After Dana’s fantastic list from 2019 I knew I had to put some favourites on the list. Included are my two go to reference books for plants and animals, titles that every passionate outdoors-person can make great use of!
Beyond the Trees: Adam Shoalts
With yet another page turner, Adam’s books are a must for adventurers and history buffs alike. Weaving together a tale that both inspires and intimidates, Adam’s practiced long form story telling and historical knowledge takes you deep into the barrens and its deep reservoir of human experience, both past and present.
In 2017 he hiked and paddled from the Yukon to Nunavut. If that doesn’t grab your attention, his PHD in history adds credence to his words and can educate all of us. We particularly loved the part where he goes up the Coppermine River, a favourite tundra river of ours!
Blue Sky Kingdom: Bruce Kirkby
I mentioned this new book by Nahanni and Canadian River expeditions guide Bruce Kirkby, earlier this year, but I just keep coming back to this book. Both for the prose but also the wisdom. Bruce’s life experience has inspired my own and this latest work reassured me of basic values in a world that seems all too unpredictable. He and his wife Christine’s love of each other, their children and the natural world is inspiring to say the least!
But don’t take me at my world for it, the New York Times has it on its 50 books for the holidays!
Alpine Plants of the Northwest: Pojar and Mackinnon.
My favourite and most well used reference book looks like it went for swim this year. I don’t know how it got so wet but it had me searching for a new copy. I didn’t know it was possible but the new edition is even more exhaustive and its beautiful photography makes ID’ing a snap and certainly got me dreaming about spring wildflowers!
Stokes: Field Guide to Birds
Though we are well into winter weather, a lot of the bird life in the North is still with us. The bird feeder held a Pileated Woodpecker and the mountain ash was full of Bohemian Waxwings this week. Along with binoculars, the window sill is never without a reference book. Stokes’s has been a favourite for a long time. Its excellent photos make sure a bird never stays a LBB (A little brown bird ;)) for long! With editions for each major region this exhaustive text is life’s work of the authors!
Birdie: Tracy Lindburg
At once, joyous and saddening I was enthralled by this novel. Full of places and names that will connect any Canadian to the story. Woven throughout is an enveloping humanity full of spirit and a reminder of the complexity of life. This book should be required reading by every high school student across the country. I look forward to seeing what Tracy Lindburg writes next! If you are looking for a book that will at once educate and entertain this is a great read.
Howard’s Pass Forever
Finally I would love to shamelessly plug a short work by myself too! Howard’s Pass Forever, is a story of adventure in a forgotten corner of the North.
As we head into the holidays we are thinking about our friends in the conservation world. The pandemic has hit non-profits hard with many donors (ourselves included) with less support to offer at the end of the year.
We have chosen to help raise some funds for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and we have published a book recounting one of my adventures in a remote corner of the South Nahanni River’s watershed.
It is a take at once humorous and tragic and it will take you far from the well trodden path. Full colour, with beautiful photography, it is a perfect gift for the adventurer in your life.
100% cent of each purchase will go to support CPAWS’ important work.
Printed on beautiful stock by our friends at Hemlock printers, this little number will inspire adventure and action as we work to see Canada’s wild lands preserved!