By the time Blair Braverman was eighteen, she had left her home in California, moved to arctic Norway to learn to drive sled dogs, and found work as a tour guide on a glacier in Alaska. Determined to carve out a life as a "tough girl"--a young woman who confronts danger without apology--she slowly developed the strength and resilience the landscape demanded of her.
- Author:Braverman, BlairSummary:
- Author:Lee, Jessica J.Summary:
A chance discovery of letters written by her immigrant grandfather leads Jessica J. Lee to her ancestral homeland, Taiwan. There, she seeks his story while growing closer to the land he knew.
Lee hikes mountains home to Formosan flamecrests, birds found nowhere else on earth, and swims in a lake of drowned cedars. She bikes flatlands where spoonbills alight by fish farms, and learns about a tree whose fruit can float in the ocean for years, awaiting landfall. Throughout, Lee unearths surprising parallels between the natural and human stories that have shaped her family and their beloved island. Joyously attentive to the natural world, Lee also turns a critical gaze upon colonialist explorers who mapped the land and named plants, relying on and often effacing the labor and knowledge of local communities.
Two Trees Make a Forest is a genre-shattering book encompassing history, travel, nature, and memoir, an extraordinary narrative showing how geographical forces are interlaced with our family stories.
- Author:Nicholson, DeanSummary:
When thirty-year-old Dean Nicholson set off from Scotland to cycle around the world, his aim was to learn as much as he could about our troubled planet. But he hadn't bargained on the lessons he'd learn from his unlikely companion. In the mountains between Montenegro and Bosnia, Nicholson came across an abandoned kitten. Soon on his travels with the cat he named Nala, they forged an unbreakable bond.
- Author:Davis, WadeSummary:
A captivating new book from Wade Davis—award-winning, best-selling author and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence for more than a decade—that brings vividly to life the story of the great Río Magdalena, illuminating Colombia's complex past, present, and future Travelers often become enchanted with the first country that captures their hearts and gives them license to be free. For Wade Davis, it was Colombia. Now in a masterly new book, Davis tells of his travels on the mighty Magdalena, the river that made possible the nation. Along the way, he finds a people who have overcome years of conflict precisely because of their character, informed by an enduring spirit of place, and a deep love of a land that is home to the greatest ecological and geographical diversity on the planet. As Gabriel García Márquez once wrote during his own pilgrimage on the river: "The only reason I would like to be young again would be the chance to travel again on a freighter going up the Magdalena." Only in Colombia can a traveler wash ashore in a coastal desert, follow waterways through wetlands as wide as the sky, ascend narrow tracks through dense tropical forests, and reach verdant Andean valleys rising to soaring ice-clad summits. This rugged and impossible geography finds its perfect coefficient in the topography of the Colombian spirit: restive, potent, at times placid and calm, in moments explosive and wild. Both a corridor of commerce and a fountain of culture, the wellspring of Colombian music, literature, poetry, and prayer, the Magdalena has served in dark times as the graveyard of the nation. And yet, always, it returns as a river of life. At once an absorbing adventure and an inspiring tale of hope and redemption, Magdalena gives us a rare, kaleidoscopic picture of a nation on the verge of a new period of peace. Braiding together memoir, history, and journalism, Wade Davis tells the story of the country's most magnificent river, and in doing so, tells the epic story of Colombia.
- Author:Jason, VictoriaSummary:
During the summers of 1991 through 1994 Victoria Jason and two companions--Fred Reffler and Don Starkell--set out to kayak from Churchill, Manitoba to Tuktoyaktuk on the Beaufort Sea. When she set out in 1991, Victoria, already a grandmother of two, had been kayaking for only a year and was still recovering from the second of two strokes.
- Author:McAllister, IanSummary:
The Great Bear Rainforest is the fabled region that stretches up the rugged Pacific coast from the top of Vancouver Island to southern Alaska. A longtime resident of the area, award-winning photographer and conservationist Ian McAllister takes us on a deeply personal journey from the headwaters of the Great Bear Rainforest's unexplored river valleys down to where the ocean meets the rainforest and finally to the hidden depths of the offshore world. Along the way, we meet the spectacular wildlife that inhabits the Great Bear Rainforest--in a not-so-unusual week, McAllister quietly observes twenty-seven bears fishing for salmon, three of which are the famed pure white grizzlies, Kermodes. McAllister introduces us to the First Nations people who have lived there for millennia and have become his close friends and allies, and to the scientists conducting groundbreaking research and racing against time to protect the rainforest from massive energy projects.
- Author:Steves, RickSummary:
Rick Steves knows Europe inside and out, and has made a career of inspiring people to explore, connect, and step outside their comfort zones. With a brand-new, original introduction from Rick reflecting on his decades of travel, this book features 100 of the best stories published throughout his career.
- Author:Coburn, BroughtonSummary:
A team of climbers and filmmakers set out to make photographic history and come face-to-face with disaster.
- Dirt : adventures in Lyon as a chef in training, father, and sleuth looking for the secret of French cookingAuthor:Buford, BillSummary:
A hilariously self-deprecating, highly obsessive account of the author's adventures, in the world of French haute cuisine, for anyone whose ever found joy in cooking and eating food with their family—from the author of the best-selling, widely acclaimed Heat . A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Bill Buford turns his inimitable attention from Italian cuisine to the food of France. Baffled by the language, but convinced that he can master the art of French cooking—or at least get to the bottom of why it is so revered— he begins what becomes a five-year odyssey by shadowing the esteemed French chef Michel Richard, in Washington, D.C. But when Buford (quickly) realizes that a stage in France is necessary, he goes—this time with his wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow—to Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Studying at L'Institut Bocuse, cooking at the storied, Michelin-starred La Mère Brazier, enduring the endless hours and exacting rigeur of the kitchen, Buford becomes a man obsessed—with proving himself on the line, proving that he is worthy of the gastronomic secrets he's learning, proving that French cooking actually derives from ( mon dieu! ) the Italian. With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterly ability to immerse himself—and us—in his surroundings, Bill Buford has written what is sure to be the food-lover's book of the year.
- Author:Porter, CatherineSummary:
In January 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands of people and paralyzing the country. Catherine Porter, a newly minted international reporter, was one of the first journalists on the ground in the earthquake's aftermath. Moments after she arrived in Haiti, Catherine found her first story. A ragtag group of volunteers told her about a "miracle child"-a three-year-old girl who had survived six days under the rubble and emerged virtually unscathed. Catherine found the girl the next day, eating under a tree and being fawned over by volunteers, wearing a too-big pink corduroy skirt that slipped endearingly down her backside. Her family was a mystery; her future uncertain. All they knew was her name: Lovely. She seemed a symbol of Haiti-both hopeful and despairing. When Catherine learned that Lovely had been reunited with her family, she did what any journalist would do and followed the story. The cardinal rule of journalism is to remain objective and not become personally involved in the stories you report. But Catherine broke that rule on the last day of her second trip to Haiti. That day, Catherine made the simple decision to enroll Lovely in school, and to pay for it with her own money. Over the next five years, Catherine would visit Lovely and her family seventeen times, while also reporting on the country's struggles to harness the international rush of aid to "build back better," in the words of Bill Clinton. Each trip, Catherine's relationship with Lovely and her family became more involved and more complicated. The family had more children, and soon Catherine was funding tuition for four kids and rent for two families. Trying to balance her instincts as a mother and a journalist, and feeling increasingly like a human ATM, Catherine found herself struggling to align her worldview with the realities of Haiti after the earthquake.