A rich and revelatory memoir of a young woman reclaiming her courage in the stark landscapes of the north. By the time Blair Braverman was eighteen, she had left her home in California, moved to arctic Norway to learn to drive sled dogs, and found work as a tour guide on a glacier in Alaska. Determined to carve out a life as a “tough girl”—a young woman who confronts danger without apology—she slowly developed the strength and resilience the landscape demanded of her. By turns funny and sobering, bold and tender, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube brilliantly recounts Braverman’s adventures in Norway and Alaska. Settling into her new surroundings, Braverman was often terrified that she would lose control of her dog team and crash her sled, or be attacked by a polar bear, or get lost on the tundra. Above all, she worried that, unlike the other, gutsier people alongside her, she wasn’t cut out for life on the frontier. But no matter how out of place she felt, one thing was clear: she was hooked on the North. On the brink of adulthood, Braverman was determined to prove that her fears did not define her—and so she resolved to embrace the wilderness and make it her own. Assured, honest, and lyrical, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube paints a powerful portrait of self-reliance in the face of extraordinary circumstance. Braverman endures physical exhaustion, survives being buried alive in an ice cave, and drives her dogs through a whiteout blizzard to escape crooked police. Through it all, she grapples with love and violence—navigating a grievous relationship with a fellow musher, and adapting to the expectations of her Norwegian neighbors—as she negotiates the complex demands of being a young woman in a man’s land. Weaving fast-paced adventure writing and ethnographic journalism with elegantly wrought reflections on identity, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube captures the triumphs and the perils of Braverman’s journey to self-discovery and independence in a
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The American Adrenaline Narrative considers the nature of perilous outdoor adventure tales, their gendered biases, and how they simultaneously promote and hinder ecological sustainability. To explore these themes, Kristin J. Jacobson defines and compares adrenaline narratives by a range of American authors published after the first Earth Day in 1970, a time frame selected as a watershed moment for the contemporary American environmental movement. The forty-plus years since that day also mark the rise in the popularity and marketing of many things as “extreme,” including sports, jobs, travel, beverages, gum, makeovers, laundry detergent, and even the environmental movement itself. Jacobson maps the American eco-imagination via adrenaline narratives, grounding them in the traditional literary practice of close reading analysis and in ecofeminism. She surveys a range of popular and lesser-known primary texts by American authors, including best-selling books, such as Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Aron Ralston’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and lesser-known texts, such as Patricia C. McCairen’s Canyon Solitude, Eddy L. Harris’s Mississippi Solo, and Stacy Allison’s Beyond the Limits. She also discusses such narratives as they appear in print and online articles and magazines, feature-length and short films, television shows, amateur videos, social networking site posts, fiction, advertising, and blogs. Jacobson contends that these stories constitute a distinctive genre because—unlike traditional nature, travel, and sports writing— adrenaline narratives sustain heightened risk or the element of the “extreme” within a natural setting. Additionally, these narratives provide important insight into the American environmental imagination’s connection to masculinity and adventure—knowledge that helps us grasp the current climate crisis and how narrative understanding provides a needed intervention.
A delightful photographic journey into a year in the life of a team of sled dogs, based on Braverman's wildly popular Twitter feed When Blair Braverman started posting pictures of her dog team on Twitter, she had no idea the response she would get. Being a musher, after all, isn't just about racing--raising dogs from puppyhood to retirement (and beyond) is a full-time job. She and her husband, musher Quince Mountain, wanted to share stories about life with their dog team. And not just the big stuff, like expeditions and wild animal encounters, but also the everyday things: the challenge of storing a thousand pounds of raw meat, scouting new trails with the dogs, the decisions that go into putting a team together, how she trains puppies to be brave. These were goofy stories, scary stories, heartfelt stories, stories that clearly connected with people and kept going viral. Inspired by those connections, Dogs on the Trail is a chronicle of a year in the life of their dog team. Beginning in the fall as the weather starts to cool, training on both dry land and in the snow, then camping and racing. Spring brings mud--lousy for sledding, but the dogs love it. And summer is the season of puppies. The book ends on a beginning, in anticipation of the adventurous lives that the new pups have in store. An irresistible adventure, Dogs on the Trail will delight and entertain while taking you inside a musher's world, and showing you why the wilderness isn't simply a place to visit but also a home to return to.
