The books in this guide are non-fiction (based on real events) and provide only a sample of what is available.
Adventurers - click on "i' for description
Into the Wild by Jon KrakauerIn April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. 207 pages.
Call Number: 917.98045 KRAKAUE
Publication Date: 1997-01-20
Marooned in the Arctic - YA by Peggy CaravantesIn 1921, four men ventured into the Arctic for a top-secret expedition: an attempt to claim uninhabited Wrangel Island in northern Siberia for Great Britain. With the men was a young Inuit woman named Ada Blackjack, who had signed on as cook and seamstress to earn money to care for her sick son. Conditions soon turned dire for the team when they were unable to kill enough game to survive. Three of the men tried to cross the frozen Chukchi Sea for help but were never seen again, leaving Ada with one remaining team member who soon died of scurvy. Determined to be reunited with her son, Ada learned to survive alone in the icy world by trapping foxes, catching seals, and avoiding polar bears. After she was finally rescued in August 1923, after two years total on the island, Ada became a celebrity, with newspapers calling her a real "female Robinson Crusoe. 194 pages
Call Number: 910.92 CARAVAN
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
The Oregon Trail : a new American journey by Rinker BuckAt once an American journey, a work of history, and a personal saga, this book tells the story of Rinker Buck's 2,000-mile expedition across the plains. He was accompanied by three cantankerous mules, his boisterous brother, Nick, and an "incurably filthy" Jack Russell terrier named Olive Oyl. Along the way, Buck dodges thunderstorms in Nebraska, chases his runaway mules across miles of Wyoming plains, scouts more than five hundred miles of nearly vanished trail on foot, crosses the Rockies, makes desperate fifty-mile forced marches for water, and repairs so many broken wheels and axles that he nearly reinvents the art of wagon travel itself. Apart from charting his own geographical and emotional adventure, Buck introduces readers to the evangelists, shysters, natives, trailblazers, and everyday dreamers who were among the first of the pioneers to make the journey west.
Call Number: 978 BUCK
Publication Date: 2015-06-30
The Species Seekers by Richard ConniffFrom the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth, a colorful band of amateur naturalists explored the most perilous corners of the planet to discover new life-forms. Amid globe-spanning tales of adventure, Richard Conniff recounts a dramatic historical shift, as humans finally discovered the pantheon of life on Earth-and our place within it.
Mountaineering / Climbing- click on "i' for description
Addicted to Danger : a memoir by Jim Wickwire; Dorothy BullittAdventurist Jim Wickwire has lived life on the edge -- literally. An eyewitness to glory, terror, and tragedy above 20,000 feet, he has braved bitter cold, blinding storms, and avalanches to become what the Los Angeles Times calls "one of America's most extraordinary and accomplished high-altitude mountaineers." 322 pages (large print)
Backpacker Magazine's the National Parks Coast to Coast by Backpacker Magazine Editors Staff; Ted AlvarezExplore the crystal clear waters on the Summit Lakes Trail at Lassen Volcanic National Park, take in the expansive views at Shenandoah National Park's Old Rag Mountain, or traverse the sandstone cliffs at Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. Choose your adventure from any of the forty-four national parks profiled throughout the book. This book delivers jaw-dropping photos, detailed hike descriptions and maps, ranger essays, and more, all of which combine to create an intimate look at the best our national parks have to offer.
Arctic Labyrinth by Glyndwr WilliamsThe elusive dream of locating the Northwest Passage--an ocean route over the top of North America that promised a shortcut to the fabulous wealth of Asia--obsessed explorers for centuries. While global warming has brought several such routes into existence, until recently these channels were hopelessly choked by impassible ice. Voyagers faced unimaginable horrors--entire ships crushed, mass starvation, disabling frostbite, even cannibalism--in pursuit of a futile goal. In Arctic Labyrinth, Glyn Williams charts the entire sweep of this extraordinary history, from the tiny, woefully equipped vessels of the first Tudor expeditions to the twentieth-century ventures that finally opened the Passage. Williams's thrilling narrative delves into private letters and journals to expose the gritty reality behind the often self-serving accounts of those in charge. An important work of maritime history and exploration--and as exciting a tale of heroism and fortitude as readers will find--Arctic Labyrinth is also a remarkable study in human delusion.
