September 2015 Featured Book

Skyfaring cover
By Mark Vanhoenacker '96

"A superb chronicle...Vanhoenacker makes jet travel seem uncanny and intriguing all over again...[he] writes in a richly ethereal style, with the confidence of a professional who knows his elegant, nonlinear reflection on how flying in a commercial airliner - even while painfully folded in a seat in coach - can lift the soul." - Tom Zoellner, The New York Times Book Review

A poetic and nuanced exploration of the human experience of flight that reminds us of the full imaginative weight of our most ordinary journeys--and reawakens our capacity to be amazed.

The twenty-first century has relegated airplane flight--a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity--to the realm of the mundane. Mark Vanhoenacker, a 747 pilot who left academia and a career in the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flight, asks us to reimagine what we--both as pilots and as passengers--are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery. In a seamless fusion of history, politics, geography, meteorology, ecology, family, and physics, Vanhoenacker vaults across geographical and cultural boundaries; above mountains, oceans, and deserts; through snow, wind, and rain, renewing a simultaneously humbling and almost superhuman activity that affords us unparalleled perspectives on the planet we inhabit and the communities we form.