Good Reads - Nonfiction
True Stories of Adventure and Survival
Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper’s Memoir of Fighting Wildfire by Murry A. Taylor - 2000
Skillfully told, action-packed stories of the dangerous missions of airborne firefighters.
Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth by James M. Tabor
Personalities come to life in this retelling of two teams competing in the perilous extreme sport of cave diving.
To the End of the Earth: Our Epic Journey to the North Pole and the Legend of Peary and Henson by Tom Avery - 2009
Commander Perry and his expedition claimed to have reached the North Pole in 37 days. Many thought that this time was impossible and that Perry was a fraud. To settle one of the greatest controversies in the history of exploration the author recruited a team to retrace Perry’s route using the same equipment and transport used in the original trek.
Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed off the Coast Of Vietnam by Frank Pope - 2007
An archaeologist and a financier joined forces to recover a treasure trove of ceramics from a 15th century sunken ship in the China Sea. “A rip-roaring guy’s adventure yarn.”
Truck Fever: A Journey through Africa by Manchán Magan - 2008
One reviewer noted that “a terrible time was had by all, but group dynamics and danger make for an engaging African adventure.”
Crossing the Gates of Alaska: One Man, Two Dogs, 600 Miles Off the Map by Dave Metz - 2010
Brings to life a survivalist’s confrontation with the perils of the Alaskan backcountry. One reviewer called the author’s ordeal “a dazzling, grueling experience, and an intense treat for armchair adventurers and renegade backpackers.”
Law of the Jungle: The Hunt for Colombian Guerrillas, American Hostages, and Buried Treasure by John Otis - 2010
Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario - 2006
Pulse-pounding account of a boy who faced constant peril braving the no-man’s land between Honduras and the U.S. in an attempt to reunite with his mother.
Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell’s Fatal Obsession with Alaskan Bears by Nick Jans - 2005
The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race against an Epidemic by Gay Salisbury - 2003
A riveting historical account of the race against time and nature to deliver life-saving diphtheria serum to icebound Nome, Alaska.
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston - 1994
A page-turner about a desperate attempt to track and contain an outbreak of Ebola, a lethal virus that literally dissolves its victims.
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson - 2004
Involving account of mountaineering partners who encountered disaster in the Andes.
Godforsaken Sea: Racing the World’s Most Dangerous Waters by Derek Lundy - 1999
An account of the world’s most dangerous sailing race: around the world with one person, one boat, no stops, no assistance. Described as “high seas terror.”
910.452 CUS also PB NF CUS
The Sea Hunters by Clive Cussler - 1996
The acclaimed fiction writer presents a collection of engaging accounts of his adventures locating and diving historic shipwrecks.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer - 1996
The compelling tale of a young man who ventured into the Alaskan wilderness to test himself against nature and never returned.
Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson - 2004
Clive Cussler called this “An engrossing saga of the suspenseful, intriguing and dangerous underwater investigation of a mystery U-boat.”
Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley & Livingstone by Martin Dugard - 2003
Tales of Survival
Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollestad - 2009
The account of a tragic plane crash and the lone survivor’s long trek to safety as he reflected on his relationship with his challenging, adventurous father.
Dead Lucky: Life after Death on Mount Everest by Lincoln Hall - 2008
Left for dead, the author recounts his survival during the deadly 2006 climbing season.
Left for Dead: Surviving the Deadliest Storm in Modern Sailing History by Nick Ward - 2007
Harrowing first-person account of survival at sea after the author’s boat capsized during a yachting race and he was abandoned by his crew members.
The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue by Mike Tougias - 2009
The gripping story of two tankers that split in two during a brutal nor’easter and the Coast Guard’s valiant efforts to rescue the survivors. This fast-paced narrative captures the tension and desperation of the disaster.
Not without Hope by Nick Schuyler - 2010
Sole survivor Schulyer relates the harrowing hours after his fishing boat capsized and he and his friends fought to survive. Called “an inspiring story of friendship, resolve, and courage.”
Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History by Kalee Thompson - 2010
Desperate Passage: The Donner Party’s Perilous Journey West by Ethan Rarick - 2008
“A fast-paced, heart-wrenching, clear-eyed narrative history.”
A Wall of White: The True Story of Heroism and Survival in the Face of a Deadly Avalanche by Jennifer Woodlief - 2009
One reviewer called this book “compelling, dramatic and haunting.”
Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan - 1986
Remarkable first-person account of a resourceful adventurer who prevailed against daunting odds.
Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell - 1994
Dialog puts the reader on the scene of the historic failed expedition to the moon.
Young Men & Fire by Norman Maclean - 1992
The well-told, harrowing account of a fire jumping disaster.
796.522 KRA also PB NF KRA
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer - 1997
The thrilling narrative of risk-taking mountain climbers and the deadliest season in Everest history.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston - 2004
You are there in this first-person account of an outdoorsman who found himself trapped in an isolated spot and was forced to use extreme measures to survive.
910.916345 MAA also PB NF MAA
The Terrible Hours: The Man Behind the Greatest Submarine Rescue in History by Peter Maas - 1999
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick - 2000
This is a recounting of the 19th-century disaster that inspired the final scene in Moby Dick. It captured the public imagination at the time with rumors of castaways and cannibalism.
Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival by Dean King - 2004
Describes “the wreck in 1815 of the Connecticut merchant ship Commerce, and the subsequent ordeal of its crew in the Sahara Desert.”
Endurance: The Greatest Adventure Story Ever Told by Alfred Lansing - 2000, 1959
Endurance was the name of the ship as well as a true description of the ordeal of its icebound crew in the Antarctic.
974.45 JUN also PB NF JUN
The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men against the Sea by Sebastian Junger - 1999
Commercial fishermen encountered the “storm of the century” in this suspenseful, harrowing tale.
The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin - 2004
An unexpected snowstorm in 1888 brought devastation to the Great Plains and changed the course of westward expansion.
982.6 REA also PB NF REA
Alive: Sixteen Men, Seventy-Two Days, and Insurmountable Odds – the Classic Adventure of Survival in the Andes by Piers Paul Read - 2005
In 1972 a plane crashed in a remote area of the Andes. The team of rugby players who survived the crash endured for over two months under cruel conditions and with virtually no hope of rescue. A riveting, fast-paced account that brings the characters to life and relates their daring plan to find help.
Prepared by Marty Krause, March 2011