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Blue Sky Kingdom


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About the Author

Bruce Kirkby is a Canadian writer, photographer and adventurer whose journeys span 80 countries and include traversing Iceland by foot, Mongolia by horseback, Arabia by camel and the Blue Nile Gorge by raft. Along the way he’s been shot at in Borneo, taken hostage in Ethiopia, and imprisoned by Myanmar’s army. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Outside Magazine.  He is listed among 'the nation’s top modern day explorers' by Canadian Geographic.


"Kirkby deftly and emotionally describes the stakes.  Raw and moving, it is the family’s interior journey, and Bodi’s especially, that displays the curative powers of adventure.”
*The New York Times Book Review*

I was blown away by the audaciousness of this epic family voyage, desperately wishing I was there with them. Kirkby’s writing offers a vivid exploration of culture, geography and relationships, but also, more urgently, of how we choose to live- and whether that’s possible to change.
*Author of Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance*

“An uplifting travelogue. Poignant and gently provocative.” 
*Publishers Weekly (starred)*

Family adventure doesn’t begin to describe what transpires in these pages. Kirkby and his remarkable family have built a bridge between the Rockies and the Himalaya, and in so doing spanned the gap between autism and Buddhism. In addition to being a manifestation of deepest love and devotion, this book is a time-bending journey through a landscape and culture that filled me with envy and sorrow by turns, while showing me things I have never seen described in a lifetime of reading. We are lucky to have someone as brave, generous, and open as Bruce Kirkby abroad in the world.
*The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival*

"As it explores an ancient—and dying—Tib etan Buddhist culture, this delightful book also tells a timely, heartwarming story of a family’s search for peace away from the din of modern culture. Soul-refreshing reading for armchair travelers and spiritual questers alike."
*Kirkus Review*

Bruce Kirkby’s chronicle of living in a remote Buddhist monastery with his family is by turns hilarious and enchanting. What a beautiful ode to impermanence, to the families we choose and the families we find and to the complicated wonders of a different, and fast-disappearing way of life.
*Author of Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road*

In an era when countless demands make it increasingly easy to ignore people and engage instead with devices, Blue Sky Kingdom provides a much-needed call back to the physical world.
*Author of Amazon Woman*

A rollicking journey, full of insights on cultivating a nourishing, fully present life amidst so much noise and distraction.
*Co-author of Peak Performance and The Passion Paradox*

By any standards, it’s a big adventure to travel the slow way across the world to a remote corner of the Himalaya and live there for months in a spartan Buddhist monastery—but taking young children along ramps it up to another level. Written with zest and clarity, Bruce’s account is compelling, moving, funny and above all honest, sharing hardships and frustrations along with the joys and ultimate rewards.
*Maria Coffey, author of Where the Mountain Casts its Shadow*

Insightful and adventurous, Blue Sky Kingdom offers a road map on how to learn from the world ... There is wisdom in this book. Open it and let your imagination soar.
*Acclaimed American Aplinist*

"Bruce Kirkby has lived the dream of the modern globe-trotting adventurer: crossing Arabian sand seas, sea-kayaking Iceland and Borneo, traversing Northern Mongolia on horseback. In Blue Sky Kingdom, Kirkby's wife and two young sons join him for a different kind of journey—to an isolated Buddhist monastery, yes, but also to the elusive and fragile heart of wisdom that we all hope to glimpse in this lifetime. What a heartfelt, lovely and kind book this is."
*Daniel Duane, author of Caught Inside*

In Blue Sky Kingdom, Bruce Kirkby not only takes us far across the world and deep inside a rarely seen culture, but also allows us an intimate view of his family, all while writing with tender honesty, penetrating insight and a delightful lack of bra-vado. Kirkby gently reminds us to breathe, embrace the unfamiliar and celebrate even the smallest of moments.
*Author of Rowing to Latitude and Snowstruck*

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