philbrick nathaniel


Meet the crew of the Essex (8/?): Cabin boy Thomas Nickerson

He was fourteen years old, with a broad nose and an open, eager face, and like ever other Nantucket boy, he’d been taught to “idolize the form of a ship.” […]

“Although but a few hours before I had been so eager to go [on] this voyage, there now seemed a sudden gloom to spread over me. A not very pleasing prospect was truly before me, that of a long voyage and a hard overseer. This to a boy of my years who had never been used to hear such language or threats before.”

athenasdragon  asked:

Can you rec me some good Antarctica books (fiction or nonfiction)? I study Antarctic geology and I've read Shackleton's Boat Journey by FA Worsley and At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft. Genre isn't super important but I'd love more firsthand accounts of expeditions.

HECK YES I CAN. Okay so these are all nonfiction and not many first-hand accounts, and this list is by no means exhaustive (everyone feel free to add things!) but they’re all fun reads:

  • Antarctica: Exploring the Extreme by Marilyn Landis is a good overview of ALL the various historical exploration of the continent. Only downside it that it is an overview, not a narrative, so while it’s packed with interesting information, I kept losing focus when the author shifted from one expedition to another. 
  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing is a classic of the genre and one I’m super glad to have read, even though Shackleton, as a human being, didn’t strike me as sympathetically as Scott and his men did. I actually haven’t read that firsthand account that you mention, but Lansing does a good job of giving a broad perspective while telling a gripping story. 
  • Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts is the story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, the lesser-known Australian counterpart to Scott, Shackleton, and Amundsen’s high-profile expeditions. The AAE’s story is pretty goddamn incredible- the fact that a number of the party had never before seen snow before setting out is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. 
  • The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen by Stephen Bown is about Amundsen’s life as a whole, and, as such, the famous South Pole trip isn’t a major focus, but the rest of his exploits are equally fascinating. A good look at an explorer who gets overshadowed by the far more dramatic Scott expedition in english-language history. 
  • The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard is, of course, about that very dramatic expedition. We all know the tragic story of Scott’s Terra Nova expedition, but Cherry lived it, and his book bleeds feeling. Heart-wrenching, gripping, and personal. If you want more books/info about that expedition in particular, first you ought to follow @tealin​ (who is something of an expert, and has recommended A First-Rate Tragedy by Diana Preston, as well as the writing of “Ranulph Fiennes, Susan Solomon, and anything ever written by Karen May” and has given more in-depth recs here, as well.) as well as her Scott-specific blog @worstjourney (and check out a preview of her upcoming graphic novel project about the expedition here! It’s gonna be amazing!)   

Bonus, a few I have not yet read (or not finished) but have been sitting on my shelves awaiting my attention: 

  • Scott’s Last Expedition: The Journals by Robert Falcon Scott. Self-explanatory, I think.
  • Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery by Nathaniel Philbrick. About Charles Wilkes’ 1838 expedition, intended to chart the entire Pacific Ocean, that ended up putting a name on Antarctica, among many other things. Haven’t read it yet but I’d trust this author with a lot, as he also wrote one of my favorite nonfiction books, In The Heart of the Sea.
  • The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Hero of the Great Age of Polar Exploration by Simon Nasht. I was given this book and have not yet read it, but he was apparently the first person to use an airplane in the Antarctic. 
  • Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange and Menacing World of Antarctica by Nicholas Johnson. I’m pretty sure my father gave me this book so I would stop talking about how I wanted to go to Antarctica. Johnson worked as a cook at McMurdo Station in the early 2000s, and his descriptions of living in Antarctica make it sound like the worst combination of low-wage service job, boarding school, and being in the military ever. It includes exciting descriptions of the kind of bureaucratic red tape you’d expect when working for what is, in fact, a major defense contractor. I’m officially disillusioned. 

Meet the crew of the Essex (3/?): Second Mate Matthew Joy

Matthew Joy, who as second mate was the lowest-ranking officer, was left without a single islander on his boat […]

Joy was no longer a Quaker, but on January 10, a hot, windless day in the Pacific, he demonstrated a Friend’s sense of duty and devotion. For the last two days his boat-crew had been left leaderless; he now asked to be returned to them. His loyalty to his crew was in the end greater than his need for comfort from his fellow Nantucketers.

Stumbled upon this beauty that I’d never heard of before today! It’s been so long since I bought a book on a whim, and I’m really intrigued by this topic. I also bought The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and Light Boxes, both of which I think were recommended to me some time ago by @colourmeread or @violinwaist? Not too sure. Anyway, super excited for these new books and thankful for the holiday giftcard that paid for them!


Book to Movie Adaptation this 2015 via popsugar

The Secret in Their Eyes by Eduardo Sacheri

A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Silence by Shusaku Endo

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Room by Emma Donoghue

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

 Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

 The Driftless Area by Tom Drury

A Hologram For the King by Dave Eggers

Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

 The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax by Liz Jensen

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke

 The Martian by Andy Weir

Mockingjay (part II) by Suzanne Collins

Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

 Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Paper Towns by John Green

 Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

 The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntye

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by Michael Finkel

 Serena by Ron Rash

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

 In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

The Mortdecai Trilogy by Kyril Bonfiglioli

The World Made Straight by Ron Rash