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 Post subject: Random Book Reviews
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:08 am 
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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


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:31 am 
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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.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:07 am 
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i though kiss or kill was an amazing read

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:39 am 
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Uh - I'm not gonna touch that Clarence Thomas review. I'm sure you would get many excellent opinions over on ttips, though. :wink:

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.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:47 am 
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I've heard the Clarence Thomas book is good as well. I may pick it up.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Book Reviews
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:33 am 
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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.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:45 am 
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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.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:46 am 
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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.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:16 am 
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Someone just lent me 3 Cups of Tea - Story of Mountaineer turned Himalayan school builder Greg Mortenson.

So far so good, pretty inspiring.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:23 am 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Book Reviews
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:35 pm 
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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.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:37 pm 
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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.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:10 pm 
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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.

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