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The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains By Barry Blanchard (Oct 7; Patagonia Books) A rip-roaring combination of fast times and soaring summits, renowned alpinist Blanchard reflects on the wild days when, in his words, “rock climbing was dangerous and sex was safe.” If you’re an adrenaline junkie like him, this bio is for you. [image courtesy Patagonia Books]
The Carry Home: Lessons from the American Wilderness By Gary Ferguson (Nov 11; Counterpoint Press) The Wilderness Act turns 50 this year, making it an ideal time to reflect on the impact of nature on our lives. For nature writer Gary Ferguson, however, the subject is deeply personal. After his wife Jane died in a 2005 canoeing accident, he traveled across America to scatter her ashes in wild spaces. The resulting powerhouse of a book is not to be missed. [image courtesy Counterpoint]
The Naked Mountaineer: Misadventures of an Alpine Traveler By Steve Sieberson (Oct 1; University of Nebraska Press) Take a walk on the weirder side of mountain life with Sieberson, whose alpine misadventures include bizarre local cuisine, insistent music fans, and oh yes, the Englishman who revels in taking naked selfies on the world’s highest peaks. This delightfully anecdotal memoir hops from Norway to Japan to Greece, among other high-altitude locales. [image courtesy Univ of Nebraska Press]
Paddlenorth: Adventure, Resilience, and Renewal in the Arctic Wild By Jennifer Kingsley (Oct 14; Greystone Books) Words often fail when it comes to describing the grandeur of the Canadian Arctic, but Ottawa-based writer Kingsley succeeds beautifully in her ruminative memoir about a 54-day rowing trip through Nunavut that featured caribou, grizzlies, and treacherous rapids. [image courtesy Greystone Books]
Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer Michael Smith (Nov 11; Oneworld) One of history’s most renowned explorers gets a landmark new biography treatment, the first in nearly 30 years. Smith’s impressively researched tome draws on numerous firsthand sources to paint a rich, three-dimensional portrait of the man who redefined survival. [image courtesy Oneworld]
The Wild Truth Carine McCandless (Nov 11; HarperOne) At first glance, it may not seem like there’s anything new to say about Chris McCandless, whose fatal journey into Alaska has been well-known since the release of Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild and the eponymous film adaptation. But now, more than 20 years later, McCandless’s sister Carine steps forward to fill in crucial blanks about her brother’s troubled upbringing and sheds new light on how the tragedy affected the entire family. [image courtesy Harper One]