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 Post subject: 53 book reviews
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2007, 9:28 pm 
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Location: Kitchener Ontario
Thought some of you might be looking for reading material now that the canoeing season is winding down. Hope you find these helpful ! :D

Book List

1) "The Incomplete Anglers"

A Canadian classic. The story of a trip to Algonquin Park by two would be trout fishermen in the early 1940's. Winner of the Governor General's award for humour in 1944. Illustration by Frank Carmichael of the Group of 7. Written in an ironic style of humour that is rarely heard today, "The Incomplete Anglers" is a true delight to read, and will be especially entertaining to those familiar with Algonquin Park. Worth the effort to find an original edition, with Carmichael's illustration on the dust jacket ( Check E-bay)

About the Author : John D. Robins

Ex-school teacher and indifferent marksmanship instructor in WWI. Hailed from Ontario. Funny guy, with a PHD in something or other.

2) "Deliverance"

Four friends set out on a four day trip on a wild river in the American South-East. So much better than the film, the novel unfolds as the four begin their descent of the soon-to-be-dammed river in search of....deliverance. A classic piece of canoeing fiction.

About the Author
James Dickey won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1966.In that same year he was appointed Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress. Begun in 1962, but only published in 1970, Deliverance was his first novel.

3)"Travels in Canoe Country"

Canoeing for the mind. Author Paul Gruchow takes us on a journey to the BWCA.... a journey of discovery more internal than external. Divided into the Latin prayers of the day ( Lauds, Matins, Prime....Vespers, Compline) Gruchow weaves an infinitely readable argument for wild places as the well of inspiration for all mankind. A must read for those who approach their canoeing with reverence.(Warning: Not for gear-heads or speed demons)

About the Author
Paul Gruchow lives in Minnesota and is the author of several books of essays and nature writing, including "Journal of a Praire Year" and " The Neccessity of Empty Places"


Highly Recommended....check e-bay

4) "Wintergreen: Reflections from Loon Lake"

Monte Hummel writes about the seasons of the year from the vantage of his cabin on Loon Lake. In the tradition of " A Sand County Almanac", this wonderful book encourages each Canadian to be stewards of the land. A great read in a tent or by the fireplace. Highly recommended.

About the Author
Monte Hummel is the president of the World Wildlife Fund ( Canada)and one of Canada's foremost naturalists.

Sigurd Olson was an outspoken proponent of "no- fly zones and no- motors" in what became the BWCA in Northern Minnesota. He was a teacher, writer and activist who for most of his adult life exposed North Americans to his vision of wilderness through articles and 9 books.

The Books of Sigurd Olson:

5) "Open Horizons"

Sigurd Olson's(slightly fictionalized) autobiography. Based on the theme that " Life is a series of open horizons", the 11 chapters trace the evolution of Olson's wilderness theology and the events that made him the guru of the late 60's back-to-the-earth movement.

6) "The Singing Wilderness"

Sigurd Olson's first, and some say best , book of essays set in his favourite " Quetico-Superior " wilderness of Minnesota/Ontario. Arranged by seasons, the essays allow you to see nature through Olson's eyes as he spins tales of canoes, ducks, campfires and trout. A classic.


7) "Listening Point"

Sigurd Olson's second book of essays. This one is based on the thoughts that are generated by the purchase of a piece of land near Ely, Minn.; a place for writing and reflection he calls "Listening Point". Another must read for Olson fans, and those who use wilderness as a parchment to write their own dreams.

8) "Reflections from the North Country"

Sigurd Olson's most personal, thoughtful book. The ultimate statement of what he came to call his "Wilderness Theology". The 28 essays collected here reveal a man who spent his life pondering the "big questions".... and who realized that some of them may never be answered.

9) "Runes of the North"

A rune is a tale of magic and mystery...... and to Sigurd Olson, the "North" is full of them. Divided into two sections: Le Beau Pays ( the Beautiful Country) and the Pays d'en Haut ( The North Country), the book weaves woodland lore and the haunting appeal of the wilderness in 20 essays from Olson's master pen.

