Kindle Books by Rinker Buck

Rinker Buck is the author of Life on the Mississippi (2022), The Oregon Trail (2015), Flight of Passage (2013) and Shane Comes Home (2009).

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Life on the Mississippi

release date: Aug 09, 2022
Life on the Mississippi
The eagerly awaited return of master American storyteller Rinker Buck, whose last book The Oregon Trail was a triumphant New York Times bestseller, Life on the Mississippi is another epic, enchanting blend of history and adventure in which Buck builds an authentic wooden flatboat from the early 1800s and pilots it down the Mississippi River, illuminating the forgotten past of the river and its grand “flatboat era” that dramatically expanded the country in the decades before Western expansion. In 2015, readers, critics, and booksellers across the country fell in love with a singular American voice: Rinker Buck, whose infectious curiosity about history launched him across the West in a covered wagon and propelled his book, The Oregon Trail, to ten weeks on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. The Oregon Trail was hailed as a “real nonfiction thriller” (The New York Review of Books), a “quintessential American story” (The Christian Science Monitor) that “so ensnares the emotions it becomes a tear-jerker at its close” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and “will leave you daydreaming and hungry to see this land” (The Boston Globe). The New York Times’s Dwight Garner said that Buck’s voice “is alert and unpretentious in a manner that put me in mind of Bill Bryson’s comic tone in A Walk in the Woods.” Now, in his highly anticipated new book, Life on the Mississippi, Buck chronicles his latest grand adventure: building an authentic wooden flatboat from the bygone flatboat era of the early 1800s and journeying down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. A modern-day Huck Finn, Buck casts off down the river accompanied by an eccentric crew of daring shipmates. Over the course of his voyage, Buck steers his fragile wooden craft through narrow channels dominated by massive cargo barges, rescues his first mate gone overboard, sails blindly through fog, clashes with overzealous period reenactors, and much more. In addition, he charts his own geographical and emotional journey while also delivering a richly satisfying work of history that brings to life a lost era. The role of the flatboat in our country’s evolution is far more significant than most Americans realize. Decades before we struck out for the Western territories, we migrated Southwest en masse. Between 1800 and 1840, millions of farmers, merchants, and hopeful pioneers embarked from states like Pennsylvania and Virginia on wooden flatboats headed beyond the Appalachians to places like Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The mighty river currents carried waves of settlers and tons of cargo from farms to ports, populating new territories and revolutionizing the American landscape. As Buck points out, the inland rivers of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys were in fact America’s first western frontier. With a rare and captivating narrative power that blends armchair adventure with absorbing untold history, Life on the Mississippi is a muscular and majestic feat of storytelling from a writer who may be the closest to Twain that we have today.

The Oregon Trail

release date: Jun 30, 2015
The Oregon Trail
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • #1 Indie Next Pick • Winner of the PEN New England Award “Enchanting…A book filled with so much love…Long before Oregon, Rinker Buck has convinced us that the best way to see America is from the seat of a covered wagon.” —The Wall Street Journal “Amazing…A real nonfiction thriller.” —Ian Frazier, The New York Review of Books “Absorbing…Winning…The many layers in The Oregon Trail are linked by Mr. Buck’s voice, which is alert and unpretentious in a manner that put me in mind of Bill Bryson’s comic tone in A Walk in the Woods.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times A major bestseller that has been hailed as a “quintessential American story” (Christian Science Monitor), Rinker Buck’s The Oregon Trail is an epic account of traveling the 2,000-mile length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way—in a covered wagon with a team of mules—that has captivated readers, critics, and booksellers from coast to coast. Simultaneously a majestic journey across the West, a significant work of history, and a moving personal saga, Buck’s chronicle is a “laugh-out-loud masterpiece” (Willamette Week) that “so ensnares the emotions it becomes a tear-jerker at its close” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and “will leave you daydreaming and hungry to see this land” (The Boston Globe).

Flight of Passage

release date: Mar 05, 2013
Flight of Passage
Writer Rinker Buck looks back more than 30 years to a summer when he and his brother, at ages 15 and 17 respectively, became the youngest duo to fly across America, from New Jersey to California. Having grown up in an aviation family, the two boys bought an old Piper Cub, restored it themselves, and set out on the grand journey. Buck is a great storyteller, and once you get airborne with the boys you find yourself absorbed in a story of adventure and family drama. And Flight of Passage is also an affecting look back to the summer of 1966, when the times seemed much less cynical and adventures much more enjoyable.

Shane Comes Home

release date: Oct 13, 2009
Shane Comes Home
On March 21, 2003, while leading a rifle platoon into combat, Marine Lieutenant Shane Childers became the first combat fatality of the Iraq War. In this gripping, beautifully written personal history, award-winning writer Rinker Buck chronicles Shane's death and his life, exploring its meaning for his family, his fellow soldiers, and the country itself. It is the story of an intelligent, gifted soldier who embodied the soul of today's all-volunteer warrior class; of the town of Powell, Wyoming, which had taken Shane into its heart; and of the Marine detail sent to deliver the news to the Childers family and the extraordinary connection that formed between them. At once an inspiring account of commitment to the military and a moving story of family and devotion, Shane Comes Home rises above politics to capture the life of a remarkable young man who came to symbolize the heart of America during a difficult time.
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