Ahoy there, me hearties! If life is ever feeling a bit hum-drum, you can count on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island to carry you away to a land of adventure with treasure, pirates, and mutiny included. The story is about Jim Hawkins, whose mother’s boarding house connects him with a mysterious pirate. This encounter leads him across the sea to follow a treasure map and seek unbelievable riches.
Stevenson dishes up adventure and suspense galore with this swashbuckling tale. He had an uncanny ability to provide enough detail to make the story come alive without bogging the story down. This classic can be experienced on DVD, audiobook, graphic novel, or as a good old-fashioned book.
Wildest Dream tells the story of George Mallory and his quest to climb Mt. Everest. In the early 1900′s, Mallory took part in three expeditions to attempt to summit the highest mountain in the world. On his third attempt in 1924, Mallory and his climbing partner Sandy Irvine both disappeared, their last known location only a few hundred meters from the summit. In 1999, mountaineer Conrad Anker and his team of climbers discovered the body of Mallory, with his personal effects remaining intact in his pack. The body was located where Mallory appeared to suffer a fall, broke a leg and froze to death. Irvine’s body has never been located. The only item missing from Mallory’s effects is a photograph of his wife, which he promised to leave on the summit of the mountain. Anker’s life becomes entwined with the legend of Mallory as he tries to re-create Mallory’s climb in order to see if it was possible that Mallory could have reached the summit. He and his partner Leo Houlding go to the extreme of removing a ladder installed in the 1970′s at the second step to the summit and free-climbing that portion of the mountain on the route that Mallory would have taken. This DVD alternates between original footage of Mallory’s expedition and following Anker’s harrowing climb up to the summit of Everest.The story is enhanced by readings from letters sent between Mallory and his wife Ruth. Was Mallory the first to summit Everest? The mystery may never be resolved, but this exciting DVD offers many insights into the psyche of mountaineers as well as into man and the legend that is George Mallory.
>The Unconquered:In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes is an extraordinary tale of a journey into the most remote regions of the Amazon to locate a mysterious tribe–the flecherios–the Arrow People. Scott Wallace, on assignment for National Geographic, joins the 2002 expedition led by Sydney Possuelo, a leader in the National Indian Foundation of Brazil, whose goal is to protect uncontacted Indian tribes and to protect the large tract of unspoiled rainforest that has been set aside for the survival of these tribes. The trek is a grueling 3 month journey, often undertaken with insufficient food or clean water as they travel by boat, canoe and foot through the dense jungle, surrounded by dangers in the form of poisonous snakes and insects, caimans, piranhas, and deadly jaguars. Human dangers also face the men in the form of drug runners, illegal miners and loggers, and the elusive Arrow People, whose ability to shoot their arrows with deadly accuracy then vanish into the jungle strikes fear into all of the expedition members. Wallace describes the journey in fascinating detail, but besides telling a tale of adventure and exploration, he discusses the plight of indigenous tribes, both in the past and the present. The result of contact with people from the outside have usually resulted in the death and destruction of these isolated tribes. Possuelo’s approach is significantly different from contacts with tribes throughout history, made with luring natives with beads, glass or knives and other tools. “[He] sought nothing, and in turn gave little. He was just passing through. He didn’t want locals to fret, didn’t want to uncover their secrets, didn’t want to know much of anything except to know that they were doing fine…What he offered was at once nothing and everything, something so huge and intangible that they’d never know he’d even given it to them–the chance to endure, to survive another day, to replicate their way of life, a way of life that had all but vanished from the rest of the planet”.
Wallace has written a profound and revealing portrait of the last great wilderness on earth and of the forces working both for and against it’s destruction. This is a thought-provoking look at our relationship with nature and our responsibility to allow these indigenous tribes to exist in their chosen manner and in their familiar environment without exploitation by the outside world.
A miniature schnauzer named Atticus M. Finch has climbed all48 of the four-thousand-foot mountains in New Hampshire several times. Following Atticus most of the way has beenTom Ryan, a middle aged formerly overweight newspaper owner from Newburyport, Massachusetts.
I was delighted toopen this book after seeing the cute cover of a winsome dog, Atticus, and begin reading a storythat warmed my soul. Having recentlybeen on a fall foliage tour of New England anddiscovering the White Mountains of New Hampshire I was amazed to also havestayed in the quaint town that adopted Atticus. We stumbled onto it one rainy evening looking for a place to stay. Our next day’s destination was Boston, but we were too tired to drive thatfar and fight city traffic. The ClarkCurrier Bed and Breakfast will always be a highlight of our trip, as will Newburyport’s beautifulsea captain’s homes. Tom shares storiesof the special people of this place but also the low-down nasty politics of asmall town. He spends his days rubbingshoulders with everyone possible to find gossip for his underground newspaper,the Undertoad.
When Tom finds alittle puppy to purchase and accompany him on his business excursions, Atticusopens doors all over town. Who can resista well mannered little dog? As Tom andAtticus begin spending time in the mountains, first with friends and family andthen more regularly on their own, he begins to find peace and contentmentmissing from his rough upbringing. Thosewho enjoy the solitude of the outdoors and hiking will appreciate the way Tomwrites of his love for nature. Those wholove animals will be amazed at the devotion and fortitude of this 20-pound spirited dog. Those who love books will be constantly touched by the lovelyreferences to great writers through quotes and poetry sprinkled throughout thestory. Following Atticus: Forty-EightHigh Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship
is truly abeautiful book you will want to share.
Take to the high seas with the British Navy and our brave hero Horatio Hornblower. Based on the books by C.S. Forester, this film series created by A&E will keep you on the edge of your seat. Join Horatio as he navigates the alliances and feuds among his fellow officers, faces the enemy, and rises through the ranks, all while being incredibly dashing and clever. Full of adventure, this series is a rousing good time.
