International Polar Year has just begun.It officially runs March 1/07 to March 1/08, but will run on until March 1/09 to give researchers time to do all they need to do. This is a big event, which occurs every 50 years. It is very timely as we all worry about global warming and climate change and the havoc that may result. There is a wonderful website for IPY, which covers its history, the projects being done this time around by participants all over the globe, and some great links & articles. There's even a link to a blog by Antarctic researchers, who post amazing photos and seem to have a great sense of humour!
As my home country is spending a lot on research initiatives this IPY, I thought that I could help out just a little by focusing my reading on polar narratives this year. I'll try to read in the polar vein and report back all year long. I've always been interested in tales of exploration and ice and cold. Since I was young, the stories of those such as Scott, Shackleton, Franklin, Nansen, and Amundsen have all fascinated me. The immortal last words uttered by Titus Oates of the doomed Scott expedition, "I'm just going outside, and I may be some time", have become part of my personal lexicon.
For this IPY, I'll read fiction and/or non-fiction, whichever strikes my fancy. No set number or time line, just as I am moved to do so. I have a few favourites, which I may review to begin with, and will keep reading all year long.