Cabin Stories: The Best of Dark Winter Nights: True Stories from Alaska is a collection of favorite stories selected by the executive producers of the hit live event, radio show, and podcast Dark Winter Nights. These hilarious, heartwarming, and riveting stories depict true adventures, impossible situations, and the stranger side of life in Alaska—falling through ice, surviving a plane crash, living through a shipwreck in a hurricane, discovering a bear trapped in a woman’s front entryway, finding a pet goose frozen to a porch in a pile of its own poop, and more—as told by the everyday Alaskans who experienced them.
From the humorous to the heart-wrenching, these are the stories told up north on dark winter nights. Anyone curious about what living in Alaska is really like will appreciate this wild and fun anthology.
Contributors: Glenner Anderson, Kat Betters, Randy Brown, Melissa Buchta, JB Carnahan, Philip Charette, Roy Churchwell, Richard Coleman, Michael Daku, Wendy Demers, Alexandra Dunlap, Alyssa Enriquez, Jan Hanscom, Mike Hopper, James Mennaker, Ken Moore, Steve Neumeth, Kaiti Ott, Lori Schoening, Bill Schnabel, Guy Schroder, Ed Shirk, Eric Stevens, Chris Zwolinski
The Grand Canyon—long recognized as one of North America’s premier natural wonders—has stirred human imagination and creativity, leaving an indelible mark on all who have encountered its spectacular vistas and intricate landscapes. Stories of the canyon’s early inhabitants to its modern day visitors are as varied and deep as the canyon’s cliffs.
In 1928 astronomer Edwin Hubble came to the canyon to test it as a site for the world’s greatest observatory. In the 1960s the Apollo astronauts hiked into the canyon to learn geology in preparation for lunar explorations. Famous writers and poets have looked to the canyon to find the meanings of nature and God. Dreamers turned a 1909 newspaper hoax into an elaborate myth about ancient Egyptian tombs in the canyon. Canyon of Dreams tells these and other stories, including that of Brighty the burro, who inspired a classic children’s novel, and the story of a teenaged Roger Miller, who spent a summer living in a trailer and “pushin’ broom” at the canyon, leading to his song “King of the Road.” Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst’s fight against the National Park Service to retain property he owned on the canyon rim is another illuminating tale. Despite being little known in the official annals of Grand Canyon history, the fight served as a pivotal moment in the much broader struggle between promoters of wilderness conquest and those advocating for preservation.
This eclectic compilation runs the gamut from the idiosyncratic to the landmark, the mythical to the empirical, and everything in between. The narratives are captivating and sure to appeal to readers interested in the Grand Canyon’s long and complex history. The work is thoroughly researched and will prove a valuable contribution to historical scholarship. Canyon of Dreams sheds light on many obscure aspects of the canyon and takes readers on rollicking adventures in the process.
In this creative memoir, Homer McCarty adopts the voice of seven-year-old Buck to recollect his own life growing up in rugged southern Utah Territory in the late 1800s. Although Buck’s reflections are necessarily imprecise—gathered from fragments of memory and then embellished freely—the stories he tells are an honest look at life on the frontier.
In the spirit of Huck Finn, Buck embarks on adventures and mischief with his loyal friend, Earl. Naïve, eager, and inquisitive, he seeks to make sense of his world. McCarty’s portrayal of the period is often humorous, capturing the intimacy of place and family through a young boy’s eyes.
McCarty completed this work in 1948. Had it not been for a series of fortuitous events and the dedication of his granddaughters, including Coralie Beyers, these pages would have been lost. Thanks to her efforts, her grandfather’s lively, entertaining book is now available for readers to relish and enjoy.
From the all-star cast that brought you The Seven Deadly Virtues and The Dadly Virtues comes the ultimate Christmas survival guide: The Christmas Virtues.
The Christmas season is a minefield of terrors: The family get-togethers with weird uncles, the sloppy office parties, the annoying 10-page Look-at-Us holiday letters—and we haven’t even mentioned the Black Friday mobs and that wretched Alvin and the Chipmunks song that plays every 90 minutes on Pandora, whether you like it or not. Rum-pah-pah-pum.
And don’t forget the PC police lurking around every corner looking to beat the last bits of joy and comradery out of our society. Merry Christmas? Really?
But it doesn’t have to be this way. 'Tis the season to recapture the wonder of Christmas, in our hearts and in our homes and even out in the public square. The Christmas Virtues is a humorous companion for, and guide to, navigating the trials and tribulations of the holiday season. It’s a reminder of how we can embrace the joy, hope, and love of Christmas—of the real Christmas.
