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Cover Image of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams published by New Directions Publishing Corporation
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Whistler Reads: SOUTH

abstract:When Sir Ernest Shackleton was looking for men to join his expedition to the South Pole in 1914 at the outbreak of WWI, the advertisement read: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness and constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success." Over 5,000 people responded to fill 24 positions. What ensued was an epic journey that while a historic failure—has none-the-less become the stuff of legend. Shackleton's autobiography is required reading for every adventurer or outdoors enthusiast—be they ocean mariner, mountain climber, wilderness survivalist or just your average human being interested in epic tales and the bi-gone era of exploration on this earth. There are several versions of the story; the one told by Ernest Shackleton himself and by various historians. Movies and A&E hit television miniseries have been made, and all of them have the key elements of a gripping story: a hero, his quest, a cast of characters, the catastrophe that threatens to destroy them, and the skill, stamina, courage and perseverance required from each to deliver them to safety. This is a story whose ending cannot be spoiled.

This event is sponsored by One Ocean Expeditions with guest speaker Andrew Prossin, Ones' Managing Director who is as passionate as you could get about the polar regions, from his extensive 16 years of travel there. He is bringing along stories and stunning pictures from The South!

Pick up one of the recommended books and join local Whistlerite, Christopher Shackleton in discussion about this epic story about a fascinating man and his contribution to the 20th century. Whistler Public Library, Sunday May 31, 2009 from 3-5 pm. This is the 23rd book that the Whistler Reads public book group will be discussing. Everyone is welcome. Whether you live, work or come to play here, read what Whistler Reads!" Details on how to join, stay in touch with us, and attend follow. RSVP me if you plan to attend, and purchase one of the bulk order of books brought in to Armchair Books here in Whistler. email: paulas (@)


April 01, 2009
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Discussion Sponsor

Andrew Prossin is the Managing Director of One Ocean Expeditions Inc. and brings his passion for polar regions and their conservation into any discussion he can.

An adventurer in his own right, Andrew is an accomplished ocean racing sailor. He led a team that won a race across the Atlantic Ocean in a 30-foot sailboat; he has sailed around Cape Horn in a Southern Ocean gale and competitively raced yachts and high performance dinghies all over the world. Andrew is also a published photographer and an avid snowboarder, spending his quiet time in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Chris Shackleton is a local who ski raced with contemporaries, Bruce Goldsmid, Greg Lee, Christine Parsons, Tom Prohaska, Doug Temple and the Vajda siblings: Andrée, Steve and Chris. After retiring the sticks, he went back to school and hit the books with a vengeance, graduating in Medicine, specializing and sub-specializing a few times, starting some organ transplant programs in Vancouver and abroad, and moving up the academic ranks to full professor at UCLA School of Medicine. After a 20+year career in academic medicine he made the switch to consultancy work, and returned to Whistler to actually start skiing out his season ski pass! In the summer he likes to go to the London School of Economics (for fun) to study finance and world economics. Chris is an avid reader of history and biography. He's a distant relation of Sir Ernest, (buccal swabs not confirmed) and he looks forward to leading the 23rd Whistler Reads book discussion.

How To Become a Whistler Reads Member

Members receive: A chance to win a free copies of our current title; 10% discount on books from Armchair Books; Discounts to any ticketed special events and courses; E-mail updates on latest events with discussion points and related research; The opportunity to take part in various programs.
  • Click JOIN
  • Select "Invited to join an existing book group"
  • Type in "Whistler Reads" (no quote marks) in the field asking for the name of the group
  • Fill in the rest of your information - and - ta da You're IN!
  • Log in. Browse the member list. Post a message on the forum. Check the book archive list. Tell us what you're reading or what you'd like the group to read next.

  • Books

    Here are a number of books (and movies) you can decide to purchase (or borrow from the library) or build your for your home library.
  • There is the autobiography, South: The Last Antarctic Expedition of Shackleton and the Endurance (The Explorers Club Classic)
  • The best regarded biography of his life by Lansing, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
  • The book by the ship's now famous photogragher, Frank Arthur Worsley, Endurance.
  • And even an excellent business leadership book modeled on Shackleton's strategies to inspire and control his men called Shackletons Way.
  • I highly recommend the A&E Kenneth Branagh mini series, Shackleton - The Greatest Survival Story of All Time (3-Disc Collector's Edition)

    Other Links

    NOVA Program In October and November 1999, NOVA journeyed into ice-choked Antarctic waters and onto the shores of rugged Elephant and South Georgia Islands as we followed in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton. This legendary explorer's 1914-1916 Endurance expedition is one of the greatest survival stories of all time. Then, in April 2000, we returned to document Shackleton's final trial—the crossing of South Georgia—by three of the world's most distinguished mountaineers, Reinhold Messner, Conrad Anker and Stephen Venables. Follow the expeditions as they unfolded in real-time on this Web site, and also watch for a NOVA Giant Screen Film Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, as well as a NOVA program, "Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance," which originally aired on March 26, 2002.

    Watch the youtube video of historic footage (and rather melodramatic narration).



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