Three new essential summer reads examine justice and payback in the wilderness.

The new Interior Secretary has an impressive résumé. Oil geologist, banker, president of REI. But today's Washington is a landscape without maps, and in this age of climate change and keystone, the major battles are taking place over at the EPA and State. Is greatness still possible at Interior?

Thrills on Everest, and a botanical romance

Two literary lions deliver long-awaited epics about espionage and globalization

Kick back and indulge in the season’s best beach books

Jon Mooallem's examination of the ideal animal

Take a page out of new books from Pollan, William McDonough, and Michael Braungart

The outbreak, which killed three, didn’t only attack the lungs of its victims. It messed with the psyche of the rest of us, too.

David Quammen's gripping new book on nightmare viruses

It started as a bluebird New Year's Day in Mount Rainier National Park. But when a gunman murdered a ranger and then fled back into the park's frozen backcountry, every climber, skier, and camper became a suspect—and a potential victim.

Peter Heller's terrific, apocalyptic first novel

E. O. Wilson has a surprising take on how humans conquered the planet

Alec Wilkinson revisits a failed polar attempt from the heroic age of Arctic exploration

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. Geologists have their eyes on the Cascadia subduction zone, a 740-mile seam where the Juan de Fuca and North American plates meet. The CSZ has been building up tension for more than 300 years, say some seismologists. If that te

Monster earthquakes are going off all around the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire. Is the West Coast of North America next?* And can you surf a tsunami?** Join us on a footnoted foray into the terrifying world of megaquakes, tidal waves, and the fine art of being your own Jesus. *YES **NO

Alexandra Fuller's Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

Arctic adventurer Lynne Cox tackles the legend of Roald Amundsen

Two new books detail the ongoing search for drifter Everett Ruess, plus required reading for August

One year after the spill, two books examine the causes and effects of BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster.

A new memoir from a fire lookout makes a convincing case for quitting your job.

Two new island novels explore what it means to leave everyday life far, far behind.

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

A wild journey into the world of giant waves—and the crazed surfers who seek them out.

A new master of natural-history writing emerges with the story of a killer tiger in wildest Russia.

Break out the hammocks and beach chairs! Presenting the best new books of summer.

The list of seven summits climbers used to read like an alpinist all-star team. Now there are kids who can include it on their college applications.

Two fiction titans imagine life on the feral side.

Jon Krakauer returns with an epic story of sacrifice and betrayal

Two new plane-crash memoirs hope to soar into the survival-narrative canon.

Think globally, act . . . well, you know

Thanks to 35 years of development, Mexico's Yucatán coast has been dubbed Gringolandia, a crowded stomping ground of all-inclusive big-box hotels for hordes of sun-scorched spring-breakers. So what happened to the region's frontier atmosphere and white-sand beaches? They're still there, finds Bruce Barcott. You just have to know whe

Our greatest science writers take on intelligent design in books that explore the theories of Charles Darwin—and the 21st-century consequences of not believing

Prepare to be converted by this tiny Central American nation of raw, dark jungle, teeming reefs, and a very original cast of locals. (They all speak English!)

Thomas McGuane is back, with a dazzling story collection about strong-willed guys, mysterious women, and stark realities on the range

New reports from global-warming hot spots explore a chilling reality: Life as we know it is changing fast

The U.S. men's ski team, once equal to the world's best, has spent a generation falling short of past glories. But the bad boys of alpine racing are back—with a killer gleam in their eyes. Here's how the Yanks rebuilt the beast from the boots up.

The worldwide search for expanded consciousness and free cocktails—and a par 11,880

Seven years after his last book, Cormac McCarthy is back—and the old cuss is leaner, meaner, and bloodier than ever. In his new novel, the famously reclusive New Mexican pens a furious tale of Southwestern noir with a body count approaching Tarantino-esque proportions. cormac mccarthy McCarthy is so famous for…

What wil it take to break our wired children out of their virtual prisons?

Andrew McLean is a shaggy-haired, left-brained industrial designer whose inventions are revolutionizing the world of adventure skiing. He's also found the perfect guinea pig to take his gear to outrageous new heights: himself.

With an anti-environmental backlash inflicting one defeat after another on conservationists, a band of maverick economists is riding to the rescue with a startling revelation about the true value of our natural resources: Follow the money, and you end up in a very green place.

