Last summer, I completed one of the best books I’ve ever read: Blue Bear by Lynn Schooler. Passed onto me by Simon, it was originally a birthday gift to him from his mom.
Simon would talk to me about going to find the rare blue bear, and I thought it was neat, but it was only when I read this beautifully simple story about a friendship and exploring the Alaskan wilderness that I officially craved finding one of these bears.
Blue Bear Book Review
With a body twisted by adolescent scoliosis and memories of the brutal death of a woman he loved, Lynn Schooler kept the world at arm’s length, drifting through the wilds of Alaska as a commercial fisherman, outdoorsman, and wilderness guide. In 1990, Schooler met Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino, and began a profound friendship cemented by a shared love of adventure and a passionate quest to find the elusive glacier bear, an exceedingly rare creature, seldom seen and shrouded in legend. But only after Hoshino’s tragic death from a bear attack does Schooler succeed in photographing the animal — completing a remarkable journey that ultimately brings new meaning to his life.
The Blue Bear is an unforgettable book. Set amid the wild archipelagoes, deep glittering fjords, and dense primordial forests of Alaska’s Glacier Coast, it is rich with the lyric sensibility and stunning prose of such nature classics as Barry Lopez’s Arctic Dreams and Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard.
The descriptions of the wild scenes in Alaska really stuck with me, along with the unique friendship between two adventurers. It was also a wonderful journey to discover this rare bear, and the photographs, along with the stories behind them, as so touching.
Check out Tumbleweed Bookstore and Cafe in Gardiner, Montana, to find the book. We donated our copy to the store last year – we loved it so much, we wanted to share it with others!