Action & Adventure in the Northeast
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Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading List

Reading is one of the best activities we can do. It calms the mind at the end of a busy day and rids the brain of the endless number of distractions and dissatisfiers that keep us from being our most focused self. That’s something you can’t get by watching movies, television, or You Tube videos that are primarily designed to get you jazzed up and thinking in ten different directions. Here is a compilation of my favorite books on adventure, travel, and the outdoors to keep you inspired to pursue whatever it is that you’re dreaming of doing.


by Alastair Humphreys

Think you don’t have time for an adventure. Not so, says author Alastair Humphreys. You might have to work a 9 to 5, but plenty can happen from 5 to 9 with a little bit of planning. You can get in a nice hike, paddle, and camp out near home, and be back at the office in the morning with a story to tell. A good read for ideas and inspiration in a busy world.

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by Jack Kerouac

You don’t make it through the Lowell public schools without learning about Jack Kerouac. It was his hometown, too. But the content is at times R rated, so we never read his books in school. I read On the Road for the first time in 2000 while living in California and was hooked. It’s one of my favorite novels to date. Kerouac binge-wrote this one in three weeks and it made it to every top 50 list of the 20th century.

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by Steven Kotler

I’ve talked about this one on 1 or 2 podcast episodes. This non-fiction book explores flow, that enhanced state of mind where you’re at your mental and physical best. With the help of new technology, researchers are now deconstructing this long known and sought after state of mind. Anyone can get into the Zone, but the author illustrates the principles of flow using examples of adventure athletes like legendary surfer Laird Hamilton, skateboarder Danny Way, and climber Alex Honnold. Read about how these athletes figure out how to push the limits of human performance.

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by Sebastian Junger

Hands down the best non fiction book that I have ever read. It’s not a traditional travel/adventure book, but Sebastian Junger has spent many years reporting from war zones and documenting just what makes the soldiers and the local citizenry tick. This book is an amazing analysis of modern society, and explores issues such as the rise of active shooters, unprecedented PTSD rates in our soldiers, and why we actually thrive during times of collective struggle and challenge. We have a great society here in the first world, but you will look at it a bit differently after reading this book.

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by William Golding

If you just read the Cliff notes in high school (like I did), then you missed out. I went back and read the whole book years later and was glad that I did. William Golding’s story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an uncharted island is a powerful allusion to how man can revert back to the basest instincts when survival is on the line. This is a quick read, and the storyline will keep you flipping the pages. This is a great one to throw into your pack and read while sitting around a fire, imagining that Jack and his painted face pig hunters are just beyond the treeline.

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by Brendan Leonard

One of the great things I love about starting Intrepid Northeast is that it gives me an outlet to be creative. But it’s not always easy to get up and put words to paper. Like you, I get busy and tired. Sometimes the motivation engine needs a bit of a jump start. Brendan Leonard is the creator and author of Semi-Rad, a popular blog about the everyman’s use of the outdoors to build a happier life. Broken down into 40 short motivational segments to help you create whatever is in your dreams, this book will keep the hustle going when you need it the most.

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