Saturday, December 22, 2012

Green book review (and a giveaway!): Paddling North by Audrey Sutherland

This week we're also happy to share with you one of Patagonia Books' brand new eBook offerings, and we're even more excited to have a giveaway of one digital copy of the book we're reviewing today! See details below.

So today we have the pleasure to review a great book from Patagonia Books: Paddling North by Audrey Sutherland.

What this book is about?

In a tale remarkable for its quiet confidence and acute natural observation, the author of Paddling Hawaii begins with her decision, at age 60, to undertake a solo, summer-long voyage along the southeast coast of Alaska in an inflatable kayak. Paddling North is a compilation of Sutherland’s first two (of over 20) such annual trips and her day-by-day travels through the Inside Passage from Ketchikan to Skagway. With illustrations and the author’s recipes.

Our review:

As someone who has spent many, many hours paddling down a river, I could certainly relate to this book. Paddling North, by Audrey Sutherland is the story of her journey at 60 years old, padding all alone, over 800 miles through the Alaskan waters, from Ketchikan to Skagway, in a blow up canoe/kayak. The trip takes two months of her life, but it was the adventure she had been waiting for and planning for, and dreaming of. Every day brought new adventure or trials. Launching at high tides, the rain, the wind, the cold water waves, the utter exhaustion, this is a book not just about the mechanics of a trip, it is about surviving on your own muscle, with a small bit of flair tossed in. Her motto being: Go Simple, go solo, and go now. 

I don’t know about the solo, but I agree with all the rest. She is a refreshingly honest woman, that sees herself and her life with a critical eye, and one I wish I possessed for myself. Then there is the food. When you think of camping trip fare, I think of flame charred hotdogs and warmed in the can within the hot coals of the fire, baked beans. I certainly never thought about fine dining with fresh steak, mushrooms, garlic and curry, and then a class of chilled wine. 

A wonderful perk of this book is that she not only shares what she is cooking, she actually then provides you with the recipe. That is awesome. Easy, anyone can accomplish recipes, too. One of the most inspiring things of this book is the author’s courage and her spirit on her journey. I am truly impressed. If I had to find one thing about the book that I didn’t particularly like, I would have to say that at a whopping 457 pages, it was a bit on the long side. Admittedly, my brain began to wander during the last ¼ of the book, as I grew more and more restless. Regardless of the length, I found it a very good book. Well worth my time. 

You can purchase here (both in paper and electronic formats).

We're giving away one digital copy of this book, courtesy of the publisher, Patagonia Books!

How you can win? Very simple. All you have to do is to add a comment to this post with a reply to the following question: What is your favorite river? (and why..). We will have a raffle on Saturday, Dec 29, 5:00PM EST between all the readers that will reply by then. The winner will be announced the following day.


Raz @ Eco-Libris