Excited to be asked to write about my favorite ranger books for…

The best books about park rangers – and the wild places they protect

Reviews coming in for This Wild Land.

Michael Finkel: New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger in the Woods:

The experience of reading THIS WILD LAND, floating in the eddies of Andrew Vietze’s profoundly captivating and elegantly unpretentious prose – seeing through his eyes the natural world’s quiet beauty and ruthless tragedy – offers an ideal escape from the unrelenting madness of modern life. Only an observant, gifted writer who has spent eighteen years working beneath the foreboding summit of Mount Katahdin can achieve the humility to write such a perfect tribute to the magnificent park in the middle of Maine.

Paul Doiron, author of the popular Mike Bowditch warden mysteries:

“Eighteen years ago, Andrew Vietze did something many people dream of but few of us have the guts to do; he left a prestigious office job to take an entry-level position working in the Maine North Woods. THIS WILD LAND records his adventures and misadventures as a ranger at Baxter State Park: home to legendary Mount Katahdin, beloved by both Henry David Thoreau and Teddy Roosevelt, and arguably the last wild place in the Eastern US. Vietze’s story is at once inspirational, frankly heartfelt, and endlessly entertaining. In other words, it has all the makings of a new Maine classic.”

New York Times bestselling author Kate Braestrup:

“When young people ask for advice about becoming a writer, my response is generally as follows: Write (and read) all the time. And get a real job. Usually, I recommend plumbing, because it’s lucrative and also because there are always good stories to be found in kitchens and bathrooms…Having read Vietze’s fine storytelling, I think I might recommend his path instead. Beginning as a magazine writer, Vietze found a real, and really wonderful, job, patrolling and protecting Baxter State Park. One of the most beautiful places on earth, Baxter also boasts Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine and the northern terminus of the Appalachian trail. The work of a Baxter ranger is varied, challenging and sometimes life-saving…and has provided Andrew Vietze with an abundance of good stories. He offers these with humor, verve, an eye for the telling detail, and an infectious delight in this rugged corner of the natural world, and its human and non-human inhabitants.”

Andrea Lankford, former NPS ranger and author of the iconic Ranger Confidential called it “essential. . . a fascinating and intimate account of the triumphs and tribulations faced by a park ranger committed to protecting Maine’s premier state park and the colorful characters who visit it.”

The new book is available for preorder at Amazon. See it here.

Wrote a piece about my boss, Percival Baxter, in the August issue of Down East. . .

Nice pine review at the Founder of the Day website: “I recently read White Pine, and it is one of the most unique perspectives on American history I have ever encountered. I highly recommend you pick it up.”

Another good one. The literary blog One Guy’s Book Club called White Pine “the perfect blend of history and nature.”

Great review in the Maine Sunday Telegram. Maine’s paper of record called the pine book: “one of our favorites” among a list of newish titles by a bunch of luminaries, including Rachel Carson, Alan Lightman, and Bernd Heinrich. Also wrote: “Vietze is a fluid and entertaining writer; this history lesson feels like anything but. This is the perfect book to read in August while sitting on a deck in the Maine woods. . . “

Pine book makes Maine Public Radio’s Summer Reading List! Honored to be included among the best Maine books.

Reviews are coming in for the new pine book:

The roots of the eastern white pine run deep, literally and figuratively — the mighty tree has triggered rebellions, generated fortunes, and ignited the battle for national independence. Andrew Vietze has created a unique view of American history, one that’s beautifully written, lucid and detailed and fascinating throughout.

—Michael Finkel, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Stranger in the Woods.

The white pine is one of the great McGuffins of history, a forgotten prime mover in the creation of both New England and the United States. Now Andrew Vietze has placed that noble tree where it belongs, as a focal point of our national story. White Pine is good history written in a refreshing, breezy style, surprising, illuminating, and informed.

—James L. Nelson, author of Benedict Arnold’s Navy

Andrew Vietze gives the eastern white pine the Kurlansky treatment with this meticulous and affectionate exploration of how the commonplace conifer has shaped (and continues to shape) New England. No silvicultural slog, it’s a sweeping and surprisingly lively tribute to the trees that became the struts — and the symbols — of a rambunctious young nation. And it’ll renew your appreciation for what’s left of our once-great eastern woodlands.

—Brian Kevin, Down East

Award-winning author Andrew Vietze’s White Pine: American History and the Tree that Made a Nation is a gripping ride through a history of exploitation, power, and oppression rife with monarchies and massacres, diseases and deceits, rebels and the good fight. It’s the story of hardworking, independent people as singular and proud as their chosen totem, the mighty yet modest white pine.

As a Registered Maine Guide, park ranger, and lifelong devotee of the outdoors, author Vietze knows of what he writes. When he claims that Pinus strobus is the tree that shaped America, settle in, you’re in good hands. Vietze’s engaging language brings this bold history to life: You see the bite of the ax, smell the musket fire, witness the great log drives, hear wind grazing the lofty heights of the white pine, still standing today. White Pine is the noble saga Hollywood only wishes it could conjure.

—Matthew P. Mayo, award-winning author of Stranded: A Story of Frontier Survival

Two months till publication and the Pine book is the number one new release in the hotly contested Trees and Biological Sciences category!

pine #1 hot release

New cover and title for the epic pine book. . .

Long-awaited new book is up for preorder on Amazon! Original cover.Pine Cover

Cool day when you make it into the dictionary (Merriam-Webster, since 1828), scroll down for usage of the word aesthetics, and the Sierra Club Book Club selects your work for discussion. . .


New kid’s book has a cover:

Just shipped another new children’s title for Rosen, this one about famed Chinese explorer Zheng He. Due out later this year.

Interesting new roundup of the best Theodore Roosevelt books as favorited by TR writers at Signature Reads. Had to include my boy Sewall.

Hot piece in the new Down East. Read it here.

The new book about Kublai Khan, everyone’s favorite Mongol, is now available for pre-order at fine bookstores everywhere.

New interview on Portland’s NBC affiliate for a series about Maine mysteries. Find it here.

Prepping for a trip to Cape Canaveral to do a scriptwriting project for the Kennedy Space Center. Excited to be working with the great Q Media once again!

Just shipped the next book – another kids title for Rosen – about the legendary explorer Samuel de Champlain. Look for it early next year.

The Travel Channel episode featuring Boon Island is now available to rent at Amazon. (I had cellulitis of the nose during filming, and there are several plot elements that are not quite right, but “Monumental Mysteries” (Season 2, Episode 3) gave it a good go.

Wrote a web exclusive about the Wounded Warrior Project for AMC Outdoors that just came out – held up by scandal. Read it here.

Began shooting – at least it was my first day – on the documentary about Merrymeeting Bay that I’m scripting for filmmaker Mark Ireland of MI Media. Visited the old Scots-Irish community of Cork on the Eastern River in Dresden, which was wiped out by native raids in the early eighteenth century.

New piece in AMC Outdoors out now. Read it here.

I’m in the Smithsonian! Actually, just part of the fabled institution’s recommended reading list on its travel website. But I’ll take it.

Just finished writing a book for kids about everybody’s favorite Mongol, Kublai Khan, for Rosen of NYC. Due out later this year!

Honored to be asked to speak about Theodore Roosevelt by the National Park Service as part of their centennial celebrations. I’ll be at his old place in Oyster Bay, now Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, in August.

me and TR