10) "The Lonely Land"

Canoeing in the days before Gore-Tex, Kevlar or MSR. Olson and his group ( the Voyageurs) tackle the Churchill/Sturgeon-Weir route in Saskatchewan in the early 1960's. Along the way, Olson pays homage to the Voyageurs of old, and to the men such as David Thompson and Alexander Henry of the North-West Company who pioneered these routes for the fur trade. Some jarring notes.... disposing of cans in the middle of Northern lakes, for example. Olson and his gang, however,(all middle aged!) tackle the challenge in wood/canvas and cotton, and do remarkably well.


11) "The Hidden Forest"


Working with photographer Les Blacklock, Olson produced an introduction for the common man to what was, at the time, a new concept - ecology.... the "hidden" forest.

12) "Sigurd F Olson's Wilderness Days"

A new essay introduces each of the four sections of this book ( Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) which include material drawn from Olson's previous writing. A good introduction to Olson's wilderness views.

13) "Of Time and Place"

Olson's final book, released posthumously. A collection of "experiences brought together in a lifetime of search for meaning"

See Also:

14) "A Wilderness Within: The Life of Sigurd F Olson"

The definitive biography of Olson, who battled to create the BWCA, and became a guru of the North American environmental movement.

About the Author
The only author to be provided with extensive access to Olson's personal papers by his wife, David Backes is also the author of "Canoe Country: An Embattled Wilderness" and " The Wilderness Companion"


15) Cache Lake Country: Life in the North Woods


"There is a Cache Lake for everyone, but it won't be beside a four lane highway, nor will there be a clear trail leading to it". So says John Rowlands in the introduction to the 1959 " Wilderness Edition" of "Cache Lake Country". Arranged by season, the book contains a wealth of "back woods" know how on everything from cabin building to building bird houses and a portable buck saw. A great read for those January nights when the canoe days of summer seem a long, long way away.

About the Author
John Rowlands spent 6 years prospecting the gold and silver country south of Hudson Bay and was a surveyor and miner in Cobalt. "Cache Lake Country" was written about the Shining Tree area of Northern Ontario, and published in 1947.

16) "North American Canoe Country"

Obviously dated because of its 1964 publication, but a fascinating look at the old way of outfitting a canoe trip. Rustrum's book examined every aspect of canoeing and canoe trip planning.

About the Author
Calvin Rustrum was born in Hobart, Indiana. Forced by circumstance to leave school at the end of the seventh grade, he educated himself by reading 25 to 50 books a year. He spend six months a year in the wilderness, and the remainder of the year at his home in Minnesota writing.

The books of Grey Owl
Born Archie Belaney in Hastings, England in 1888. Died Lake Ajawaan, Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan, 1938. Noted author and canoeist, he was among the first to focus attention on the plight of Canada's national animal, the beaver, and it's rapidly declining population due to centuries of trapping.

17) Pilgrims of the Wild


Grey Owl's (fictional) biography. The story of how he took two orphaned beaver kitts and raised them with the help of his wife, Anahareo.Only after his death in 1938 was the true story of his early life revealed. Still a very worthwhile read, for details of his early life in Canada and his motivation for giving up trapping and turning to writing as a source of income.

18) Tales of an Empty Cabin


Grey Owl's finest book. Especially interesting to canoeists for it's descriptions of early life and canoeing on the Mississauga River in Ontario.

19) Men of the last Frontier

Grey Owl's first book,( Working Title: The Vanishing Frontier), it uses stories of hunting, canoeing, and trapping in the early part of the 20th century to paint a picture of a vanishing way of life. First published in England in 1931, more recent editions are available in paperback from Macmillan in Canada.

20)The Adventures of Sajo and the Beaver People

A highly recommended childrens book.....

There are also many books ABOUT Archie Belaney. The best may well be:


21) Wilderness Man: The Strange story of Grey Owl


The definitive biography of Grey Owl ( Archie Belaney), the Englishman who came to Canada as a youth, posed as a Native for the rest of his life, and saved the Beaver from possible extinction.
About the Author:

Lovat Dickson was a Canadian who's greatest claim to fame may well be as Grey Owl's publisher and Biographer. He wrote two books on Grey Owl, " Half Breed" in the early 1940's and "Wilderness Man" in 1973. It is this last book which will be remembered as the definitive story of Grey Owl's life.

