Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (1883). This isn’t a book, but a two-part time machine. The first part is a work of literature, as Twain reimagines his salad days as a cub pilot learning to navigate the “fickle Mississippi.” His vivid you-are-there prose transports readers to the untamed land filled with rough-hewn people. The book’s second section, a travelogue begun seven years later, in 1882, is memoiristic and meditative. Having lived so long in the West and East, Twain sought to reconnect with the land of his youth and wellspring of his art, taking readers on a journey of discovery and rediscovery down a still fickle river.
Total Points: 3 (PCap 3)