Finding Clarity in the Alaskan Wilderness

Book review: The Sun is a Compass, by Caroline van Hemert (Amazon / Book Depository) Biologist and ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert was burning out. PhD completed, nothing about the next steps into work or research felt right. She was happily paired with Pat, the man she’d bonded with over their mutual love of the outdoors and adventure. But she grappled with bigger issues — would … Continue reading Finding Clarity in the Alaskan Wilderness

The Wild, Wonderful World of Couchsurfing in Russia

Book review: Behind Putin’s Curtain, by Stephan Orth (Amazon / Book Depository) Hamburg-based journalist Stephan Orth has written several books about his global couchsurfing adventures in unconventional locales. Orth brings a certain cheerful openness and humorous curiosity to his adventuring, and of the touristic method of couchsurfing, he mentions that it offers “the mutual gift of time and curiosity,” something lacking in all-inclusive trips or … Continue reading The Wild, Wonderful World of Couchsurfing in Russia

Jon Krakauer’s Classic On An Ill-Fated Walk Into Wilderness

Book review: Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer (Amazon / Book Depository) His exact words were: “I think I’m going to disappear for a while.” At 24, Chris McCandless was a young man with, on the surface, a lot going for him. His family had provided wealth and economic stability, he was smart and college educated, and possessed a unique ability to connect with people, … Continue reading Jon Krakauer’s Classic On An Ill-Fated Walk Into Wilderness

Roosevelt in the Rainforest

Book review: The River of Doubt, by Candice Millard (Amazon / Book Depository) Candice Millard, former National Geographic writer, describes the journey Theodore Roosevelt undertook traveling the then unmapped Amazonian River of Doubt, an adventurous exploration that nearly ended up costing him his life. A few others did lose their lives under varying circumstances during the arduous and ill-planned journey. But history was made, as … Continue reading Roosevelt in the Rainforest

An Atlantic Shipwreck Seen Through its Sole Survivor

Book review: Adrift, by Brian Murphy with Toula Vlahou Amazon Adrift tells the story of the packet ship John Rutledge, which in 1856 crossed the North Atlantic from Liverpool to New York with a cargo consisting mostly of mail and around 100 passengers, many of them emigrating from Ireland. The ship navigated turbulent winter conditions before ultimately hitting an iceberg somewhere off the coast of Newfoundland, … Continue reading An Atlantic Shipwreck Seen Through its Sole Survivor

America’s Plant and Agricultural Immigrants

Book review: The Food Explorer, by Daniel Stone (Amazon / Book Depository) One of the humbling parts of being an American is the regular reminder that no matter how swollen America’s pride or power, nothing has been American for very long. A few years ago, it occurred to me that the same way immigrants came to our soil, so did our food. I was at … Continue reading America’s Plant and Agricultural Immigrants