If you’re a fan of the deserts and canyons of Arizona and beyond, and are looking to compile a summer reading list; start here. The Secret Knowledge of Water by Craig Childs is a hydrological tour de force by an author who, through his many backcountry exploits in the name of research, left plenty of skin in the game (on rocks, branches, and cactus to be specific).
This book has been in print for over a decade, but its blend of scientific facts and scintillating prose has not lost its luster—especially for those who frequent the amazingly complex, and occasionally life-threatening, landscapes of the American Southwest. The Grand Canyon in particular has a special place in Childs’ exploration of life-sustaining water sources big and small. Like me, you’ll probably, ahem, drink it up in one sitting.