in Siberia
Lawrence Millman is a man of many talents. As an author, he has written 16 books, including such titles as Last Places, A Kayak Full of Ghosts, An Evening Among Headhunters, Lost in the Arctic, and — most recently:

Outsider: My Boyhood with Thoreau(2024)

Goodbye, Ice: Arctic Poems (2020)

The Book of Origins (2019)

At the End of the World: A True Story of Murder in the Arctic (2016)

Giant Polypores and Stoned Reindeer (2013)

Hiking to Siberia (2012)

Fascinating Fungi of New England (2011)

As a mycologist, he has studied fungi all over the world, but especially in his own backyard of New England. And as an explorer, he has made over 40 trips and expeditions to the Arctic and Subarctic. The photo shows him in a contemplative mood on a beach in Siberia.

What’s he’s up to

  • April — Reading and Signing
  • March — Publication of Outsider: My Boyhood with Thoreau.

Featured Review

The Book of Origins
The Book of Origins

Political correctness is the reigning disease of our time. If you agree with this observation, my most recent book, The Book of Origins, is just the book for you.
A collection of satiric stories, it owes its allegiance to George Carlin and Jonathan Swift, but not, definitely not, to Jane Austen. In its pages, you’ll learn about God’s failure as a supreme being and his subsequent retirement, the Dalai Lama’s pot habit, the poison ivy in the Garden of Eden, the Statue of Liberty being mistaken for a Nazi, a U.S. president who decides to attack another country because he’s horny, and numerous other previously undocumented incidents in our planet’s history. Not for kids or the faint of heart!


“Is it possible to revere irreverence? I give The Book of Origins two unopposable thumbs up!” — Dan Barker, author of God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction

“If you read these strange bedtime stories one at a time to your child every night, he or she will grow up to be either Albert Einstein or a high literate inmate of an insane asylum.” — Andrei Codrescu, author of Bibliodeath

To obtain a copy of The Book of Origins, contact NFB Publishing
([email protected]), go to indiebound.org, or barnesandnoble.com.

Recent Posts

Why I Dropped Out of the Explorers Club

Once upon a time the Explorers Club was one of the most prestigious organizations on the planet. Its past members included such eminences as Richard Peary, Thor Heyerdahl, Charles Lindbergh, Peter Freuchen, Tenzing Norgay, and Sir Edmund Hillary. But the Club has recently gone downhill to such a degree that actual exploration is no more a part of its agenda than, for instance, frisbee throwing.

The location of the Club’s headquarters — 46 East 70th Street on New York’s Upper East Side — offers a window on its nosedive. The Upper East Side is an upscale habitat where money is the lingua franca, and its denizens (who include many of the Club’s officers) speak it as their primary language. Certain Club members have been known to suggest that the Explorers Club should be renamed The Upper East Side Club. Attempts to relocate it to somewhere else have come to naught…for the same reason that you can’t relocate Wall Street.

In the last twenty or so years, the Club has revamped itself to attract the corporate sponsors who live around the metaphoric corner. To do this, its officers can’t say, “Hey, we’ve got a guy who’s searching for Thule Period Inuit sites on Jan Mayen Land.” The corporate types would blink their eyes uncomprehendingly. But those officers can say, “Here’s a guy who’s an aerospace biochemical engineer.” In fact, a Lowell Thomas Award was recently given to one such individual.

“Remote sensing” is a phrase that nowadays has considerable appeal to the Club’s technocratically-biased higher ups. As a prank, I sponsored a putative explorer named Albert Yetti, an Abominable Snowman expert who used remotesensing to find his subject so he wouldn’t have to leave his UpperEast Side abode. Albert Yetti would have been admitted to the Club if I hadn’t confessed that I created him.

I’ve been one of many members who hasn’t been eager to dance to the corporate drummer. A Club president — a fellow who put an anaerobic tent in his office and lived in it — did not appreciate our nay-saying and threatened to drag us, he said, “kicking and screaming into the 21st century.” To my mind, this is a lot like Henry Morton Stanley’s (of Stanley & Livingston fame) positive take on slaughtering his way across Africa to rescue Emin Pasha (who did not want to be rescued). “I opened it [Africa] to the civilizing influence of commercial enterprise,” Stanley said.

In 2017, I asked the Club whether I could give a presentation on my exploration of a remote part of Hudson Bay. “But you’re not an explorer,” I was told. This is true, if Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, both of whom have won major awards from the Club, are regarded as explorers. After all, I’ve made 40+ expeditions to the Arctic and Subarctic, but I’m not a technology entrepreneur. Indeed, I have no association whatsoever with either Tesla Motors or Amazon. I have explored a part of the Amazon, but doesn’t count…nor does the fact that I’ve been a Fellow of the Club since 1990.

“You’re not an explorer” was the proverbial final straw, and I let my membership in the Explorers Club lapse. In doing so, I was in good company, for Conrad Anker, Paul Theroux, etc, have also let their memberships lapse. I’m now planning to join the Whiskey Explorers Club, which I suspect is a much healthier organization.

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