Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts

The 50 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time

One of the true traditions of going on an outdoor adventure is crawling into your sleeping bag at night and curing up with a good book to ready by the light of your headlamp. If you're looking for some new additions to your library for the next time you're in need of something to read, you're in luck. Men's Journal has published its list of the 50 greatest adventure books of all time, and as you'd expect, there are some great options.

As you would expect, the books on this list are incredibly diverse. Some are biographies, others are first-hand account memoirs, and some are complete works of fiction. The stories span the globe, taking us to just about every corner of the planet, from the frozen expanses of Poles, to tropical destinations closer to the equator. These books introduce us to some of the most interesting people to ever walk the Earth, and some that are completely made-up but are incredibly interesting none the less.

With such a long list, it would be impossible for me to ruin it completely. But some of the famous books that earned a nod include Melville's Moby Dick, Alfred Lansing's Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, and The Mountain: My Time on Everest by Ed Viesturs. This is just a small taste of the great books that made this list, but no matter what your definition of adventure is, I think it is safe to say that there is something here for everyone.

On top of that, unless you're an incredibly fast reader, this list will take some time to get through completely. That would be an adventure in and of itself.

Why We Must Heed The Call of Adventure

Adding a little adventure to your life is a good thing. Most of us that read this blog probably agree with that. But often times we get too busy with work, friends and family, and all of the little things that clog up our daily lives. But adventure brings its own rewards, some that are not always so easily identifiable, although their benefits are worth the pursuit.

That's the gist of a new article written by Chris Gullebreau, whose new book, The Happiness of Pursuit debuted earlier this week. The book, which I have not read yet, talks about the importance of finding a quest that will give you focus, drive, and passion. This is something that the author learned himself when he set out to visit every country in the world, something that took him over a decade to complete.

In the article, Gullebreau says that a good adventure can help put you on a path of self-discovery that will help some people to "find" themselves. He also says that it can help someone reclaim something that they've been missing in their lives as well. Often these adventures come about as a result of external causes beyond our control, which was the case with Chris' own journey, which began in the post-9/11 haze, which resulted in him going to work on a hospital ship in West Africa for four years. His round the world journey started after that.

The article is an interesting one, and Gullebreau's point, both in his book and in his philosophy for life, is that we all have an adventure that is waiting for us. We just need to figure out what it is, and then go after it. This is something that is a bit of a philosophy around this blog as well, as I often hope to inspire others to get outside and find some adventure for their life, whether it be big or small.

Looking at the ratings for Happiness of Pursuit on Amazon, it seems that Chris has connected with readers. The book is getting great praise and currently sitting with a rating of 4.5 stars. The message is certainly a good one, and one that we're in alignment on. If you're looking for a little inspiration for your next project, no matter what it might be, the book, and this article might serve to help.

Thanks to Sam Wilhot for sharing this story.

Book Review: National Geographic's Get Outside Guide by Nancy Honovich and Julie Beer

Recent studies have shown that kids in the United States are spending less time than ever outside. It has gotten so bad in fact, that data shows that children between the age of 10 and 16 only get about 12.6 minutes per day of outdoor exercise. On top of that, todays youth spend 50% less time outdoors than kids in 1970. That's an alarming issue for those of us who love being outside, and want to engage children in our favorite actives, such as hiking, camping, or climbing. A new book from National Geographic, written specifically to inspire kids to go outside, looks to reverse these statistics however.

The book is entitled Get Outside Guide, and it is written by Nancy Honovich and Julie Beer. The Guide is filled with suggestions how how to get kids interested in the world around us, and suggests some adventures, big and small, designed to do just that.

In its simplest form, the book introduces kids to a wide variety of habitats that are found in various places around the globe. For instance, in the chapter entitled "Water Everywhere," the authors begin by introducing readers to a wide variety of aquatic environments, ranging from the Pacific Ocean, to the Yangtze River, to the Everglades. Next, they introduce us to the beach, providing basic information about how beaches are formed, what kind of creatures can be found there, and what kids should look for when they visit a beach. Of course, there are also some specific suggestions of what to while they are there as well, including building sand castles, looking for shells, and so on. As the chapter moves on to cover rivers & steams, as well as lakes & ponds, the activities evolve to match the environment, with instructions on how to make a paper boat and an underwater scope.

The Guide moves on to introduce kids to forest environments as well, before switching focus toward encouraging them to explore the world around them, starting in their own backyard. In this section, readers will find simple, but fun, activities to do right out their back door. But when they're ready to venture out further, the book as suggestions for scaling up to explore your city, as well as national, state, and local parks. There is even a handy guide at the back of the book listing some of the best parks in each of the individual states.


The book is bright, colorful, and easy to read for both kids and adults. It is jam packed with not only a wealth of great ideas for outdoor activities, but lots of fun facts to teach young and old about the world around us. There are great suggestions on places to go, not to mention guides for identify animals, plants, insects, and a variety of other things. Of course, this being a book from National Geographic, the photos numerous photos throughout the guide are also excellent.

The Get Outside Guide is one of those books that can be consumed quickly in large quantities, or absorbed slowly in small nuggets. It is written in a way that makes it easy to pick up, read for a bit, then put back down, only to return later, and immediately begin where you left off. It is also organized in a manner that makes it a breeze to use as a reference manual as well, allowing parents to quickly find the activities they are looking for when the need arises. Because its pages are so colorful, and filled with photos, it will have a lasting appeal, and hopefully impact, on children as well.

As someone who thinks that any initiative designed to get kids outdoors is a good one, I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you're a parent (or aunt, uncle, etc.), and you want to get the children in your life more interested in the outdoors, this is a book you'll want to have in your library. It is engaging, informative, and – best of all – fun! For $14.99, it also makes a great gift as well, serving as fantastic inspiration to encourage youngsters to explore.

The book is available directly from Nat Geo here.