Another very strong entry is:

22) From the Land of Shadows: The Making of Grey Owl
by Donald Smith

Donald Smith is a professor of History at the University of Calgary, and a heck of a nice guy!


23) Paddle to the Amazon

The ultimate endurance trip . Don Starkell and his son Dana travel over 12 000 miles by canoe from Winnipeg to the Amazon over a 2 year period. The story of their journey is compelling and will, perhaps, lead you to ask; " What the hell were they thinking?" Uplifting.

About the Author
Best known as the author of "Paddle to the Amazon", Starkell has also written about his adventures in the Canadian Arctic. He hails from Winnipeg.

See also Paddle to the Arctic about a trip through the NorthWest Passage by kayak, and a companion piece about the same trip( Written by Victoria Jason) called "Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak". The latter paints a less than flattering picture of Starkell, who (I believe) , lost all his fingers and toes to frostbite on the trip.

24) "Canoeing With the Cree"

The story of Eric Sevareid and Walter Port's 2,250 mile canoe trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in 1930. After traveling for 14 weeks, the duo arrived at Hudson Bay just before winter freeze-up.

About the Author
Arnold Eric Sevareid left on a 2,250 mile canoe trip in 1930 with Walter C. Port. The newspaper articles they wrote as they traveled formed the basis for "Canoeing with the Cree." These stories in turn helped Sevareid get a job as a copy boy with the Minneapolis Journal, beginning a distinguished career in journalism.

25) "Freshwater Saga"

Subtitled the "Memoirs of a Lifetime of Wilderness Canoeing in Canada." Eric Morse [1904-1986] was one of the first people to engage in, and publicize wilderness paddling. During his lifetime he paddled from Hudson Bay to the Yukon and from Winnipeg to the Arctic Ociatn. This book is his memoirs describing those trips with his paddling group ... "The Voyageurs"

About the Author
Eric W. Morse. [1904-1986] was national director of the Association of Canadian Clubs from 1949 to his retirement in 1971. During his lifetime he paddled through much of Canada's wilderness, with a particular fondness for the Arctic. He described many of the historic routes in his book "Fur Trade Routes of Canada: Then and Now"

26) "Into the Great Solitude"

In 1834 British Navy Captain George Back explored one of North Americal's most remote rivers - a fierce trail of cascading whitewater and blue windswept lakes - thorugh a vast Canadian tundrea to the Arctic Circle. More than fourteen decades later Robert Perkins retraced Back's journey in a canoe trip that would challenge his courage and skill, as well as his understanding of the world and his place in it. Travelin alone in the "ever deepening" quiet, with only falcons, wolves and a grizzly bear for company, Perkins found himself pulled into a remarkable test of body and soul, and into an agonizing quest to find his meaning as explorer and as man.

About the Author

Robert Perkins has also written other canoeing books, including what to me is a superior one called "Against Straight Lines" about his experiences solo tripping in the Torngat region of Labrador

27) "Where Rivers Run"


Where Rivers Run is the record of a remarkable odyssey across Canada by water. To fulfill their dream of traveling from sea to sea in a canoe, wilderness adventurers Joanie and Gary McGuffin, recently married, set out from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Two years, 6,000 miles and 10 million paddle strokes later, they reached the open waters of the Beaufort Sea. Along the way they faced hardships as they challenged many fo this country's most dangerous rivers. But in the process of realizing their dream, the McGuffins discovered a Canada that few ever see.

About the Authors
Gary and Joanie McGuffin have hiked the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail, scaled mountains in the Ecuadorian Andes, sea-kayaked Greenland’s fjords, and cycled along Canada’s most rugged northern trails. Their other books include Superior: Journeys on an Inland Sea, which won the 1996 Great Lakes Booksellers Award; Paddle Your Own Canoe; and the best-selling Where Rivers Run. Gary and Joanie live on the shores of Lake Superior in Goulais River, Ontario.

28) "The Canoe and White Water"

Far more than a primer on white water canoe techniques, " The Canoe and White Water" sets the sport in the context of history, technology, geology and physics. An essential introduction to an important part of Canadian Heritage. Very readable !

