What Book Are You Reading Now, Round 2.

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Messages 1 - 628 of total 628 in this topic
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 10, 2014 - 05:58am PT
One of the best OT threads evidently has bitten the cosmic dust; I think Donald Thompson started it(?). He either pulled the plug on all his posts and topics he authored or it was done for him.

The thread was apolitical in nature and posts were absent of the drama and bitterness that can be found elsewhere. It was a wonderful source of reading material and should not be lost or MIA as a casualty of bad manners, so this is an attempt to revive it.


http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1570154&tn=700

At any rate this is what I've been reading.

Our Southern Highlanders by Horace Kephart
Shattered Sword by Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
Fly Boys by James Bradley
Night Comes To The Cumberlands by Harry M Caudill



richross

Trad climber
Aug 10, 2014 - 07:09am PT
Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon


SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 11, 2014 - 07:08am PT

The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam
Karla

climber
Colorado
Aug 11, 2014 - 07:35am PT
Nice one Steve.

Finishing: War in a Time of Peace - David Halberstam
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Aug 11, 2014 - 07:39am PT

yeah I picked up quite a few reads from that thread...good stuff.


Phil Harwood's Canoeing the Congo (the first source to sea descent of the Congo River) is awesome and has kept me up late the last two nights.

Hope to finish it today as I need my rest.


here's the guy's website
cf. http://www.canoeingthecongo.com/home.html



Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 11, 2014 - 07:45am PT
Consciousness and the Social Brain (Michael Graziano) - a contemporary theory of consciousness from a scientific perspective.

Great book for those curious about this big question. The trip down the Congo sounds like a nice change of pace, though.
pb

Sport climber
Sonora Ca
Aug 11, 2014 - 07:59am PT
Ranger Confidential, good alternative perspective to NPS life
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 11, 2014 - 08:00am PT
Another Mans Moccasins
Craig Johnson
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 11, 2014 - 09:14am PT
Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson (in an attempt to further understand the on-going cluster that is the Middle East, as well as one of history's most interesting individuals)

And for ligher reading,
Thereby Hangs A Tail by Spencer Quinn

Thanks for resurrecting the thread. One of the best on ST.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 11, 2014 - 11:04am PT
Currently back in my sci-fi mode, reading - 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
john bald

climber
Aug 11, 2014 - 11:16am PT
Fire Season

On a recommend from the Supertopo wildfire thread.
So far, I know all the guys the story depicts from my old fire crew. The names were changed to protect the innocent.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 11, 2014 - 11:30am PT
Roxy, thanks for that, I love me some good nutter books. What was he thinking?
I knew straight away he couldn't have canoed some of those drops but still
a very impressive, if questionable, feat. I enjoyed reading his "Driving
Through Zaire" article on his website. My wife's family spent years there
so the tales of corruption will bring knowing nods when they see this.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 11, 2014 - 02:20pm PT

Karla
Halberstam is an incredible writer. I've also read his
The Reckoning about Detroit & the auto industry.
What's yours about?
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2014 - 07:14am PT
I've read 2 books by Halberstam, The Best & The Brightest and The Fifties. I intend on reading The Summer of '49 next.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Aug 12, 2014 - 07:17am PT
"We the Drowned"
best Norwegian Novel, a nautical adventure, a towns history, crazy folks. It was perfect.
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
Aug 12, 2014 - 07:53am PT
A biography on Jefferson
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 12, 2014 - 10:54am PT
Only two going on right now.
This one's due back 8/20-something.
couchmaster

climber
Aug 12, 2014 - 11:26am PT
Ben Franklins biography.
Howard71

Trad climber
Belen, New Mexico
Aug 12, 2014 - 01:26pm PT
The Boys In The Boat
zBrown

Ice climber
Brujò de la Playa
Aug 12, 2014 - 01:29pm PT
Gonna have to report that my list is empty right now. Michele has been reading the The Girl with The Dragon Tatoo series.

I have read some manuals in the service of repairing a GE refrigerator and Samsung LCD tv.

TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 13, 2014 - 07:00pm PT
A really frightening one!

