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  • #569287
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    I don’t want to totally blow our bro bra snowboarding cover but thought I’d share a few quick book reviews:

    Kiss or Kill-Confessions of a Serial Climber by Mark Twight
    This is is a collection of Twight’s writing over a ten year or so period. It’s pretty cool but I don’t share Twight’s dark outlook on life, ie he seems like a dick. He’s a pretty good writer and no one can argue about his mountaineering feats.

    The Hard Way-Stories of Danger Survival and the Soul of Adventure by Mark Jenkins
    This is another collection of short stories. I really like Jenkins writing styleand sense of humor. I really liked the variety of adventures in this book. One of the short stories is an 8 day account of winter tour through the Wind River range which included an ascent of Gannett peak. Overall a pretty good read.

    Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner
    This is a classic for those interested in water and the settling of the west. It describes in great detail the Army Corps of Eng., Dept. of Reclaimation, LA Water District and other agencies fleecing of the tax payers inorder to get dams built throughout the 1940-60’s. If your interested in this kind of historical stuff you’ll love it, if not you be bored to death.

    One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith from the jounals and photographs of Richerard Proenneke
    This is a great book. It’s not the most well written piece ever but very interesting. This dude got bummed out so he decided to build himself a cabin the in backcountry of Alaska. A few tools and no lumber. Great stories of him fishing, working on his cabin, freezing his balls off, etc. Check it out if you can find it.

    No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs and David Roberts
    Better than Twight’s book but not the best read ever. I guess since I’m not really into climbing 20,000 foot peaks the climbing stories start to blend. Not a bad book though

    #599861
    lewmt
    570 Posts

    Thanks for the book reviews eco – was wandering through a bookstore last night hoping for something new & only came away w/some snowporn mag.

    Read The Hard Way – that is a good book.

    The Alaska book looks good too. Thanks

    I know this is going to probably get flamed but 1 of the best books I’ve read in a long time is “My Grandfather’s Son” by Clarence Thomas – his autobiography. Its actually an interesting journey through his life & not that much about legal or political specifics. Having grown up in 60’s-70’s south I can relate to a lot of what he deals with. Ok my flame suit is on now – fire away.

    #599862
    Camgina
    91 Posts

    i though kiss or kill was an amazing read

    #599863
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    Uh – I’m not gonna touch that Clarence Thomas review. I’m sure you would get many excellent opinions over on ttips, though. 😉

    I’m 1/2 way through ‘On the Ridge Between Life and Death – A Climbing Life Reexamined’ by David Roberts. He lost a partner climbing the west face of Mt. Huntington in Alaska in 1965. The writing has been riviting and it’s amazing to me what these guys were able to accomplish without the benefit of capalene underpants. But you also kind of figure out that the dude has a screw loose in terms of the amount of risk he’s willing to undertake.

    But I’m looking forward to the 2nd half of the book. He wrote a widely-read essay in the 70’s where he concluded that the climbing life was worth the risk, and in this book he reexamines that proposition now that he has a wider view of life.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #599864
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    I’ve heard the Clarence Thomas book is good as well. I may pick it up.

    #599865
    mmcpheet
    98 Posts

    @ecobrad wrote:

    Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner
    This is a classic for those interested in water and the settling of the west. It describes in great detail the Army Corps of Eng., Dept. of Reclaimation, LA Water District and other agencies fleecing of the tax payers inorder to get dams built throughout the 1940-60’s. If your interested in this kind of historical stuff you’ll love it, if not you be bored to death.

    I’ll have to pick this one up. Water and the California Dream by David Carle is along those same lines, but focuses more on the Los Angeles area and the resources that sustain it beyond what would be there if local sources were used.

    #599866
    dishwasher-dave
    460 Posts

    Storm over Mono: The Mono Lake Battle and the California Water Future More water issues, but great fotos and stories of the struggle. I found it interesting to read about Owen’s Lake which was bigger than Mono, but sucked dry before anyone really noticed. Except the local farmers who used bombs and guns to express their unhappiness.

    Reading Lolita in Tehran Took a minute to get into it, but found it fascinating.

    Shackleton’s Stowaway Quick reading young adult fictionalized account of the guy who stowed away on that epic survival story. When he came out of hiding Shackleton told him that when things go bad the stowaway gets eaten first (he was kidding).

    The Omnivores Dilemma Excellent.

    The Twight book (collection really) is classic, but I like the little stories in his Extreme Alpinism even more. Viesturs’s book drags, but it’s impressive to see how often that dude went down when he was almost to the top of something.

    #599867
    mtnrider
    740 Posts

    I haven’t been reading as much lately but

    Hell’s Angel The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the HAMC
    by Ralph “Sonny” Barger with Keith and Kent Zimmerman was good if you’re into that stuff.

    #599868
    DentalFlossTycoon
    112 Posts

    Someone just lent me 3 Cups of Tea – Story of Mountaineer turned Himalayan school builder Greg Mortenson.

    So far so good, pretty inspiring.

    #599869
    UTAH
    830 Posts

    I appreciate the reviews too. I read Mark Twight’s book as well it was an interesting perspective, not one I share. My two favorite books, everyone must read:

    In Search of Captain Zero-an adventure surf novel about a guy who surfs his way down the west coast to Central America in search of an old friend who disapeared down there looking for the perfect wave. Throughout the whole novel the author reflects on his adventures as a drug runner and his crazy stories. He also reflects on the spiritual aspect of surfing which any bc snowboarder can relate perfectly too.