About the Author
C E S Franks was a member of the Dept. of Political Studies at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario as of the date of writing(1977)

29) "Goodbye to a River"

John Graves returned to the Brazos River in Texas one October in the late 1950's to say goodbye....... goodbye to a river that he had known since his youth. A river about to be dammed. His story of the river, her people and their history, is told throughout as he drifts and paddles through a land rich in the story of the authentic American west. A modern American Classic "Didn't you get lonesome?", he was asked. "Not exactly. I had a dog"


About the Author
John Graves was born and raised in Texas. Over the years he contributed articles to The Atlantic, Esquire and other magazines. He taught English, and wrote" The Water Hustlers" for the Sierra Club in 1971

30) Birchbark Canoe: Life among the Algonquin


Discover the dying art of birchbark canoe building as seen through the eyes of someone who is passionate about it. In this book David Gidmark tells the story fo the building of a traditional birchbark canoe and his apprenticeship learning the skills and the language of the Algonquin of Western Quebec.

Through learning how to do (how to strip the bark from the tree, fashion gunwales from the cedar logs, carve the ribs with a crooked knife and sew the huge sheets of bark on the frame with spruce root) David Gidmark learns how to see the wilderness and relate to it in Algonquin ways that are very different from ours. As his knowledge increases, so does his respect for the culture and wisdom of native peoples.

About the Author
For ten years, David Gidmark has lived deep in the woods of Quebec. He teaches canoe building in Wisconsin, New York, Tahiti and Quebec.

31) Walden


Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854) is a book of many distinctions: within American literature it stands as a defining text, and is perhaps the greatest expression of the spirit of New England Transcendentalism, one of the nations most fruitful and characteristic intellectual strains; as nature writing, it is one of the world's most revered and imitated masterpieces, and continues to inform debate concerning environmentalism and conservation issues,; and as an expression of moral idealism, it advocates a standard of existence that has inspired readers of widely varying circumstances (including Tolstoy and Gandhi) to improve their lives.

About the Author
Naturalist, essayist and early environmentalist, Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) was one for whom nature was a religion. In communing with the natural world, he wished to "live deliberately, to front only the essentials facts of life, and ... learn what it had to teach." Toward that end Thoreau build a cabin on the shores of Walden Pond in the spring of 1845 - on land owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson - outside Concored, Massachusets. There he observed nature, farmed, built fences, surveyed and made entries in his journal.

32) The New Way of the Wilderness

Calvin Rustrum's famous "how-to" book written (as the book puts it) to "enable anyone in this modern age to prepare a wilderness journey or a camping trip without confusion in the choice of equipment or method of procedure." Obviously somewhat dated, but still a classic.

About the Author
Calvin Rustrum was born in Hobart, Indiana. Forced by circumstance to leave school at the end of the seventh grade, he educated himself by reading 25 to 50 books a year. He spend six months a year in the wilderness, and the remainder of the year at his home in Minnesota writing.

33) "French River: Canoeing the River of the Stick Wavers"

French River: Canoeing the River of the Stick Wavers is the first book to document the exhilarating days of exploration, adventure and trade on the French River system and to feature historic canoe routes and recommended canoe trips for the modern canoeist. In this engaging and comprehensive look at one of Canada's most historically important rivers, Toni Harting combines in-depth research with his wealth of canoeing and guiding experience, and his own photography and maps with the intriguing sketches and maps of the early explorers, to create a dramatic new addition to North American canoe literature.

About the Author
Toni Harting is a freelance writer and photographer who specializes in canoe-related topics. He has contributed articles and photographs to a variety of publications and since 1985 has been the editor of Nastawgan, the quarterly journal of the Wilderness Canoe Association. He is widely recognized as the leading authority on the French River and is thought to be the world's most published canoeing photographer.

34) Desert Solitaire

I would be remiss not to mention the GREAT Edward Abbey...

Abbey writes about his experiences (which sometimes include water!)in the great deserts of the American Southwest. His classic "Desert Solitaire" was written in 1968, and manages to say more about man's place in the 20th century wilderness than most writers could say in 20 books. A curmudgeonly character (and perhaps something of a misogynist?) Abbey who (to my knowledge) has never canoed says more about the meaning of canoeing than any canoeist I've ever read> A must read!!!!!!!

