Ms. Adventure

My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life

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Pub Date 02 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 02 Jun 2021

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Description

"Jess Phoenix's work encompasses science and representation in such a delightful melding that it could only come from as spry and playful a soul as hers! Open this book and jump into the volcano!" —Patton Oswalt

As a volcanologist, natural hazards expert, and founder of Blueprint Earth, Jess Phoenix has dedicated her life to scientific exploration. Her career path—hard earned in the male-dominated world of science—has led her into still-flowing Hawaiian lava fields, congressional races, glittering cocktail parties at Manhattan’s elite Explorers Club, and numerous pairs of Caterpillar work boots. It has also inspired her to devote her life to making science more inclusive and accessible.
 
Ms. Adventure skillfully blends personal memoir, daring adventure, and scientific exploration, following Phoenix’s journey from reality television sites deep in Ecuadorian jungles to Andean glaciers, university classrooms to Death Valley in summer. She has even chased down members of a Mexican cartel to retrieve a stolen favorite rock hammer. Readers will delight in her unbelievable adventures, all embarked on for the love of science.


 
"Jess Phoenix's work encompasses science and representation in such a delightful melding that it could only come from as spry and playful a soul as hers! Open this book and jump into the...

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ISBN 9781643260037
PRICE $24.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Snapshots of a blossoming career in the Geology. Totally has a scientist’s level of detail and precision. My highest praise is that if I could visit with ten ladies at an Explorer’s Club function, I guarantee I could identify Jess.

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I loved this book. Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publishers for an opportunity to read this! I first learned about Jess Phoenix and what a volcanologist was on the podcast Ologies. It was a fascinating episode and I immediately started following Jess on social media. Her life is certainly one of adventure and I learned through this book just how interesting and difficult her job is. I absolutely loved hearing about some of the places she visited and although I am not even remotely interested in geology, this book was SO good. The science behind her decisions was easily understood in the way that she describes it and it felt like hearing about some intense trips from a good friend. It's clear that she takes her job seriously, cares for the planet and is an all around badass. I specifically love that she's a woman doing a job that is considered a man's. I relate to that on a professional level as well, along with her fighting through the pain of injuries to get the job done. I would highly recommend that you read this book of you want to learn some amazing facts about something I think the average person knows very little about- volcanoes- but hear it from someone who has got to be one of the coolest, down to earth individuals ever. This book was epic.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fascinating to learn a little bit about volcanos and geology. Her story and how she came to do the things she has is very interesting. I would use snippets of this book in Science and Health when discussing careers and geology to give students a picture of what types of things a geologist may do. It was a great read!

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I enjoyed this. It was extremely readable and a good mix of personal and scientific. I would recommend this to students looking for inspiration about science careers. Thanks to Timber Press for access to a digital ARC via NetGalley.

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Very entertaining. I love to read about adventures in exotic places and there are no better adventures than the scientific ones! Volcanoes are a fascinating topic so getting a glimpse of the research on them was very interesting. And Jess Phoenix is a perfect guide: instantly likable, unpretentious, funny, with contagious enthusiasm. I just wished that the book would be longer, as I was curious about other stories from her work and life. Thanks to the publisher, Timber Press, and NetGalley for the advance copy of this book.

