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Summer Reading

June 8, 2018

Summer Reading

Written by: Mike Ellsworth

Life as a student can be tough and reading through textbooks, discussion posts and countless lecture slides all year long can become draining.  It sucks the joy right from reading.  Which is sad, right?!  But, summer is the time to break that idea and read a book…for fun!  Usually this is the season for “pleasure reading”.  But, that can hard to initiate.

Well, how about we help you out.  Are you looking for something with a flair of adventure and outdoor-minded to read this summer?  I love going through long extensive reading lists and picking out a great selection to dig through in those few short months.  But, scrolling through those long lists can be intimidating and we want you to be successful.  So, here are just a few books to choose from.  Hopefully, there are some titles that you’ve never heard of and that sound interesting or exciting.  So, pick one.  Just one to tackle this summer.  Let us know how it goes!

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Alright, so this one you have probably heard about.  But, this is one of my favorite books of all time.  It is the tale of a young wanderer who takes to the sea in pursuit of adventure.  The majority of the story, as we all may know, focuses on the struggle of Robinson Crusoe after being shipwrecked on an isolated island.  Crusoe labors to grow crops, find food, build shelter and protect himself from constant dangers of the island.  Though, cut off from humanity, Crusoe finds God and is comforted in his faith in a way that can encourage any modern Christian.  He finds a peace, despite his depressing situation, which surpasses all understanding.  Away from the comforts of his time, he finds comfort in God and is driven to a spirit of thankfulness and appreciation for Divine Grace.  It is a great story that ultimately points to the nature of Providence in the Christian heart.

Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine by Jason C. Anthony
This book is one of the most interesting books on food you will find out there.  Jason Anthony takes a historical look at Antarctic cuisine.  He discusses classic Antarctic adventurers and how they relied on the lousy, rotten rations and various unlikely animals for nourishment.  Be warned, that it is not for the weak stomach, as he discusses that survival often depended on the slaughter of penguin, seal, sled dog, or even pony.  He tracks these historical tales to his modern experiences at Antarctic science stations.  He spent over 8 seasons in Antarctica and shares his stories of food, company and how it all comes together at one of Earth’s final frontiers, the South Pole.

A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans
Are you looking for a nice, feel good story of dog and man?  Well, look no further than Nick Jans’s true story of an Alaskan wolf, who returned again and again to the city of Juneau.  Living on the outskirts of what appeared to be “Romeo the wolf’s” territory, Nick enjoyed a unique relationship with this animal.  His story is one that invokes respect for nature and what is left of the wild of the world.  Nick discusses history and biology of the Alaskan Wolf and how it has led to the modern struggle between wolf and man.  He also discusses the political climate of Alaska and how America’s great frontier is always in a struggle between conservation and inadvertent neglect.  Though he discusses all these in depth, the main tale is of a special bond between wild animal and an understanding individual.  It is a remarkable tale for any animal lover.

Shackleton’s Way by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell
This leadership handbook is a must-read for those interested in leading or managing people.  Morrell and Capparell, two veterans of business and leadership, took the classic tale of Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance expedition and used it to create a modern summary of management “How-to’s”.  They include historical application of Shackleton’s life and habits to create lasting principals.  If the heroic adventurer were to write a book today on how to lead, I believe it would look very similar to this one.  This unique blend of biography, history and experience tested advice is a great one to prepare to lead other men and women in any capacity.

Grand Adventures by Alastair Humphreys
I’ll be honest, this book is on my summer reading list.  I haven’t read it yet, but it comes highly recommended.  Alastair Humpreys is a professional adventurer.  He has cycled, rowed, walked, climbed all over the world and was the 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and patented the term “Microadventures” in his 2015 book.  Grand Adventures takes the time to discuss all the things that keep us from the adventures we hope to have.  It can be difficult to overcome planning hurdles, time or money before embarking on grand adventures.   Humphreys shares stories of people who have had once in a lifetime experiences and discusses how each of us can overcome the commitments or hurdles that keep us from exploring the world around us.  I hope to use this book to bring enthusiasm and curiosity to my trips and take me somewhere new.  Maybe this book will help you take that mind-blowing summer road trip that you have always planned.

There’s 5 books for you to choose from.  Pick the one that interests you the most, get yourself a copy, hang that hammock up at your favorite campsite and do some summer reading!