About the author

Edward Abbey spent his adult years in the American southwest, and wrote many books, including the fictional "Monkey Wrench Gang" (about eco-terrorists)and several other books of non-fiction essays. They are all worth the read! His biography ( by James Bishop Jr) is called "Epitaph for a Desert Anarchist - The life and legacy of Edward Abbey".

35) The books of Sam Cook.....

Camp Sites, Quiet Magic Up North, and Friendship Fires are four books of essays by Minnesota newspaper columnist Sam Cook. A disciple of the great Sig Olson, Cook is able to weave magic tales about canoes, hunting, canvas tents, fishing, and woodsmoke into something as comfortable as an old sweater. An easy read for those winter nights when you want to be ....up north!

About the Author

Sam Cook lived for a time in Ely, Minnesota, with his wife Phyllis. He wrote ( still writes?) for the Duluth News Tribune.

36) Chips from a Wilderness Log
The legendary Calvin Rustrum writes in his autobiography about the 60 years he spent in the "North Woods". It transports you into " the vast North American forests that still remain and lets you hear the whispers of the rapids and the call of the loon. Highly recommended!!!

About the Author

Rustrum was the consummate outdoorsman. He also wrote The Wilderness Cabin, Paradise below Zero ( about winter camping), North American Canoe country and Once Upon a Wilderness.

37) Across the Sub-Arctics of Canada

J.W. Tyrrell's epic tale of a canoe trip across the Barrens to Hudson's Bay in the late 1890's. Great Photos, bugs, poor food, Inuit and Natives, and Peterborough canoes. What more can you ask for ?????

39) Sleeping Island


Sub-titled "The story of one man's travels in the Great Barren Lands of the Canadian North", this 1943 offering is again a taste of "the old ways"....wood-canvas, mosquitoes, woodsmoke and wool. Essential reading! Covers much of the same geographic territory as Farley Mowat's recent "No Man's River"

About the Author

P.G. Downes was an American graduate of Harvard, whose 1939 trip to a Canadian North that was even then in its last years of isolation was the inspiration for "Sleeping Island".


40) The Leonidas Hubbard Trilogy.........


The Lure of the Labrador Wild by Dillan Wallace

Author Wallace takes us inside the ill-fated excursion into the unmapped Labrador interior in 1903 which ended in the death by starvation of one of Wallace's companions on the trip, Leonidas Hubbard.Upon his return to civilization, Wallace penned "The Lure of the Labrador Wild" in tribute to his friend. Hubbards wife took offence to the portrayal of her husband in the book, and set off a year later to complete her husbands "mission'. Wallace set off the same summer to complete the 1st expeditions route, and the tale of this competition between the two is told in Davidson and Rugge's classic " Great Heart - the History of a Labrador Adventure".

Further insite into the events of the early 1900's can be gained from Wallace’s less popular sequel to the original " Lure...", called
"The Long Labrador Trail"


All are classics of their kind. Highly recommended!!!

41) The Survival of the Bark Canoe

John McPhee's classic story of Henri Vaillancourt who, in the 1970's, became obsessed with making birchbark canoes.... despite rarely paddling them. Clearly a flawed hero, Vaillancourt has all of the idiosyncrasies of a man devoted to a skill whose time has long past. Eminently readable !

About the Author

John McPhee has written several classic books, including The Control of Nature ( required reading in a post Katrina world) and Encounters with the Arch Druid, about America's environmental Movement. McPhee writes for the New Yorker Magazine

42) Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age

This is a book that has helped shape my personal outlook on canoeing ethics in our modern age. The story of a trip on the Horton River in the footsteps of Franklin and others....but with a Satellite phone... The temptation to use it leads to interesting struggles between the two members of the expedition. A must read in our increasingly wired world!


About the Author

Ted Kerasote writes outdoor essays for the likes of Audubon, Outside, and National Geographic.

43) From a Wooden Canoe : Reflections on Canoeing, Camping and Classic Equipment

Author Jerry Dennic (who, ironically, does not own a wooden canoe!)writes of the things that make the outdoor experience special to him: the things worth keeping, from pocket knives to cast iron skillets. A celebration of the good things and simple pleasures to be treasured in the outdoors. This book, along with "Out there" (reviewed above)and the books of Sig Olson, Grey Owl and Bill Mason and Edward Abbey, have helped form the basis of my own personal canoeing creed.