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We’ve only started 2021, but I think Ms. Adventure is going to be the nonfiction read to beat for me this year. Thank you so much to Netgalley, Timber Press, and Jess Phoenix for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Jess Phoenix is a badass geologist and fills Ms. Adventure with stories of her research, education, travel, and life. From research in Death Valley to encountering drug cartels in Mexico onto filming a TV show that tried to incorporate more stunts than science and running for office, her life has not been boring. It’s a short read with each chapter consisting of a new site visited. I loved Jess’ story telling style. She incorporates science that you don’t need to be a geology student to understand and takes you along on her adventures as though you were riding along with her. Her tone is casual, friendly, and frank. It was wonderful to be able to read some of her journal entries from expeditions at the ends of certain chapters, making her encounters that much more interesting. Even in these journal entries, she has a true flair for writing. Jess’ honesty about her experiences is what I found most engaging. She talks about her journey to discover her interest in geology, something I found wholly encouraging. Whether your interest lies in geology or another field, it’s a wonderful reminder that it’s never too late to pursue your passions. She didn’t gloss over details of struggles in her work or pass off each assignment as being absolutely fascinating; in fact, she is straightforward that sometimes science can be boring, but it’s necessary to get through the boring bits to appreciate the discoveries. I wasn’t expecting the closing chapter to involve a political discussion, as politics were never brought up earlier in the book, but I enjoyed seeing a scientist’s take on the previous election and hearing the fears many of them shared as a man took office who worked to discredit science. Some of the fears I was familiar with as I had them myself, but there were several others that hadn’t even occurred to me. It was encouraging to see a young scientist interested in pursuing a public office in an attempt to quell those fears and encourage public support of the science community. She’d absolutely have my vote! Finally, I think Jess’ encouragement to stay curious and not let society strip you of your need to discover is crucial, words everyone can benefit from, which stayed true with the tone of the book. Ms. Adventure can be enjoyed by a wide-ranging audience, whether you’re looking for travel writing, scientific writing, adventure, or a memoir. Rarely have I been saddened to see the end of a nonfiction book. I would gladly immerse myself into more of Jess’ stories and hope this will spark a trend of more published works by womxn scientists.

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Ms. Adventure is just that an adventure! A wonderful, charming, scientific adventure that everyone can enjoy no matter your science background. Who doesn't love volcanoes?! Jess Phoenix is everything I want young women to grow up aspiring to be. A healthy dose of knowledge, a keen sense of discovery and desire to have adventures, a take no shit attitude with a healthy dose of respect, and the goal of continuous learning. This book is one of my favorite in the science genre.

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Jess Phoenix is a scientist and the founder of Blueprint Earth, an organization focused on documenting the ecosystem of the Mojave Desert in California, USA as well as offering field work experience to students who licit otherwise not have access to such opportunities. The way Phoenix writes with such passion and joy about her discovery of geology almost makes me want to go back to school myself. She is so excited about this branch of science, and her writings make it so easy to understand her interest. I almost imagine that this is the kind of memoir Ms. Frizzle might write. 😁 This is a memoir and travelogue and scientific exploration all rolled into one exciting adventure. Her experiences while studying our planet have been thrilling and varied, and the book jumps in time. She talks so much about the photographs she took that I wish some more of them were included.

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4.5 stars rounded up. This is an engaging read about Jess Phoenix, a volcanologist. Jess walks us through some history on the Explorers Club, the unusual path she took into being interested in geology, and the different locations she has worked. As you might expect, she faced gender issues and dangerous situations. I thought it was a solid 5 star book until the last parts. I think it was important for her to include the section on her TV stint, but the tone was weird. The political bit at the end was kind of the same weird tone that I didn't know how to react to. (I'm still ambivalent about it!) I'm really glad I was able to read a digital advance review copy, thanks to netgalley and the publisher.

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Part adventure story and part memoir, Phoenix's book provides readers with vignettes of exploration and volcano studies. Phoenix's story telling is vivid and interesting, and it makes for a quick read. Seems to end abruptly, but that doesn't take away from the rest. The book takes readers briefly along on seven or eight adventures and provides some scientific information without getting too bogged down in details that may lose the casual reader. Overall, I enjoyed the work, but I wanted more science and less "look, I was able to get my hammer back from the drug cartel or Discovery made me do stupid stunts for television." I think this book will appeal to those that she interested with her run for congress and less those looking for a deeper understanding of volcanology. I would recommend for casual readers interested in the adventure part of scientific study. Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the digital ARC of this work in exchange for my honest review.

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An enjoyable look into the science of volcanoes and geology. The author had me in the beginning, with her description of her invitation to the Explorer's Club in New York City. What a dream that would be! Phoenix continues with her experiences in Hawaii, Mexico, and many other places. She definitely seems to lead an exciting life. And I got the feeling that she is a very personable and interesting person to know. I wish her luck in the continuation of her career.

