Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Recommended Reading

Apologies to my readers out there.  There's quite a bit of weather happening and on tap for this week, but I've found blogging to be difficult.  I hope this will change in the near future.  Perhaps if the weather gets a little more exciting than yesterday's scattered thunderstorms. 

One of the things I am doing to deal with these uncertain times is to read.  And when I say read, I don't mean news or social media, but books.  Last night I was looking for a challenge and I decided to crack open a book that I received as a gift, was published in 1997, and has been sitting on my end table for many months: The Adirondacks: A History of America's First Wilderness

I was fortunate to grow up adventuring in the Adirondacks and any time I read about them, happy memories surface.  I'm not far enough into the book to recommend it yet, but it has already reminded me of the smell of rotting leaves in the late fall, the way that a canoe paddle breaks the surface of the water on a calm day, and the tip toeing to keep boots dry during a hike through a bog.  I need mental escapes like these in trying times. 

Amongst books I have read recently, you might try Rocket Men by Robert Kurson.

I may have recommended this book previously, but it's a good on on the lesser-known story of Apollo 8, which was the first journey of humans to the moon.  Gripping and exciting and it will help remind you that we can be bold and accomplish great things. 

For something completely different, you might try  Daisy Jones & the Six.

 It is a fake-history book about a band that never existed and full of Rock and Roll clich√©, but it is fast paced and mindless reading.  It might be just what the doctor ordered, although if you hate it, you didn't hear about it from me.

Reading a book about nuclear disaster might not be the best option right now, but Midnight in Chernobyl is one of the best historical accounts that I have read in a long time. 

There are a number of books on the Chernobyl disaster and I've heard that some are not very good, but I found this one to be terrifying and gripping. 

Finally, if you want something a little lighter, but still with insights into serious issues, you could try Born a Crime by the Daily Show's Trevor Noah. 

I expected this to be an entertaining and humous book, and it was.  What I didn't expect were the insights into the evils of Apartheid.  It's easy reading that will distract you from the challenges of the day. 


  1. Here's another one,"The Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth". I checked it out from the SLCO library the day before they closed and apparently, I get to keep it until they re-open :-) I'm reading it for the 2nd time. It's the perfect tome for a retired weather wrangler and wannabe wasatch ski bum.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions. I just ordered my Dad a copy of the Adirondacks book for his birthday. He just retired and my folks are back in my hometown at the southern base of the ADKs.

  3. Hey Jim--Dolly's Bookstore here. Thanks again for your insights on everything from the weather to book recommendations. We are still selling books during these uncertain times. Take a look at dollysbookstore.com. Keep up the good work!

    1. Great point. Definitely see my friends at Dolly's, based in Park City, and according to their web site, allowing you to place orders for pickup Wed to Friday between 10-2 (call for confirmation). See https://www.dollysbookstore.com/.

  4. I found the audio version of Born a Crime, narrated by Trevor Noah to be a very good listen.