About the Author

Jerry Dennis writes for Smithsonian, Sports Afield and the New York Times. He lives in Michigan.

44) Of Wolves and Men


The best Wildlife book I have ever read. The story of our relationship with the wild animal we should perhaps respect the most, but whom we continue to persecute even today (check e-bay for wolf pelts...you won't have trouble finding them).Lopez has written a masterpiece about the true symbol (along with the Grizzly) of the North American Wilderness.

About the Author

Barry Lopez is also the author of the highly recommended Arctic Dreams, and is a winner of the National Book Award


45) The Wolf's Head: Writing Lake Superior

No lake perhaps more symbolizes the Canadian near- North than the greatest lake - Superior. (Okay, more than 1/2 of it is in the USA....but that doesn't count! ). It is a lake of mystery, romantic vision, and tragedy, thick with the history of Canada's development towards nationhood, and of the Native People who loved and revered the vast inland ocean. Author Peter Unwin traces Superior from its earliest appearances in our collective conscience down to the modern day, and in so doing opens a window into a past many of us are unaware existed.

About the Author

Peter Unwin was originally from England and has traveled extensively in Canada's north. He is a regular contributor to "The Beaver"

46) " The Voyageur" and " The Voyageur Highway"

The Canadian history magazine " The Beaver" called " The Voyageur" by Dr Grace Nute of Hamlin University " The definitive work...on the French Canadians who manned the great canoes of the fur trade." It, along with the companion " The Voyageur Highway", dispel every myth about these illiterate, hard working, heavy drinking "knights" of the early Canadian fur trade "highway"

Very much the long distance truck drivers of their day, the voyageurs still live large in the Canadian psyche, the equivalent perhaps of the 'gunslingers" of the American west. The fact that they played a commercial rather than violent role in Canadian history speaks perhaps to one of the roots of what it means to be Canadian.

Although published in 1931 and 1941 respectively, new editions are available.

47) "The Company of Adventurers" and "Caesars of the Wilderness"

In my mind, every Canadian should be required to read the works of Pierre Berton, Grey Owl, Bill Mason, Sigurd Olson, and.....these two fantastic volumes on the history of the Hudson's Bay Company (and its rival, the North West Company). The real history of Canada north of the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Lowlands lies in these easy to read "popular" histories of the HBC by Canadian author and journalist Peter C Newman. The characters contained within, both Native and European, (Samuel Hearne, David Thompson, Alexander Mackenzie, George Simpson et al) are brought to life, warts and all. To understand Canada, you need to understand " The Company" and why HBC was often said to stand for "Here Before Christ"

Essential!!!

48) Bill Mason looms over the Canadian canoeing landscape like a favourite Uncle.... we've all heard of him, seen his films, and in some way owe him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering " Path of the Paddle" and "Song of the Paddle" books and films. His other films include "Waterwalker", "Paddle to the Sea", and the lesser known but outstanding "Death of a Legend", about wolves and their treatment at the hands of man.

You just can't go wrong buying a Bill Mason book, or ordering his films from the National Film Board of Canada website (they are now on DVD)

James Raffan (himself a legend in canoeing circles and now curator of the Canadian Canoe Museum)has written Bill Mason's biography, entitled "Fire in the Bones- Bill Mason and the Canadian Canoeing Tradition". A must read for any Bill Mason fan.

49) "Winterdance"

Gary Paulson is an author of popular novels for young adults ( Hatchet is a favourite with the GR 5 - 6 crowd).

He also races in the Iditarod...

Winterdance is the story of his first Iditarod run.

"There are only a handful of indispensable dog books...Winterdance belongs among those classics....It is beautiful and funny and it is about men and dogs...and their souls" (Washington Post)

Where else can you read about someone projectile vomiting from skunk spray, then cry a few pages later as you see the essential life force in all living things brought to the fore with grace, dignity and pathos?

Read this book !

