We're thrilled to be bringing back our popular Armchair Adventure Book Club for Spring 2021!  Join us for monthly chats with the author and leave inspired to get outside!

February 4 - A Beautiful Work in Progress with Mirna Valerio
March 4 - Journeys North with Barney "Scout" Mann
April 1 - Way Out There with J Robert Harris
May 6 - Our Wild Calling with Richard Louv

Jennifer Pharr Davis will be hosting this book club live with the featured author on Thursdays at 12pm eastern.  You can join in the chats each week for free on our facebook page or at https://zoom.us/j/97086599066.

If you'd like to read along with these incredible stories, you can purchase the books individually or as a bundle in our online store.  All books are signed by the author, and the bundle is available at a special price!  Read more about the included books below:

A Beautiful Work in Progress by Mirna Valerio
     Runners' vocabulary is full of acronyms like DNS for "Did Not Start" and DNF for "Did Not Finish," but when Mirna Valerio stepped up to the starting line, she needed a new one: DNQ for "Did Not Quit."
     Valerio has tied on her running shoes all across the country, from the dusty back roads of central New Jersey to the busy Route 222 corridor in Pennsylvania to the sweltering deserts of Arizona.  When you meet her on the trail, you might be surprised to see she doesn't quite fit the typical image of a long-distance runner.  She's neither skinny nor white, and she's here to show just how miguided these sterotypes can be.
In this prejudice-busting, body-positive memoir told with raw honesty, an adventurous spirit, and a sharp sense of humor, Valerio takes readers along on her journey from first-time racer to ultramarathoner and proves thay anyone can become a successful athlete.

Journeys North by Barney Scout Mann
     In Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail, legendary trail angel and thru-hiker Barney Scout Mann spins a compelling story of six people as they hike from Mexico to Canada.  Mann, known as Scout on the trail, and his wife, Sandy, known as Frodo, set out on the 2650-mile trail in 2007, a year of extreme weather conditions in which only a third of PCT hikers finished.  Along the way, their lives became intertwined with four of their fellow hikers: Blazer, Nadine, Tony, and Dalton.
     A once-in-a-generation drought, severe winter storms, shattered bones, illnessed, and helicopter rescues strengthen the hikers' bond as they make their way northward.  Through their experiences on the trail, Mann reveals the universality of our humanity and what it means to belong.   
     Barney Scout Mann is one of the rare individuals who have hiked America's Triple Crown (the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest Trails).  He and his wife, Sandy, have hosted thousands of PCT hopefuls in their San Diego home.

Way Out There by J Robert Harris
     "I have never been lonely when alone in the wild," says J Robert Harris.  It's a reality that motivates his adventurous life.  A city kid, J. R. impulsively set out on his first solo adventure at age 22 in 1966 - driving nearly five thousand miles from New York City to the end of the northernmost road in Alaska.  It inspired him to challenge himself with a different kind of experience - wilderness trekking.  "I needed to know what was out there," he writes, "and to find out by seeing it for myself, up close."  Thus a life of outdoor exploration began. 
     His subsequent journeys - more than forty so far, mostly alone and unsupported - have taken him from the Arctic to the Andes, through mountain ranges across North America and Europe, into Tasmania, and across Australia's outback.  He has faced terrible weather, hair-raising river crossings, and wildlife encounters, yet he has also been graced by the kindness of strangers who have offered food, assistance, and friendship along the way.  By turns funny, suspenseful, and uplifting, his stories reveal how he has been immeasurably enriched by the beauty, the wildness, even the unpredictability, of a life "way out there."
     Now in his seventies, J. Robert Harris is still an active and enthusiastic trekker.  Elected into the prestigious Explorers Club in 1993, Harris is also founder and president of JRH Marketing Services, the oldest and most expecerienced African American-owned research and consulting firm in the United States.  He lives in New York City. 

Our Wild Calling by Richard Louv
     Richard Louv's landmark book, Last Child in the Woods, inspired an international movement to connect children and nature.  Now Louv redefines the future of human-animal coexistence.  Encounters with other animals can happen in a flash or over time, in wilderness or in the city.   Our Wild Calling explores the powerful and mysterious bonds we share with all living creatures, and how strengthening them can transform our mental, physical, and spiritual lives, serve as an antidote to the growing epidemic of human loneliness - as individuals and as a species - and help us tap into the empathy required to preserve life on Earth.
     Our Wild Calling is a blend of reportage, personal stories, and cutting-edge science.  Louv spent four years talking with researchers, theologians, wildlife experts, indigenous healers, psychologists, and others to show how people are communicating with animals in ancient and new ways; how dogs can teach children ethical behavior; how animal-assisted therapy may yet transform the mental health field; and what role the human-animal relationship plays in our spiritual health.  He reports on wildlife relocation and on how the growing populations of wild species in urban areas are blurring the lines between domestic and wild animals.
     In today's Anthropocene epoch, we are threatened by environmental disruption and neglect.  Our Wild Calling makes the case for protecting, promoting, and creating a sustainable and shared habitat for all creatures - not out of fear, but out of love.  This is what Louv calls the "habitat of the heart."  Transformative and inspiring, this book points us toward what we all long for in the age of technology: real connection.