The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

For fans of Cheryl Strayed, the gripping story of a biologist's human-powered journey from the Pacific Northwest to the Arctic to rediscover her love of birds, nature, and adventure. During graduate school, as she conducted experiments on the peculiarly misshapen beaks of chickadees, ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert began to feel stifled in the isolated, sterile environme For fans of Cheryl Strayed, the gripping story of a biologist's human-powered journey from the Pacific Northwest to t...

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Title:The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds
Author:Caroline Van Hemert
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:0316414425
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:320 pages pages

The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds Reviews

  • Amanda
    Mar 14, 2019
    I loved this memoir. The first few chapters had me asking myself, ?how crazy ARE these people???. But as the journey continued, I found myself longing for the wilderness described. I loved the descriptions of wildlife and birds. I loved reading about Caroline and Pat?s relationsh...
  • Caroline
    Mar 19, 2019
    I have loved wilderness adventure stories since I was a kid reading (and rereading) Caddie Woodlawn and My Side of the Mountain; The Sun Is a Compass is a fantastic addition to the genre. I would never dream of trekking 4,000 miles, as Van Hemert and her husband did, from the Pacific N...
  • Katelyn
    Nov 27, 2018
    Wow. I loved this nature memoir. Whenever I had a spare minute, I eagerly picked this book up. While finishing her graduate degree, Van Hemert was feeling disconnected from what had drawn her to science in the first place: observing and being in the natural world. She was spending h...
  • Julia Wilson
    Apr 02, 2019
    Listening to this tale of endurance did not make me want to hike across the Arctic inlands but it did give me a strong appreciation for the incredible variety of bird, and animal life that is found there. Author Van Hemert is an ornithologist and she appreciates every encounter with na...
  • Mary Robinson
    Apr 05, 2019
    True story of a couple on an adventure trek from the Pacific Northwest to the Alaskan Arctic. It?s a really hard trip! There's a lot of danger and hunger ? but also a lot of beauty and amazing experiences. My favorite parts were the insights about birds, animals and climate change...
  • Pamela
    Apr 10, 2019
    This is a well written book. The imagery is vital in an adventure book like this, and it's spot on here. Caroline and her husband Pat decide to traverse across mountains, rivers, oceans and glaciers using their own muscles. They hike, row or paddle into the arctic and back. For me ...
  • Benjamin Wallace
    Apr 25, 2019
    Caroline Van Hemert's The Sun Is A Compass is a wonderful tale of adventure, love, and hardship. Who are we after we dedicate so much of our lives to Sciences in the modern age? Scientific research is mainly done a season at a time now. Most of it is done in the perpetual season of dro...
  • Diane S ☔
    Apr 04, 2019
    4.5 I love reading adventure stories, especially ones set in cold climates. This is a book that contained so many beautiful descriptions of nature and wildlife, that I could have read it indefinitely. A biologist, working in a lab studying chickadees and the crooked beaks that have bee...
  • Kimberly
    Feb 14, 2019
    Caroline and her husband Pat take an unimaginable journey from Washington to the Arctic Circle. through places that I am not all that familiar with. I was both impressed and in awe of the pure fortitude to finish what they started. I enjoyed this book, and picked it because I was a hug...
  • Kathryn
    Apr 05, 2019
    *audio In my quest to find non-fiction books to fill my promise of 12 this year, I ran across this recommendation. It was just ok for me. I really liked Cheryl Strayed's story Wild, so thought this would be a good fit. Again, it was just ok. I kept waiting for the really low low's a...
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Apr 03, 2019
    Summary:Lovely - full of beautiful nature writing, incredible adventures, fun facts, and moving personal stories. When Caroline Van Hemert finished her PhD, studying beak deformities in chickadees, she felt more uncertain than accomplished. Her years in the lab had left her feelin...
  • Askaline
    Apr 04, 2019
    Adventure, nature writing and relationship all in one,. The atmosphere is so well rendered that you can feel the drops of cold rain running down your skin and I had quite a few aha moments reading thoughts, such as how having no or little news of the rest of the world can be liberati...
  • Carter
    Apr 07, 2019
    This is an incredible piece of writing that goes so far beyond just a timeline of events. Unlike so many books in this genre, The Sun is a Compass wraps you into the feelings and thoughts on the journey, in addition to recounting the countless thrilling moments. I read it in three sitt...
  • Lindsey
    Mar 02, 2019