The thriving criminal trade in Native American archaeological artifacts always seems to be one step ahead of law enforcement. But when cops learned that a notorious Oregon antiquities collector had graduated from grave robbing to ordering up a contract murder, their macabre sting operation exposed the dark side of digging up the past.

For the preternaturally talented Alex Lowe, world's best climber, the path to every summit passes directly through his family room. Which, he's discovering, is a tricky route to take.

The gray wolf may lose federal protection. Will killing it become the law of the land?

Amy Bechtel was there, and then she simply wasn't

The most wanted man in America survived five years in the North Carolina woods, eating salamanders, sleeping on the cold ground, and stalking deer. Or so he says. Spend a night in his secret mountain hideaway and you get the feeling there's more to this story.

The Macal River Valley in Belize is home to three-toed tapirs, elusive jaguars, and a rare subspecies of scarlet macaw. But if Belize Electricity Ltd. gets its way, one of the richest riparian habitats north of the Amazon will disappear beneath the waters of a controversial hydroelectric dam. So who's gonna get zapped?

America's park rangers are outnumbered and outgunned. So why won't congress pay more to keep them safe?

It sounded like a good idea at the time: Journey to the sopping epicenter of the wettest place on earth, bag the peak, and get back in time for supper. But that was before the clouds clamped down on Mount Waialeale. Before the jungle closed in and the map became irrelevant. Before the machete-wielding, pig-hunting swamp guide said, "Would be so easy to get lost

Come to the light: Nightcrawling the Gifford Pinchot Forest for signs of you-know-who. Is there anybody out there?: Scanning the horizon for the big-footed one. The Bigfoot Hot Zone Thrown of the ape-man!: Rick Noll displays the controversial and anatomically diverse Skookum Cast. They walk among us: BFRO…

Illustration by Dan Winters and Gary Tanhauser Illustration by Dan Winters and Gary Tanhauser The thrill of adventure is worth a few calculated risks. But sometimes whitewater rafts flip, bike frames snap, and wilderness guides lose the map. In a society where people are increasingly aggressive about putting…

Chris Swain intends to swim the Columbia from source to sea. His goal? Save the river, then sell the rights.

The just-in-time, let's-party, fear-no-evil Winter Olympics get ready to rip in the country that needs 'em now more than ever

Get lost in Alaska's Wrangell--St. Elias: It's six Yellowstones' worth of icy lakes,anonymous meadows, and peaks you won't find on any map.

The most imposing figure on Everest has been told to stay home. But don't count Henry Todd out yet.

Call them God's Greens. Armed with Scripture and a righteous respect for nature, a host of religious groups have taken up the environmental fight and are waging holy war on behalf of an embattled creation. But, critics ask, is this a truly divine cause—or the devil's work?

Look out, Alaska: Doug Swingley is coming back. And this time he's… happy. The author picks the brain of the greatest musher in the Lower 48 and reveals his cunning plan to slay that 1,100-mile-long monster of the North, the Iditarod, for the fourth time.

Remembering David Brower, a complex man who took it upon himself to complete a simple task: save the planet

Thanks to improved safety standards and tandem flights, scores of acrophobes are giving hang gliding a second wind. And now, they're soaring in style—over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Using cutting-edge techniques, three young mavericks set out to tackle one of the hardest routes in the Himalayas

Who is Barry Clausen and why has his two-bit cloak-and-dagger act made so many radical environmentalists, FBI agents, animal rights activists, and conservative ideologues furious?

So is adventure racing pure competition, or just a grueling way to grab TV ratings?

Carl and Lowell Skoog are blazing virgin trails in the backcountry's wild white yonder

A corps of rock rats in a hurry is putting the pedal to the mettle in big-wall climbing

An avalanche in Tibet takes the life of Alex Lowe

To save the day when the crevasse hits the fan; to be chased by AK-47-wielding bandits; to be the one guy who's gotta say, "Time to turn around, everybody"—this is what it means to be a professional guide. (Still interested?)

Once, he rode the smoky ridges about the Umpqua River, a pack of baying hounds at his feet, the bawling of the terrified Ursus americanus ringing through the hills. Once, he was undisputed master of the kill. Once, Ray Hillsman slew a thousand bears. And then one man said, No more.

Swing a hammer, light a fuse, and let the dams come tumbling down. So goes the cry these days on American rivers, where vandals of every stripe—enviros and fishermen and interior secretaries, among others—wage battle to uncork the nation's bound-up waters.