A word of advice: If an ex-president ever offers you an all-expense paid trip to an uncharted portion of the Amazon rainforest, TURN IT DOWN!
This is aA word of advice: If an ex-president ever offers you an all-expense paid trip to an uncharted portion of the Amazon rainforest, TURN IT DOWN!
This is another wonderfully written book by Candice Millard, author of "Destiny of the Republic." In it, she manages to capture the angst and utter despair of one of the worst-planned and executed scientific research trips since Robert F. Scott's ill-fated journey to the South Pole.
Following his loss to Woodrow Wilson in the 1912 presidential election, the ever-restless Theodore Roosevelt was on the lookout for the next big adventure. He found it in the budding plans of an expedition to explore an unmapped Amazonian river, known as "The River of Doubt."
Despite gathering an array of experts and men familiar with life in the jungle, Roosevelt's expedition proved to be woefully unprepared for the brutal environment that awaited them, and which nearly cost the ex-President his life.
Even from the safe confines of home, I found myself in a constant state of nervous anticipation, wondering just how the trip could get any worse, and then finding out in the next chapter just how the trip did get worse.
I recommend this book for those looking for a real-life adventure and survival story!...more
Years ago, I was recommended this and other Bill Bryson books when the recommender (or recommendee?) discovered that I loved to travel and write.
It waYears ago, I was recommended this and other Bill Bryson books when the recommender (or recommendee?) discovered that I loved to travel and write.
It wasn't until I returned from my most recent cross-country road trip that I decided to pick up The Lost Continent. I was intrigued by Bryson's humorous observations about some of the very places that I had just returned from, his endearing memories of family vacations, and his newfound love for his native state of Iowa. I thought some of his descriptions of his various stops were spot-on, others not so much.
As for Bryson's humor, I'm not sure if he was trying to employ Mark Twainesque satire to his writing, but on many occasions he came away sounding very mean-spirited and petulant, which I think spoiled the narrative a bit for me.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I was also glad that I chose to read this book after my trip so that my observations were purely my own and not influenced by the author....more
Based on the story told to her by a boy and his sister, author Lynne Cox and illustrator Brian Floca bring to life the tale of Elizabeth, an elephantBased on the story told to her by a boy and his sister, author Lynne Cox and illustrator Brian Floca bring to life the tale of Elizabeth, an elephant seal who makes her home in the Avon River which flows through the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Although the strong, powerful and regal Elizabeth (named after the English queen) is a welcome and lovable addition to the city, there were some who felt that she needed to be with her own kind far out to sea, especially when she started to sun herself in the middle of busy streets. Elizabeth, however, has other ideas.
In the battle of wills, see who will come out on top when you read Elizabeth, Queen of the Sea....more