Bruce Barcott

The Big-Shake, Big-Wave Theory

If a megaquake like the one that hit Japan last march were to strike the U.S., the Pacific Northwest coast would be the likeliest spot.

Alexandra Fuller

In the Doghouse

Alexandra Fuller's memoir recounts the trials of motherhood—and crocodiles—in Central Africa.


The Original Pole Dancer

A hundred years ago, Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. A new biography by cold-water swimmer Lynne Cox revisits the feat.

The Invisible Man

In 1934, drifter Everett Ruess disappeared into Utah's canyonlands. Two new books detail the ongoing search for his body. Plus, required reading for August.

Shadows on the Gulf, A Sea in Flames

Mopping Up

A year after the BP oil spill, two authors assess its impact on the Gulf; a search for the reason humans hate sharks.

Philip Connors, Fire Season


A veteran fire lookout offers a compelling treatise on the power of wilderness; plus three new works that take a glass-half-full view of the looming energy crisis.

Bluest Shores

Reviews of David Vann's Caribou Island, T.C. Boyle's When the Killing's Done, Douglas Brinkley's The Quiet World, and documentaries the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Seeing Blue

A review of The View from Lazy Point, by Carl Safina.

First in Flight

A new account of the Dalai Lama's escape from Tibet turns history into riveting adventure.

Mountain Goat

The Wild File

Q. What was up with that killer mountain goat in Olympic National Park?

Laird Hamilton

Loaded Barrels

Four new adventure books that'll get your adrenaline pumping.

Books: Adventure Heroes!

In Wolf: The Lives of Jack London (Basic Books, $30, June), biographer James L. Haley gives the Oakland-raised writer the chronicling he deserves. At 21, London had already toiled as a cannery...