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Subpar Parks: America's Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors

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Based on the wildly popular Instagram account, Subpar Parks features both the greatest hits and brand-new content, all celebrating the incredible beauty and variety of America's national parks juxtaposed with the clueless and hilarious one-star reviews posted by visitors. Subpar Parks, both on the popular Instagram page and in this humorous, informative, and collectible Based on the wildly popular Instagram account, Subpar Parks features both the greatest hits and brand-new content, all celebrating the incredible beauty and variety of America's national parks juxtaposed with the clueless and hilarious one-star reviews posted by visitors. Subpar Parks, both on the popular Instagram page and in this humorous, informative, and collectible book, combines two things that seem like they might not work together yet somehow harmonize perfectly: beautiful illustrations and informative, amusing text celebrating each national park paired with the one-star reviews disappointed tourists have left online. Millions of visitors each year enjoy Glacier National Park, but for one visitor, it was simply Too cold for me! Another saw the mind-boggling vistas of Bryce Canyon as Too spiky! Never mind the person who visited the thermal pools at Yellowstone National Park and left thinking, "Save yourself some money, boil some water at home." Featuring more than 50 percent new material, the book will include more depth and insight into the most popular parks, such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Acadia National Parks; anecdotes and tips from rangers; and much more about author Amber Share's personal love and connection to the outdoors. Equal parts humor and love for the national parks and the great outdoors, it's the perfect gift for anyone who loves to spend time outside as well as have a good read (and laugh) once they come indoors.


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Based on the wildly popular Instagram account, Subpar Parks features both the greatest hits and brand-new content, all celebrating the incredible beauty and variety of America's national parks juxtaposed with the clueless and hilarious one-star reviews posted by visitors. Subpar Parks, both on the popular Instagram page and in this humorous, informative, and collectible Based on the wildly popular Instagram account, Subpar Parks features both the greatest hits and brand-new content, all celebrating the incredible beauty and variety of America's national parks juxtaposed with the clueless and hilarious one-star reviews posted by visitors. Subpar Parks, both on the popular Instagram page and in this humorous, informative, and collectible book, combines two things that seem like they might not work together yet somehow harmonize perfectly: beautiful illustrations and informative, amusing text celebrating each national park paired with the one-star reviews disappointed tourists have left online. Millions of visitors each year enjoy Glacier National Park, but for one visitor, it was simply Too cold for me! Another saw the mind-boggling vistas of Bryce Canyon as Too spiky! Never mind the person who visited the thermal pools at Yellowstone National Park and left thinking, "Save yourself some money, boil some water at home." Featuring more than 50 percent new material, the book will include more depth and insight into the most popular parks, such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Acadia National Parks; anecdotes and tips from rangers; and much more about author Amber Share's personal love and connection to the outdoors. Equal parts humor and love for the national parks and the great outdoors, it's the perfect gift for anyone who loves to spend time outside as well as have a good read (and laugh) once they come indoors.

30 review for Subpar Parks: America's Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book has cool facts and a basic description of each park, but I thought it would be more of a compilation of bad reviews, rather than a mini travel guide.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Funny, interesting and beautifully illustrated. I can’t wait to be super unimpressed by nature myself and complain about things like not getting to touch flaming hot lava or thinking how I just could have boiled water at home instead of dragging my ass all the way there to just see some hot springs. Just get tickets to a theme park next time guys.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cook Memorial Public Library

    Sonia recommends this humorous look at negative reviews of our national parks. Check our catalog: https://encore.cooklib.org/iii/encore... Sonia recommends this humorous look at negative reviews of our national parks. Check our catalog: https://encore.cooklib.org/iii/encore...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Donna Mouser

