This sublime large-format book jumpstarts my escapist heart and makes me long for wide water, pine needles, woodsmoke and gritty coffee. It features paintings, sketches, photographs, contemporary and historic essays, anecdotes, journal entries, book excerpts, interviews, and much more on the topic of canoe-tripping. It's the stuff a canoeist's dreams are made of. Stories from the Bow Seat contains written accounts and visual impressions of canoe trips of the past 400 years or so. Some accounts are beautifully worded wisdoms on the essence of canoe travel, others are grippingly descriptive, and still others are pure waggery. They are told by trippers from different eras and of varying ages, interests and levels of ability. In spite of the differing purposes, historical periods and approaches behind them, the selections taken together reflect the universal experiences of all who travel by canoe. So put down your paddle and stretch a while. Take a deep breath of smoke-scented calm, wrap your hands around a steaming mug, and get ready to add your own stories.