Sunday, June 9, 2013

Five top books on heat waves and hot places

Biologist Bill Streever wrote the national bestseller, Cold, and the follow up, Heat. He lives with his son, Ish Streever, his partner and wife, marine biologist Lisanne Aerts, and the resident dog, Lucky (who was adopted from Sakhalin, Russia) in Anchorage, Alaska. The four of them ski, hike, dive, bike, and camp as often as time and their varying abilities allow.

One of five top books on heat waves and hot places that Streever named for the Wall Street Journal:
The Devil's Highway
by Luis Alberto Urrea (2004)

'In the desert,' writes Luis Alberto Urrea, "we are all illegal aliens." The desert he describes is the Sonoran, in southern Arizona, and the real-life story he tells, set in 2001, is of a group of people desperate enough for jobs to cross the desert on foot and without immigration papers. Walking at night to avoid the sun, they went west and south when they should have gone north. They ran out of water. Fourteen of them perished. From a survivor: "I do not know who was dying or how many because I too was dying." Of the 26 men who began the journey, only 12 lived. Interviews with survivors and others, captured in Urrea's brilliant writing, mix accounts of the heat's toll with observations on politics and human decency. Urrea's chronicle shimmers like an image seen through the heat haze of a desert afternoon, becoming clearer and more tragic with the passing of every word.
Read about the other books on Streever's list.

Learn about Streever's five best books about extreme cold.

Visit Bill Streever's website.

The Page 99 Test: Cold.

Writers Read: Bill Streever (February 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue