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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Book Review: Lassoing the Sun - A Year in America's National Parks

LASSOING THE SUN (Thomas Dunne Books; on-sale June 14th, 2016), Mark Woods’ account of his incredible, year-long journey visiting America’s National Parks. In 2011, Woods won the Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship, a $75,000 award given annually to one writer in the country with a proposal to spend on year in America's national parks, looking ahead to the centennial and beyond. In 2012, he visited one park a month, starting with a sunrise in Acadia and ending with a sunset in Haleakala.

What was intended to be a book about the future of the national parks turned into something much bigger. LASSOING THE SUN is more than just a memoir – it is a book about family, the parks, the legacies we inherit, and the ones we leave behind. With the backdrop of America’s parks, Woods has given readers an immensely profound story about life and what it truly means to be alive.

The National Park System will turn 100 on August 2015, and with LASSOING THE SUN, Mark Woods has written a wonderful homage to the parks, the legacies they leave and the future they hold. Ken Burns acclaims, “in this remarkably journey, Mark Woods captures the essence of our National Parks: their serenity and majesty, complexity and vitality--and their power to heal."

Title: Lassoing the Sun
ISBN: 978-1-250-10589-9
Author: Mark Woods
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

My Thoughts: Most of the travel related books that I review on this blog are picture books and/or travel guides. The book "Lassoing the Sun" by author Mark Woods is so much more than that! It's a hardcover book with 312 pages. The book is about family, traveling, travel memories with the family, the national parks and the legacies that we all inherit.

The book is beautifully written. It's the type of book that I enjoy reading right before I go to bed, it's a relaxing and educational read. There are two sections within the book that has some gorgeous travel photographs of various parks that Mark had visited. For the book, Mark visited Redwood National & State Parks, Acadia National Park, Saguaro National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Dry Tortugas National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, Yosemite National Park, Flight 93 National Memorial, Olympic National Park, Big Bend National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Haleakala National Park, Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve and Cumberland Island National Seashore.

I've been fortunate enough to have visited Saguaro National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park and the Flight 93 National Memorial. I really enjoyed reading Mark's thoughts on those areas and compared them to my own. What really excited me more was reading about all of his travels & memories to the other national parks & recreation areas that I had never been to. Some of them are on my travel bucket list and others...well, they've now made it onto my bucket list thanks to reading Mark's book.

If you love travel books that are expertly written that share an author's personal experience and their emotional feelings...you'll love this book! When reading it, I do recommend that you read it slowly, so that you can let all of the information sink in. It's not the type of book that you want to speed through it, because you'll definitely miss something important. Take your time!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MARK WOODS is the Metro Columnist for the Florida Times-Union, the daily newspaper in Jacksonville, FL, and recipient of the Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship. He lives in Jacksonville, FL.

Disclosure: Shelly H. received a complimentary copy of this book to review & feature on her blog. No monetary compensation was received. Shelly's words are 100% her own thoughts & opinions. Your thoughts & opinions may differ.

1 comment:

jopb said...

This is a book I would enjoy reading. I have visited some of our nation's parks, but not enough.I do believe that they are one of our country's legacies to future generations. It is important to understand why they exist and what they portray.