In the bestselling tradition of Hampton Sides’s In the Kingdom of Ice, a riveting and cinematic tale of Dutch polar explorer William Barents and his three harrowing Arctic expeditions—the last of which resulted in a relentlessly challenging year-long fight for survival. The human story has always been one of perseverance—often against remarkable odds. The most astonishing survival tale of all might be that of 16th-century Dutch explorer William Barents and his crew of sixteen, who ventured farther north than any Europeans before and, on their third polar exploration, lost their ship off the frozen coast of Nova Zembla to unforgiving ice. The men would spend the next year fighting off ravenous polar bears, gnawing hunger, and endless winter. In Icebound, Andrea Pitzer masterfully combines a gripping tale of survival with a sweeping history of the great Age of Exploration—a time of hope, adventure, and seemingly unlimited geographic frontiers. At the story’s center is William Barents, one of the 16th century’s greatest navigators whose larger-than-life ambitions and obsessive quest to chart a path through the deepest, most remote regions of the Arctic ended in both tragedy and glory. Journalist Pitzer did extensive research, learning how to use four-hundred-year-old navigation equipment, setting out on three Arctic expeditions to retrace Barents’s steps, and visiting replicas of Barents’s ship and cabin. “A visceral, thrilling account full of tantalizing surprises” (Andrea Barrett, author of The Voyage of the Narwhal ), Pitzer’s reenactment of Barents’s ill-fated journey shows us how the human body can function at twenty degrees below, the history of mutiny, the art of celestial navigation, and the intricacies of building shelters. But above all, it gives us a first-hand glimpse into the true nature of human courage.
This book is about memory, the power of memory, the weight of memory, the presence of memory. Its about how memory works, and its about how memory moves and shapes us, profoundly and deeply, every moment of every day. Most of all, however, its about how memory points us to some questions that, try as we might, we cannot elude altogether, questions that force us to confront the very nature of existence. Suppose that no one, no one at all, remembered us? Suppose that no one, no one at all, remembered the universe? How can we make sense of a world that one day will be utterly gone and forgotten? Memory makes us speak of things we may not want to accept or understand, thrusts us into things lying beyond what we can picture, imagine, or know. Twisting itself around our heart and burrowing into our soul, memory stretches us. It stretches us to ponder purpose, it stretches us to consider meaning. Memory forces us to think about how unbearably complex we, and this bewildering world, can be if nothing precedes or follows them. Memory opens our heart to God.
A memoir of heartbreak, thousand-mile races, the endless Alaskan wilderness and many, many dogs from one of only a handful of women to have completed both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. In 2009, after a crippling divorce that left her heartbroken and directionless, Kristin decided to accept an offer to live at a friend's cabin outside of Denali National Park in Alaska for a few months. In exchange for housing, she would take care of her friend's eight sled dogs. That winter, she learned that she was tougher than she ever knew. She learned how to survive in one of the most remote places on earth and she learned she was strong enough to be alone. She fell in love twice: first with running sled dogs, and then with Andy, a gentle man who had himself moved to Alaska to heal a broken heart. Kristin and Andy married and started a sled dog kennel. While this work was enormously satisfying, Kristin became determined to complete the Iditarod -- the 1,000-mile dogsled race from Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast. THIS MUCH COUNTRY is the story of renewal and transformation. It's about journeying across a wild and unpredictable landscape and finding inner peace, courage and a true home. It's about pushing boundaries and overcoming paralyzing fears. "THIS MUCH COUNTRY is the next best thing to stepping on the runners of your own dogsled. A gorgeous, intimate story of wildness and belonging."--Blair Braverman, author of Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube
In The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 10: True Stories from Around the World, thirty celebrated and emerging writers invite you to ride shotgun as they travel the globe to discover new places, people, and facets of themselves. The essays are as diverse as the destinations, the common thread being fresh, compelling storytelling that will make you laugh, weep, wish you were there, or thank your lucky stars you weren’t. The Best Women’s Travel Writing speaks to the reasons why we travel—and how travel changes our lives. In The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 10: True Stories from Around the World, you’ll: Study the ancient art of belly dancing in Egypt Go day-drinking with a sea captain in Croatia Scuba dive through an underground cave in Mexico Run from massive exploding balloons in Burma Embed with the military in Afghanistan Experience a different kind of time in Argentina Go dogsledding in Finland Confront heartache, pain, and a deadly creature in Indonesia Negotiate with smugglers in Mongolia Marry a stranger at Burning Man ... and much, much more.