And a call for us to stand up for Christmas because America needs it now, more than ever.
So sit back and enjoy the following tales by your favorite authors:
Rob Long’s "The Christmas Spirit: In Defense of Ebenezer Scrooge.”
P. J. O’Rourke’s “The Commercialization of Christmas: God Moves (The Merchandise) in a Mysterious Way.”
Andrew Ferguson’s “Jingle Bell Rock: Taking the Christ Out of Christmas Songs”
Matt Labash’s “Home for the Holidays: The Trials and Tribulations of Family.”
Stephen F. Hayes’ "here Comes Santa Claus: The Wonder of Christmas Morning."
Toby Young’s “The ghosts of Christmas: Holidays Past and Present”
Jonah Goldberg’s “The War on Christmas: It’s Real, and It’s Spectacular.”
Christopher Buckley’s “Saint Joseph: The Forgotten ‘Father Christmas.’”
Kirsten Powers’ “The first Noel: Christmas with Jesus.”
James Lileks' "Boxing Day and the Christmas Hangover."
Skittering figures of urban legend—and a ubiquitous reality—cockroaches are nearly as abhorred as they are ancient. Even as our efforts to exterminate them have developed into ever more complex forms of chemical warfare, roaches’ basic design of six legs, two hypersensitive antennae, and one set of voracious mandibles has persisted unchanged for millions of years. But as Richard Schweid shows in The Cockroach Papers, while some species of these evolutionary superstars do indeed plague our kitchens and restaurants, exacerbate our asthma, and carry disease, our belief in their total villainy is ultimately misplaced.
Traveling from New York City to Louisiana, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Morocco, Schweid blends stories of his own squirm-inducing roach encounters with meticulous research to spin a tale both humorous and harrowing. As he investigates roaches’ more nefarious interactions with our species—particularly with those of us living at the margins of society—Schweid also explores their astonishing diversity, how they mate, what they’ll eat, and what we’ve written about them (from Kafka and Nelson Algren to archy and mehitabel). Knowledge soon turns into respect, and Schweid looks beyond his own fears to arrive at an uncomfortable truth: We humans are no more peaceful, tidy, or responsible about taking care of the Earth or each other than these tiny creatures that swarm in the dark corners of our minds, homes, and cereal boxes.
Colorado River Reader
Richard F. Fleck University of Utah Press, 2000 Library of Congress F788.C724 2000 | Dewey Decimal 917.913
"This canyon world where water yearns toward the ocean is a place so large I can’t take it in. Instead, I am taken in, traveling a near dream as we journey by water, contained by rock walls. In order to see this shorn-away world, I narrow my vision to the small and nearly secret. Never mind the stone’s illusion of permanence or the great strength of water. I look to the most fragile of things here, to the plant world of the canyon. The other river travelers seem taken in by stone, time, and water, and do not see the small things that tempt my attention, the minute fern between stones, the tiny black snails in a pond of water. I am drawn in by the growing life and not by the passing."
- from 'Plant Journey' by Linda Hogan
The mystique of the Colorado River is no less enduring and powerful than is its physical presence in the landscape of the West. Little wonder that narratives about the Colorado still arouse and intrigue readers, or that the river continues to inspire new writing among contemporary authors. What is surprising is that no anthology offering a comprehensive introduction to these works existed - until now.
A Colorado River Reader spans hundreds of years and many cultures and voices to capture an array of responses to this mighty river and tributaries. The collection opens with a Paiute creation myth set in the Grand Canyon and progresses through time, encompassing the Spanish and American exploration narratives of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and culminating in the adventure and nature writings of the twentieth.
This is a book that deserves a place next to every armchair and in a pocket of every backpack.
Contact collects new and classic first-person climbing stories from North America’s best-known climbers and writers. Mountain climbers are important but overlooked commentators on the environment, and this collection of alpine adventures demonstrates the relationship between climbers and nature both for a popular audience and for academics working in the field of environmental literature. Contributors include Gary Snyder, John Daniel, Chris McNamara, and Greg Child.
No president today is more controversial than Venezuela's Hugo Chávez Frías. Elected in a landslide in 1998, he promised a peaceful revolution. That peaceful dream became a nightmare when Chávez was overthrown in a coup d'état in 2002. Surprisingly, he was brought back to power by his supporters, mostly barrio dwellers, within forty-eight hours. Although Chávez continues to be dogged by controversy, he stays in power because of these supporters who see themselves as active participants in a democratic revolution.
