The Raven’s Gift: A Scientist, a Shaman, and Their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wilderness by Jonathan Turk
A scientist relates the story of how Moonynaut, an elderly shaman in a remote Siberian village, healed his fractured pelvis after invoking the Spirit Raven, a healing that prompted the author to traverse the frozen tundra where the shaman was born and record the spiritual stories of bands of reindeer herders. (2011, 336 pgs; Nonfiction)
How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr
We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories–the islands, atolls, and archipelagos–this country has governed and inhabited? Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. (2019, 516 pgs; Nonfiction)
White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen’s Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic by Stephen R. Bown.
While Amundsen, Franklin, and Peary were first to explore the furthest geographical reaches of the Polar North, Knud Rasmussen was the first to explore its culture and its soul. Part Danish, part Inuit, the famed explorer anthropologist made an epic three-year journey by dog sled from Greenland to Alaska recording not only the landscapes but also the songs and stories of the Eskimo people. (2016, 341 pgs; Biography)
William Walker’s Wars: How One Man’s Private American Army Tried to Conquer Mexico, Nicaragua, and Honduras by Scott Martelle
This book details the little-remembered history of the American man who, with the help of a privately assembled army, installed himself as president of Nicaragua in 1856. (2019, 312 pgs; Biography)
Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Waterman of Vanishing Tangier Island by Earl Swift
The author offers a portrait of Chesapeake Bay’s two-hundred-year-old Tangier Island crabbing community, describing their isolated and vanishing way of life while explaining how rising sea levels will render the island uninhabitable within twenty years. (2018, 434 pgs; Nonfiction)
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