Not a cloud in the sky. I'm sweating in the garden, my scalp slowly broiling. My mind is elsewhere seeking mercy from the sun - dreaming of distant places where I could chill...SERIOUSLY chill. I'm talking the Arctic and the Antarctic.
While you might be able to convince me to briefly set foot someplace in the Arctic (Alaska, anyone?), the Antarctic with its annual mean temperature of -58 degrees is simply out of the question. But in books, I'll happily vicariously experience toes black from frostbite, sleeping in sodden sealskin sleeping bags, and eating nothing but frozen seal meat. These books put my minor discomforts in perspective and leave me with a sense of wonder and awe. I'm glad some braver souls than myself have explored such places and that some have survived to tell the tale.
Books - a sampling:
Shopping for Porcupine: A Life in Arctic Alaska by Seth Kantner
The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander
Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven
Wondrous Cold: An Antarctic Journey by Joan Myers
The Terror: A Novel by Dan Simmons
If your kids want to join you on your polar expedition, try these cool reads:
Shackleton's Stowaway by Victoria McKernan
White Darkness: A Novel by Geraldine McCaughrean
How to Survive in Antarctica by Lucy Jane Bledsoe
Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Good list--I love books about cold places! Two of my favorites are Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever, which goes into geology, psycholgy, biology, meteorology--fascinating--and No Horizon is So Far by Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft, who skiied across Antarctica!