Reading Water: Lessons from the River

Book Cover: Reading Water: Lessons from the River
2002 Foreword finalist for Nature Book of the Year.

You've read about famed explorers and early boatmen whose legendary strength fills book after book. Now dive into this classic about an early woman river guide whose love of reading water and quest for understanding the underlying science took her all over the West.

For those who have navigated America's great rivers by boat—and for those who wish they could—this book shares deep knowledge from a writer who not only guided on rivers in the 1970s and 80s but also trained and worked as a fluvial geologist.

As Lawton writes, "The river taught me instinctive responses in an unparalleled mentorship that led me throughout the American West every day for more than a decade. Being on the river taught me to read water—to psyche out where rocks hid in riffles, find safe passage in inscrutable rapids, and keep moving in flatwater sections."

Living in the river community, allying with water, Lawton became part of an enduring subculture of people changed forever by rivers. In this tenth anniversary edition, her insight learned from other guides and from her own observations of rivers and currents is more timely than ever.