1/5 "Winterdance" Gary Paulsen
Let me begin by telling you how happy I am that I joined Michelle's 'Overdue Books Reading Challenge' http://www.jimnshelle.net/books/archives/003945.html Taking part in this makes me realize how many wonderful books I own which are calling out to be read. Why do I see new titles in bookstores which I just have to have when my own library is so full of wonderful reads? So thank you Michelle, I'm loving it.
If someone who is neither a big fan of dogs nor snow buys a book like this it is probably doomed to sit on the bookshelf for years. When the Santa Rosa PW Bookclub chose this as their book of the month I was no longer living in SR and even though I bought the book I was in no hurry to read it. What a mistake as this book truly has everything one can want in a good read - a warmhearted hero, his true blue friends (animal & human), nasty villains (also animal & human), natural beauty, hardship, heart-stopping adventure and a gigantic dose of humor.
Although it will be difficult to see in the above image 'Winterdance" has a sub-title 'The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod'. It is the combination of these two which truly describes the premise of this amazing book. You can't just love dogs, snow & adventure and then think you can run the 1,180 race across Alaska. You have to be a little mad to attempt this grueling task. Yet as with anything in life we strive for and ultimately achieve, the result leaves us filled with joy and ready to dance in celebration.
Although I considered writing an entire book review I finally decided against it as others have said it so much better than I ever could.
"Fueled by a passion for running dogs, Gary Paulsen entered the Iditarod - the 1,180 mile sled-dog race through the Alaskan wilderness - in dangerous ignorance and with a fierce determination. For 17 days, he and his team of dogs endured blinding wind, snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, hallucinations - and the relentless push to go on. Winterdance is the enthralling account of a "stunning wilderness journey of discovery and transformation."" - Chicago Tribune