My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir

My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir

My First Summer in the Sierra

by John Muir

In the summer of 1869, John Muir, a young Scottish immigrant, joined a crew of shepherds in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The diary he kept while tending sheep formed the heart of this book and eventually lured thousands of Americans to visit Yosemite country.

First published in 1911, My First Summer in the Sierra incorporates the lyrical accounts and sketches he produced during his four-month stay in the Yosemite River Valley and the High Sierra. His record tracks that memorable experience, describing in picturesque terms the majestic vistas, flora and fauna, and other breathtaking natural wonders of the area.

Today Muir is recognized as one of the most important and influential naturalists and nature writers in America. This book, the most popular of the author’s works, will delight environmentalists and nature lovers with its exuberant observations.

Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith

Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith

Letters from Yellowstone

by Diane Smith
In the spring of 1898, A. E. (Alexandria) Bartram—a spirited young woman with a love for botany—is invited to join a field study in Yellowstone National Park. The study’s leader, a mild-mannered professor from Montana, assumes she is a man, and is less than pleased to discover the truth. Once the scientists overcome the shock of having a woman on their team, they forge ahead on a summer of adventure, forming an enlightening web of relationships as they move from Mammoth Hot Springs to a camp high in the backcountry. But as they make their way collecting amid Yellowstone’s beauty the group is splintered by differing views on science, nature, and economics. In the tradition of A. S. Byatt’s Angels and Insects and Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever, this delightful novel captures an ever-fascinating era and one woman’s attempt to take charge of her life.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Cathy rated it ★★★★.

Blind Descent by Nevada Barr

Blind Descent by Nevada Barr

Blind Descent

by Nevada Barr

Lechuguilla Cavern is a man-eating cave discovered in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the mid-1980s. Estimated to extend for more than three hundred miles, only ninety of them mapped, the cave was formed by acid burning away the limestone; corridors, pits, cramped wormholes, cliffs, and splendid rooms the size of football fields tangle together in a maze shrouded in the utter darkness of the underground. When a fellow ranger is injured in a caving accident, Anna swallows her paralyzing fear of small spaces and descends into Lechuguilla to help a friend in need. Worse than the claustrophobia that haunts her are the signs—some natural and some, more ominously, manmade—that not everyone is destined to emerge from this wondrous living tomb. The terrain is alien and hostile; the greed and destructive powers of mankind all too familiar. In this place of internal terrors, Anna must learn who it is she can trust and, in the end, decide who is to live and who is to die.

book 6 of the Anna Pigeon series

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Cathy rated it ★★★★.

The Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler

The Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler

The Mediterranean Caper

by Clive Cussler

Dirk Pitt rides a tidal wave of intrigue in this classic Cussler.

On an isolated Greek island, a World War I fighter plane attacks a modern U.S. Air Force base—a mysterious saboteur preys on an American scientific expedition—and Dirk Pitt plays a deadly game of hunter and hunted with the elusive head of an international smuggling ring.

book 2 of the Dirk Pitt series

Heart of Fire by Linda Howard

Heart of Fire by Linda Howard

Heart of Fire

by Linda Howard

A fabulous lost Amazon city once inhabited by women warriors and containing a rare red diamond: it sounded like myth, but archaeologist Jillian Sherwood believed it was real, and she was willing to put up with anything to find it—even Ben Lewis. Ruffian, knock-about, and number one river guide in Brazil, Ben was all man—over six feet of rock-hard muscles that rippled under his khakis, with lazy blue eyes that taunted her from his tanned face. Jillian watched him come to a fast boil when she refused to reveal their exact destination upriver in the uncharted rain forests—and resolved to stand her ground. Neither of them could foresee what the days ahead promised: an odyssey into the fiery heart of passion and betrayal, and a danger that would force them to cast their fates together, immersed in the eternal, unsolved mysteries of love…

The Disorder of Longing by Natasha Bauman

The Disorder of Longing by Natasha Bauman

The Disorder of Longing

by Natasha Bauman

When her husband arrives home carrying a crate of colorful orchids, Ada Caswell Pryce thinks he is bringing her a gift, a peace offering during an unhappy time in their marriage; little does she know how much these strange looking flowers are going to change her life.

By Boston standards of the 1890s, Ada is not a good wife. Strong-willed and beautiful, she longs for the days at university when she was free to be herself. Her husband Edward is intent on curbing her wild behavior, but she thwarts him at every turn—she drinks wine with the housekeepers, gives feminist books to her maid, and sneaks out for midnight horseback rides along the Charles River.

To treat Ada’s “hysteria,” Edward restricts her daily activities and her relationships, then carefully choreographs her sexuality. Unable to bear another day of her stultifying and demeaning existence, Ada secretly plots ways to leave. Ultimately, it is her husband’s all-consuming passion for collecting rare orchids that provides Ada with a daring opportunity for escape.

Once free, Ada’s lust for adventure takes her through the dangerous slums of New York, across the high seas of the Atlantic, and finally deep into the lush jungles of Brazil.

Walking the Amazon by Ed Stafford

Walking the Amazon by Ed Stafford

Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. The Impossible Task. The Incredible Journey

by Ed Stafford

In April 2008, Ed Stafford began his attempt to become the first man ever to walk the entire length of the River Amazon. Nearly two and a half years later, he had crossed the whole of South America to reach the mouth of the colossal river.

With danger a constant companion—outwitting alligators, jaguars, pit vipers and electric eels, not to mention overcoming the hurdles of injuries and relentless tropical storms—Ed’s journey demanded extreme physical and mental strength. Often warned by natives that he would die, Ed even found himself pursued by machete-wielding tribesmen and detained for murder.

However, Ed’s journey was an adventure with a purpose: to help raise people’s awareness of environmental issues. Ed had unprecedented access to indigenous communities and witnessed the devastating effects of deforestation first-hand. His story of disappearing tribes and loss of habitats concerns us all.

Ultimately though, Amazon is an account of a world-first expedition that takes readers on the most daring journey along the world’s greatest river and through the most bio-diverse habitat on Earth.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

by David Grann

A grand mystery reaching back centuries. A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon.

After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, New Yorker writer David Grann set out to solve “the greatest exploration mystery of the 20th century”: What happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z?

In 1925 Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most important discoveries in history. For centuries Europeans believed the world’s largest jungle concealed the glittering kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humans. But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions inspired Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, had spent years building his scientific case. Captivating the imagination of millions round the globe, Fawcett embarked with his 21-year-old son, determined to prove that this ancient civilisation—which he dubbed Z—existed. Then his expedition vanished. Fawcett’s fate, and the tantalizing clues he left behind about Z, became an obsession for hundreds who followed him into the uncharted wilderness. For decades scientists & adventurers have searched for evidence of Fawcett’s party and the lost City of Z. Countless have perished, been captured by tribes or gone mad. As Grann delved ever deeper into the mystery surrounding Fawcett’s quest, and the greater mystery of what lies within the Amazon, he found himself, like the generations who preceded him, being irresistibly drawn into the jungle’s green hell. His quest for the truth and discoveries about Fawcett’s fate and Z form the heart of this complexly enthralling narrative.

The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

by Candice Millard

The Library Book Club meeting for this book was on January 18, 2018, at 6:30 in the entry foyer.

A limited number of book club reading copies were available for checkout from the circulation desk about a month prior to the meeting.

At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.

After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.

Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful non-fiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.

From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, here is Candice Millard’s dazzling debut.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Cathy rated it ★★★★★.

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