Books to Read Outside
Phillips, Julia, author
One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls -- sisters, eight and eleven -- go missing. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women. Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother.
The giver of stars
Moyes, Jojo, 1969- author
In Depression-era America, the story of five extraordinary women and their journey through the mountains of Kentucky. Alice Wright marries American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically. The leader is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Based on a true story rooted in America's past.
Greenwood : a novel
Christie, Michael, 1976-, author
It's 2034 and Jake Greenwood is an overqualified tour guide in one of the world's last remaining forests. It's 2008 and Liam Greenwood is a carpenter, fallen from a ladder and sprawled on his broken back. It's 1974 and Willow Greenwood is out of jail, free after being locked up for one of her endless series of environmental protests. It's 1934 and Everett Greenwood is alone, as usual, in his maple syrup camp squat when he hears the cries of an abandoned infant and gets tangled up in the web of a crime that will cling to his family for decades. And throughout, there are trees: thrumming a steady, silent pulse beneath Christie's effortless sentences and working as a guiding metaphor for withering, weathering, and survival.
Lopez, Barry Holstun, 1945-2020 author
A book that moves through decades of the author's life as it describes his travels to six regions of the world: from the Oregon coast where he lives to the northernmost reaches of Canada; to the Galapagos; to the Kenyan desert; to Botany Bay in Australia; and in the resounding last section of this magisterial book, unforgettably to the ice shelves of Antarctica. As he revisits his growing up and these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada; the colonialists who plundered Central Africa; an Enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific and a Native American emissary who arrived in Japan before it opened to the West. He confronts today's ecotourism in the tropics and visits the haunting remnants of a French colonial prison on Île du Diable in French Guiana. Through these journeys, and friendships forged along the way with scientists, archeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world. With tenderness and intimacy, Horizon evokes the stillness and the silence of the hottest, the coldest and the most desolate places on the globe.
The sweetest fruits : a novel
Truong, Monique T. D.
"Three women tell the story of their time with Lafcadio Hearn, a globetrotting writer best known for his books about Meiji-era Japan. Their accounts witness Hearn's remarkable life but also seek to witness their own existence and luminous will to live unbounded by gender, race, and the mores of their time"-- Provided by publisher.
A walk in the woods
Bryson, Bill, author
Bryson relates the adventures and misadventures of two totally unfit hikers as he and longtime friend Stephen Katz traverse the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Returning from more than twenty years in Britain, he set out to rediscover his homeland, but the two men find themselves awed by the terrain and stymied by the unfamiliar local culture. His gruelling yet fascinating trek gave him a rare perspective on American life.
Edugyan, Esi, author
Eleven-year-old George Washington Black - or Wash - a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is intially terrified when he is chosen to be the manservant of his master's brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is intiated into a world where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, they must abandon everything and flee. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again.
When we were birds : a novel
Banwo, Ayanna Lloyd, author.
Set in Trinidad & Tobago, two outsiders will meet inside the gates of Port Angeles’ largest and oldest cemetery. Yejide is this generation’s St. Bernard’s woman responsible for the passage of the city’s souls into the afterlife. Darwin, a devout Rastafarian, has no other job options than grave digging, a direct violation of his religion’s commandment not to interact with death.
Where the crawdads sing
Owens, Delia, author
For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. Kya Clark is not what they say. Abandoned at ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh. With just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world -- until the unthinkable happens.
Wild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Strayed, Cheryl, 1968- author