I spent a few nights this summer around the campfire reading some outdoor softbacks. Here are two of my favourite:
Merlyn Carter, Bush Pilot
By Rob Kesselring
Rob Kesselring’s latest book, Merlyn Carter, Bush Pilot, is an absolute must-read.
Rob and I present at many of the same outdoor shows—and hang out together, sharing tales over an evening pint. His story of his good friend, Merlyn, one of Canada’s most noted bush pilots living in the Northwest Territories, always was a good one. Merlyn’s life was full of adventure; of surviving plane crashes, harrowing rescue missions and flying over trackless frozen wilderness with just a hand-drawn map.
When Merlyn died, killed by a bear in 2005, Rob was asked by the Carter family to do the eulogy at the memorial service. Since then, Rob wanted to write about his good friend and help celebrate the life of this incredible northern bush pilot.
It took Rob a few years of interviewing northerners who knew Merlyn. He even gathered money for the project though a Kickstarter campaign and travelled the north interviewing the countless prospectors, trappers, canoeists, scientists and Aboriginal hunters who flew with Merlyn.
Now the book is out—and it’s not only a detailed historical account of life in the north, it’s a classic rollicking read.
The Last Guide’s Guide
By Ron Corbett
I read The Last Guide’s Guide in a couple of days. I didn’t want to put this book down.
It’s a sequel to Ron Corbett’s Canadian bestseller The Last Guide; the book that acclaimed author Roy MacGregor said would “feed the soul forever.” Ron’s second book, on the same renowned Algonquin Provincial Park fishing guide, Frank Kuiack, continues to do the same.
The book is packed full of wisdom and lifelong lessons Frank has gained during his time taking people fishing in Algonquin Park. He spells everything out in simplistic terms. How to raise good kids and spot bad ones. What you need to know about politics. Why you should fish. All of Frank’s insight on life is blended together with cooking a perfect shore lunch, best lures, why trout are better than bass, making money as a fishing guide, falling in love and “practical stuff people can use. Not the stupid stuff.”