No doubt about it. The wilderness is an absolutely inspiring place to visit. However, we certainly can’t be hanging out in the forests or atop the mountains all the time.
So how do we stay connected and inspired? One excellent way to remain in contact with nature is through books — allowing words to describe an outdoor setting we recognize or dream of visiting. Sometimes it takes stories of adventures gone terribly wrong, followed by survival and then successfully returning to civilization to tell the tale. In other instances, humor guides stories of travel and adventure in surprisingly inspiring ways.
As you’ll see below, the staff here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) has assembled a list of books and stories we make for a great summer reading list — one that can inspire even the most temporarily sedentary reader among us. Included with each recommended read is a suggested pairing — not for beer or wine but a Course or Training offered by NCOAE. (Note: Clicking on any of the book covers below will lead you to that book’s page on Amazon.com.)
We hope you’ll enjoy these books as much as we have:
Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
The Alaskan wilderness and homesteading in the 1920s sets the stage for this beautifully written book that explores what is real and what lives in our imagination. An old couple living and trying to thrive in brutal conditions build a child out of snow. When looking out the window the following day the see the snow child is gone, and tracks leads from the spot it was built into the nearby wilderness. Faina (the snow child) is an incredibly strong female character that defies everything you would think about a child living alone in the wilderness. This is a story about beliefs and the transformation of individuals and community. And a bonus is the description of a frigid climate that will keep you cool on the hot nights of summer. Best paired with (more…)