At Outside, we’re always receiving stacks of books in the mail, hearing about new books, and reading books—and then we pare it down to one stack of good books and recommend them to you. This season’s new releases offer a true hodgepodge of subjects. We’re here to guide you to the one that’ll fit the reading mood you’re in.
If You’re Down to Read a Memoir…
…And Want to Feel Good About the World
Endurance runner Mirna Valerio recounts her battle against runner stereotypes (skinny, white, totally knows the lingo) in A Beautiful Work in Progress ($15; Grand Harbor Press).
…And Want to Feel Stressed Out the Entire Time
Alone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean ($28; Thomas Dunne Books) by Brett Archibald ranks high among worst-case scenarios. Archibald blacks out and falls off a boat in the middle of the night, and no one realizes he’s missing for eight hours.
…And Now You Need Something to Soothe Your Nerves
Remember Noah Strycker, the extreme birder who Eva Holland followed on his journey to see as many species as possible in a year? Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World ($27; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is his account of the effort.
If You’re Interested in Climate Change…
…And Want to Hear Some Good News Today
Gleb Raygorodetsky, an ecological researcher who works with indigenous communities around the world, shares the ingenious ways they’re responding to a changing climate in The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change ($29; Pegasus Books).
…And Want to Hear Maybe-Good-News About Millennia from Now
Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction ($28; Public Affairs Books) by Chris D. Thomas is about as optimistic as the title implies. Yes, we are in the midst of another mass-extinction event, for which humans are very responsible, but life always finds a way.
If You’re a History Nerd…
…Especially If There’s Espionage
Outside contributor Josh Dean brings us a wild Cold War story—we’ll just let you read the title: The Taking of K-129: How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal a Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History ($28; Dutton).
…Especially If It’s Inspiring
Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of the Early Olympic Women ($27; Crown) by Roseanne Montillo starts with the story of a runner who won gold and became the fastest woman in the world at the 1928 Olympics. But that’s only the first part of the book.
…Especially If It’s Weird
In Mussolini’s Arctic Airship ($2; Kindle), Outside contributor Eva Holland writes about a group of Italians who traveled to the North Pole in a semirigid balloon in the late 1920s, which really happened, is as dangerous as it sounds, and goes deeper than your average polar exploration story.
…Especially If It’s Super Recent
In The Day Fidel Died: Cuba in the Age of Raúl, Obama, and the Rolling Stones ($1; Kindle), Outside contributor Patrick Symmes tells the story of Cuba in the year 2016—which is the year both President Obama and the Rolling Stones visited the country, and when Fidel Castro passed away, as the name implies. Symmes knows his stuff: He also wrote The Boys from Dolores: Fidel Castro and His Generation—From Revolution to Exile.
If You’re Currently Thinking, “I Didn’t Come Here to Read Anything!”
The Edge of the World ($26; Falcon Guides) is our ode to the most amazing images we’ve published in our 40 years and the stories behind them. Okay, you’ll do a little reading.