The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: July 2014 Blog List


Welcome to Life of a Writer.

Have you ever met someone who barely sits still long enough for a coffee and chat? Well, that’s me. As a result I seldom have time for recreational reading. But I do love to read. The consequences of my go-go life is that when I do read, the book must be incredibly good.

I have a wide variety of genre interests, including non-fiction. Basically I’m tough to please. If the doesn’t grab me in the first chapter, I toss it into the give away pile. That book pile also includes books I enjoyed but can let go to a friend or charity.

However, there are a few that I cannot let go – ever. Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage will remain with me until I die. Anytime life throws me a curve ball that appears to be bent on my destruction, I think of Sir Ernest Shackleton. If you think this might be a story of just another daring adventurer who got lucky, think again. Many people have tried to retrace Shackleton’s steps, navigating stormy seas with rudimentary equipment, starving, climbing a mountain range. No one has been successful. No one has a clue how he managed to keep every one of his crew alive. In my mind, it was far more than luck. This book is a story of an incredible miracle.

For those who enjoy non-fiction, adventure, suspense – this will also be on your ‘keeper’ book shelf. The true life suspense thriller is told by Alfred Lansing. The narration is written with great detail providing the reader with an incredible visual experience. The account of the suffering and courage of these explorers moves forward quickly enough to keep you engaged. Though you know these men survive, you’ll be amazed at how they used ingenuity and dogged determination to not give up.


Synopsis of Sir Shackleton’s incredible voyage: After the race to the South Pole ended in December 1911 with Amundsen’s conquest, Shackleton turned his attention to what he said was the one remaining great object of Antarctic journeying: the crossing of the continent from sea to sea, via the pole.

To this end he made preparations for what became the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914–17. Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed before the shoreshackleton parties could be landed.

There followed a sequence of exploits, and an ultimate escape with no loss of human life, that would eventually assure Shackleton’s heroic status, although this was not immediately evident.

In 1921, he returned to the Antarctic with the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, intending to carry out a program of scientific and survey activities. Before the expedition could begin this work, Shackleton died of a heart attack while his ship, Quest, was moored in South Georgia. At his wife’s request he was buried there.

In the 20th century, Shackleton was “rediscovered”,and rapidly became a cult figure, a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described by polar historian Stephanie Barczewski as “incredible”.



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8 thoughts on “The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: July 2014 Blog List

  1. I had heard the story, but hadn’t really though much beyond. It’s remarkable, perhaps remarkably cavalier, that this expedition was successful considering the logistics of this endeavor. Thanks for shining a light!


    1. That’s a good question that I don’t have a good answer to. From experience, though, it’s the kind of book that, if it was in my stack, I’d always pick something else to read instead of it.


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