Apr 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm #1289166
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
Healing up from minor surgery this week and I'm trying to find something to read. Mountains, running, wandering, climbing, early California, the American West, are all topics I can't get enough of, especially stories involving hardship and the early mountain men. What you got?
Btw, Dylan, thanks for recommending "You Can't Win", its now one of my favorite books.Apr 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm #1871156
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. I love his prose…Fiction, but set in the west, loosely based on the exploits of the Glanton Gang (scalp hunters who I went on to study after this book). Pretty insane stuff. Also good is the Border Trilogy, also McCarthy. Again, not the nonfiction you're possibly looking for, but some pretty great writing.
Empire of the Summer Moon (S.C. Gwynne)is pretty good historical reading…Story of Quanah Parker and the Comanche resistance on the plains. Loosely overlaps with some of the period/events in Blood Meridian.
Still think you need to check out Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath…I know you like the period.
Could loan you any of these….
I still have to borrow You Can't Win…Apr 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm #1871159
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Well, since you just did R2R2R how about
The Man Who Walked Through Time, by Colin Fletcher
Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of the Grand Canyon, by Butler & Myers
Also good reads by Fletcher,
The Thousand Mile Summer
The Man from the CaveApr 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm #1871164
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Into the Wild – about a guy that went into the wild in Alaska surviving on the land but eventually dies
or Into Thin air – Everest climbing accidentApr 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm #1871167
Laurie Ann MarchMember
@laurie_annLocale: Ontario, Canada
Forever on the Mountain by James Tabor
Touching My Father's Soul by Jamling NorgayApr 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm #1871175
@leighbLocale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
not exactly in your genre but
Sunk without a Sound The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen & Bessie Hyde by Brad Dimrock
A Long Trek Home by Erin McKittrick
Good luck with your recovery!Apr 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm #1871194
In Trouble Again: A Journey Between the Orinoco and the Amazon, by Redmond O'Hanlon, or any O'Hanlon book, really. He's a hoot, a regular riot. And a crazy man. Love his writing, you'll laugh all night long.Apr 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm #1871203
Paddle to the Amazon by Don Starkell … 12000 miles by canoe from Winnipeg to the mouth of the AmazonApr 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm #1871209
If you have a Kindle, there's a ton of folks who've written up their AT PCT and CDT hikes. I can easily "loan" you some of those…..PM for details.Apr 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm #1871211
@bookLocale: Northern California
"The Last Season"; I've sadly forgotten the author. Any synopsis won't do it justice; however, the book is about a Sierra Nevada park ranger with youthful literary ambitions–a connection to Wallace Stegner–early love and a mysterious death…ah heck just read the book!
Also: John Muir is a really good writer. Let me re-state the obvious. So is John McPhee. Any of McPhee's books on Alaska are great; so is "The Control of Nature"; and above all his Pulitzer Prize winning "Annals of the Former World".
And of course Edward Abbey.
Other than that, the new translations of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky by the Pevears are terrific. I always like the Russians when I'm bed-ridden. I also like them when I'm hiking!
Oh and David Mitchell is the best contemporary writer going, imho; try Cloud Atlas if you like meaty and challenging with big rewards.
Give us something here: what's the last book or two that you enjoyed?Apr 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm #1871213
deletedApr 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm #1871244
I keep hearing comics talking about "50 Shades of Grey".Apr 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm #1871250
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
I enjoyed "you cant win" by Jack Black. Love the way they talked, learning all the early slang terms and just the hobo life, fascinating stuff. Also, many of John Muirs writings held me for a while, I'm a nature boy at heart. Recently, " for whom the bell tolls", very good as well. Already started Craig's suggestion, "grapes of Wrath", and I have to say so far, the way this guy describes the world around him, I'm hooked.
Keep them coming!Apr 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm #1871254
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Early California and the American West?
Sierra Crossing, First Roads To California
by Thomas Frederick Howard
–B.G.–Apr 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm #1871259
I second the recommendation for the Quanah Parker history, just read it recently myself.
In the Land of White Death, by Valerian Albanov.
Depending on whether your surgery was anywhere near your rib cage or belly, you might not want to follow this recommendation: anything by Tim Cahill, particularly Road Fever. But you will laugh hard and often, so beware.Apr 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm #1871263
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
+1 Blood Meridian. Brutal, terrifying, use of language that rivals any of the classics.
