River of Doubt

Millard, Candice. River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey. Read by Paul Michael. Westminster, MD: Books on Tape, 2005.

Reason: Theodore Roosevelt was the first American to win a Nobel Prize.

Millard paints Roosevelt’s biography in broad strokes, reviewing his fragile health as a child, the loss of his mother and wife in the same 24 hours (Valentine’s Day of all days), and his need to push his physical limits when faced with tragedies or failures. It is this need that sets the stage for Millard’s true focus: Roosevelt’s South American expedition to an uncharted tributary of the Amazon. He refused to go where everyone else had trod and yet, he expected the excursion to be ho-hum and without incident. Silly man. Millard’s account of the expedition has it all, excitement, adventure, violence, death and madness.

As an aside, can I just say I loved the fact that packed among Roosevelt’s supplies was a bottle of Tabasco? Not just hot sauce, but Tabasco by name.

Author fact: Millard used to be the editor for National Geographic Magazine.

Book trivia: My favorite photograph in River of Doubt is one of Kermit. His piercing stare says it all.

Audio trivia: Paul Michael’s accents are great.

Nancy said: “fast paced, well written and difficult to put down” (p 17). I would definitely agree.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the obvious chapter called “Amazonia” (p 17).

December Did Not

December did not suck entirely. I was able to run 97 miles out of the 97 promised. The in-law holiday party was a lot of fun and I got to most of the books on my list:

  • Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming (DNF)
  • Rainbow’s End by Lauren St. John
  • Paul Revere and the World He Lived in by Esther Forbes
  • On the Ocean by Pytheas (translated by Christina Horst Roseman)
  • Geometry of Love by Margaret Visser
  • Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre .
  • River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (AB)


  • Tu by Patricia Grace – I read this in four days because it was due back at a library that didn’t allow renewals.


  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright. I listened to this on audio on my lunch breaks. It was a good way to escape for a little while each day. Confessional: I didn’t finish the whole thing but since it is a continuation of the series it doesn’t matter.

Early Review:

  • Yoga for Athletes by Ryanne Cunningham – this was an October book that took me a little time to review because I was too busy using it to run!
  • Disaster Falls: a family story by Stephane Gerson