The Ledge begins with a heartfelt and poignant letter from author Jim Davidson to his friend Mike Price, leaving no doubt that Davidson survived their fall into a crevasse but Price did not. This knowledge, however, does not detract from their engrossing story.
Davidson relates his interest in climbing from his beginning efforts in New England to his move to Colorado. He met and became climbing partners with Mike Price, describing the trust and reliance needed in order to be partners. There are fascinating details about climbing—the methodical checking and re-checking of equipment and routes, the mental mindset needed, the safety precautions taken and the unknown variables that can affect the most careful of climbers. Davidson describes in great detail the climb with Price to the summit of Mt. Rainier—both climbers had the experience, ability and mental strength to make the climb. After summiting and on the way down, a collapsing snow bridge causes a fall into a crevasse, where they land part way down on a small ledge. Price is killed in the fall, and Davidson must leave his friend and climb the 80 foot ice wall in order to survive. He meticulously describes his emotions, his precarious situation and the process of climbing out of the crevasse. Afterwards, Davidson’s struggle to cope with despair and survivors guilt is emotional and touching and his will to overcome the tragedy is impressive. This is not only a story of climbing, friendship and courage but of determination to overcome impossible odds in order to survive. The Ledge is an engrossing and inspirational adventure story.
>Two women walking from Spokane, Washington to New York City, in 1896, seems a ridiculous task. Yet, that is exactly what Helga demanded of herself and her daughter, Clara. After all, the $10,000 payment would be worth anything they might have to go through, right? There were stipulations of course; they must walk within a certain amount of time, they couldn’t beg or take charity of any kind, they must wear the new shorter dresses, and they had to get important people to sign their document. Peace of cake, oh yeah! The trials along the way are daunting in and of themselves, but the life Clara leads after their return home is a whole different story. Read for yourself how Clara pulls through the journey, in The Daughter’s Walk, and how she deals with a life of separation from her family upon her return to Washington.
>Dr. Aronson is a domestic animal veterinarian treating dogs, cats, hamsters, and monkeys at his practice in Cape Town, South Africa. But because of his expertise he is also called upon to help with wild animals in the bush, in zoos, and on game reserves. Each chapter is a new adventure as Dr. Aronson treats elephants, rhinoceros, cheetah, lions, crocodile, and many other African animals. It is fascinating to go on safari with Dr. Aronson as he endangers himself to treat these wild animals. Tales of an African Vet is entertaining as well as educational. Go on this safari for yourself and you will learn about the life of this veterinarian but even more about the land and animals of South Africa.
>Dr. Aronson is a domestic animal veterinarian treating dogs, cats, hamsters, and monkeys at his practice in Cape Town, South Africa. But because of his expertise he is also called upon to help with wild animals in the bush, in zoos, and on game reserves. Each chapter is a new adventure as Dr. Aronson treats elephants, rhinoceros, cheetah, lions, crocidile, and many other African animals. It is fascinating to go on safari with Dr. Aronson as he endangers himself to treat these wild animals. Tales of an African Vet is entertaining as well as educational. Go on this safari for yourself and you will learn about the life of this veterinarian but even more about the land and animals of South Africa.
Journalist Graham Bowley chronicles a day of triumph and tragedy in 2008 in his book No Way Down
. It is the story of a group of climbers trying to summit K2, the second tallest mountain in the world. Although slightly lower in altitude than Everest, K2 presents climbers with a more dangerous and challenging climb, so much so that far fewer climbers have reached the summit of K2 than of Everest, and many of those who reached the top did not survive the descent.
The day of climbing began with groups from several countries attempting a coordinated ascent of the mountain. These were not the guided tours of climbers often found on Everest, but experienced and well-trained climbers who knew the risks of attempting to summit such a dangerous mountain. After a period of confusion and of poor decision-making, the teams were late in their ascents and descents, resulting in most climbers starting their climbs too late in the day thus requiring they climb down in the darkness. Climbers were forced to spend much more time than planned in the oxygen-poor, freezing cold high altitude. Eleven climbers perished on the mountain that day and night.
Bowley reconstructs the events of the day through interviews with survivors, family members and others involved in the expeditions, revealing both the tragedy and heroism demonstrated on that day. Now Way Down
offers fascinating insights into the world of extreme mountain climbing and into the minds of those who are willing to risk their lives to reach the summits of the highest mountains in the world.
Audiobooks are not usually my favorite medium. It takes longer to get through the book, and I don’t always like the voice of the person performing the reading. By happy accident, I picked up Skulduggery Pleasant on audiobook for a long car ride, and I’m very happy I did. The book is performed by Rupert Degas (and he does all the voices). I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t have liked the book as well as I did if I hadn’t listened to it.
Twelve-year-old Stephanie Edgley’s uncle dies suddenly and leaves her most of his possessions in his will. His death also means she meets one of his old friends, Skulduggery Pleasant, at the funeral and the reading of the will. Skulduggery is rather an odd character. He wears a tailored suit, a long trench coat, a hat, wig, scarf and sunglasses. Turns out he’s a skeleton. He also doesn’t think Stephanie’s Uncle Gordon died of natural causes. Thus begins the investigation into Gordon Edgley’s murder and the introduction of Stephanie into a different side of reality she never knew existed. A world filled with things from living skeletons to vampires to old gods some are trying to bring back.
Derek Landy’s story is filled with humor. This novel would probably fit well under the heading “screwball fantasy.” It also won the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book of the Decade Award and is part of a series. Three of the series have already been released and the fourth is set to be released on April 1.