Visit our Reading Radar pages when you need help choosing your next great read. Every couple of months we feature a different celebrity reader’s recommendations. Take a moment to browse through the Local Celebrity reading choices, then scroll down to see staff picks.
And they both loved reading. I remember a stocked, pull-out storage cabinet in my basement loaded with all the latest fiction bestsellers of the time. My own toy box was stuffed with early science fiction readers and tales of adventures.
Is it any wonder that I wanted to become a travel writer from an early age? My early career was as a reporter and journalist, fulfilling my desire to record and tell stories. My first job was working as an intern in my local library. (Today, I have the great honor of being on the staff of the Griffin Free Public Library in Auburn.) And today, over the pandemic, my wife and I built our daughter a reading nook in our office to offer her a place to fall in love with books as I did.
The final element of my journey to narrative nonfiction fell into place when I read Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster. This was nonfiction written like a novel, energizing, mysterious, and fully fleshed out. I began to absorb Peter Matthiessen, Paul Theroux, and Sharon Wood, falling in love with the adventure travelogue, wanting to both visit those exotic places but also to be able to tell stories like that. I wanted to bring home the cultures and history of those places.
And in 2010, I flew to Nepal where my wife and I were married and hiked to Everest Base, following in the footsteps of some of the writers (not to mention my parents) who had visited such places before me.
Since then, my work has focused on those trips—Nepal, India, Alaska to name a few—but I’m most comfortable telling the stories of our own White Mountains and of New Hampshire. I fulfilled a long-time dream I had in 2017 to tell the story of our own Mount Washington when I published The White Mountain: Rediscovering Mount Washington’s Hidden Culture. But in the end, I’ve come to discover that telling the story of a place is really about telling the story of people. And there are a lot of people with stories out there!
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