Keep Exploring: What to read after The River of Doubt

If you read The River of Doubt by Candice Millard and loved it, I recommend more nonfiction books to satisfy your curiosity about Theodore Roosevelt, expeditions, nature and exercise. The River of Doubt follows Roosevelt’s journey into an uncharted region of the Amazon rainforest in 1914. This trip almost cost him his life.

Our Facebook book group Top City Reads Together selected The River of Doubt as our August 2021 read. If you’d like to discuss the book with other readers, join us Tue, Aug 31, 7-8:30pm on Zoom.

Learn more about Theodore Roosevelt

Letters and Speeches by Theodore Roosevelt

There is nothing like hearing from a person in their own words. This volume has 67 letters written by Roosevelt between 1881 and 1919, as well as four of his most famous speeches.

Four Hats in the Ring book coverFour Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of American Politics by Lewis Gould

The election of 1912 was more than just a reason for Roosevelt to travel to South America after he was defeated. This book will take you on a deep dive into how this election was a turning point in American history that shaped the future of our political parties.

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex and Colonial Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

These three books from an award-winning biographer take a hard look at Theodore Roosevelt during the different periods of his life. Colonial Roosevelt is the one that includes his post White House life and the Amazon expedition.

book cover TR The Last RomanticT.R. The Last Romantic by H. W. Brands

This single volume biography is packed with Roosevelt’s 60 years of ambition, adventure, expediency, achievement and frustration at having peaked too soon.

Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough

This biography from an award-winning author focuses on a young Theodore Roosevelt. It details how he sought out a strenuous life despite his asthma, weak eyes and patrician family.

Real life expeditions & challenges

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

This book interweaves the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett with the author’s own adventure-filled quest into the uncharted wilderness. Fawcett vanished during a 1925 expedition into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization. Grann traveled to uncover the mysteries surrounding Fawcett’s final journey and the secrets of what really lies deep in the Amazon jungle.

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

Read this compelling, high-octane account of the author’s travels in Honduras’ Mosquitia area. Preston is part of a team looking for evidence of the fabled Ciudad Blanca (The White City) AKA “The Lost City of the Monkey God.”

book cover Into AfricaInto Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard

Dugard describes the disappearance of explorer Dr. David Livingstone while searching for the source of the Nile River. He also covers journalist Henry Morton Stanley’s search for Livingston and the individual journeys of the two men through uncharted Africa.

Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey Into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon by Paul Rosolie

A conservationist, naturalist and explorer shares his incredible journey through the uncharted tributaries of the Amazon. Rosolie ventured alone into some of the most inaccessible reaches of the jungle. He encountered floating forests, isolated tribes, poachers and much more in his quest to find the secret Eden.

book cover The FeverThe Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah

One of the greatest dangers faced by any tropical expedition is malaria. It’s a worldwide scourge that has killed and debilitated millions. This book details the history of malaria and the efforts to cure or prevent it.

Benefits of retreating into nature & exercise

Book cover Well-Gardened MindThe Well Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature by Sue Stuart-Smith

Theodore Roosevelt found solace in exploring the natural world. This book investigates the effect nature can have on our physical and mental well being.

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

Williams investigates the claim that being exposed to the natural environment has a positive effect on our well being. I’m sure Theodore Roosevelt would have supported this claim, which the author found ample support for.

Book cover Forest BathingForest Bathing by Qing Li

Roosevelt was no stranger to the forest, so he may have found this ancient Japanese practice of forest bathing intriguing. This guide to the therapeutic Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, demonstrates how it can reduce stress levels, improve the immune system, and promote health and happiness.

Eight Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise by Christina Hibbert

Roosevelt whole-heartedly approved of and enjoyed a lifestyle filled with physical activity. This book offers you step-by-step strategies for sticking to fitness goals, overcoming motivation challenges and roadblocks to working out, and maintaining a physically and emotionally healthy exercise regimen.

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Some of my many roles at the library include: tax form guru, collectibles promoter, inspirational fiction evangelist, adult literacy promoter, Book Group in a Bag cheerleader, So Many Books book discussion group leader and reader's advisor.