Guy and Laura Waterman spent a lifetime reflecting on and writing about the mountains of the Northeast. The Waterman Fund seeks to further their legacy of stewardship through an annual essay contest that celebrates and explores issues of wilderness, wildness, and humanity. Since 2008, the Waterman Fund has partnered with the journal Appalachia in seeking out new and emerging voices on these subjects, and in publishing the winning essay in the journal. Part of the contest's mission is to find and support such emerging writers, and a number of them have gone on to publish other work in Appalachia or their own books. The contest has succeeded admirably in fulfilling its mission: new writers have brought fresh perspectives to these timeless issues of wilderness and wildness. In New Wilderness Voices these winning essays are collected for the first time, along with the best runners-up. Together, they make up an important and celebratory addition to the growing body of environmental literature, and shed new light on our wild spaces.
Important Notice: The digital edition of this book may not contain all of the images found in the physical edition.
“In a plague year where our worst fears are real but unseen, possible but indefinable, this book could not be timelier.”—Rolling Stone Frozen in terror during a mountain descent, award-winning journalist Eva Holland reaches her breaking point. Since childhood, she’s been gripped by two debilitating phobias: fear of losing her mother, and fear of heights. The worst has already happened: Eva’s mother died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2015. But now—after an arduous, embarrassing, and tearful finale to her ice-climbing expedition—Eva decides, enough. Fear may define her past, but she won’t let it dictate her future. Thus begins Holland's quest to renegotiate her inhibiting relationship with fear. In stirring, raw prose, she reveals what it's like to live in the clutches of paralyzing dread. And with remarkable courage, she tests the limits of what one can do to live less fearfully—from engaging in daring adventure to cutting-edge research: She confronts her acrophobia by jumping out of an airplane, explores the lives of rare individuals who feel little or no fear, and meets with scientists working to eliminate phobias with a single pill. Of course, one doesn’t have to go out of the way to face fear; by horrible coincidence, a series of freak accidents leaves Holland deeply shaken. Determined to stay the course, she seeks out a surprisingly effective treatment involving eye movement—to reckon with lingering trauma and anxiety to rid herself of intrusive memories and panics while driving. Ultimately, Holland’s odyssey sheds light on universal questions: How do we feel fear, and why? Is fear necessary? Is it rooted in the body or the mind? And it brings her ever closer to knowing: Is there a better way to feel afraid? Finding the nerve to face down her fears, Holland not only shows us how to grapple with our own, but invites us to embrace them as a way to live happier and feel more alive.
POWERFUL WISDOM FROM THE ELDERS OF OUR COMMUNITIES In this rich and multilayered collection of interviews, conversations, and intimate photographs, over 100 trailblazing women describe the ups, downs, and lessons learned while forging their unique paths. Collective Wisdom celebrates the stories of those who have been there and know the road—from an Olympic athlete and a NASA team member to award-winning artists, activists, writers, and filmmakers, from women in their fifties to centenarians. It is also a tribute to the importance of intergenerational connections between women, with interviews conducted by daughters, friends, mentors, and colleagues. Collective Wisdom creates a living, breathing sense of community—a space where all of us can gather, listen, share, and learn.