    As a fan of the Instagram page, I was so excited to get my hands on this book. The illustrations are beautiful, the reviews funny, and I loved how the author made sure to include information about how the lands were sacred to native populations. Overall a great read, I’m glad I bought this as a coffee table book and can flip through it whenever I want!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    This book proves once again that people are really stupid.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but a 1-star review of Yosemite National Park (“Trees block the view, and there are too many gray rocks.”) or the Grand Canyon (“A hole. A very, very, large hole.”)? Amber Share is an illustrator / graphic designer, and also a life-long afficionado of the United States’ National Parks. She’s an avid hiker and finds much to enjoy in wildly different climates and ecosystems, including some of the most remote park settings. So, when she stumbled up You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but a 1-star review of Yosemite National Park (“Trees block the view, and there are too many gray rocks.”) or the Grand Canyon (“A hole. A very, very, large hole.”)? Amber Share is an illustrator / graphic designer, and also a life-long afficionado of the United States’ National Parks. She’s an avid hiker and finds much to enjoy in wildly different climates and ecosystems, including some of the most remote park settings. So, when she stumbled upon some of the clueless 1-star reviews she just had to shake her head, and then laugh. She turned to her talent for illustration and painted some wonderful depictions, graced with the clueless remarks of seriously underwhelmed visitors, and began posting them, once a week at first (on her blog? Instagram? … whatever). People loved them and clamored for more. This book is the result. Each park “visited” starts with the illustration and the clueless remark, but Share then gives an informative description of the park, including some ranger’s tips / cautions, and other hints on best enjoying nature’s splendors. She also incorporates Native American culture and significance for most of these parks. The text does get somewhat repetitious, especially when you’re reading this as a book, rather than using it as a handy reference guide, hence the 3-star review. But she gets 5***** for her illustrations! I’m inspired to visit another “Not much to do” park!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Bolkema

    An enjoyable and humorous overview of the National Parks. It makes for a great vacation read. 🙂

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book's strength is the humorous negative reviews of the National Parks that are accompanied by illustrations that look like classic National Park posters. I was disappointed that there are only one or two negative reviews included for each park. Otherwise, each park has a brief description of it, along with positive reviews. Would make a good gift book for National Park lovers (or haters). This book's strength is the humorous negative reviews of the National Parks that are accompanied by illustrations that look like classic National Park posters. I was disappointed that there are only one or two negative reviews included for each park. Otherwise, each park has a brief description of it, along with positive reviews. Would make a good gift book for National Park lovers (or haters).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Creative fun! I've read a lot of books about our National Parks and this author puts a unique spin on the topic. I've not read her popular Instagram account but I can see why it would be addictive. In her introduction the author explains her creative process and how this was a project that combined her love for the outdoors, illustrating, and hand-lettering. Very cool. Not only is this good for a chuckle (the Grand Canyon described as a "big hole"!!) but it is a clever way to inspire others to vi Creative fun! I've read a lot of books about our National Parks and this author puts a unique spin on the topic. I've not read her popular Instagram account but I can see why it would be addictive. In her introduction the author explains her creative process and how this was a project that combined her love for the outdoors, illustrating, and hand-lettering. Very cool. Not only is this good for a chuckle (the Grand Canyon described as a "big hole"!!) but it is a clever way to inspire others to visit these locations. Her artwork is colorful and appealing, the info interesting but sparse. She tickles your travel bone...but you'll have to get other serious guidebooks for making your plans. I especially appreciated the brief historical backgrounds that included the connection of the lands to the indigenous tribes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    I purchased this thinking that I would be getting a list of other peoples' strange reviews of our national parks. There are only a few of them in here. This book is mostly brief stories of the author's visit to many of our nation's national parks. Somewhat enjoyable, but wait until Amazon lowers the price to buy it. I purchased this thinking that I would be getting a list of other peoples' strange reviews of our national parks. There are only a few of them in here. This book is mostly brief stories of the author's visit to many of our nation's national parks. Somewhat enjoyable, but wait until Amazon lowers the price to buy it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bookishbrookeish

    I have followed subpar parks on Instagram for a long time and it’s one of my favorite non-book accounts. I have LONG wanted a coffee table book of the posters and this more than delivered! I loved learning about each of the places the posters are for and getting a peek into the author’s drawing process. This would be a perfect gift for the outdoorsy people in your life and is a great book to pick up and peruse at your leisure. Definitely worth buying!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Schoenfield

    Graphic designer and national parks lover Amber Share has added her caustic wit to her art to produce this laugh-out-loud look at our national parks. Over each two-page spread Share has drawn an image of the park with a real complaint from an unsatisfied park visitor. Then she gets down to the beauty that each park offers. By the time I had finished this I had my daily dose of belly laughs and was ready to hit the road for Acadia, Isle Royale, Arches National Park, and Yellowstone, no matter wha Graphic designer and national parks lover Amber Share has added her caustic wit to her art to produce this laugh-out-loud look at our national parks. Over each two-page spread Share has drawn an image of the park with a real complaint from an unsatisfied park visitor. Then she gets down to the beauty that each park offers. By the time I had finished this I had my daily dose of belly laughs and was ready to hit the road for Acadia, Isle Royale, Arches National Park, and Yellowstone, no matter what anyone says about them. (OK, here's what they said. Acadia : "The water is ice cold." Isle Royale: "No cell service and terrible wifi." Arches: "Looks nothing like the license plate." Yellowstone: "Save yourself some money, boil some water at home.")