As a former Catholic priest who has lived in Venezuela for the past twenty years and spent eight of those years in a cardboard-and-tin shack in one of Caracas' barrios, Charles Hardy is in a unique position to explain what is taking place. Cowboy in Caracas: A North American's Memoir of Venezuela's Democratic Revolution gives the reader insight into the Venezuelan reality, using an anecdotal presentation drawn from the writer's personal experiences.
Denied access to traditional advertising platforms by lack of resources, craft breweries have proliferated despite these challenges by embracing social media platforms, and by creating an obsessed culture of fans. In Craft Obsession, Jeff Rice uses craft beer as a case study to demonstrate how social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter function to shape stories about craft.
Rice weaves together theories of writing, narrative, new media, and rhetoric with a personal story of his passion for craft beer. He identifies six key elements of social media rhetoric—anecdotes, repetition, aggregation, delivery, sharing, and imagery—and examines how each helps to transform small, personal experiences with craft into a more widespread movement. When shared via social media, craft anecdotes—such as the first time one had a beer—interrupt and repeat one another, building a sense of familiarity and identity among otherwise unconnected people. Aggregation, the practice of joining unlike items into one space, builds on this network identity, establishing a connection to particular brands or locations, both real and virtual. The public releases of craft beers are used to explore the concept of craft delivery, which involves multiple actors across multiple spaces and results in multiple meanings. Finally, Rice highlights how personal sharing operates within the community of craft beer enthusiasts, who share online images of acquiring, trading for, and consuming a wide variety of beers. These shared stories and images, while personal for each individual, reflect the dependence of craft on systems of involvement. Throughout, Rice relates and reflects on his own experience as a craft beer enthusiast and his participation via social media in these systems.
Both an objective scholarly study and an engaging personal narrative about craft beer, Craft Obsession provides valuable insights into digital writing, storytelling, and social media.
Cream City Chronicles is a collection of lively stories about the people, the events, the landmarks, and the institutions that have made Milwaukee a unique American community. These stories represent the best of historian John Gurda’s popular Sunday columns that have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 1994. Find yourself transported back to another time, when the village of Milwaukee was home to fur trappers and traders. Follow the development of Milwaukee’s distinctive neighborhoods, its rise as a port city and industrial center, and its changing political climate. From singing mayors to summer festivals, from blueblood weddings to bloody labor disturbances, the collection offers a generous sampling of tales that express the true character of a hometown metropolis.
A community of inquiry and pride in central Alabama.
Creating Community explores how faculty members at Alabama State University, a historically black university in Montgomery, have been inspired by the legacy of African American culture and the civil rights movement and how they seek to interpret and extend that legacy through teaching, scholarship, and service. Authors describe a wide range of experiences from the era of segregation to the present day. These include accounts of growing up and going to college in Alabama, arriving in the South for the first time to teach at ASU, and the development of programs such as the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture. Together, the essays present viewpoints that reflect the diverse ethnic, cultural, and academic backgrounds of the contributors and of the university.
Turn on the news and it looks as if we live in a time and place unusually consumed by the specter of disaster. The events of 9/11 and the promise of future attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans, and the inevitable consequences of environmental devastation all contribute to an atmosphere of imminent doom. But reading an account of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, with its vivid evocation of buildings “crumbling as one might crush a biscuit,” we see that calamities—whether natural or man-made—have long had an impact on the American consciousness.
Uncovering the history of Americans’ responses to disaster from their colonial past up to the present, Kevin Rozario reveals the vital role that calamity—and our abiding fascination with it—has played in the development of this nation. Beginning with the Puritan view of disaster as God’s instrument of correction, Rozario explores how catastrophic events frequently inspired positive reactions. He argues that they have shaped American life by providing an opportunity to take stock of our values and social institutions. Destruction leads naturally to rebuilding, and here we learn that disasters have been a boon to capitalism, and, paradoxically, indispensable to the construction of dominant American ideas of progress.
As Rozario turns to the present, he finds that the impulse to respond creatively to disasters is mitigated by a mania for security. Terror alerts and duct tape represent the cynical politician’s attitude about 9/11, but Rozario focuses on how the attacks registered in the popular imagination—how responses to genuine calamity were mediated by the hyperreal thrills of movies; how apocalyptic literature, like the best-selling Left Behind series, recycles Puritan religious outlooks while adopting Hollywood’s style; and how the convergence of these two ways of imagining disaster points to a new postmodern culture of calamity. The Culture of Calamity will stand as the definitive diagnosis of the peculiarly American addiction to the spectacle of destruction.