    Stephen Koch’s book (forget the title)– about when he rode his bike carrying all his climbing gear from switzerland to everest and then climbed everest. It’s insane, his passion is unmatched and it’s a good mix of climbing adventure and bike touring adventure. He goes through some crazy places in the world.

    #599870
    SchralphMacchio
    474 Posts

    @mmcpheet wrote:

    @ecobrad wrote:

    Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner
    This is a classic for those interested in water and the settling of the west. It describes in great detail the Army Corps of Eng., Dept. of Reclaimation, LA Water District and other agencies fleecing of the tax payers inorder to get dams built throughout the 1940-60’s. If your interested in this kind of historical stuff you’ll love it, if not you be bored to death.

    I’ll have to pick this one up. Water and the California Dream by David Carle is along those same lines, but focuses more on the Los Angeles area and the resources that sustain it beyond what would be there if local sources were used.

    I can’t recommend this enough. It’s part hydrogeology lesson part political history. The history stuff can get boring if you’re not into it. The science stuff can get boring if you’re not into it. If you want to know why things are the way they are, it’s fascinating as all hell.

    This book literally changed my life. Once you combine the information in this book with knowledge of our food and energy resources, you realize that we have some serious challenges at home and abroad in meeting our societal needs.

    A much less academic book that gets at these issues all over the world is called When the Rivers Run Dry by Fred Pearce. His writing style is colloquial and he always finds a way to relate facts that may have little context to the average person to things that people understand. The book really highlights our relationship with watersheds from multiple perspectives, from politics to engineering to cultural traditions.

    #599871
    SchralphMacchio
    474 Posts

    Oh yeah, and David Carle is great too. He wrote the Field Guide to Water in California that was published through UC Press. I got my copy from Cody’s for $17 and it was worth every cent. GREAT book to take with you when backpackging through the Sierra or Cascades too because you get to relate the mountain ranges to all the watersheds and lost wetlands.

    #599872
    BastrdSonOfElvis
    80 Posts

    I’m still laughing about “SchralphMaccio”. Classic.

    One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey…did this take place in the early ’60s? Was this the guy that took a movie camera with him and recorded it all, survivor man style? I saw a documentary about this guy maybe, on the history channel I think. It was amazing. He brought a few metal tools and an ax head with him and that was about it. He even made the ax handle. Then he proceeded to chop trees, make lumber and construct a full on log cabin. It made me think about how I can barely repair a screan door and question if “a pair of testicles” makes a man, as the Dude says, or if real men even exist anymore. I’d like to get ahold of this book.

    #599873
    Tophervw
    203 Posts

    @bastrdsonofelvis wrote:

    I’m still laughing about “SchralphMaccio”. Classic.

    Was this the guy that took a movie camera with him and recorded it all, survivor man style?

    Yea, PBS ran it a few years back here in Seattle, I am sure it would be pretty easy to track down.

    I really have enjoyed David Roberts work. I am reading 4 against the arctic right now, will review when I complete it. It is amazing these guys (shipwrecked Russians) survived 6 years in the most inhospitable part of the north. Aside from the epic survival moves by Shackleton, these dudes are about as tough as they come. Check it out if you dig Roberts.

    #599874
    InTheMountains
    215 Posts

    @utah wrote:

    In Search of Captain Zero-an adventure surf novel about a guy who surfs his way down the west coast to Central America in search of an old friend who disapeared down there looking for the perfect wave. Throughout the whole novel the author reflects on his adventures as a drug runner and his crazy stories. He also reflects on the spiritual aspect of surfing which any bc snowboarder can relate perfectly too.

    Have you read his other book Cosmic Banditos? It’s hilarious…autobiographical bits mixed with fantasy.

    One of my all time favourites Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage by Hermann Buhl…had me carrying snowballs into the office everyday to harden the hands against the cold.
    Don’t know if it made any difference, but it certainly solidified my reputation in staid ontario as a lunatic.

    #599875
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey…did this take place in the early ’60s? Was this the guy that took a movie camera with him and recorded it all, survivor man style? I saw a documentary about this guy maybe, on the history channel I think. It was amazing. He brought a few metal tools and an ax head with him and that was about it. He even made the ax handle. Then he proceeded to chop trees, make lumber and construct a full on log cabin. It made me think about how I can barely repair a screan door and question if “a pair of testicles” makes a man, as the Dude says, or if real men even exist anymore. I’d like to get ahold of this book.

    Sounds like the same guy. He constructed a bad ass cabin, fireplace and all. Amazing story. Let me know if you can’t find the book and I’ll loan you mine.

    #599876
    utasidian
    120 Posts

    ha, Cosmic Banditos I thought I’d never run into anyone else who read that book. I’m waiting for In Search of Captain Zero form the library. Can’t wait to read it.

    #599877
    murph
    5 Posts

    Deep Survival: Who lives, Who dies and Why by Laurence Gonzales.

    #599878
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    ^ Sounds interesting.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #599879
    old skool
    2 Posts

    I’ve read Cosmic Banditos and In Search of Captain Zero, but my all time favorite surf read is Daniel Duane’s, Caught Inside. I’ve read it a dozen times and always find something new. It is an autobiography of a Fella who spends a whole year surfing an off-the-beaten-path break in the Santa Cruz area. Talks about surfing roots, culture, and thoughts relating to waiting for the next wave of life. I also dig that Alone in the Wilderness stuff. That Dick guy is amazing. There is also a companion DVD that he filmed himself on an old tripod. Check it out from PBS, or your local library. I use it as a read and lesson in my 7th and 8th grade classrooms. These kids are tough to please but they ate this stuff up.

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