american

  It started as a far-fetched idea—to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline—eventually became a plan. In September 2012, inspired not only to draw attention to global warming but also to explore his personal limits, Ken Ilgunas strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles north to the Alberta, Canada oil sands.

Then he turned around and began a 1,700 mile trek, hiking—nearly entirely on foot—to the XL pipeline's endpoint in Port Arthur, Texas. And this wasn’t a manicured trail: he walked almost exclusively on private property, mostly on the wide-open, half-wild pasture and farming fields of Alberta, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The resulting book, Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before, and Sort of Illegal Hike Across the Heartland, is a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the physical and mental extremes to which we can push ourselves.

  In That’s Not English by Erin Moore, the seemingly superficial differences between British and American English open the door to a deeper exploration of a historic and fascinating cultural divide.

American by birth, Moore is a former book editor who specialized in spotting British books—including Eats, Shoots & Leaves—for the US market. She’s spent the last seven years living in England with her Anglo American husband and a small daughter with an English accent.

    

  Fifteen years ago, Krista Bremer would not have been able to imagine her life today: married to a Libyan-born Muslim, raising two children with Arabic names in the American South. Nor could she have imagined the prejudice she would encounter or the profound ways her marriage would change her perception of the world.

But on a running trail in North Carolina, she met Ismail. He was passionate and sincere—and he loved adventure as much as she did. From acquaintances to lovers to a couple facing an unexpected pregnancy, this is the story of two people—a middle-class American raised in California and a Muslim raised by illiterate parents in an impoverished Libyan fishing village—who made a commitment to each other without forsaking their own identities.

Krista Bremer tells the story in her new book, My Accidental Jihad.

Fred Kaplan is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War.

Fred Kaplan broke the news of Paula Broadwell’s involvement in Petraeus’ resignation from the CIA in his “War Stories” column in Slate. Now, he draws on secret documents, private emails, and extensive interviews with more than one hundred key players, including Petraeus, to deliver many news-making revelations.

In The Network: Portrait Conversations, artist Lincoln Schatz offers a unique portrayal of contemporary American leadership and innovation. Representing government, business, science, technology, and culture, Schatz’ eighty-nine subjects include father of the Internet Vint Cerf, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Emmy Award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts, Republican strategist Karl Rove, and liberal heavyweight Vernon Jordan.

Jack Hitt is a contributing editor to the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and public radio’s This American Life. He also writes for Rolling Stone, GQ, Wired, and, Garden & Gun. We speak with him about his new book,Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character .