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maybee Library

    This book exceeded my expectations. I knew I'd get humorous, sometimes laugh-out-loud, artwork advertising jaw-dropping one-star reviews of national parks. I didn't know I'd also get fascinating facts and history about the parks as well, including much-needed background on the Native use and relationship with these lands. I'm pretty sure I both entertained and annoyed my husband by holding the book up for each park and making him look at Share's art, and then reading interesting portions aloud to h This book exceeded my expectations. I knew I'd get humorous, sometimes laugh-out-loud, artwork advertising jaw-dropping one-star reviews of national parks. I didn't know I'd also get fascinating facts and history about the parks as well, including much-needed background on the Native use and relationship with these lands. I'm pretty sure I both entertained and annoyed my husband by holding the book up for each park and making him look at Share's art, and then reading interesting portions aloud to him. Two thumbs up for this enjoyable and unique introduction to the United States' incredible national parks. *very, very rare language

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carl Nelson

    A gem of a book combining beautiful illustrations of our National Parks with reviews from thoroughly clueless and disgruntled visitors. The artwork is a pleasing poster illustration style, and the juxtaposition with pithy captions is the perfect foil. Favorites include Badlands National Park (“The only thing bad about these lands is the entire experience”), Shenandoah National Park (“Not a lot to offer unless you want to hike”), and White Sands National Park (“Literally miles of white sand”). La A gem of a book combining beautiful illustrations of our National Parks with reviews from thoroughly clueless and disgruntled visitors. The artwork is a pleasing poster illustration style, and the juxtaposition with pithy captions is the perfect foil. Favorites include Badlands National Park (“The only thing bad about these lands is the entire experience”), Shenandoah National Park (“Not a lot to offer unless you want to hike”), and White Sands National Park (“Literally miles of white sand”). Laughs abound on every page.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    This was easily the best book I have ever read for information about the National Parks. It was fun because of the inclusion of reviews by actual disappointed visitors, I guess expecting Nature to somehow be literally rehearsing in order to provide live stage-like performances for their entertainment. I wish I had had author Amber Share’s tips when visiting many National Parks! She really condenses the to-do list into must-do commentary, and I realize I have missed some great sites. Well, dang! This was easily the best book I have ever read for information about the National Parks. It was fun because of the inclusion of reviews by actual disappointed visitors, I guess expecting Nature to somehow be literally rehearsing in order to provide live stage-like performances for their entertainment. I wish I had had author Amber Share’s tips when visiting many National Parks! She really condenses the to-do list into must-do commentary, and I realize I have missed some great sites. Well, dang! Guess I have to start over! 😀

  16. 4 out of 5

    Frosty61

    "If you can't be in awe of Mother Nature, there's something wrong with you" - Alex Trebek. A fun look at some of ridiculous negative reviews of our National Parks posted on social media. I wonder how many were bogus and just posted in order to get attention, but this author decided to use them as the catalyst for showing the positives of each park. She turns the tables by offering up the uniqueness of each park along with a gorgeous illustration and an interesting little blurb the reader might no "If you can't be in awe of Mother Nature, there's something wrong with you" - Alex Trebek. A fun look at some of ridiculous negative reviews of our National Parks posted on social media. I wonder how many were bogus and just posted in order to get attention, but this author decided to use them as the catalyst for showing the positives of each park. She turns the tables by offering up the uniqueness of each park along with a gorgeous illustration and an interesting little blurb the reader might not know. This is a fun book to browse through - I enjoyed taking it in small doses when I just had a few minutes of reading time. It just might compel you to research a park in more detail, take a road trip and see for yourself if that park is truly 'subpar'.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jess Hoopengardner

    Pros: quick and often funny rundown of many national parks. Gives you tips and tricks to visit. Explains the history of indigenous people on the land. Beautiful illustrations. Cons: I want to visit the New like... right now

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie Elwood

    Beautiful paintings and hilarious one-star reviews (Yellowstone - "Save yourself some money; boil some water at home") are paired with information about the park and its history. While sometimes it feels as though Share is trying too hard to be funny, the book definitely inspired me to visit more of our national parks. Beautiful paintings and hilarious one-star reviews (Yellowstone - "Save yourself some money; boil some water at home") are paired with information about the park and its history. While sometimes it feels as though Share is trying too hard to be funny, the book definitely inspired me to visit more of our national parks.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Absolutely hilarious with just the right amount of snark. Plus, awesome details about each "poorly reviewed" National Park. Absolutely hilarious with just the right amount of snark. Plus, awesome details about each "poorly reviewed" National Park.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tara Sypien

    Laughed on every page!

