Join us during the month of September as we celebrate placemaking, conservation, and the Maine outdoors with Portland Trails and the Ladies Adventure Club. The staff of Portland Trails and members of the Ladies Adventure Club have graciously and thoughtfully compiled the following book list to motivate your reading and adventuring; titles are inspired by Portland Trails' involvement in reinvigorating the spaces of Greater Portland, the relationships between people and the places we are rooted to, and the cravings for seas to sail and trails to tread.
In honor of the work of Portland Trails within Greater Portland and the community the Ladies Adventure Club has fostered among its members, Print: A Bookstore will donate 10% of profits from the curated book list during September directly to Portland Trails.
Portland Trails transforms Greater Portland into a healthier community for people-powered transportation, conservation, and recreation, by creating a network of trails and green spaces that connects people with places.
Since 1991, Portland Trails has built and maintained a network of over 70 miles of trails and green space throughout Greater Portland. The trail network reaches within a half mile of every resident of Portland. It spans four different communities, and over one million people use the trails each year. From someone’s morning jog, to a student’s safe walk to school, Portland Trails is a part of people’s lives every day.
Founded in 2015 by local Portlander, Gillian Schair, the Ladies Adventure Club boasts over 200 members and at least six day-adventures per month. The LAC was created for women who want more adventure in their lives, to break out of their comfort zone, or to challenge themselves alongside a group of fun, friendly, and supportive women. Adventures range in type (hiking, paddling, cycling, writing, cooking, and more), price, and ability level.
I loved reading about the first all-women team’s ascent of Annapurna in the 1970s. The story is one of real grit and determination, and tragedy. It’s inspiring to read about women pushing themselves both physically and mentally and finding that very well-deserved success. - Gillian Schair, Founder of the Ladies Adventure Club
In Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, author Brené Brown depicts a metaphorical wilderness. She challenges us to be courageous and encourages us to believe in and belong to ourselves fully so that we might cultivate more meaningful relationships and a sense of belonging within our communities, organizations and the world.
“What all wilderness metaphors have in common are the notions of solitude, vulnerability, and emotional, spiritual, or physical quest. Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness – an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. The wilderness can often feel unholy because we can’t control it, or what people think about our choice of whether to venture into that vastness or not. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
This is a timely read! As a member of the Ladies Adventure Club I love and appreciate the benefits of getting outdoors, disconnecting from our phones and our busy lives, and going on an adventure with a group of women that I feel safe to be vulnerable with, both physically and emotionally. An organization and a place where I feel I truly belong. -Kate Burnham, LAC Member since October 2015, Guide and Co-leader
I love reading about the lives of women completely outside my own world, especially in this time of COVID when it's impossible to go anywhere. Frances Cha does an amazing job of diving deep into the stories of four young women in Seoul, Korea, examining what beauty means for them individually and how it plays out in their intertwined histories and lives. She also gives us critical insight into the role of beauty in contemporary Korea and takes us inside spaces we might not ever get to see ourselves. If I Had Your Face is a sociological adventure most definitely worth taking. -Hoi Ning Ngai, LAC Member since 2019
This book is an inspiring tale of a world-traveling surfer/sailor. I absolutely love the authenticity of her storytelling. The adventures come to life and the lessons learned are worth it. Bravery, grit and vulnerability. Can’t go wrong. - Vida Scheibe, LAC member since 2020
We Took to the Woods is perhaps the first outdoorsy book by a woman that I ever read (and liked). Though the book takes place in the early 1900s when life was a little more rugged, many of her Chapter Titles resounded with me, an avid backpacker: "Don't you get awfully out of touch?" "Aren't you ever frightened?" The author has a way with words (she's sassy and descriptive). A part that stayed with me the most is when she gets some advice about trusting your compass when you get really lost in the woods. It's advice that helped me find my way when I lost the trail I was hiking once upon a time. - Stevie Dembowski, LAC Guide and Member since 2019
This is a profoundly moving fable about trees and family, and love and activism on behalf of trees. My favorite book of this decade! - Linda Malmquist, LAC member since 2019
It’s a nature book, filled with poetic details about pine cones and scrub jays, shale oil and spoiled river deltas. But it’s also a really beautiful love story, written by a woman in love with the land. And finally, it’s a travelogue. Reading The Hour of Land is like being in Terry Tempest Williams‘s backpack as she explores 13 of our most cherished national parks. She shares the beauty and grandeur and history and culture of the landscapes, as well as the fight and plight of the park service to protect these incredible places from other branches of our government, that bow to corporate interests to cut, drill, extract and develop our parks.
But let’s get back to love. The chapter on Acadia National Park begins with the line, “Say the word ‘Maine’ and I swoon.” And that’s written by a Utah native for whom sandstone is like a second skin, but after three decades of visits to Acadia, she writes that, “this landscape has entered my DNA.”
In a time of staying put and appreciation for healthy outdoor spaces, this lovely nature, science, culture, romance, travel book is a valuable companion. - Alicia Heyburn, LAC Member since 2018, Guide and Co-leader