50) "The Man who Walked Through Time" and " The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher"

The man who walked through time is the story of Colin Fletcher, the first man to hike through the length of the Grand Canyon. Having previously walked the length of California ( described in his book " The Thousand Mile Summer")Fletcher was physically ready for the task, but perhaps unprepared for the inner changes that the trip brought about. An inspiring story for the backpacker in all of us.

The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher is a series of short stories about the joy of hiking throughout the wilderness areas of N America. Full of reflection on the nature of wilderness and its place in the modern world, the book is enjoyable even to those ( like myself) who never backpack.

Both books are highly recommended !!!

51) "The Lost Grizzlies" by Rick Bass

I was beginning to think that I would never find another wilderness/canoeing book as compelling as the classics by Sig Olson or Edward Abbey.

I was wrong.

The Lost Grizzlies: A search for survivors in the Wilderness of Colorado is a compelling , heart wrenching, and at times downright creepy tale of the search for any remnant of the indigenous Grizzly population of the San Juan mountains in Colorado. A spiritual quest, a camping tale, and the challenge to replace the shredded ball-bearings in the wheel of a VW Rabbit all rolled into one.

I couldn't put it down.

52) "Blue Rooms" and "Stone Work" by John Jerome

One is a book about water: lakes....rivers...the "Blue Rooms". The other is a book about the art and Philosophy of building walls in stone. Both are beautifully written, and worth cherishing. By the end of each, your appreciation of water....and stone...will be just that little bit deeper. While it is easy to see what "Blue Rooms" has to do with canoeing (although an American, he does have a chapter on the French River), what about "Stone Work"?

Read it and you'll see!

53) The Starship and the Canoe by Kenneth Brower

The story of a father and a son with two distinct approaches to life....the son builds kayaks, the father builds spacecraft. They search for the meaning of life, each in their own way....one in the stars, one in the sea.” Neither a wilderness survival manual or a book of Blueprints. It is one of those rare books that are impossible to define: The kind that seeks YOU in time"

Written in 1978....leaves you wanting an update !!!!

_________________
Dave

"The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten." Sigurd Olson, 1956


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PostPosted: December 5th, 2007, 10:46 am 
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Location: toronto, Ontario canada
Quote:
50) "The Man who Walked Through Time" and " The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher"

The man who walked through time is the story of Colin Fletcher, the first man to hike through the length of the Grand Canyon. Having previously walked the length of California ( described in his book " The Thousand Mile Summer")Fletcher was physically ready for the task, but perhaps unprepared for the inner changes that the trip brought about. An inspiring story for the backpacker in all of us.

The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher is a series of short stories about the joy of hiking throughout the wilderness areas of N America. Full of reflection on the nature of wilderness and its place in the modern world, the book is enjoyable even to those ( like myself) who never backpack.

Both books are highly recommended !!!


I just found out he passed away this year. Aparantly things went poorly for him and his last years were in a wheelchair. I read one of his instructional style books, inspirational guy. :(


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 Post subject: Re: 53 book reviews
PostPosted: March 18th, 2009, 10:56 pm 
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Quote:
I just found out he passed away this year. Aparantly things went poorly for him and his last years were in a wheelchair. I read one of his instructional style books, inspirational guy.


Man, that SUCKS !!!! :o

Sounded like a really cool guy!

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Dave

"The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten." Sigurd Olson, 1956


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 Post subject: Re: 53 book reviews
PostPosted: March 21st, 2010, 7:51 pm 
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I enjoyed "Death on the Barrens" by George Grinnel. It is much more thoughtful and less sensational than the title might lead one to believe. It is also nicely illustrated with watercolours.


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 Post subject: Re: 53 book reviews
PostPosted: March 21st, 2010, 8:45 pm 
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mr_canoehead18 wrote:
I enjoyed "Death on the Barrens" by George Grinnel. It is much more thoughtful and less sensational than the title might lead one to believe. It is also nicely illustrated with watercolours.



I've heard of this one but never read it. When was it published???

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Dave

"The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten." Sigurd Olson, 1956


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 Post subject: Re: 53 book reviews
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2010, 12:55 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
Posts: 1898
Location: Manitoba
Check the Heron Dance site.

http://www.herondance.org/A-Death-on-the-Barrens-W24C0.aspx

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Brian
http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca

 


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