Our April book club book was one of the One Book One Lincoln nominees, The River of Doubt by Candice Millard. Although I knew bits and pieces about the famous president, Theodore Roosevelt, simpling from studying him throughout my education, I did not know about this famous, horrible exploratory trip he took towards the end of his life. I knew he was a famous big game hunter, and always thought he may have had something to prove, but Millard's in-depth nonfiction book really helped me understand not only a lot about the former president, but about the Amazon and tropical rain forests in general. I thought this was an excellent read, and although I may hesitate to recommend it to just anyone (certainly not a beach read), I would pass it along to people who love history and adventure.
The story takes place around Roosevelt's last 'physical' journey, through an uncharted, 1,000 mile river called the River of Doubt [ later re-named Rio Roosevelt ]. The hardships the men faced on their few months-long trip were absolutely extraordinary, especially considering this was a time before antibiotics, or even penicillin.
There is a lot of information about the Amazon, what types of native peoples lived there during this time and plenty of gory detail about the animals, fish, and bacteria teeming within the bush.
A good read, it took me about two weeks to read simply because of time constraints.
If you're local and would like to join us, contact me through comments and I'll give you our info!
Up next: The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger