Summer Reads

Looking for a page turner to read on the beach, at the crag, or in your backyard this summer? We've got you covered.
Mountaineers Books Mountaineers Books
May 24, 2020

Trek to wild mountain peaks, cycle around the world, paddle Alaskan waters, and take a closer look at the nature within your city this summer with our top recommendations to add to your reading list. 

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EDGE OF THE MAP: THE MOUNTAIN LIFE OF CHRISTINE BOSKOFF

By Johanna Garton

How did a girl from a small Midwestern town become one of the world’s top female alpinists, a record holder for the most 8000-meter peaks climbed by an American woman? Christine Boskoff would have deflected that question with a smile, but it’s a story that author Johanna Garton was drawn to tell. Edge of the Map traces Christine’s life as a high-altitude climber and trailblazing mountain guide. Despite challenges both personal and professional, Christine persevered to find freedom on the earth’s wildest peaks. And, in legendary Colorado climber Charlie Fowler she discovered her perfect partner. A role model to many, Christine avoided media and fame, preferring to find adventure in the most remote regions—those “at the edge of the map.” But in 2006, when she and Charlie disappeared while climbing in China, the world was riveted by the dramatic search.

Read an Interview with the Author


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THE STARSHIP AND THE CANOE

By Kenneth Brower, Foreword by Neal Stephenson

Originally published in 1978, The Starship and the Canoe is the remarkable story of a father and son: Freeman Dyson is a world-renowned astrophysicist who dreams of exploring the heavens and has designed a spaceship to take him there. His son George, a brilliant high school dropout, lives in a treehouse and is designing a giant kayak to explore the icy coastal wilderness of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Author Kenneth Brower describes with stunning impact their lives and their visions of the world. It is a timeless tale framed by modern science, adventure, family, and the natural world.

The Starship and the Canoe is neither a wilderness survival manual nor a book of blueprints. It is another of those rare books impossible to define: the kind that seeks you in time. And you will know it, live it, and consult it thereafter simply by name.” --Chicago Sun-Times


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NATURE OBSCURA: A CITY'S HIDDEN NATURAL WORLD

By Kelly Brenner

With wonder and a sense of humor, Nature Obscura author Kelly Brenner examines the rich, natural urban landscape to reveal sur­prising creatures and their intricate microhabitats. In her hometown of Seattle, she explores shores, wetlands, forests, and neighborhood parks to expose strange, often overlooked organisms—tardigrades, hummingbirds, spiders, dragonflies, slime molds, sword ferns, muskrats, and more. Nature Obscura may inspire you to follow a fly, spy on a murder of crows, or squeeze moss to find a water bear. Nature exists in our cities, if only we look.

Read an Interview with the Author


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MILES FROM NOWHERE: A ROUND-THE-WORLD BICYCLE ADVENTURE

By Barbara Savage, Foreword by Tara Austen Weaver

Miles from Nowhere is the story of Barbara and Larry Savage’s sometimes dangerous, often zany, but ultimately rewarding 23,000-mile bicycle odyssey, which took them through 25 countries in two years. Along the way, these near-neophyte cyclists on their ten-speeds encountered warm-hearted strangers eager to share food and shelter, bicycle-hating drivers who ran them off the road, various wild animals (including an attack camel), rock-throwing Egyptians, overprotective Thai policeman, motherly New Zealanders, meteorological disasters, bodily indignities, and great personal joys. The stress of traveling together constantly tested yet strengthened the young couple's relationship and as their trip ends, you'll find yourself yearning for Barbara and Larry to jump back on their bikes and keep pedaling. 

Read an Excerpt from the Book