What book are you reading now


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Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 1, 2011 - 05:34pm PT
Or a book or books you have recently read. Climbing books preferred, but any book of fiction or non-fiction. Title and author with a short description of the contents.

Credit: Donald Thompson

This book is an absolute classic. Details the bygone eras of mountaineering from the earliest Alpine adventures to the first ascents of the Himalayan peaks. Reads like a novel at times. Adventure writing at its

Credit: Donald Thompson

The late middle-ages in all its glory and decay, and black plagues.

Credit: Donald Thompson

A very well written chronicle of the great age of central African exploration. The source of the Nile, Speke, Burton,Stanley,Livingstone,and Pasha Gordon- they're all here.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 1, 2011 - 05:41pm PT
The Name of the Wind Patrick Roth fuss

Mountain climber
Aug 1, 2011 - 05:45pm PT
I've been rereading something I enjoyed when it first came out:

"The Beginning of Wisdom - Reading Genesis"

Leon Kass

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 1, 2011 - 05:56pm PT
that reminds me, I just read R. Crumb's illustrated, Genesis.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 1, 2011 - 06:06pm PT
Just finished Killing Dragons by Fergus Fleming. On par with his Barrow's Boys. (It shares some common material too.) Now I gotta give James Ramsey's son, Bill, a call.

Some interesting choices there Donald.
I gave my mom's copy of A Distant Mirror to a young art student, but no way am I giving away my 19th century edition of Le Decameron even if my french still sux (yeah, I know, but it is a french translation my grandma owned).
Likewise I'm hanging onto my dad's first editions of The White Nile and The Fatal Impact as well as Emil Ludwig's The Nile.

Ten years ago I was reading (my paperback edition of) The Fatal Impact by the terrace of the Cliff Lodge when, to drop another name, Liz and Royal Robbins walked by. Liz was curious as to what I was reading and was surprised that it is not a book about climbing. lol

Woody's recommend of The Last Stand Of The Tin Can Sailors was so good that I just started Hornfischer's Ship of Ghosts.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Aug 1, 2011 - 06:11pm PT
Recently finished Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. My wife and I had been talking to a Nigerian and he'd mentioned the story, and I'd planned on getting a copy. My son had it assigned as his summer reading, so I picked it up and finished it pretty quickly.

I enjoyed the storytelling, insight into life in rural Africa, and the dual theme of how our actions and "modern life" encroaching on traditions can have quite negative effects.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 1, 2011 - 06:19pm PT
Piton Ron:
Tell Bill that his Dad's masterpiece is still loved and treasured. I have a first edition copy with a dust jacket identical to the one pictured above. If ever there were a book to curl up with on a cold winter night this is it.
There was a movie of the same name released 1947 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039462/

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Aug 1, 2011 - 08:27pm PT
After having it recommended to me over a year ago, I've begun reading it and I'm really enjoying it. I think it's important to understand, on very deep levels, the feminine points of view. This book is like a guidebook, not a topo, to the feminine psyche.

Credit: BooDawg

Some reviews:

"Recommended for men who dare to run with women who run with the wolves."

-Sam Keen, author of "Fire in the Belly."

"Through myth, fairy tale, and an extended 'soul conversation,' Estes calls back into life the wild neglected places of the feminine psyche. This is an inspiring and complassionate book."

Trad climber
Aug 1, 2011 - 08:37pm PT
tolman_paul, I read that one too this year. The ending was sure unexpected. Such a macho protagonist, but I felt for him once the colonizers move in.

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Aug 1, 2011 - 08:41pm PT
Right now I am reading Jared Ogden's Big Wall book....for the third time. Still trying to grasp all the concepts and ideas, and then take them outside.

So far, so good. Hauling will be coming up soon though. Want to get better at frog jugging first.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Aug 1, 2011 - 09:11pm PT
Crime and Punishment- Dostoyevsky
The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd
The History of America- Zinn- probably the best book I have ever read and I have probably read thousands of history books in my life. There is a memorable quote and new epiphany on every single page.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 1, 2011 - 09:35pm PT
Boo Dawg,
tell us how you feel at the end of the month.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 1, 2011 - 09:39pm PT
Somebody, please, kindly inform poor BooDawg that the sensitive metro types
are poorly suffered on ST; bad things have happened to their ropes.

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Aug 1, 2011 - 09:51pm PT
Credit: Mtnmun
Exercise 6 days a week and reduce you chance of getting cancer, heart disease and alzheimer's by 70%.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Aug 1, 2011 - 09:58pm PT
Almanac of the Dead

Leslie Marmon Silko

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 1, 2011 - 10:04pm PT
Riley, Gary and I climbed 'climb and punishment' last Thursday. You know that the tv character Columbo, is based on the detective in Crime and Punishment? At one point, as he's leaving he turns around and confronts Raskolnikov with, "you know, just one thing bothers me....."

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Aug 1, 2011 - 10:09pm PT
Currently pouring through three books. All have some very interesting insights and aspects.

Credit: Salamanizer

Credit: Salamanizer

Credit: Salamanizer
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Aug 2, 2011 - 08:01am PT
"The Ascent of Rum Doodle"
W.E. Bowman

I'm re-reading this parody of mountaineering expeditions. Info is on Wikipedia. I especially enjoyed the antics of the expeditions cook-Pong. The Guardian includes it in it's list of "1000 novels everyone must read". It was part of our groups' early '60's indoctrination to climbing.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 2, 2011 - 08:25am PT
Spirit of the Hills by Dan O'Brien. I don't know how it reached my bookcase
but I am pleasantly surprised. Best of all it involves Native Americans,
guns, a stoopid Forest Service district ranger, a classic Park Service LEO who
sees terrorists behind every tree at Mount Rushmore, and wolves!!!! Yes,
campers, this could be the go-to book for every tacohead! Interestingly it
takes place in the 70's so the 'terrorists' are the Native Americans trying to
take back the Black Hills.

I'm also reading Fur, Fortune, and Empire, by Eric Jay Dolin.
Did you know that BITD the Catholic Church permitted the eating of beavers'
tails on Fridays as the beaver lived underwater and

"such meat was viewed as "cold" and apparently unlikely to excite libidinous passions."

More interesting might be that the Indians saw the beaver's tail in the exact
opposite and it

"was usually reserved for the sachem or chief, and was, as a seventeenth-century
English observer of Indians in lower New England noted, "of such masculine
virtue, that if some of our Ladies knew the benefit thereof, they would desire
to have ships sent of purpose, to trade for the tail alone."

I've been thinking of starting a beaver appreciation thread but that could
get out of hand here.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 2, 2011 - 10:50am PT
City at the End of Time - Greg Bear

Just finished, Between a Rock and a Hard Place - Aron Ralston

An interesting read, he was kind of an over enthusiastic neophyte when he first started mountaineering (as were a lot of us), but he certainly learned some skills that allowed him to make it through that terrifying situation (somewhat self induced).
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