Deep Cool - Books to Beat the Heat

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:

Ice Blink: The Tragic Fate of Sir John Franklin's Lost Polar Expedition by Scott Cookman

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

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong

How to Survive in Antarctica by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

You Wouldn't Want to Be a Polar Explorer!: An Expedition You'd Rather Not Go On by Jen Green

Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Written by Jennifer on July 30, 2010


Becker on July 30, 2010


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!

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