Combustible

Igniting Spontaneous Banter

Recommended by Bill

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Endurance by Alfred Lansing

We might as well start with my all-time favorite book. It's the story of the doomed attempt by Sir Ernest Shackleton and over 20 men to cross Antarctica, and the year they spent trying to get back to civilization. It's an incredible tale of survival, intelligence, and determination. Shackleton's ability to keep his men motivated in the most desperate of circumstances has become legend. This story is also a powerful reminder for all of what true adversity looks like. When you think you've got it bad, remember the crew of the Endurance. Even Detroit firefighters don't have it this bad.

It also happens to have the all time best first line of a book: "The order to abandon ship was given at 5 P.M." The book starts with the ship sinking! How awesome is that?

Recommended for all ranks