Boone, A Biography, Robert Morgan -
Particular events define a life that becomes a legend. For George Washington, it was the winter at Valley Forge. For Benjamin Franklin, it began with a key on a kite string. For Daniel Boone, it was finding his way through the wilderness to that narrow mountain gap into Kentucky in 1775, guaranteeing that the nation about to be born would extend to the west.
Born in 1734 in Pennsylvania to English Quaker colonists, Daniel Boone led hundreds of settlers West into Virginia and North Carolina over the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky and the Ohio Valley, and finally to Missouri, where he died penniless at the age of 86, having lost his holdings to lawyers and politicians and better businessmen.
Morgan reminds us that Boone was more than a trailblazer: he fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution; he served in the Virginia legislature; he was a Freemason; he was a settler, landowner and sometime surveyor; and his reverence for life in the wilderness inspired writers like Wordsworth, Bartran, Byron, and Whitman - inspired Romanticism itself. Boone was the first great American naturalist, he cherished the land, and while he wanted to settle it, he also longed to conserve its wildness. Almost alone among fellow settlers, Daniel Boone revered, studied, and emulated the Native American way of life, especially in the preservation of land resources. But his own claim for himself was much simpler, "I am a woodsman."
What a beautifully written book. Boone comes alive on the pages. One can almost imagine riding and walking along side him from start to finish.
And, The Human, The Orchid, and the Octopus, Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World, Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein, Foreword by Bill McKibben -
Explorer, diving pioneer, filmmaker, inventor, and activist, Jacques Cousteau was blessed from childhood with boundless curiosity about the natural world. As the leader of fascinating, often dangerous expeditions all over the planet, he discovered first hand the complexity and beauty of life on earth and under sea, and watched the toll taken by human activity in the 20th century.
In this magnificent last book, available for the first time in the United States, Cousteau describes his deeply informed philosophy about protecting our world for future generations. Weaving gripping stories of his adventures throughout, he and co-author Susan Schiefelbein address the risks we take with human health, the over fishing and sacking of the world's oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith. Cousteau's lyrical, passionate call for action to protect our earth and seas and their myriad life forms is even more relevant today then when this book was completed in 1996. Written over the last 10 years of his life with frequent collaborator Schiefebein, who also introduces the text and provides an update on environmental developments in the decade since Cousteau's death, this prescient, clear sighted book is a remarkable testament to the life and work of one of the greatest modern adventurers.
And, Quiet Strength, The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life, Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker -
When Tony Dungy led the Indianapolis' Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI, and made history as the first African American coach to win the big game, millions of people amazed by the success of his quiet authoritative leadership style, wondered how does he get it done?
In the pages of this fascinating memoir, Tony Dungy reveals the secrets of his success; principles, practices, and priorities that have kept him on the right track despite overwhelming personal and professional obstacles including firings, stereotyping, and the loss of a child.
This book will help the reader take an in-depth look into his or her own life.
See you at Rylander!