This book is like a pleasurable outing to the arctic region with a lively, knowledgeable and well-read companion. Minus the mosquitoes. I certainly enjoyed Ms. Wheeler’s dry wit and ability to turn a good phrase. There is a spoonful of sugar to go with every bitter climate change science pill, too, a juicy tidbit about an early exploration or the personal hygiene of the members of a research station. I do love books that make me feel smarter without putting me right to sleep. She does skip around pretty fast, though, moving from country to country so quickly that I started to get them all mixed up (wait, was that Greenland or Svalbard?) and after about 200 pages I started to feel the trivia begin to run off my back like water off a Northern Pintail. I loved being able to follow her into the research stations but wished we could have spent more time in the villages, the seasonal camps or the resource extraction areas. All in all, though, a fantastic introduction to the history and science of the arctic for a layman reader. I would highly recommend this book to a reader who has an interest in the arctic (and I wouldn’t particularly recommend it to one who hasn’t).