In the Heart of the Sea by Nathanial Philbrick (2000)

When I was 10 or 11, I read the book Alive, the Story of the Andes Survivors.  I can still picture scenes from the book in which the passengers (especially the Uruguayan rugby team) were freezing, injured, starving, and near death.  And then they succumbed to eating the dead.  I was both fascinated and disgusted. … Continue reading In the Heart of the Sea by Nathanial Philbrick (2000)

Missoula by Jon Krakauer (2015)

I have utmost respect for Krakauer as a writer and an investigative journalist. He always seems to find a story that needs telling, and he humanizes his stories in such a way that his readers understand the issues and implications of his topics, but we also see the personal and emotional side by getting to… Continue reading Missoula by Jon Krakauer (2015)

Excellent essays from a variety of 2012-2015 essay anthologies

I'm a huge essay reader, and I love the collections of Best Essays and Best Magazine Writing each year.  Essay is my favorite genre to teach because students can use all their creative writing skills to infuse a breathing life into serious issues. A well-written essay is never boring. The best essays are compelling stories… Continue reading Excellent essays from a variety of 2012-2015 essay anthologies

Born to Run by Christopher Mc Dougall (2009)

Similar to Jon Krakauer's style, what strikes me about this book is the writing and the extensive research.  When I read a nonfiction book that delves into so many ancillary issues, all exhaustively researched, it humbles me because I can feel the hours, weeks, years, it takes to not only gather the information, but to… Continue reading Born to Run by Christopher Mc Dougall (2009)

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (1996)

I read this book many years ago, and I watched the movie version of it at some point as well, but it's been a while since I thought much about it until I assigned it to my freshmen to read over break.  So there I was in the Upper Peninsula at our friends' cabin surrounded… Continue reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (1996)

Quiet by Susan Cain (2012)

I wanted to like this book, and I tried to like it along the way, but ultimately, I was turned off by the author's tone. She seemed to have a chip on her shoulder that permeated her voice, and though the premise of the book is to open our eyes--and ears--to the power and promise… Continue reading Quiet by Susan Cain (2012)