December, 2016

How to save the world
Author: Edward O. Wilson

Review by: Philip Terrie

Edward Wilson probably knows more about ants than any single person ever has—and perhaps ever will. But the study of ants, which he has been pursuing since he was a child in Alabama during the Great Depression, is only the beginning of this polymath’s prodigious appetite for understanding how our natural world works and what our place in that world is and should be. As his command of myrmecology (ant science) grew increasingly encyclopedic, his wonder at the complexities of ant society led him to breakthrough insights about broader ecological themes, especially concerning the importance of biodiversity. (It also led >>More


December, 2016

The good doctor’s good life
Author: Mary B. Hotaling

Review by: Neal Burdick

It’s no stretch to say that Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau did more than any other individual to put Saranac Lake on the map. He was the driving force behind the transformation of an Adirondack lakeside hamlet of loggers and hunters into one of the world’s foremost health-care and research centers. He accomplished this through overpowering force of will and unrelenting optimism while suffering from debilitating tuberculosis for the last four decades of his life and simultaneously enduring a chain of personal tragedies. Trudeau’s remarkable life is chronicled in a new book by Saranac Lake historian Mary Hotaling. A Rare Romance >>More


November, 2016

12 Adventures on New State Lands: Exploring the Finch, Pruyn Tracts
Author: Phil Brown

Review by: John Pitarresi

Chances are good that you’ve never seen Pine Lake. Or OK Slip Falls. You can now. Pine Lake and OK Slip Falls are two natural gems of the Adirondack Park that until recently had rarely been visited by the general public. New York State’s historic purchase of sixty-five thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn & Company timberlands from the Nature Conservancy has put them into the public domain. But how do you get to them? What can you do once you get there? Phil Brown has the answers. 12 Adventures on New State Lands: Exploring the Finch, Pruyn Tracts is >>More


October, 2016

Heroes of the High Peaks
Author: Christine Bourjade

Review by: Philip Terrie

Book Review By PHILIP TERRIE From north to south, from east to west, the Adirondack Park is a spectacular place. We have vast expanses of intact forest, unpolluted lakes, and crystalline rivers with roiling whitewater. Everywhere you look, there’s something wonderful. But let’s face it: the High Peaks, especially that extraordinary environment on the alpine summits with its rare and delicate flora of the tundra, found nowhere else in New York, is the truly astonishing part of this splendid Park. Can anything really compare with the view from Haystack (or Dix or Gothics or Colden—fill in your personal favorite) on >>More


September, 2016

Back from the brink
Author: Darryl McGrath

Review by: Edward Kanze

Book Review By EDWARD KANZE We all see things differently. My distinguished writer friend the late Maurice Kenny and I argued on more than one occasion over what sorts of books we like. I provoked the debate, asserting that given a choice between a brilliantly written book with not much at its core and a book of fabulous material presented in pedestrian prose, I’d choose the fabulous and the pedestrian every time. Maurice, a champion of fine writing and a gifted writer himself, disagreed, vehemently. I wish, when we last crossed swords, I had Darryl McGrath’s Flight Paths to thump >>More


September, 2016

Bouldering comes of age
Author: Justin Sanford

Review by: Phil Brown

By PHIL BROWN Years ago I often used to see a line of cars parked along McKenzie Pond Road outside Saranac Lake and wonder why they were there. There was no trailhead there, no house, just nondescript woods. Eventually, I learned that those woods harbored a collection of giant boulders and that people would drive for hours to climb them. Not just any people, but hard-core climbers willing to abrade their fingertips on tiny crimps, strain their biceps on overhanging rock, and curse the sky as they labor up routes that are often less than ten feet long. That is, >>More


July, 2016

The tale of a cougar
Author: William Stolzenburg

Review by: Philip Terrie

By PHILIP TERRIE On a snowy winter night in Lake George, in 2010, Cindy Eggleston’s motion-detecting light came on in her back yard. She looked out her kitchen window and saw a big cat. A really big cat. Her husband, a retired conservation officer, guessed that it must have been a bobcat. No, she said, “it had a long tail.” So he went out to look around. In the snow he found huge tracks and, eventually, a hair sample. DNA analysis subsequently showed that these hairs came from a cougar, an animal whose last proven presence in the Adirondacks had >>More


June, 2016

What makes Alex tick?
Author: Alex Honnold with David Roberts

Review by: R.L. Stolz

BOOK REVIEW By R.L. STOLZ For many folks, the mere notion of climbing a sheer cliff, rising vertically for hundreds—or perhaps thousands—of feet, is the stuff of nightmares. Doing so without a rope, or at breakneck speed, fully understanding that your first mistake will almost certainly be your last, is simply beyond comprehension. Welcome to Alex Honnold’s world. Written from the perspective of the world’s consummate adventure athlete, Honnold’s new book, Alone on the Wall, walks the reader through a series of first-person accounts of his most mind-boggling accomplishments. In April 2008 he stunned the climbing world by soloing the 1,200-foot- all Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park without a rope. His ascent >>More


June, 2016

Hard-learned lessons
Author: Peter W. Kick

Review by: Tony Goodwin

  Desperate Steps is a collection of twenty narratives of backcountry accidents and misadventures in the Northeast. The incidents are about evenly divided among Maine, New Hampshire, and the Adirondacks with one incident in Vermont and two in the Catskills. Most of the incidents occurred within the past fifteen years, but the book includes a 1963 incident on Mount Katahdin where both the initial victim and the intended rescuer perished. Fifteen of the incidents involved at least one fatality, and in five of these incidents there were no survivors, leaving only informed speculation as to their decision-making and final moments. The author, Peter Kick, says the purpose of the book “is to help you enact a more >>More


May, 2016

Climate deniers get it wrong
Author: Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter and S. Fred Singer

Review by: Curt Stager

BOOK REVIEW By CURT STAGER The main premise of this 106-page book is that many scientists do not believe that human-driven global warming is real because the evidence for it is deeply flawed. In reality, it is this book that is deeply flawed. The primary audience is not scientists but policy-makers, and its release last November was timed to coincide with the climate-change meeting in Paris. The Heartland Institute funds publications such as this one from the “Non-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (NIPCC). The panel’s name is a tongue-in-cheek jab at the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which summarizes peer-reviewed scientific literature. Author Craig Idso has a doctorate in geography and >>More


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