“Bold, absorbing, insightful, and wise. . . . Read it: the truth is inside.”— Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things “A work of courage and ferocious honesty” (Diana Abu-Jaber), Double Bind could not come at a more urgent time. Even as major figures from Gloria Steinem to Beyoncé embrace the word “feminism,” the word “ambition” remains loaded with ambivalence. Many women see it as synonymous with strident or aggressive, yet most feel compelled to strive and achieve—the seeming contradiction leaving them in a perpetual double bind. Ayana Mathis, Molly Ringwald, Roxane Gay, and a constellation of “nimble thinkers . . . dismantle this maddening paradox” (O, The Oprah Magazine) with candor, wit, and rage. Women who have made landmark achievements in fields as diverse as law, dog sledding, and butchery weigh in, breaking the last feminist taboo once and for all. “Both intimate and scalable” (Atlantic.com), Double Bind finally seizes “ambition” from the roster of dirty words.
Coming of Age at the End of Nature explores a new kind of environmental writing. This powerful anthology gathers the passionate voices of young writers who have grown up in an environmentally damaged and compromised world. Each contributor has come of age since Bill McKibben foretold the doom of humanity’s ancient relationship with a pristine earth in his prescient 1988 warning of climate change, The End of Nature. What happens to individuals and societies when their most fundamental cultural, historical, and ecological bonds weaken—or snap? In Coming of Age at the End of Nature, insightful millennials express their anger and love, dreams and fears, and sources of resilience for living and thriving on our shifting planet. Twenty-two essays explore wide-ranging themes that are paramount to young generations but that resonate with everyone, including redefining materialism and environmental justice, assessing the risk and promise of technology, and celebrating place anywhere from a wild Atlantic island to the Arizona desert, to Baltimore and Bangkok. The contributors speak with authority on problems facing us all, whether railing against the errors of past generations, reveling in their own adaptability, or insisting on a collective responsibility to do better.
Two murders shock a Rocky Mountain ranch town in this captivating suspense novel from one of Montana’s greatest storytellers In the two years since his last adventure with Sheriff Chick Charleston, Jason Beard has been away at college, preparing to enter the “real world” when he graduates. When he returns to his hometown of Midbury, Montana, for the summer, he expects to see big changes—but finds instead the same old peculiar place, its eccentric citizens up to familiar tricks. One of those crusty characters is F. Y. Grimsley, a prominent rancher with a nasty mean streak. The day after Grimsley accuses the residents of a nearby Indian reservation of rustling his cattle, he turns up dead, struck on the head by an object that leaves distinctive marks. Sheriff Charleston deputizes Jase, and the two pay a visit to Eagle Charlie in search of answers. Soon after the interview, Eagle Charlie turns up murdered with what appears to be the same weapon that felled Grimsley. With a potential serial killer on the loose, the sheriff and Jase are anxious to find the culprit before another body is discovered. Their investigation uncovers many dark and unexpected secrets of Midbury, but the crucial clue just might be as plain as day—if they only knew where to look.
A harsh winter and a heated land dispute make for a deadly combination in this gripping installment of A. B. Guthrie Jr.’s acclaimed mystery series It’s forty degrees below zero in Midbury, Montana, and the cattle are dying. Not from the frigid temperatures, but under bizarre circumstances that stir up rumors of blood cults and UFOs. As if that weren’t bad enough, a strip-mining company has moved into town with plans to tear apart the land in search of coal. Sheriff Chick Charleston and his loyal sidekick, Jason, try to keep tensions between the outsiders and the locals from boiling over, but when a murder occurs at the Chicken Shack, the miners’ local hangout, the situation threatens to spin out of control. To save a community and a way of life that mean everything to them, the sheriff and Jase must track down a killer whose blood runs as cold as a Great Plains winter.
