This is a bit of a departure from other book reviews I have done. Typically, I have focused on outdoor adventure books, paddling journeys and so on. The Amazon algorithm recommended this book to me, I found it on my library app (Bless you, Libby) and gave it a whirl.
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing by James Campbell Amazon Link is certainly an epic adventure but not necessarily an outdoors one.
The book chronicles Ernest Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica in 1914. Full of triumph, follies, and ingenuity, it is both tragic and exhilarating. Lansing acts as your narrator of the adventure, pulled primarily from journals and firsthand accounts. I don’t want to include spoilers, but it is a well-known story for sure.
Overall, this book is a recommend for me. I love a good survival story and I found myself amazed at the strength and perseverance of the entire Endurance crew. In a state of constant danger, they managed to adapt and overcome mind boggling odds. I also enjoyed the authors style – it read more like a story than a textbook and while I am sure I learned something; it didn’t feel like I was back in history class (Andrew no like the school). This book sent me on a new reading path this winter – there are a lot of great explorer books – Artic, Antarctic, African, North America. These books remind me of the fact that we often underestimate our ability to persevere. I am not saying I want to be dropped into the middle of nowhere with a knife and matches but I do want to remember that the 3000-metre portage that is stopping me from taking X trip is not really all that bad in the scope of things.
I may add some of the other books I got into this winter later – generally they don’t generate a ton of interest but I have had a few people reach out thanking me for the recommendations so I think every few months you will see one pop up again.