Are you the kind of person who likes to dive into the literature about a certain place before you visit it? I am. As I am preparing for my second visit to the Brazilian Amazon, I am going back to some favorites and discovering some new reads.
Walking the Jungle: An Adventurer's Guide to the Amazon, by John Coningham, contains many of the stories Dad (the author) would tell me, my brother and my sisters, about his narrow escapes in the Amazon jungle of the 1970's. Dad lived in the Amazon while he worked in the construction of the many bridges required by the highway that became known as the Transamazonica.
The River of Doubt, by Candice Millard, narrates the amazing expedition co-led by Theodore Roosevelt and Brazilian explorer Marshall Candido Rondon down an uncharted tributary of the Amazon River. The full journey, completed from December 12, 1913, through April 26, 1914, depicts the Amazon of the early 20th century.
Up the Creek: An Amazon Adventure, by contemporary British explorer John Harrison, is a wonderful account of the latest of his seven canoe trips through the Amazon and provides great insight into the current day remote rain forest.
The Accidental President of Brazil: A Memoir, by ex-president of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, is an intriguing narrative of the political and social circumstances through which the author led the incredible transformation that put Brazil in the list of top emerging economies in the 21st century.
The Lost City of Z, by David Grann, is nothing less than a non-fiction adventure thriller! How much better can it get!
If you are headed to the Amazon, happy reading and do send me your suggestions, too!
The cover photo is courtesy of Big Blue Marble.