    The Sun Is a Compass by Caroline Van Hemert is my most favourite read in a very long time. It?s not often that a memoir captures my attention and reads better than fiction. It is, as described by the publisher, ??the gripping story of a biologist?s human-powered journey from t...
  • Lissa
    Feb 11, 2019
    I?ve become skeptical of memoirs based on a big journey because they sometimes feel forced, taken on for the purpose of writing a book but Caroline and her husband, Pat?s, journey feels much more authentic. They are Alaskans who spend their summers in a log cabin they built themsel...
  • Katie
    Feb 08, 2019
    Caroline Van Hemert, a biologist, and her husband Pat Farrell (artist, outdoorsman, builder) dream a simple dream, yet one so daunting in scope that few could dream it - a trek of 4,000 miles from Bellingham, Washington to a far, far speck in the Alaskan Arctic, Kotsube. Ever been th...
  • Leigh Anne Hancock
    Apr 10, 2019
    Raised in Alaska, I loved the adventures of Caroline and Patrick. Her writing is easy, beautifully descriptive and makes me want to continue to explore the world. The ending made me tear up as they approached Kotzebue and she sees her father. Well worth the read. ...
  • Nancy
    Mar 30, 2019
    I love a good adventure story and if it involves ice I'm in. Caroline Van Hemert's memoir The Sun is a Compass is a beautiful and thoughtful exposition on her love of the Alaskan wilderness and the 4,000-mile journey she and her spouse shared over six months. The memoir transcends the ...
  • Enchanted Prose
    Mar 23, 2019
    Extreme adventure that reads like unimaginable fiction (Washington, Inside Passage and Arctic Alaska, Canadian Territories; six months 2012): If a picture is worth a thousand words, take a look at the video Caroline Van Hemert and her husband Pat Farrell shot during their six-month, mi...
  • Trisha
    Mar 20, 2019
    3.5 Stars Adventure stories with people roughing it in the wild and battling the elements are arguably my favorite type of narrative nonfiction. There's something so captivating about this rawest form of man vs. nature and the self-discovery that often accompanies these experiences....
  • Aaron Strouse
    Apr 10, 2019
    I enjoyed this book a lot. This book was a refreshing and pure view of real adventure, nature and love. The adventure seemed like a getaway from reality but it was a ride to refine ones passion and a love story. Even though they were already happily married, if a married couple takes o...
  • Lia Keller
    Apr 07, 2019
    Transporting and so well written. Inspiring and beautiful. Read this book! ...
  • Samantha
    Mar 24, 2019
    I love memoirs and was intrigued by the story of surviving described in the book summary. I found the book contained a lot of science and not a lot of adventure. Unlike Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I didn?t experience a ?coming of age? story either, The book doesn?t really delve dee...
  • Bambi Rathman
    Mar 08, 2019
    I saw this book as I was searching through Netgalley and the synopsis greatly intrigued me. I requested the book and received an ARC copy. This book was a detailed and great narrative of the trek this couple took. It was a book I'm glad I had the chance to read. I have been to the Yuko...
  • Jenn
    Jan 25, 2019
    I won a copy of this book. I have a friend and his wife who love to do things like this. I wouldn't even know how to go about beginning to take a trip this epic. The book is very well written and I just wanted to sit back and enjoy the ride (from the safety of my couch, of course; I...
  • Jypsy
    Feb 11, 2019
    The Sun is a Compass is an adventure story. It's a true story of an incredible journey that is dangerous across Alaska. I always like this type of story because the characters always learn something valuable about themselves. It's a great story. I enjoyed it. Thanks to NetGalley for an...
  • F.
    Apr 17, 2019
    4.5 stars Trekking 4000 miles across Alaska. It?s a wonderful and thoughtful adventure. and it shows how much survival is luck rather than any cunning or skill. One of my favourite moments is the author?s realisation that to lighten each other?s load is a greater gift than a...
  • Katelynn
    Apr 26, 2019
    Van Hemert's writing flows with frequent vivid imagery and personal reflections. It got a tad repetitive at times, but human thoughts have a tendency to do that, and I finished the book with a real sense of her conflicts, her thought process, and her passions. Also, if you're not scien...
  • Lauren Ashley
    Apr 07, 2019
    I couldn't put this book down! For the reader who loves real, honest, smart, strong women, who go on epic adventures into the most wild, trail-free landscapes in North America.......this book is for you. I just wish this book was longer. From the gorgeous sketches by her husband Pat to...
  • Natalie
    Apr 13, 2019
    This is a fascinating book that is part adventure in part escape for the reader. A beautiful and inspiring look at the wilderness that we could all use a little bit more of. The Book is a great reminder Of the fact that we need our own adventures and to spend more time unplugged, and g...