This month’s book recommendation: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. My reasons for choosing this book are many: It’s July, making it America’s birthday month; I love love love the documentary it is a companion to; Duncan and I both get misty-eyed thinking about new land being formed when lava meets the ocean; I always enjoy a great nonfiction read; it’s Dreamspinner Press’ American Dream #dreamer month, and I was thus inspired.
Even if you haven’t seen the documentary — or maybe especially if you haven’t — this book has so much to offer. The photographs alone are worth a look. The narrative is rich in history about the Parks, but calls upon historical parallels happening in the United States as the Parks are formed, established, and become an institution. There’s far more than trivia about Yosemite to be gleaned, here. Duncan & Burns maintain the balance between factual detail and sensitive prose quite ably, making it an informative and absorbing read.
The National Parks will make you want to turn another page, and at the same time, make you want to bust outside and take a long walk. That’s the best of both worlds, really.
Brew a pot of tea and enjoy!