For the Wall Street Journal, McGrath named a five best list of books on life and travels in the Arctic. One title on the list:
Ada BlackjackRead about the other books on the list.
by Jennifer Niven (2004)
One of the greatest Arctic (mis)adventure stories you've never heard of and a wonderful foil to the more familiar derring-do of Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen. In 1921, in a vainglorious, frankly nutty bid to claim the territory for Canada (which didn't want it), four men and one woman—Ada Blackjack, a young, hard-drinking Inuit woman —set out for Wrangel Island in the Russian Arctic. Two years later only one returned. Jennifer Niven uses contemporary documents and Blackjack's own diary to reconstruct the often terrifying events of those two years, events that were both tightly managed and exploited afterward by the expedition's sponsor, who played up the glamour of Arctic exploration and the valor of his men while suppressing Blackjack's account of their desperate resort to cannibalism. Blackjack, who only took the job as the expedition's cook to pay for her son's tuberculosis treatment, turns out to be the most unlikely of heroines, but also one of the most admirable.