Makes Mein Kampf etc. look like Dr Seuss!

http://azelin.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/abu-bakr-naji-the-management-of-savagery-the-most-critical-stage-through-which-the-umma-will-pass.pdf

The ISIS playbook translated.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 13, 2014 - 09:19pm PT
With the Old Breed, by E.B. Sledge. A Marine's account of the campaigns at Peleliu and Okinawa, and the basis for the solid HBO minseries, The Pacific. Absolutely amazing what those guys had to do with such little support compared to the European front.
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, or In What Time Zone Am I?
Aug 13, 2014 - 10:27pm PT
The Last Empty Places, a Past and Present Journey through the Blank Spots on the American Map. By Peter Stark

Susan

Edit
IT's about how the internet is messing with our brains.
As you would say, or grunt. GUFFAW
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Aug 13, 2014 - 11:22pm PT
Collected Fictions

Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Huxley

Argentine author, ranging from Islamic fantasy to gaucho frontier campfire stories, 1940 - 1970's collection. I enjoy him so much that I've one edition I've quartered down the spine, to have some backcountry reading of managable weight. Of course, if I were Norman Clyde, I'd carry the Latin translation so it'd last longer! ; )
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2014 - 02:08am PT
fat dad, now that you have read The Old Breed, by Sledge, read The Pacific, by Hugh Ambrose. It focuses on Sledge and other marines that fought with him.

"Sledgehammer" went on to be professor of biology; but the war left a cloud over him for the rest of his days.

Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 14, 2014 - 02:16pm PT
Tobia, yes, I remember Sidney Phillips talking about that in the Ken Burns documentary, The War. Not sure how anyone would get over that really. Even those who lived gave a terrific sacrifice.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Aug 14, 2014 - 02:49pm PT
Been reading this old one from 1935 that has not seen any re-prints I don't think. Very intimate account of the Russian gulags and an escape to Finland right after the Bolshevik revolution and establishment of the Communist state.

https://archive.org/details/ispeakforthesile013752mbp


NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Aug 14, 2014 - 05:01pm PT
Right up that alley, I enjoyed reading A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich


I just finished reading Winter of the World by Ken Follett... part two in a series covering the 20th century, part of the sweeping historical epic genre. It's a step above typical pulp fiction, quite enjoyable to read and somewhat educational, but can't really say it's classic literature. There is a significant dose of gratuitous sex and violence to keep the historical commentary couched in dialog from becoming too dry. Well, maybe the sex is gratuitous to sell books, but the violence actually shied away from much of what could have been done given the grisly history covered in the period (rise of Nazis, Jewish persecution, WWII, and war crimes by multiple groups during and immediately after the war).
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Aug 15, 2014 - 08:29am PT
Aw Mouse, i love Ralph Moody! His "Little Britches"series about a young boy growing up on a colorado farm is the perfect antidote to all of today's dystopian young adult sheet. Also can i put in a plug for the publisher, Bison Imprints of the University of Nebraska Press-best press for western reprints!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Aug 15, 2014 - 09:18am PT
Nice thread. I'm 1/3 of the way through "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" by Elizabeth Kolbert.

Well written and a great blend of science history about the recognition in the 1800s that some species had disappeared from the earth and the current day recognition that extinction rates for all kinds of organisms are at much higher levels than have been seen on earth since the last big die off associated with dino demise.
Byran

climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 15, 2014 - 09:40am PT
Currently reading Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France". I don't know if I'd highly recommend it, as it can be a bit tedious and long-winded at times. Burke has a tendency to overstate his claims and repeat the same points over and over. The other issue I have is that it's a 250 page "letter" without any sort of breaks or chapters. These could have at least been inserted into the modern editions by the editor because there are natural breaks and transitions in Burke's argument, and it would be easier to read if they had been thus marked.

On the plus side, Burke makes some interesting points and offers a perspective we don't get much these days. When was the last time you heard someone argue for the superiority a constitutional monarchy over a pure democracy? And Burke makes a convincing argument for the merits of reformation over revolution which still holds strong in modern times.

I'm about 2/3rds through it and will stick with it. It's available at many places free online

https://archive.org/details/reflectionsonthe005907mbp

A few quotes I like so far:

"...make the Revolution a parent of settlement, and not a nursery of future revolutions."

"Of all things, wisdom is the most terrified with epidemical fanaticism, because of all enemies it is that against which she is the least able to furnish any kind of resource."

"Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years. The errors and defects of old establishments are visible and palpable. It calls for little ability to point them out; and where absolute power is given, it requires but a word wholly to abolish the vice and the establishment together."
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Aug 17, 2014 - 10:44am PT
Damn, that was my favorite thread. Wonder why it went the way of the dead?
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Aug 17, 2014 - 10:56am PT
The Emerald Mile
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Aug 18, 2014 - 09:42am PT

I like what Reily said upthread about enjoying a good nutter book...

"The Emerald Mile", yeah that was a full nut read for sure, great story!


Starting reading an old one this weekend, Anne Fisher's "The Salinas: Upside Down River" - published 1945. Cool learning about local history in my area.

Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 18, 2014 - 09:53am PT
Before digging into my current read, I reread Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, which I know I read in high school and maybe once over the following 30 yrs. I forget. Anyways, not a huge Hemingway fan, but definitely enjoyed it more than I remember, particularly the passages about fishing in the Pyrenees. Made me want to be there. Not chewy and thought provoking like Dostoyevsky, etc., but a quick, enjoyable read.
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Oregon
Aug 18, 2014 - 05:46pm PT
Right now, Addison's Cato.

Most influential play in American history.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 18, 2014 - 06:37pm PT
The amazing adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Aug 21, 2014 - 07:33pm PT
The amazing adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon


+1
The Call Of K2 Lou

Mountain climber
North Shore, BC
Aug 21, 2014 - 08:47pm PT
I recently finished up a pile of Joseph Conrad titles that had been on my shelf for a while: Nostromo, Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, re-read Heart of Darkness.

Currently halfway through Absolute Power by David Baldacci. I'm a big fan of Robert Ludlum (Jason Bourne, etc.) and, having read most of his books, I've been searching for similar works/authors.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 21, 2014 - 08:49pm PT
Embers of War-Fredrik Logevall

The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. Indochina from the early 20s to 1954.

A masterpiece on how the US got involved in IndoChina.
Stewart

Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Aug 21, 2014 - 09:28pm PT
Warsaw 1944 by Alexandra Richie: An account of the total destruction of this beautiful city and the murder and/or rape of most of its (until then) surviving inhabitants by the Nazis. Stalin's deliberate refusal to assist these heroic citizens in their time of need is also examined.

The shameful indifference of the Western Allies (especially FDR) to this systematic massacre of a proud people is also a part of this grim narrative.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Aug 21, 2014 - 11:23pm PT
The Amateurs: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold Medal. Also by Halberstam.

Quite remarkable look at elite athletes, who at the very peak of their skills and performance, have nothing material to gain.

Athletics as we rarely see it today.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 21, 2014 - 11:57pm PT
Salty! In the nautical sense.SC Seagoat, you may have this when we get to Facelift, if you've not read it yet...I'll try to remember to bring it along.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 22, 2014 - 04:13am PT
I look forward to reading Halberstam's The Amateurs at some point.

I've just been given a biography a friend is writing to read and tinker with. I hope I can help, that is to say have the skills to have some positive input.
nopantsben

climber
Aug 22, 2014 - 04:33am PT
this is a cool thread. one of the few here...

I finished Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon and Infinite Jest and Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace in the last two weeks. Infinite Jest took some time but also sort of towers above the others there... Maybe the most interesting book (to me) that I have read.

I am now reading Underworld by Don DeLillo. Only a couple pages in, but really fun, and comparatively mellow reading for an ESL like me..
Parallel to Underworld I am reading the German book Der Turm by Uwe Tellkamp. I haven't made up my mind yet on whether or not I want to continue. German literature after 1950 can't even be compared to American literature of that period, is my opinion.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 22, 2014 - 10:15am PT
I've always had a hard time getting around to reading Pynchon, although I feel my reading of 20th Century American novel is lacking until I do. When I do though, Crying seems to be a much better warm up than diving into Gravity's Rainbow. Even some of my lit professors commented that it was a handful.

I find DeLillo terrific. Enjoyed White Noise and Libra quite a bit, and need to get around to reading Underworld, maybe when I finish my current read. To me, though there are a lot of interesting American novelists right now, the only ones I find who border on great are DeLillo and Roth.

Heaney's Beowulf was terrific. Tolkien apparently wrote a translation as well that was found not long ago. That would be interesting to compare.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 22, 2014 - 04:58pm PT
Franzen is not quite there yet.

Wolfe is certainly up there, particularly with the earlier work. Haven't been as impressed post-Bonfire.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 8, 2014 - 04:28am PT
No sh!t. And it's very well-written for a thriller. It reminds me of Graham Greene quite a lot.

But no photos of one-armed levers in a pretzel position, sorry.

Back cover reads (in glorious Blurbish prose):

The Last Heroes is the story of a crime so ingenious, planned by a criminal so calculating that only extraordinary men could bring it off....

is sophisticated suspense--'Makes James Bond look like an innocent....'

is electrifying adventure--'An extravagant entertainment ahead of the genre....'

is a novel of intrigue and infamy--'Clever and plausible...highly successful, a neat blend of sex and incipient violence.'

SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 8, 2014 - 05:14am PT

Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Sep 8, 2014 - 05:19am PT
^^ A fascinating read.


Just finishing this up.
Amazing historical narrative of the "opening up" of Kentucky and the Ohio territories.

A story within a story it has all the main personalities of the times;
Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, Arthur St. CLair, Anthony Wayne, Simon Girty, Tecumseh, Blue Jacket...the list goes on.

Amazing piece of history.