  21. 4 out of 5

    H

    This book is a love letter to parks, and I took the opportunity to start reading it in a provincial park. I've only been to two listed (both in South Dakota), but would love to see the others, at reasonable distances from the lava and wild animals. This book is a love letter to parks, and I took the opportunity to start reading it in a provincial park. I've only been to two listed (both in South Dakota), but would love to see the others, at reasonable distances from the lava and wild animals.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    This book isn't life changing or anything, but if you like our National Parks and have a sense of humor, you will love this book. Ms. Share has been creating her own art from bad reviews left about our National Parks, and the results are hilarious. Who can be underwhelmed by Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and the Grand Canyon...the answer is some people. It's a really fun read. This book isn't life changing or anything, but if you like our National Parks and have a sense of humor, you will love this book. Ms. Share has been creating her own art from bad reviews left about our National Parks, and the results are hilarious. Who can be underwhelmed by Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and the Grand Canyon...the answer is some people. It's a really fun read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Adored reading this. Then again, it's right up my alley. ❤️ I've love her on Instagram, so I knew I would love her book as well. Adored reading this. Then again, it's right up my alley. ❤️ I've love her on Instagram, so I knew I would love her book as well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Funny idea executed well. This made me want to go on an adventure!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Crawford

    It is a easy read, about how som people are disappointed on federal parks in America, and what makes these park so wonderful

  26. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    A fun attractive book that started out with (as the author says) a snarky premise. Amber Share has been a lover of National Parks since she was a child. When she began seeing snarky posts by unimpressed park goers, (Glacier National Park: "Too cold for me!" Grand Canyon: "A Hole. A very very large hole.") she decided she needed to respond. Thus this illustrated books that highlights many of our national parks, with Ranger Tips for improving your visit. I am not a Nature Girl, but I think I'll bu A fun attractive book that started out with (as the author says) a snarky premise. Amber Share has been a lover of National Parks since she was a child. When she began seeing snarky posts by unimpressed park goers, (Glacier National Park: "Too cold for me!" Grand Canyon: "A Hole. A very very large hole.") she decided she needed to respond. Thus this illustrated books that highlights many of our national parks, with Ranger Tips for improving your visit. I am not a Nature Girl, but I think I'll buy this book for inspiration to visit some parks when traveling.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carmine

    very amusing. One line negative reviews over an illustration sort of in the style of those classic NPS posters, coupled with facts and trivia about each park. Great gift for a park nerd. So fun to read negative reviews of parks we have loved and visited. Petrified Forest: "Basically a desert with some dead trees." Olympic: "No wow factor." Ha ha ha ha ha. This book gave us many chuckles. very amusing. One line negative reviews over an illustration sort of in the style of those classic NPS posters, coupled with facts and trivia about each park. Great gift for a park nerd. So fun to read negative reviews of parks we have loved and visited. Petrified Forest: "Basically a desert with some dead trees." Olympic: "No wow factor." Ha ha ha ha ha. This book gave us many chuckles.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Stofko

    I feel like this book should have been made for me. National parks! Funny reviews! Drawings of the parks! In reality, I'm sorry to say that I was disappointed. This book is billed as having the humorous reviews of the national parks with author added drawings. In reality, it's more of a travel book than being a funny book of bad reviews. I love the national parks. I've visited some, I've read multiple books about them, and I've watched documentaries and specials about them. I already know a lot of I feel like this book should have been made for me. National parks! Funny reviews! Drawings of the parks! In reality, I'm sorry to say that I was disappointed. This book is billed as having the humorous reviews of the national parks with author added drawings. In reality, it's more of a travel book than being a funny book of bad reviews. I love the national parks. I've visited some, I've read multiple books about them, and I've watched documentaries and specials about them. I already know a lot of information about them, so I really wasn't looking for another fact book. I was looking for a good laugh about people's reviews of these amazing parks. There were reviews, but they were like one sentence, and then the majority of the page was information about the parks. I really, really wanted a compilation of bad/funny reviews, and I just didn't get it with this book. This isn't a bad book, just modify your expectations.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelsie Christensen

    Found this cute little book on vacation and had to get it! I love the fun it pokes at people who critique nature. National parks are my favorite thing ever, so I loved learning about all of them more. The drawings are also absolutely superb and I have now followed all of her social media’s lol. Absolutely adored this book and I’m so happy I found it!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    Would have loved to see fewer parks and more reviews.

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