Three New Books for the RV Library

I love books. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, how-to or RV travel, hardback, paperback, Kindle, or audiobooks, I’m always on the lookout for great books to add to my road trip reading list.

This morning, I spent some quality time on Amazon, because I want a few new books that will not only keep me entertained on the road, but books that would inspire me with ideas about new places to visit.

Here are three of the books I found. Let me know if you have titles I should add!

This first book, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, includes several out-of-the-way suggestions I never would have thought of visiting, and also includes information on selected National Parks and campgrounds. With a little planning, I can cover several of these on each road trip!

If you’re crazy about stargazing while camping in your travel trailer, you might pick up a copy of Anton’s Night Sky guide 2013. It’s only $2.99, and Anton lets you know when to look for planets, shooting stars, eclipses, stars, the moon phases as well as detailing other night sky events. The guide also lets you know which events are predicted to be the most spectacular, and which ones aren’t worth losing sleep over.

And if you want to virtually visit places few people will ever go, you can follow scientist and author Bill Streever as he leads readers across glaciers on a search for the extreme, “cold.” In July he finds it while taking a dip in a 35-degree Arctic swimming hole; in September while excavating our planet’s ancient and not so ancient ice ages; and in October while exploring hibernation habits in animals, from humans to wood frogs to bears.

Now, I’m going to go take a peek at the fiction bestsellers and see what I might want to hear when I head out in my Airstream this weekend. Send me your suggestions!

~ G. Elaine Acker

Don’t Miss Sunday’s Solar Eclipse


Nasa’s Hinode Mission - an international mission to study the sun – captured stunning images of the last annular eclipse on January 6, 2011. The sensitive telescopes are expected to capture even more breathtaking images on Sunday.

I can’t decide whether to check out Sunday’s eclipse from Petroglyph National Monument, just west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, or head over to one Texas’s state parks where there are lots of programs being offered by professional and amateur astronomers alike.(There’s a full list of state park activities on the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.)

I’m lucky, because stargazing is one of my favorite pastimes, and I’m within an easy drive of some wide-open skies. On Sunday, May 20, I’ll be watching what’s called an “annular” solar eclipse that will begin in eastern Asia, cross the North Pacific Ocean, and end in the western United States. A partial eclipse will be visible from a much larger geographic area.

Eclipse-watching map

This map from Stardate shows the prime eclipse-viewing areas in the Western U.S.

During the annular eclipse the moon will not completely block the sun, but instead will leave a bright “bulls eye” ring of light visible around the edges.

Today, I talked to Claudia Brookshire, a park ranger at Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico, today, and she offered advice for anyone planning to watch the eclipse. “The national parks will be open until sunset,” she said, “so even if the scheduled programs are full, there will be plenty of opportunities to watch the eclipse from the park. Find a place up high on the mesa.” She also cautioned eclipse watchers to protect their eyes by either wearing a pair of solar glasses, using a pinhole projector, or using welder’s glasses with a 14 filter or higher.

Where will you be on Sunday evening when the moon eclipses sun?


To learn even more about the eclipse, check out these links:

The McDonald Observatory in West Texas publishes Stardate. They’re responsible for the great eclipse map above, and have a chart of eclipse times in the U.S.

Nasa offers great eclipse photos, and also safety advice.

The program EarthSky, heard on NPR, created a podcast that includes information about the upcoming eclipse.