In this section I invite an inspirational guest reader to share a little about their life and their recent favourite book.
Picture bobbing across the South Atlantic Ocean on a small ice-strengthened vessel, the subAntarctic island of South Georgia still vivid in your mind, the Falkland Islands in your wake, westward bound for Tierra del Fuego. This is where you will find my colleague and guest reader ELENA WIMBERGER. Elena has spent several Antarctic and Arctic seasons working as Hotel Manager aboard MV Polar Pioneer, a mighty little ship that carries adventurers to wild and wondrous places.
When it comes to outdoor adventure, you’ll find Elena raring to go. She claims that despite attending school for 16 years, graduating in Political Science and Spanish, she received her true education through time spent outside…
EW: Growing up spending summers in the North Cascade mountain range of Washington State, USA, I learned the value of a good walk in the woods. This led me to forego a sane and sensible career choice following graduation, and instead ask to be dropped off at the Mexican border, with pack in tow, in order to take a very long walk home… I spent the next five months on a trail meandering north to the Canadian border.
Elena, share with us something you love about your life:
EW: While my love for travel and experiencing new places has been a major directive throughout my life, I treasure the surrounding landscape where I’ve grown up and call home: the Pacific Northwest in the USA. I live at the base of the Puget Sound, surrounded on one side by the Cascade Mountain Range, and the other, a lovely waterway full of islands which leads out to the Pacific ocean. The temperate climate creates a luscious green panorama filled with evergreen pines and sword fern undergrowth. The beauty and easy access to outdoor exploration makes this area a very special place to be and I feel very lucky to have this as my home base.
The Brothers K by David James Duncan is a title that plays on Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, as well as referring to a strikeout in baseball, denoted by the letter K.EW: This is a masterpiece of a story, more like a mural than a single work of art. Starting in the mill town of Camas, Washington in 1956, The Brothers K tells the interwoven story of the Chance family a baseball-playing father, an overly religious mother, four sons and twin daughters. The story is narrated by the youngest son, Kincaid (Kade), as he observes the trials and tribulations of his three older brothers and two younger sisters growing up in America in the ’60s and ’70s. Humorous yet profound, Duncan weaves a beautiful tale about family, coming of age and the circumstances of life, using baseball as the medium that brings it all together. Each character is profoundly mortal in a different way and watching each member of the Chance family navigate their way through the many curve balls life throws with a distinctive, albeit at times belated, sense of grace, leaves you wanting more from the start. He said, there’s two ways for a hitter to get the pitch he wants. The simplest way is to not want any one in particular. But the best way, he said which sounds almost the same but is really very different, is to want the very pitch you’re gonna get. Including the one you can handle. But also the one that’s gonna strike you out looking. And even the one that’s maybe gonna bounce off your head. —Papa Toe, The Brothers K