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Blog posts of '2016' 'July'

Twin Lakes, Alaska
coverKindly contributed by author and photographer Carl Johnson. In his new book Where Water is Gold, Johnson brings to light the struggle between developers and ecologists in southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay. A key habitat for millions of seabirds, salmon, otters, seals, walruses and endangered whale species, Bristol Bay also contains fine particles of precious metals (gold, copper and molybdenum) that industrialists wish to extract.
  When hiking 2,500 feet up the side of a mountain, the view often consists of just the details in the tundra below, from the vibrant pink blooms of moss campion to the bristly, crunchy details of caribou lichen.
The Hour of Land
USA592America’s national parks—celebrating a centennial anniversary this August—draw over 300 million visitors a year. “What are we searching for,” Terry Tempest Williams wonders at the beginning of her new collection of essays The Hour of Land, “and what do we find?” Williams counts herself among those millions of travelers as she explores her relationship to twelve national parks and monuments across the United States, from Effigy Mounds in Iowa to Gates of the Arctic.
Summer Reading
EAF448As the weather warms that list of summer reading keeps piling up, a tantalizing tower of intriguing stories, ready to transport you to new lands. Here are some paperbacks we recommend packing for your next trip to the beach! Circling the Sun. In this work of historical fiction, Paula McLain, bestselling author of The Paris Wife (FRN981), reimagines 1920s Kenya and the extraordinary life of record-setting aviatrix Beryl Markham.
Sixty Degrees North
Shetland IslandsThe Shetland Islands are a Scottish archipelago located to the northwest of Great Britain. Visitors to Shetland are told that the island lies upon the 60th parallel, as though this means something. And to many locals, it does. For them, the 60th parallel signifies that the archipelago is more than just isolated islands—it is connected to the larger world in a meaningful way. When Shetland native Malachy Tallack was 16, his father died. “It was the kind of quiet, ordinary day on which nothing extraordinary ought to happen. But it did,” he writes. Shortly after the funeral, he found himself staring out the window of his house in Lerwick, Shetland, imagining the 60th parallel unfolding before him into the distance.
Fair Isle
Kindly contributed by writer Malachy Tallack, book coverwhose new travel narrative Sixty Degrees North recounts his journey across the 60th parallel, through Shetland, Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia and Scandinavia, as he grapples with his father’s death and the idea of home.
  Sometimes, the way we respond to a particular place can be surprising. Just as new people can make us relaxed or cheerful or uneasy, so too can new locations; and those feelings are not always predictable or explicable. I am still not entirely sure why, on my first visit to Fair Isle, more than ten years ago, I was so utterly bewitched.
Greek Mythology: A Traveler's Guide
author photoGreek myths are more than just important stories; the epic tales are rooted in the Mediterranean itself. That's the philosophy of author David Stuttard whose new book Greek Mythology: A Traveler's Guide from Mount Olympus to Troy explores Greece through myth. From 'must see' cities like Athens and Ephesus to less-explored places like Ithaca, Argos and Mount Pelion, he encourages readers to bring the Greek landscape to life through story. Myths were common currency in the ancient Greek empire, Stuttard explains. They pervaded nearly all aspects of everyday life.