Geog 340 Book Review Assignment
The assignment is to read and review (written) a book that either
(1) describes a place or a trip in a region,
or (2) considers a 'regionalization' of North America
--- placing particular emphasis on whether and how the author creates
(or fails to create) a sense of place for the reader.
The review is to be approximately 1,250 words.
We will spend time (as needed) on standards of academic writing,
and on tools to support the academic writer.
There are many books that describe journeys and places in North America.
I'd rather that you work with non-fiction travelogues.
A short list of examples is below. You may review one of these, or
you may prefer to find and suggest another one that interests you.
In either case, before you begin, we need to have agreement on what
book you are reviewing.
As background to this assignment, we will discuss in class the
notion of a 'sense of place' as well as the responsibilities of a
book reviewer. The short editorial piece "Canons of Reviewing"
by Brian Berry (Urban Geography 1994, v15, n1 p1-3)
on writing academic book reviews is a good guide to follow.
Some Examples of Books Suitable for This Assignment:
Some of these are relatively recent and some from other eras.
You should always read with an awareness the writer's context.
To that end, it is useful and informative to lookup the author's
biography and see how the book fits into the life.
- Bishop, Nathaniel H. (~1880).
Voyage of the Paper Canoe. From Quebec to Gulf of Mexico. 1874-75.
- Bryerson, Bill (1998)A Walk in the Woods
- Cody, Robin (1995) Voyage of a Summer Sun:
Canoeing the Columbia River
- Froebel, Julius. (~1850) Seven years' travel in Central
America, Northern Mexico, and the far West of the United States.
- Heat Moon, William Least (1982) Blue Highways
- Heat Moon, William Least (1999) River-Horse
- Heat Moon, William Least (1991) Prairyerth: (a deep map)
- Hempton, Gordon (~2005) One Square Inch of Silence
- Hutto, Joe (2009) The Light in High Places .
- Lewis, M. and Clark Wm (~1809/2003) Journals of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition (abridged, G. E. Moulton (editor))
- Lewis & Clark (?) The Diaries of Lewis and Clarke
- MacGregor, John.(1968, reprint of 1828)
Historical and Descriptive Sketches of the Maritime Colonies
of British America F1035.8 M15 1968
- McMurtry, Larry (2000) Roads: Driving America's Great Highways
- Mosher, Howard Frank (1997) North Country: a personal journey through
- Mowat, Farley. (1964) Never Cry Wolf
- Muir, John H. (1915) Travels in Alaska
- Powell, John W. (1875/1957) Exploration of the Colorado River
- Raban, Jonathan (1999)Passage to Juneau
- Steinbeck, John (1962) Travels with Charley
- Strayed, Cheryl (2011?) Wild: A Journy from Lost to Found
- Vollmann, William T. (2010) Imperial
- Raitz, E. & Richard Ulack (1984) Appalachia: A Regional
Geography. Land, People, and Development Westview Press.
- Stuart Chase (1931) Mexico: A Study of Two Americas.
[NB this is from another era, consider the source]
- von Humboldt, Alexander (1811) Political essay on the kingdom
of New Spain Hmltn Call No. F1211 .H921
- Woodward, Colin (2011) American Nations: A History of the
Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America
- Garreau, Joel (1981) The Nine Nations of North America
- Zelinsky, Wilbur (2011) Not Yet a Placeless Land:
Tracking an Evolving American Geography
A good approach to finding other suitable books...
A good self-directed approach to finding a suitable book is via
the UH Library's Hawai'i Voyager system.
In the online "card" catalog, do an "Advanced" search,
specifying "description and travel" in the
Subject (SKEY) and a place, area, or region of interest
(e.g. "Great Plains") as a Keyword Anywhere (GKEY).
This is useful for finding books on a particular area (or subject) when
you have a topic in mind but don't know a title or author to seek
in our library.