Publication Date: 2010-03-01
Battle of Ink and Ice by Darrell HartmanThe Lost City of the Monkey God A sixty-year saga of frostbite and fake news that follows the no-holds-barred battle between two legendary explorers to reach the North Pole, and the newspapers which stopped at nothing to get-and sell-the story. In the fall of 1909, a pair of bitter contests captured the world's attention. The American explorers Robert Peary and Frederick Cook both claimed to have discovered the North Pole, sparking a vicious feud that was unprecedented in international scientific and geographic circles. At the same time, the rivalry between two powerful New York City newspapers--the storied Herald and the ascendant Times--fanned the flames of the so-called polar controversy, as each paper financially and reputationally committed itself to an opposing explorer and fought desperately to defend him. The Herald was owned and edited by James Gordon Bennett, Jr., an eccentric playboy whose nose for news was matched only by his appetite for debauchery and champagne. The Times was published by Adolph Ochs, son of Jewish immigrants, who'd improbably rescued the paper from extinction and turned it into an emerging powerhouse. The battle between Cook and Peary would have enormous consequences for both newspapers, and help to determine the future of corporate media. BATTLE OF INK AND ICE presents a frank portrayal of Arctic explorers, brave men who both inspired and deceived the public. It also sketches a vivid portrait of the newspapers that funded, promoted, narrated, and often distorted their exploits. It recounts a sixty-year saga of frostbite and fake news, one that culminates with an unjustly overlooked chapter in the origin story of the modern New York Times. By turns tragic and absurd, BATTLE OF INK AND ICE brims with contemporary relevance, touching as it does on themes of class, celebrity, the ever-quickening news cycle, and the benefits and pitfalls of an increasingly interconnected world. Above all, perhaps, its cast of characters testifies--colorfully and compellingly--to the ongoing role of personality and publicity in American cultural life as the Gilded Age gave way to the twentieth century--the American century.
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel PhilbrickFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Valiant Ambition and In the Hurricane's Eye, the riveting and critically acclaimed bestseller and a major motion picture starring Chris Hemsworth, directed by Ron Howard "With its huge, scarred head halfway out of the water and its tail beating the ocean into a white-water wake more than forty feet across, the whale approached the ship at twice its original speed--at least six knots. With a tremendous cracking and splintering of oak, it struck the ship just beneath the anchor secured at the cat-head on the port bow. . ." In the Heart of the Sea brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex--an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. In a harrowing page-turner, Nathaniel Philbrick restores this epic story to its rightful place in American history. In 1820, the 240-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage for whales. Fifteen months later, in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific, it was repeatedly rammed and sunk by an eighty-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew, fearing cannibals on the islands to the west, made for the 3,000-mile-distant coast of South America in three tiny boats. During ninety days at sea under horrendous conditions, the survivors clung to life as one by one, they succumbed to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear. In the Heart of the Sea tells perhaps the greatest sea story ever. Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of whale lore and with a brilliantly detailed portrait of the lost, unique community of Nantucket whalers. Impeccably researched and beautifully told, the book delivers the ultimate portrait of man against nature, drawing on a remarkable range of archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship's cabin boy. At once a literary companion and a page-turner that speaks to the same issues of class, race, and man's relationship to nature that permeate the works of Melville, In the Heart of the Sea will endure as a vital work of American history.
Publication Date: 2000-05-08
The Ship, the Saint, and the Sailor by Bradley G. StevensThe true story about a shipwreck discovery, exciting explorations, broken alliances, and returning a lost piece of Alaskan history. Since its sinking in 1860 while transporting a valuable cargo of ice, the Kad'yak ship had remained submerged underwater and faded in Alaska's memory, covered by the legend of an experienced but perhaps rusty sailor and a broken promise to a saint. At the time the ship had been under command of the well-recognized Captain Illarion Arkhimandritov, who had sailed in Alaskan waters for years. It seemed a simple task when he was asked to placate superstitions and honor the late Father Herman, or Saint Herman, on his next visit to Kodiak Island. But Arkhimandritov failed to keep his promise, and shortly thereafter the Kad'yak met its demise in the very waters the captain should have been most familiar with--leaving just the mast above the water in the shape of the cross, right in front of the saint's grave. Presumed gone or else destroyed, it wasn't until 143 years later that the Kad'yak was found. In this riveting memoir, scientist Bradley Stevens tells all about the incredible discovery and recovery of the ship--deciphering the sea captain's muddled journal, digging through libraries and other scientists' notes, boating over and around the wreck site in circles. Through careful documentation, interviews, underwater photography, and historical research, Stevens recounts the process of finding the Kad'yak, as well as the tumultuous aftermath of bringing the legendary ship's story to the public--from the formed collaborations to torn partnerships to the legal battles. An important part of Alaska's history told from Stevens's modern-day sea expedition, The Ship, the Saint, and the Sailor reveals one of the oldest known shipwreck sites in Alaska discovered and its continuing story today.