Antarctica - Standing at the Bottom of the World (US$2.99, universal) is a unique book app for iOS that documents the travels of a writer in his 80s and his grandson. The pair went on a quest to visit the desolate continent and now they're sharing the trip with readers in a unique voice and with interesting insights.
The book succeeds largely due to the skills of Robert Flynn, an award-winning writer and member of the Texas Literary Hall of Fame. The book features maps, photos, drawings and links to additional information.
Antarctica is not an easy place to visit, and the book documents the trials of just getting there. One doesn't simply hop on a plane and go. There are also colorful chapters on navigating the Drake Passage, and going around Cape Horn.
I like Flynn's down-to-earth writing style. He's not just an observer, he is able to bring some insights into this place that few of us will ever see.
If I have any criticism of the book, it is that the pictures are generally of snapshot quality. They are fine for what they are, but a more experienced photographer would have come back with images that better reflect the stunning scenery and environment. I'd also like to have the ability to search the text.
Having said that, Antarctica is a terrific read. It's always been a place I'd love to visit, and reading this book has made me even more excited to give it a try. If you'd like to sample the book you can read an excerpt at the publisher's website.
Antarctica - Standing on the Bottom of the World requires iOS 4.3 or later. It's optimized for the iPhone 5.