The Adventurer's Son: A Memoir by Roman DialWhat happened: When 27-year-old Cody Dial didn't return home from a solo trip hiking in Costa Rica's Corcovado National Park in 2014, his dad, Alaskan adventurer and biology professor Roman Dial, went to look for him.
Why you should read it: This captivating, fast-paced story provides a poignant look at the choices we make, father-and-son relationships, and dealing with loss.
For fans of: Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild; Carl Hoffman's The Last Wild Men of Borneo.
Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe by Rory MacLeanWhat happened: Three decades after a 1989 trip across newly opened Eastern Europe (see Stalin's Nose), travel writer Rory MacLean retraced his steps in the opposite direction, visiting Russia, Estonia, Transnistria, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Germany, and more.
Read this next: Lisa Dickey's Bears in the Streets or Anne Garrels' Putin Country -- both look at Russia at different points in time over recent decades.
Reviewers say: "an engrossing travelogue that’s both trenchantly observant and deeply felt" (Publishers Weekly).
The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice -- Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O'BradyWhat happened: American adventurer Colin O'Brady, who suffered severe burns to his legs years ago, set out to cross the Antarctic alone and unassisted for the first time on record, just as a British man was attempting the same thing.
What you should know: O'Brady's path was on a marked ice road for the last third of the trip and many members of the polar exploration community, including Jon Krakauer, say that doesn't qualify as unassisted; O'Brady acknowledges his route, but stands by his claim.
Read this next: David Grann's The White Darkness, which details Henry Worsely's 2015 attempt to walk across Antarctica alone.
Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy TaylorWhat happened: When Candacy Taylor learned about the Green Book -- a travel guide for African Americans published from the 1930s-1960s that listed safe places to eat and stay -- she sought more details, eventually driving nearly 40,000 miles across the modern U.S. to see what's changed.
Don't miss: both new and old photographs; vintage advertisements.
Read this next: Gretchen Sorin's recent book Driving While Black, which also explores the history of African Americans and road trips but without the travelogue aspect.
Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey into Greenland's Buried Past and Our... by Jon GertnerWhat it is: an eye-opening examination of Greenland that combines science, history, and travelogue.
Why you might like it: This gripping book pairs vividly detailed accounts of early scientific expeditions with present-day travels to and assessments of Greenland and its rapidly melting ice sheet.
You might also like: William E. Glassley's A Wilder Time, which details the geologist's trips to the island and similarly reveals the place's deep past while speculating about its future in a rapidly warming world.
Trespassing Across America: One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike... by Ken IlgunasWhat happened: Author Ken Ilgunas (Walden on Wheels) hiked 1,700 miles over the course of five months (sometimes illegally) along the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline, from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, through the Great Plains, and finishing in Port Arthur, Texas on the Gulf Coast.
Why you might like it: It's an accessible look at climate change, an amusing travelogue, and a thoughtful meditation on the natural world.
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth RushWhat it is: An evocative, award-winning exploration of the effects of rising coastal waters that's supported by smart, detailed reporting and moving interviews with scientists and locals.
Locations include: Rhode Island, Maine, New York, Florida, Louisiana, California, and Oregon.
Reviewers say: "Rush captures nature with precise words that almost amount to poetry" (The New York Times); "this book deserves to be read by all" (Publishers Weekly).
Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island by Earl SwiftWhat it's about: For months, author Earl Swift visited Virginia's small Tangier Island, located in the Chesapeake Bay and home to a close-knit crabbing community of about 500 people.
Why you should read it: In lyrical prose, Swift presents a fascinating history of the island while describing the devastating effects of rising sea levels on the islanders’ already endangered way of life.
Want a taste? "Here live people so isolated for so long that they have their own style of speech, a singsong brogue of old words and phrases."
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