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

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

5 Mini-Reviews from the Did-Not-Finish Stack

I used to hold myself to a strict standard of finishing every book I started. It was painful. Why insist on spending precious time finishing something I’m not enjoying just because I made a decision one time to read it? Abandoning feels freeing in its own little way. Time for another look into some of the books I’ve tried and put aside over the past … Continue reading 5 Mini-Reviews from the Did-Not-Finish Stack

Then and Now, Across America’s Last Frontier

Book review: Tip of the Iceberg, by Mark Adams (Amazon / Book Depository) Travel writer Mark Adams recounts his experiences traveling in Alaska, that “last great American frontier”, following the trail of an exploratory expedition run by railroad tycoon Edward Harriman in 1899. That expedition was mapping the state’s coastline, and included famed naturalist and conservationist writer John Muir (a self-described “author and student of … Continue reading Then and Now, Across America’s Last Frontier

“Moose antlers on the roof (already confirmed).”

Book review: Butcher, Baker: A True Account of a Serial Murder, by Walter Gilmour and Leland E. Hale (Amazon / Book Depository) Butcher, Baker is the true story from the law enforcement side of the investigation and capture of 1970s/80s Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen. Originally published in 1991, a new ebook edition is being rereleased on October 25th. A film version came out in 2013, The … Continue reading “Moose antlers on the roof (already confirmed).”

Cold-Blooded Murder on America’s Last Frontier

Book review: Ice and Bone: Tracking an Alaskan Serial Killer, by Monte Francis (Amazon / Book Depository) There’s something exotic about Alaska and its identity in America as our “Last Frontier”, compared with what Alaskans call the “Lower 48”. I don’t know much about it, besides that it used to be Russia, it’s the least-populated U.S. state, Jewel and insane Sarah Palin are from it, … Continue reading Cold-Blooded Murder on America’s Last Frontier