Every once in a while I get to meet and new author and review his/her new book. Thanks to the wonder of my Face book page I met Author Jim Landwehr who is, this very week, releasing his new book: Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir.
I was pretty excited to read this because I'm an outdoorsy person who loves, loves, loves being outside in the woods.
Okay, those of you who know me know I can't stand the idea of dirt under my fingernails and while I enjoy a weekend of camping every couple of decades, no, I'm not outdoorsy at all. But THAT'S what's so great about Jim Landwehr's book! You don't have to GO TO the Boundary Waters to feel like you're IN the Boundary Waters.
This memoir, which follows brothers and their friends up to the wild beauty that is The Boundary Waters, is full of gentle humor, family history, and plenty of outdoors instruction. There is an underlying hint of nostalgia that borders on melancholy, but without bringing down the room. The key to the book is the brothers' father, a figure known only in stories and memory, and in his love of the outdoors. The brothers take their wild pilgrimage and learn about themselves and about their father. Then, they turn around two decades later and teach the same love of the wild, the same need for preparation, and the same connection with family history to their own children.
I love reading about real people in places I've never been. Somehow putting a real person, someone I might run into at the grocery store, draws me into the book even more. I will probably never paddle a boat anywhere near the Boundary Waters. But I'm okay with that because I've read Jim Landwehr's memoir and I feel like I was out there with him and his brothers.
This book is a must read for different groups and for different reasons: The adventurers, those looking for someplace outside to explore will enjoy the detailed description. Those of you who enjoy memoirs are going to love Landwehr's down home voice and obvious fondness for the stories he's telling. And those of you looking for a new book by a new author who truly has something to say and is able to say it very well.
A really great summer read, and it'll available HERE and NOW!
Check in tomorrow when I have my Ten Questions interview with Jim Landwehr and we find out very important things about him, his new book, and where HE thinks the best coffee on the planet can be located. (I may have to debate that one!