much longer without eyestrain and loved that I could read late into the night, with the lights out. Encante Press did a great job of reformatting my book for Kindle, and it still includes all of the photos people ooh and aah about so often.
Whether you purchase the print or the Kindle version of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet, I thank you. And I hope to see you at one of my live shows soon!
P.S. If you bring your book to my show, I will be happy to sign it for you. If you have the Kindle version, I usually have bookmarks or other goodies with me that I can sign for you instead.

Product Details

  • File Size: 8693 KB
  • Print Length: 455 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Encante Press, LLC (December 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,831 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
First off I love the cover of the book. Makes me smile every time I pick the book up.

For someone like me, who loves late night drives in summer to go see the tarantulas coming out and crossing the road , this book is a keeper. Have been spending time with younger family members reading it aloud and then commenting for long periods of time on the photographs which are awesome and a must see. And they seem to take off with the book, which speaks volumes, when young people love a book so much they don't want to set it down.

Most people when they see the book may think of some television personality from the Animal Planets in some far off place down under, wrestling unsuspecting creatures into submission to be shown to the viewer. Not this author and not this book. This is the real thing. Down to earth, informative without all the grandstanding.

Which is what those of us who love to travel, and who love wildlife appreciate. We grew up around rattle snakes, cougars, grizzlies, eagles, deer and other American creatures. To the point I admit I like animals more than I like most people. And this book make you feel the same way.

The photographs are crisp and clear and the dialogue intelligent and informative, to the point I want another book from Marty Essen!!! How nice to see other parts of the world with dialogue that reminds us all that its a small world and we each have a role to play in protecting unseen places from destruction.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, Fun, Fearless! July 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Marty's book on Kindle, and I loved it! There were several terrifying moments that really made me admire the couple's courage. Marty's humor made me laugh out loud in some spots, and his writing style is a pleasure to read. I could never contemplate most of the adventures they undertook, but he made me feel like I was there--able to see, hear, and enjoy it all without the risk and the danger. Even an arm chair adventurer like me could enjoy the experience of a lifetime through Marty's delightful book. The photos were marvelous and were an integral part of the journey. Thanks so much for a wonderful ride!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous exploration of our world. April 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A delightful, extremely well-written and laid-out romp through the continents. It is evident that the author loves and respects all creatures with maybe two exceptions: His house cat and Mildred - the traveler from hell. Maybe three, if you count George W. Busch.

I expected slithery, slimy, crawly things-and got them-but in a way that was not only educational but fun and actually page-turning. Marty Essen not only looked for venomous snakes (his passion) but imagined himself (in Never-Cry-Wolf-fashion) running with the caribou way up north in the Klondike.

To boot, his intrepid, water-loving wife was game for anything. Though I had some doubt when I read that "she ran into the cold river, wallowed in the mud until her backside was all black." Oh, wait! I must have been distracted. Kate was the dog! There are some tender moments with Annie (also a dog), as well as Deb (that's the wife).

A wonderful reading experience. Don't let the high page-count scare you off. Traipsing through the thicket of seven continents does take time, and patience, and love for our planet; as well as courage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read July 16, 2013
By Bill
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have had this book (softcover) for about 5 years or so. A really good book. Just got the Kindle edition and will be reading it one more time. Not your usual travel book. Much, much better. Get it. You won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFUL TRIP, ANY ONE CAN AFFORD AND ENJOY January 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Marty did a super job of taking you along to every continent, every mud puddle, every
sighting of every animal,bird,snake, and camp site..Read the book,you will have fond memories of every continent you visit from your comfortable recliner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly enjoyable read April 28, 2008
This book takes you on an adventure with Marty Essen and his wife has they travel the globe in search of interesting creatures. Normally this style of book is something that I would find a bit dull. After reading this book I want to join in and sit down and have a beer with Marty. He has a style of writting that is very descriptive and really brings you the reader into the scene.

You can really get the feel of what the amazon must be like adventuring through the rainforests. The way Marty describes looking for the animals is amazing. You get a wonderful sense of the sights, sounds, and feel of every place that he goes in the book. The way he describes looking for amphibians almost makes me want to join in the "herping".

The photography in this book is amazing. I would love to see a coffee table book of all of the photos that were taken. I know I was scanning through the photos to see if I could find photos of the creatures they were looking for in the book. I think anyone of any age would find this book appealing as it is about the adventure and excitement for looking for unique creatures. I would highly recommend this book to you if you were looking for something different to read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adventure of a read September 26, 2006
This is a beautiful book, beautifully designed, beautifully edited, and more or less beautifully--well, enthusiastically--written with a nice selection of color photos in the center. True, Marty Essen could have left out a detail here and there--the book is 455 pages long--but when you're chronicling the adventure of a lifetime and agonizing over what to leave in and what to leave out, you naturally leave it all in, including the corny, slightly off-color jokes, the reconstructed dialogue and the atmospheric interior monologues. I think everybody who knows Marty Essen will be glad he didn't overly censor himself because one of the many things that shines clear in this fascinating book is his irrepressible personality.

