Book your next adventure with these great reads

Sometimes, the greatest adventures you take do not require packing a suitcase and hopping on a plane.

Sometimes, all you need is a comfortable chair and a good book.

Consider these for a wild spring adventure that only costs you a few bucks (or a library card) and some time.

“The Far Land” by Brandon Presser (Photo courtesy Hachette Book Group)

“The Far Land: 200 Years of Murder, Mania, and Mutiny in the South Pacific” by Brandon Presser ($ 30, PublicAffairs). You think you know all – or at least most – about the famed ship HMS Bounty and the mutiny led by Fletcher Christian and crew in 1789.

But step into this mashup of personal memoir, travel log and historical non-fiction and you get the rest of the story: The tale of those mutineers, their new home on Pitcairn Island and how their society – still evolving in that same remote spot in the South Pacific – have fared since.

The book exposes the real deal behind the Hollywood version, with everything from free love married to abuse; individualism bumping up against tribalism; murder, mayhem and the wonder of breadfruit.

Author Brandon Presser is a travel journalist by trade. He’s quite used to hopping planes, ships, rafts even – and setting out to explore and share the world at large.

Brandon Presser (Photo courtesy author)

“The Far Land” is Pitcairn; a place that required, as Presser said, a journey “from New York City to Los Angeles, then on to Tahiti to wait for a puddle-jumper to fly me a thousand more miles to a distant atoll deep in the South Pacific, where the cargo ship would pick me up and ferry me across a final 300 miles of cruel and unpredictable ocean, ”

That brought him to the place – still inhabited by about 50 descendants of the mutineers and the Tahitian women they brought (subtext: forced) to join them there – where the story unfolds.

Going back and forth from the mutineers’ first landing on the island, oft called the most remote spot on earth, and the violent and somewhat insane events that nearly killed them all to Presser’s experiences there today, the story not only tells the dark backstory of that mutiny and its aftermath, but shares what it’s like to visit a place where, at one potluck dinner, you can dine with the population of an entire nation (and leave knowing everyone’s name).

I gasped with Presser as he unveiled truths about settling of the island, and I wandered along with him as he discovered both the beauty and the complexity of that island today.

“White Haze” by Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur (Photo courtesy Degan Media)

“30 Years in a White Haze: Dan Egan’s Story of Worldwide Adventure and the Evolution of Extreme Skiing” By Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur ($ 39.95, Degan Media): It would be enough for Dan Egan, one of the two ski-world famed Egan brothers, to tell tales about his and his brother’s epic ski bum career, including 50 plus descents, headlining countless Warren Miller films, leading extreme ski clinics around the world and changing the face of the ski world in a profound way.

But Egan, with the assistance of long-time ski writer Wilbur, lays bare his soul on just about every page. From his near-death experience in a catastrophic storm atop Russia’s infamous Mount Elbrus, to his childhood discovery of skiing at Blue Hills Ski Area near his family’s home in Milton, Egan shares not just his adventures, but his whys and why nots.

The result is a story that will thrill ski lovers of all levels, and one even those who just click on the Olympics or a ski film will love.

Egan’s quest follows a path of history as well: You ride along as he skis off the Berlin Wall, through war-torn nations and with somewhat untouched locales.

Surrounded by trees, blanketed by snow, a photo from “White Haze” by Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur (Photo courtesy Degan Media)

Egan and Wilbur do not glamorize the ski life; they show it as real, sometimes scary, now and then sad but always intense.

Egan, who calls Big Sky in Montana his home hill now, shares everything from what it feels like to face near certain death in a blizzard, to why he loves (to this day) skiing off cliffs, to how he combined his brother’s incredible ski talent (he’s always tipping his hat to John) and his own marketing savvy to build a brand and lifestyle.

I’ve skied with Egan – on a perfect powder day at Big Sky when at one point he led me into thick trees saying, “I’m taking you on an adventure! Trust me! ” With this book, he does the same.

Dan Egan (Photo courtesy Degan Media)

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