Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Well I just got back from vacation and read a few interesting books on the way.

The first book I finished was The Big Burn by Timothy Egan. It is essentially two stories interwoven, the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot which lead to the creation of the Forest Service, and the nation's largest wildfire in the summer of 1910. He describes the politics and passion behind the nation's conservation movement and ascribes much credit to the huge wildfire for fanning the flame, so to speak. Much of the book recounted the terrible days and nights the rangers and firefighters spent trying to put out the flames. Many died and many more were severely injured by the flames, smoke, and falling trees.  Another great read about a little known event that had a big impact. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Lost City of Z

Here is another bestseller I finally got around to reading, The Lost City of Z by David Grann. It's about the British explorer Percy Fawcett, who disappeared in 1925 while searching for a lost elaborate city in the Amazon. The lost city of gold, or El Dorado, was long sought by explorers to the region. Fawcett wasn't searching for gold as much as he was searching to prove himself correct. He believed in a civilization that could live and thrive in the dangerous region. He himself had visited the Amazon numerous times and learned how to communicate with the local tribes and avoid the disease and starvation that had plagued so many. If anyone could find a lost city, it would be Fawcett.
Fawcett also took along his son Jack and Jack's friend Raleigh. They were last heard from on May 29, 1925. He was a well known explorer, so many people decided to venture after him. The book reports that some have estimated over 100 people died or were lost trying to find him.
The story is fascinating and Grann does a terrific job of describing the character that was Fawcett. He, himself, also ventured to the Amazon region and found a world much different than the one Fawcett explored.

This is a great adventure read that doesn't get bogged down by scientific facts or narrative. Highly recommended for adults, and teens would also like this!