To me, the mark of a good adventure book is that it makes you want to put down the book, book a ticket, and go explore the place it talks about. When I read Wild, I was so ready to go hike the PCT that I solo hiked a local trail the next weekend (in a thunderstorm. Maybe not my best idea). I have yet to find a book that has gotten me that pumped about the AT but we’ll keep trying.
Applying this analysis point to my recent read Braving It: a Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild by James Campbell, I give it a 5 star review. Halfway through the book I was ready to put it down and move to Alaska. Which may be a little problematic because Alaska is really cold and I loathe being cold.
Braving It is about the three separate Alaskan adventures James and his daughter Aidan had. They helped build a cabin for a friend in the summer (fun fact: apparently Alaskan wilderness has a very bad mosquito problem), stay with the same friend in December and experience the life of a fur-trapper and his wife in the winter, and ends with a kayaking trip.
I normally can’t sympathize with adventure books written by men (sorry guys, you just have different problems to worry about), but James wrote it in a way that I could relate. I loved his narrative on Aidan and how he saw her grow and change over the course of the three trips. I also love a lot of his commentary on the wanderlust feeling they got from the first trip to Alaksa, and how they were torn between almost having 2 homes now.
I don’t want to give away any of the adventures, so here are some teasers: they meet a lot of wildlife, eat some crazy bush food, have to bathe in a stream made of snowmelt, and suffer from a little bit of frostbite.
This book got 5 stars from me on Goodreads, which I don’t give out to just anything. So next time you are craving adventure, give this book a go.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.