Newly married and established in her career as an award–winning newspaper journalist, Maggie Downs quits her job, sells her belongings, and embarks on the solo trip of a lifetime: Her mother’s. As a child, Maggie Downs often doubted that she would ever possess the courage to visit the destinations her mother dreamed of one day seeing. “You are braver than you think,” her mother always insisted. That statement would guide her as, over the course of one year, Downs backpacked through seventeen countries―visiting all the places her mother, struck with early–onset Alzheimer’s disease, could not visit herself―encountering some of the world’s most striking locales while confronting the slow loss of her mother. Interweaving travelogue with family memories, Braver Than You Think takes the reader hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, white–water rafting on the Nile, volunteering at a monkey sanctuary in Bolivia, praying at an ashram in India, and fleeing the Arab Spring in Egypt. By embarking on an international journey, Downs learned to make every moment count―traveling around the globe and home again, losing a parent while discovering the world. Perfect for fans of adventure memoirs like Wild and Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube, Braver Than You Think explores grief and loss with tenderness, clarity, and humor, and offers a truly incredible roadmap to coping with the unimaginable.
A romance novel rivaling "Peyton Place," set in Bucks County in the 1960's. Intrigue among the classes of this sizzling little town.
The adventure begins when Meg’s mother, Addie, vacationing in Florida, takes a spill. At the hospital, Addie bolts upright on her gurney and yells “I demand an autopsy!” before passing out cold. “One minute, she is unconscious, the next, she’s nuts,” observes Meg Federico in this hilarious and poignant memoir of taking care of eighty-year-old Addie and her relatively new (and equally old) husband, Walter, in their not-so-golden years. Addie’s accident is a portent of things to come over the next two years as Meg oversees her mother’s home care in the Departure Lounge, the nickname Meg gives Addie and Walter’s house in suburban New Jersey. It is a place of odd behaviors and clashing caregivers, where chaos and confusion reign supreme. Meg had expected that Addie and Walter would settle into a Rockwellian dotage of docile dependency. Instead the pair regress into terrible teens. Meg watches from the sidelines in disbelief as her mother and stepfather, forbidden by doctors to drink, conspire to order cases of scotch by phone; as Addie’s attendant accuses the evening staff of midnight voodoo; as the increasingly demented Walter’s sex drive becomes unbridled and mail-order sex aids are delivered to the front door. Meg jumps in to cope with the pandemonium–even as she struggles to manage her own family back in Nova Scotia. With a fresh voice and a keen eye for the absurd, Meg Federico writes a story that will resonate with the generation now caring for their parents. Welcome to the Departure Lounge is a moving and madcap chronicle of a family–their moments of joy, the memories they’d rather forget, and the just plain loopiness of their situation. “How’s life at the Departure Lounge?” Meg’s brother asks. Meg doesn’t know where to start. “Let’s just say the drinks are outrageous, and they never run out of nuts.”
Murder erupts in Midbury, Montana, when a severe cold snap bringing temperatures forty degrees below zero, a series of ritual cattle killings, and ongoing strip-mine hearings set the town on edge
“If you really want to journey into the heart of darkness, you'd be advised to travel with Vancouver writer Keath Fraser, a man of extraordinary talents.” —Bronwyn Drainie An icon of Canadian short fiction, Keath Fraser has exerted a wide and trenchant influence since the publication of his first collection Taking Cover in 1982. Damages: Selected Stories 1982–2012 gathers the finest of his work across decades. Combining the craftsmanship of the form’s greatest masters with the idiosyncratic voices and music of our contemporary moment, the stories selected here travel from the richly peopled worlds of Fraser’s Vancouver to the Gulf of Thailand, a Phnom Penh bone-house embassy, and the Rajasthan desert, and demonstrate remarkable diversity of character and effortless storytelling across a range of modes. Featuring an introduction by John Metcalf, and including the novella “Foreign Affairs,” called by the Oxford Companion of Canadian Literature “one of the masterpieces of Canadian short fiction,” Damages showcases Keath Fraser as one of the best and most enduring story writers of the last fifty years.