Book Review: Lassoing the Sun

This is just my national parks story. There are, of course, millions like it. Stories about people lost, places that remain, and how the two are intertwined.

~ Mark Woods, Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks

The intent behind Lassoing the Sun — telling our stories in, of and through National Parks — is the same intent behind Campfire Tales (which also contains the occasional deep dive bonus tangent into pie or simple poetry). What’s more, Lassoing inspired my current “solar year” project.

Suffice it to say, I loved this book. What’s it about? Well, two things:

First, it’s Mark’s story of the year he used a journalism prize to visit a different national park each month, paralleled to the more personal events of his park-loving mother’s cancer diagnosis. That story is basically told in full (and much more briefly) in Mark’s Ted Talk. “Find your rock!”

Second, Mark tells the story of various parks, the people he meets, and the challenges facing each location. His thoughtful selection of parks provides variety, and his journalism background means facts before feelings (which also mostly applies to detailing his mother’s decline), so instead of all doom and gloom and global warming, the book reads as equal parts tragic and inspiring.

This book is a must read for anyone passionate about National Parks in the 21st Century (in my humble opinion).

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