Almost always up early like a kid on Christmas morning, camera in hand, Essen throws himself into snake hunting, spider adoration, mud trekking, river swimming, mountain climbing, iceberg hopping, and close encountering with hippos, crocs, vipers, and literally hundreds of other wild creatures. I'll tell you one thing, I sure would NOT want to have to foot the bill for developing the photos. Judging from the text my guess is he took tens of thousands of photos along the way. Too bad there was room in the book for only 85 of them, but they are excellent shots of himself, his pretty wife Deb, some animals and plants and some people they met.

But what really counts here is Marty Essen's love for adventure and for the flora and fauna of our planet as is his determination that he miss nothing during his trek through seven continents and some islands with intrepid wife Deb at his side, more than carrying her load. (Lucky guy to have a wife like that. But I wonder how she feels about his revealing that she snores! See page--never mind!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best travel books I've read
One of the best travel books I've read. I read from 8 to 10 books every 3 weeks and about 1/3 are travel/adventure books. Read more
Published 7 months ago by TMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Felt like I was right there with them!
A great read. The personal, casual tone let me feel like I'm vacationing right along side the author and his wife! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Too bad the author ruined it by interjecting his stupid political ...
An interesting adventure and reasonably well done. Too bad the author ruined it by interjecting his stupid political thoughts and the needless George Bush bashing. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jims
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for any nature and/or travel lover
Right off the bat you are drawn in by Marty's enthusiasm for the natural world. It’s an engaging read and whets your appetite to get out and experience theses places and see these... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Glenn Marangelo
4.0 out of 5 stars learning about snakes and insects is intresting and rather...
Very well written, I learned a lot about the beauty of snakes and insects. I also love all the places he visits.
Published 10 months ago by Mary M. Ramirez
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent travelogue.
It is a decent book, not outstanding, but not terrible either. Reads easily and he has a good grasp of English. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lloyd Crim
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool creatures, cool characters
This was definitely a four and a half star experience! Marty Essen presented an entertaining and educational travelogue that both charmed and educated the reader. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Screen
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Interesting and Unique book. I learned about some new creatures. Fr a science geek What a great book !!!! Read it
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Being an animal caretaker for a local wildlife rescue group, I naturally fell in love with this book. Read more
Published 16 months ago by William D. Howe
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool Creatures, Hot Planet, Exploring the Seven.Continents
I enjoy other people reasons for writing what they do. Will to be globaltwarming, . I believe it to be an uneducated guess or easily led astray. The earth has been warming. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Bird's eye view
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More About the Author

Born in Duluth, Minnesota, Marty Essen developed a love of animals at an early age. When he was eight years old, his first "pet," a black widow spider, gave birth to hundreds of babies, which promptly crawled onto his hands when he opened the jar to feed them. He prudently traded his spiders for a horned toad.

Marty's dream of an animal-oriented career became sidetracked at the age of 13, when he volunteered to answer request lines at a radio station. That position led to a job as a radio announcer, which in turn led him to become the owner of a Minneapolis-based talent management agency.

In 1990, Gig Magazine contracted Marty for his first professional writing work--a series of feature articles on the music business.

Eventually Marty moved to Montana to launch an independent local telephone company. In 2001, while being interviewed for a story about his telephone company, Marty mentioned to the reporter that he was heading to the Amazon rainforest. The reporter invited him to write a story about his adventures.

Marty's Amazon story ran as a feature article in two Montana newspapers. The Amazon story, and a second story about a trip to Australia, were so well received that he decided to expand his travels to all seven continents.

While traveling the world, in search of rare and interesting wildlife, Marty was stung by one of the world's most venomous insects, bitten by a poisonous snake, surrounded by wolves, attacked by a hippo--and had the time of his life. He chronicled his unique adventures in his first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents.

Cool Creatures, Hot Planet won three first-place awards for travel/essay writing: the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award, the 2007 National Indie Excellence Book Award, and the Best Books 2006 Book Award. It also won bronze metals in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards and the IPPY Awards. Additionally, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet won first place in the Animals category at the 2009 Green Book Festival in Los Angeles, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune named it a Top-10 Green Book. In 2014, the new Kindle version of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet became an Amazon #1 Best Seller for Wildlife.

In late 2007, Marty Essen began presenting Around the World in 90 Minutes at colleges, museums, and nature centers across the United States. Based on his book, Marty's high-energy multi-media show takes audiences on an unforgettable worldwide adventure, packed with rare and interesting wildlife. It's the type of show where the audience has fun laughing at the stories, oohing and aahing at the photos, and then, when it's all done, they realize just how much they've learned.

In November 2008, Marty Essen became APCA's (the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities) #1 Booked College Speaker, and since then he has spent a total of 50 months at the #1 position. In 2011, Campus Activities Magazine named Marty a "Hot Speaker" pick for 2011. Currently, Around the World in 90 Minutes is the 2nd most-popular slide-show of all-time (behind Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"), a position it will likely hold for years to come!

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