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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

Super Volcano, The Ticking Time Bomb Beneath Yellowstone National Park

Quite a bit has been written on the geologic underpinnings of Yellowstone National Park, particularly the aspect of the park sitting atop a gigantic volcano. The latest window into this world, from Greg Breining, is a good read for the lay volcanologist with an interest in the park.

Review: Wild Soundscapes, Discovering the Voice of the Natural World

With sound recorder in hand, I had looked to the book "Wild Soundscapes" to help me figure out the details of creating a really great field recording of my visits to the parks. The book met some of my expectations, but fell short of others. I thought the best part of the book was the included audio CD; whales in Alaska, coyotes in New Mexico, and elk in Yellowstone. Read on for the details.

Ghost at Blevins Farmstead; Excerpt From 'Haunted Hikes'

After Mr. Blevins passed away, park staff began to notice unusual things at the Blevins Farmstead. More than one ranger reported getting the "willies" while at Oscar’s farm. One hot summer evening, a ranger was unsaddling a horse inside the corral behind the barn when his hair stood up on end. Someone was watching him.

Yosemite's Half Dome: Everything You Need to Successfully Hike Yosemite's Most Famous Landmark

Climbing to the precipice of Half Dome is not a task easily done, nor one that should be lightly considered. That much I think is a given to anyone who has accomplished the day-long hike, or anyone who has read or heard of the tragedies that have taken place on this famous outcrop of granite.

Super-Scenic Motorway

Most of us, I think, envision the creation of national parks as a process intended to preserve spectacular beauty or a poignant moment in history for today and tomorrow. And while the Blue Ridge Parkway does indeed freeze a pastoral moment in Appalachian history, the impetus behind the highway was not so altruistic, as Ms. Whisnant's narrative points out.

Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories and Mystery

Clearly written and beautifully illustrated with color photographs of the canyon and maps and diagrams explaining the geologic forces at work, the book is not a heavy, geologic treatise. Rather, it entices one into turning the pages via a conversational tone, much as if you were standing on the South Rim discussing the canyon face-to-face with Ranney.

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