Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Book Review: America The Beautiful (non-fiction)

If you are like me you are already shopping for Christmas gifts because if there is ever a year to avoid crowds in stores, it is 2020. Once again, National Geographic is coming through with some amazing books that are perfect for you or for gifts. Let's talk America. 

America The Beautiful - National Geographic

America the Beautiful showcases the stunning spaces closest to our nation's heart--from the woods in the Great Appalachian Valley that Davy Crockett once called home to the breathtaking sweep of California's Big Sur coast to the wilds of Alaska. It also celebrates the people who have made this country what it is, featuring a wide range of images including the Arikara Nation in the early 1900s and scientists preparing for travel to Mars on a Hawaiian island. Culled from National Geographic's vaunted photo archives, spanning a period of more than 130 years, this provocative collection depicts the splendor of this great nation as only National Geographic can, with a dramatic combination of modern and historical imagery--from the creation of architectural icons like the Golden Gate Bridge and Lady Liberty to the last of the country's wild places preserved in our national parks.

With a structure inspired by the original song "America the Beautiful," this book recognizes what makes our nation great, region by region. And all 50 states and six territories of the U.S. are honored with 50 words from celebrities, historians, activists, conservationists, and politicians who call America home. Profound and inspiring, this is a book for everyone who has ever marveled at the beauty of the United States.
Everything that you love about National Geographic is in this, we have beautiful photos, education, and enough persuasion to make you wish you could go there right now. 

The book is broken up four real sections (The West & Pacific, The East & Mid-Atlantic, The South & Caribbean, The Midwest & Central Plains) but it also features information about the image collection and a find-your-state so if you are new to where you live or you're just curious what they've included, you can easily find it. Also cool for celebrity watchers are the celebrity stories about why they live where they do, what they love about their home states, etc. and those are just fun to read. 

I live in Wisconsin and I was pretty happy to see they featured the ice caves on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore of Lake Superior (page 322). It says Michigan, and maybe Michigan has some but I'm almost certain the photo is from the Bayfield/Cumberland area, and that is in Wisconsin. 
It is still beautiful and while the picture is stunning, it really doesn't compare to seeing it in person. I didn't realize how different it would be until I did just that!
We went to the ice caves way back in 2014. It was January and it was so unbelievably cold that winter. When we set out on our hike it was cold, like layers upon layers cold and you will lost feeling in your extremities. The hike out there was amazing. 
The hike back was absolutely brutal because Lake Superior is not one to underestimate and a storm was coming right off the lake. We had to hike over two miles with two kids who could barely walk with all of the clothes they had on and me yelling at them to stop crying otherwise it will freeze to their face. A good time was had by all, obviously. 
In case you're wondering, this is what the caves look like the rest of the year! Matt and I kayaked on it in 2009. 

I absolutely loved this book. It wasn't because it covered the amazing beauty and wonders of our country, but it also featured industries and the people all over and how different we all are. If you are looking for a patriotic gift for someone, this is definitely a great choice. It is really astounding to look at some of the aerial photos of untouched lands and think, the whole country used to be like this. It used to be all beautiful and wild and now it is still beautiful.... in a modern and disposable way, I guess. I think you will really enjoy this. Treat yourself. 

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and National Geographic for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review! These are my absolute favorite to read because I find myself going through them over and over again. 

1 comment:

Why Girls Are Weird said...

Since we can't travel internationally right now I want to be able to explore the US a little bit. And we're starting with TN in December!