An Armchair Traveler Adventure
The summer season invites us all to be outdoors. Whether the beach is your ideal destination or the shady avenues of a metropolis, summer beckons and whispers its sweet notes of nature. My perfect summer day includes a view of the mountains, a tent for two and enough trail mix to last on a hike up a mountain. Whatever is included in your perfect day make it a point to do those things this season, for summer’s quiet transformation to autumn will be upon us soon enough.
In this armchair traveler adventure, we will experience the wild beauty of Alaska’s northern shores and deep forests, seeking wolves and whales and a moment of awe for the untamed natural views. For while winter is the season in many of these tales, it is the natural wonders I wish to emphasize. I hope that someday I too will see and experience this amazing land and the landscape that can only be described as wild.
*If you missed our last adventure to Ireland, take a look at the past “Top Five” blogs.
Big Miracle (unabridged) – Before the motion picture staring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski debuted in movie theatres, author and journalist Tom Rose wrote a first-hand account of the dramatic rescue of three gray whales trapped under the ice in Alaska in 1988. At the time, this event in a tiny Alaskan village “mesmerized the world for weeks”. It brought 150 international journalists to the scene and the attention of both President Ronald Reagan and Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Remember: audiobooks are great for long road trips or short jaunts around town!
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey earned distinction as a 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in the Fiction category. Alaska, 1920; Jack and Mabel, a middle aged married couple, have come to Alaska to escape their past and accept their vanished dreams of a daughter or a son. “In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone, but they glimpse a young, blond- haired girl running through the trees.” During the winter, I read and enjoyed this title; with its wonderful descriptions of the Alaskan landscape and incorporated a little myth to tell the snow child’s story.
Into the Wild, John Krakauer’s National Bestseller, is the true story of Christopher McCandless and his solo sojourn into the wilds of Alaska. Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, he frees himself from all material possessions and money to pursue his ideal life. Following in the footsteps of his heroes Jack London and John Muir, McCandless goes into the wild leaving everyone to wonder about his fate. “Engrossing… with a telling eye for detail, Krakauer has captured the sad saga of a stubborn, idealistic young man.”
Call of the Wild, Jack London’s most popular work is a definite classic. The story centers on Buck, a St. Bernard/Shepard mix dog that is stolen from his home in California and transported to Alaska’s, Yukon Territory to work as a sled dog. The novel portrays Buck’s wild ancestral instincts and his eventual transformation into a fierce and independent animal.
If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small Town Alaska, author Heather Lende, a well-known contributor to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, shares in this memoir her experience as a wife, mother, and friend in tiny and isolated Haines, Alaska. A twenty year resident, Lende uses her perspective as the local obituary writer and social columnist to write about the friendly and colorful townspeople and the wildlife that “share this wild and perilous land.”
Renee Lienhard is a Collection Development Analyst for OverDrive