Ordeal by Hunger hits all your topics. It's the first (and maybe the best) well-researched history of the Donner Party. Written by George R. Stewart, a fantastic California writer (prof. at Berkeley for years) who's somewhat neglected these days. Also wrote the novel Storm (where the main character is a storm ravaging the CA coast–gave birth to the tradition of naming storms/hurricanes and inspired the song, "They Call the Wind Maria." And wrote Names on the Land, an amazing book about place names across America. And his masterwork, Earth Abides, a (nominally) post-apocalyptic novel unlike any other in the genre (also one of the first of that type).
Other good non-fiction would be Wilderness and the American Mind, Roderick Nash; Basin and Range, John McPhee; and Crossing Open Ground, Barry Lopez.
Edit: missed the McPhee recommendation up thread. So that's a +1 as well.Apr 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm #1871266
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Steve Roper's Sierra High Route has a lot of history about the early explorers and climbers in the area.
Mount Whitney: Mountain Lore From the Whitney Store, by Thompson & Newbold is interesting.
And I Alone Survived, by Lauren Elder is a true story about a small plane crash near the Sierra Crest.
Edward Abbey, just about anything is good – some is a little historical.
Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero is good.Apr 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm #1871267
Hunger Games TrilogyApr 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm #1871269
if you like chic lit then "wild"Apr 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm #1871270
Undaunted Courage: Meriweather Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, by Stephen Ambrose.
The Lewis & Clark Expedition. Fascinating. Love Ambrose's style of writing.Apr 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm #1871273
@creachenLocale: East Bay
(Hatchet) A survival story in the wilderness and a quick read.Apr 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm #1871276
@meldLocale: The here and now.
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry DanaApr 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm #1871285
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
"Listening for Coyote" by William L Sullivan. Oregon author hikes across the state from Cape Blanco to the bottom of Hell's Canyon and meets many interesting people as well as scenery. His purpose was to link most of the wilderness areas in Oregon shortly after the 1984 Wilderness Act, but it's the people he met who provide the most interest.Apr 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm #1871286
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Phillip Connors
Description on Amazon:
A decade ago Philip Connors left work as an editor at the Wall Street Journal and talked his way into a job far from the streets of lower Manhattan: working as one of the last fire lookouts in America. Spending nearly half the year in a 7' x 7' tower, 10,000 feet above sea level in remote New Mexico, his tasks were simple: keep watch over one of the most fire-prone forests in the country and sound the alarm at the first sign of smoke.
Fire Season is Connors's remarkable reflection on work, our place in the wild, and the charms of solitude. The landscape over which he keeps watch is rugged and roadless—it was the first region in the world to be officially placed off limits to industrial machines—and it typically gets hit by lightning more than 30,000 times per year. Connors recounts his days and nights in this forbidding land, untethered from the comforts of modern life: the eerie pleasure of being alone in his glass-walled perch with only his dog Alice for company; occasional visits from smokejumpers and long-distance hikers; the strange dance of communion and wariness with bears, elk, and other wild creatures; trips to visit the hidden graves of buffalo soldiers slain during the Apache wars of the nineteenth century; and always the majesty and might of lightning storms and untamed fire.
Written with narrative verve and startling beauty, and filled with reflections on his literary forebears who also served as lookouts—among them Edward Abbey, Jack Kerouac, Norman Maclean, and Gary Snyder—Fire Season is a book to stand the test of time.
*This is high on my list to read Adan- have only heard good things about this book, but cannot recommend it with any authority, just hearsay my friend. We could read it together and do a little post R2R2R long distance book club. ;-p
I've read Cormac's "The Road", "No Country for Old Men", as well as "All the Pretty Horses". I'm going to take Craig up on the suggestion for "Blood Meridian", its the first in McCarthy's Border Trilogy. You should do the same.Apr 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm #1871299
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
Mountaineering in the SIerra Nevada. And it's out of copyright, so it's free on a Kindle or Nook. Great story about one of California's first geologists. He climbs several peaks in the Sierra in hobnail boots, using only a lariat that he borrows from a mule drive for a climbing rope. And his character sketches of the people he meets in the early days of California are VERY funny.
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