Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims, Canoes: A natural History in North America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press) 2016.
I suppose that the day will come when my children are sorting through what remains of my household and they come across my collection of beautiful books about canoes and canoeing and they will wonder what to do with the books. Perhaps they will fetch a few cents on the dollar at a used book store, or garner a bit on a rummage sale. They are treasures to me, that I suspect will not seem like treasures to many others. Nonetheless, I couldn't resist this gorgeous volume filled with photographs of beautiful canoes. I'm sure that the foreword by John McPhee also helped the publisher to sell a few copies of the book. Some of us read almost anything that appears with his name on it.
This really is not the definitive history of canoes in North America, but it does provide a few perspectives on the development and use of these beautiful and deeply spiritual craft over the centuries. Tracing the history of canoes from dugouts through bark and skin boats to modern craft of exotic materials provides for a gorgeous chapter of my favorites: wood and canvas canoes. It also provides a basis for the ending chapters about human-powered traveling and canoe tripping.
If you love canoes, you'll enjoy tis book. You might, like me, even end up owning a copy to sit next to some of the other spectacular books on the subject.