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Jess Phoenix takes readers along with her on her adventures from Death Valley to Hawaii. It was a pleasure to read this book just for the memoir narrative alone, In addition, Phoenix's insights on the role of diversity in field work and how scientists are the new adventure explorers fascinated me and provided lots of food for thought. Anyone interested in science or exploration will find much to love about this book. Thanks to Timber Press for sharing an electronic copy of this new book, via #netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

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A copy of this book was provided by the publisher and netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Content Warnings: Mentions of drug cartels and a previous assault, not detailed. My Rating: 4 volcanoes out of 5 Highlights: Well now I just want to be a Volcanologist This is the sort of book that makes you go ‘damn I wish I was a scientist!’ Phoenix’s sheer enthusiasm for the universe is just amazing Anyone willing to face down a car full of potentially armed Narcos for a hammer immediately becomes my hero for life. I don’t make the rules. Curiosity is our birthright, our shared human heritage that connects us to every being on Earth, and to the stars beyond. Jess Phoenix is a geologist, volcanologist and all-round badass and after listening to her talk about her career in an episode of Ologies I leapt at the chance to request this book on netgalley! A memoir at heart, this book is also a love letter to geology, to the wonders that make up the natural world and to our ability as human beings to explore and discover more about those wonders. An English Literature graduate myself, I suppose I always (evidently wrongly) assumed that scientists have always been aware that they are scientifically minded, but Phoenix began as a humanities student, finding her love of Geology through a college course (and it has always confused me how you can study so many things at once at American universities, but evidently it has its uses!). From that first geology class to standing atop active volcanoes in Hawaii, in need of medical attention but out of range of the helicopter, on to chasing down cartel members for a hammer, Phoenix’s career has taken her all over the world in pursuit of scientific knowledge. Then of course there’s the additional bonus challenge of being a woman in a scientific field which leads to such wonderful scenarios as being asked to wear sexy leggings while filming a tv show on an active volcano site. You know, leggings, made of synthetic fibres that melt when exposed to heat. On a volcano. Pure logic right there from the production team. Gold star. But from battling imposter syndrome at her first Explorers Club dinner to facing down Wall Street’s charging bull and deciding to run for office, Jess Phoenix is unapologetically a total badass and one of my icons for life. Her sheer enthusiasm for the world around us is infectious even through text, and the way she champions scientific knowledge for all, especially in positions of power where decisions are being made, is immensely admirable. I think what was missing for me was, honestly, photographs. All through the book, Phoenix details the pictures she has taken at each location discussed, and there’s a gorgeous image at the beginning of the book of solidified waves of lava - but the photographs mentioned are not included in the actual text. I found myself frequently pausing in my reading to look up a volcano crater, or a lake, to properly visualise what was being described to me. I felt that some images, even just of the mountains and volcanoes if not Phoenix herself at these locations, would really have brought that one last thing to this book for me. The things being described were incredible, from eruptions lasting decades to camping out atop precarious mountains, travelling around glacial lakes and out to underwater volcanoes for important research. I wanted to see them. I loved this book overall. Phoenix has such a great way of writing, of putting across just how much she adores what she does. I challenge anyone to read this book and now come away even slightly passionate about the study of the world we live in. Below our feet, sometimes bubbling up to the surface, is a completely alien world that we are only just beginning to understand and this book made me want to learn all I can about it!

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I picked this book up because volcanoes have fascinated me for years. I wanted to learn more about them, and while this book didn't go into as much detail as I'd hoped, I still enjoyed it. I loved reading about the different trips the author took to volcanoes around the world, and all the scientific parts about it. There were a couple times I felt the author was bragging a bit, as in "look at me and how special I am", but it wasn't enough to sour the book. My only wish is that there had been more science and more information on volcanoes themselves. I know this was more a memoir of the author's time working around volcanoes than an actual book on the science of them, but I would have loved to have more information. It's a good read for anyone with a passing interest, but for anyone looking for science, they may find it a bit lacking.

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Science nerds unite! This book is perfect for the science lover in your life. The memoir part will inspire you to create an adventure of your own, while the science part will teach you something new.

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This was a perfectly fine book. The events were all over the place giving it a strange tone (and to be honest I'm not really sure what the Cartel, reality TV, and politics sections added to the book), but I really enjoyed the story of her discovery of a love for science, a love for geology and volcanos, and the insight into what fieldwork is actually like. And the overarching theme of "science is really interesting and you should be excited about it and excited to do it right" was great.

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