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NPT Reviews of Books and other Material

A collection of book reviews to help you pick the perfect read for your national park escape

Death In Glacier National Park: Stories Of Accidents And Foolhardiness In The Crown Of The Continent

With visitation to the National Park System this centennial year at an all-time high, it’s no surprise I suppose that more and more people get in trouble, and some of those pay the ultimate price. Every year Glacier National Park in Montana lures hikers, anglers, employees, and climbers to the park’s high peaks, deep lakes, and raging rivers…and some to their own demise.
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100 Classic Hikes Utah: National Parks And Monuments, National Wilderness And Recreation Areas, State Parks, Uintas, Wasatch

Utah is one of the largest outdoor playgrounds in the world, with incredible canyon country, lofty mountains, deep forests, and high desert all waiting to be explored. So it's no surprise that Julie Trevelyan took all of this immense landscape into account when she set out to write a hiking guide to the Beehive State.
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Losing Eden: An Environmental History Of The American West

The Western landscape is in flux. Populations are swelling, sprawl is expanding population centers, water is becoming more precious as a result of drought and diversions, land-management philosophies and practices are generating political frictions. In her latest book, Sara Dant brings perspective to these changes by examining the factors that precipitated them.
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Between Two Fires: A Fire History Of Contemporary America

No one knows more about the history of wildland fire in the United States than Stephen Pyne, a prodigious scholar, prolific writer, and former wildland firefighter who spent 15 years on the ground with the North Rim Hotshots. His encyclopedic knowledge and personal experience of wildland fire are exceptional credentials for writing this book, which traces the history of wildfire in America over the past half century.
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A Sense Of Yosemite

There are literally hundreds of books on Yosemite National Park, including the iconic Ansel Adams black and white homage and John Muir’s The Yosemite, and it’s no wonder: it’s 1,200 square miles of mountains and canyons and valleys like nowhere else on Earth, and means so much to so many. And here is another must-have for your library, a rare combination of beautiful images coupled with heartfelt words by two masters of their crafts.
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A Walk In The Woods

Roaming the gift shop in Yellowstone National Park in search of a book to fill any idle hours I might encounter after the sun went down, I spied a paperback edition of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, and figured that now, almost two decades after it came out, was as good a time as any to add his Appalachian Trail odyssey to my library. I wasn't disappointed.
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Exceptional Mountains: A Cultural History Of The Pacific Northwest Volcanoes

One reviewer described this book, as, “…why and how we have sanctified these high-altitude mountains.” However O. Alan Weltzien’s fine effort also casts some wonderful light on aspects of the national parks and National Park Service that are very pertinent to this, the Park Service’s centennial year.
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Rhythm Of The Wild: A Life Inspired By Alaska’s Denali National Park

Kim Heacox has a long history with Denali National Park, beginning in 1981 when he was a rookie interpretive ranger. Rhythm of the Wild is a memoir, describing how Denali National Park has influenced him over three decades during which he experienced the park as a ranger, as a visitor, and as a writer-in-residence.
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Wrecked In Yellowstone: Greed, Obsession, And The Untold Story Of Yellowstone's Most Infamous Shipwreck

A few years back, Editor Kurt Repanshek and I had an opportunity to tag along on a research boat headed across Yellowstone Lake. I remember it vividly, because on the way back an afternoon mountain storm whipped up some foamy whitecaps and our boat started to look pretty small for such a big lake (it covers 136 square miles, at an altitude of 7,700 feet).
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A Week In Yellowstone's Thorofare: A Journey Through The Remotest Place

Mike Yochim, through his two previous books, Yellowstone and the Snowmobile and Protecting Yellowstone has established himself as a legitimate voice and scholar of national park history. Now supplemented by a third book, A Week in Yellowstone’s Thorofare, Yochim has transitioned to something vastly more personal and far less academic.
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Coyote America: A Natural And Supernatural History

Coyotes are everywhere in the continental United States despite nearly a century and half of determined efforts to destroy them. The more concerted the effort to trap, shoot, and poison them, the greater their range and their numbers. Next to the wolf, environmental historian Dan Flores writes, the coyote has been and is the most hated, persecuted, and misunderstood member of America’s wildlife community. It has not always been so.
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King Sequoia: The Tree That Inspired A Nation, Created Our National Park System, And Changed The Way We Think About Nature

One of my favorite spots in California, just a few miles away from the congestion of the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park, is a little known forest glen: Nelder Grove. A century ago this was a logging site, formerly named Fresno Grove, where the towering Sequoias crashed to the ground, to be cut up for grape stakes and fence posts. Massive stumps dot the quiet, verdant hillside, and some giants yet still stand. I always asked myself why, and how, this grove fell, while others went untouched, and were protected.
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The Hour Of Land: A Personal Topography Of America’s National Parks

Anyone who has heard Terry Tempest Williams speak or who has read her writing knows how personal her approach is to her subject, thus the “personal topography” of the subtitle of this book. Visits to 12 units of the National Park System, including seven national parks, two national monuments, a national military park, national seashore, and national recreation area, provide grist for her exploration of this topography and a sampling of different elements of the system.
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