From the list on narrative nonfiction on people dealing with mayhem.
Who am I?
I have spent most of my career writing features for magazines and newspapers. In fact, I’ve gone gray writing them. The key components of almost every good story are invariably a combustible mixture of colorful characters, interesting places, and dramatic situations. The ultimate dramatic situation is one that puts life and limb in some degree of danger. How do people respond when stakes are that high? Do they exhibit some heroic/inspiring variation of what Hemingway described as “grace under pressure”? I chose these five books because I think they hit all those marks. (If you disagree, we can still be friends.)
Tom's book list on narrative nonfiction on people dealing with mayhem
Discover why each book is one of Tom's favorite books.
Why did Tom love this book?
After soundly losing the 1912 presidential election to Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt wants to cleanse his mind and spirit. Rather than take a cushy ‘round-the-world cruise, he attempts the first unmapped trip down a rapids-choked, piranha-infested tributary of the Amazon. The name “River of Doubt” perhaps should have deterred him. But Teddy and his mates press on and persevere through disease, drownings, starvation, death, and Indigenous Indian attacks; providing Candice Millard with fodder for her wonderfully gritty book.
How hair-raising an adventure was it? Shortly after a frazzled Roosevelt returns to the comforts of home, two expeditions set out to duplicate his feat. One group quickly gets spooked by Indians shooting poison arrows and bails. The other expedition? Millard notes, “Its members were never seen again.”
The River of Doubt
Why should I read it?
6 authors picked The River of Doubt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
In 1912, shortly after losing his bid to spend a third term as American President to Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt with his son Kermit, a Brazilian guide and a band of camaradas set off deep into the Amazon jungle and a very uncertain fate. Although Roosevelt did eventually return from THE RIVER OF DOUBT, he and his companions faced treacherous cataracts as well as the dangerous indigenous population of the Amazon. He became severely ill on the journey, nearly dying in the jungle from a blood infection and malaria. A mere five years later Roosevelt did die of related issues.…