Book Reviews

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National Geographic 100 Greatest Adventure Books

National Geographic Adventure has published their list of the 100 best adventure books. Perusing through the list, it is immediately apparent that the books are all the sort of high quality adventure writing, you would expect in a recommendation from National Geographic.

The books span from the golden age of exploration to the modern day. I see some old favorites (#7 Desert Solitaire, #17 Kon Tiki, #92 The Silent World), some I've been meaning to read (#14 Two Years Before The Mast, #47 Gipsy Moth Circles the World) and some new ones that look promising (#64 News from Tartary, #32 Through the Dark Continent,).

In general, I'm not a fan of these "100 best" type lists. It's a ridiculous way to classify cultural items. It doesn't matter if you are discussing rock songs, movies, or adventure books, it's always a bad idea. Simply calling the list 100 great adventure books would have been sufficient and more than accurate. Every book on the list that I've read is on my personal list of favorite books. I recognized many classics.

The Endurance : Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Title The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Expedition
Author Caroline Alexander
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf, 1998
ISBN 0375404031
Reviewer Paul Farrall

This is not the story of a successful expedition with conquering heroes returning home to a glamorous welcome. It is much better than that. This is the story of an expedition gone horribly awry and the courageous feats of leadership and teamwork by expedition members that turned what should have been a terrible tragedy into an incredible tale of survival.

Book Review: Exploration: My quest for adventure and discovery under the sea

Title Exploration: My quest for adventure and discovery under the sea
Author Robert J. Ballard
Publisher Hyperion (1995)
ISBN 0786860421
Reviewer Paul Farrall

This book is the autobiography of Robert J. Ballard an oceanographer and explorer probably best known for discovery of the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985. The book covers a large time span; from his childhood in California through his retirement from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in 1997.

Sailing and Mountaineering Books

I read a lot. I always have. I read fast too and that means I always have piles of books overflowing my bookshelves. Here are some good ones I'm looking at on my bookshelf right now.

Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing, New Edition

by John Rousmaniere.

Points Unknown: A Century of Great Exploration

Title Points Unknown: A Century of Great Exploration
Editor David Roberts
Publisher Norton (2000)
ISBN 0393050009
Reviewer Paul Farrall

Points Unknown is an anthology of 41 of the greatest adventure stories from the 20th Century. The stories cover a broad range of topics from exploration in the jungles of Borneo to ascents of Mount Everest to solo sailing circumnavigations. The stories are all excerpted from the original works. Read on for the rest of the review.

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions Of An All-Night Runner


Ultramarathon Man: Confessions Of An All-Night

Author Dean Karnazes
Publisher Tarcher (March, 2005)
ISBN 1585422789
Reviewer Paul Farrall

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter? Two in a row? How about running
non-stop through the night? This is the story of a man who routinely
does that and much more. Read on for a review of this book.

Dean Karnazes was living a normal yuppie life in San Francisco until

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