Allan Eckert did his research and has produced some really amazing and accessible work.
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Sep 8, 2014 - 06:37am PT
I've been reading an enormous tome, on the History of the Ottoman Empire, "OSMANS DREAM".

It is the Caliphate ISIS refers to and the historical context places the ISIS phenomenon in another light.

[Click to View Linked Image]
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 12, 2014 - 11:39am PT
These books by Alan Eckert's are good reads: Wilderness Empire, Wilderness War and Conquerors.

My niece sent me this link concerning books and WWII, interesting article.

http://m.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/publishers-gave-away-122951031-books-during-world-war-ii/379893/

Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Sep 12, 2014 - 09:13pm PT
Tobia, I have also read Wilderness Empire and yeah a really great read. I think I read it maybe 20 years ago...I just found it on my bookshelf so I'm going to read it again.

This one was an excellent read.


Sailing north to "overnight" for the winter locked in the ice of the Arctic.

http://www.amazon.com/North-Night-Spiritual-Odyssey-Arctic/dp/076790446X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410581282&sr=1-1&keywords=north+to+the+night
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 13, 2014 - 05:31am PT
Delhi Dog, I was looking for something to read and I think you led me to it,
thanks.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Sep 13, 2014 - 06:49am PT
You'll dig it.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Sep 13, 2014 - 10:22pm PT
"Fourth of July Creek", perfect for all you westerners.
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Sep 14, 2014 - 01:05am PT

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

WanderlustMD

Trad climber
New England
Sep 14, 2014 - 05:42pm PT
A Pale Blue Dot. Quite interesting!
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Sep 14, 2014 - 06:53pm PT
Just finished this.

http://www.amazon.com/Level-Zero-Heroes-Operations-Afghanistan/dp/1250030404

This could be the Old Breed of the Afghanistan campaign.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 14, 2014 - 07:04pm PT
The Achemy of Action by our man Doug Robinson!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Sep 20, 2014 - 09:20am PT
Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy and the Power to Heal by Tom Shroder, which I reviewed for The Washington Post.

Acid Test review

Pretty fascinating stuff about the therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs, particularly in the treatment of PTSD.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Sep 20, 2014 - 05:18pm PT
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2014 - 07:04pm PT
Gregory,
Does the book cover the use of Psilocybin for treatment of depression? I've read a couple of articles (or heard news stories on NPR) about research in that area.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 20, 2014 - 07:10pm PT
Dead Souls was probably the first novel to address the twenty first century style of robber baron consciousness.

Man, were those backwoods Russians prescient or what?

Edit; published in 1842!!
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 21, 2014 - 06:56pm PT
Think of a Number by John Verdon. A detective novel as literature.
two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
Sep 21, 2014 - 08:44pm PT
The Plutonium Files, by Eileen Welsome, 1999. Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning series written by Welsome in the Albuerque Tribune. A very well documented read.

Check out the thumb-nail sketch in Wikipedia at the very least. This is the second time I've read this book through the years,-- some really, really heavy stuff!
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 22, 2014 - 07:44am PT
Being 100 years since the start of The Great War and all...

No Parachute by Arthur Gould Lee. A good read about a no name fighter pilot in a no name squadron flying obsolete aircraft. Lee had an amazing run of good luck. He gives a portrayal of not only the horror of the air war, but also the joy of flying in those days. Imagine cruising at 20,000 feet in an open cockpit wood and doped fabric airplane, no oxygen, and with nothing more than an altimeter and a compass.

‘They could see him struggling to get clear of his harness, then half standing up. They said it was horrible to watch him trying to decide whether to jump. He didn’t and the machine and he were smashed to nothingness. … God imagine his last moments, seeing the ground rush up at him, knowing he was a dead man, unable to move, unable to do anything but wait for it. A parachute could have saved him, there’s no doubt about that. What the hell is wrong with those callous dolts at home that they won’t give them to us?’
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Sep 22, 2014 - 05:38pm PT
Tobia--It does, briefly. The main focus is MDMA and PTSD, but those profoundly pychoactive drugs apparently have lots of therapeutic applications. I found it pretty interesting.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Sep 22, 2014 - 05:42pm PT
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Sep 22, 2014 - 06:32pm PT
The Guns of August

dug it out for the 100 year annivesary of the events. Still chilling after many reads.

On the heroic King Albert of Belgium..."His ultimate passion was mountaineering, which, incognito, he pursued all over Europe."
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 22, 2014 - 07:52pm PT
Albert is one of our fallen brethren.

A passionate alpinist, King Albert I died in a mountaineering accident while climbing alone on the Roche du Vieux Bon Dieu at Marche-les-Dames, in the Ardennes region of Belgium near Namur. His death shocked the world and he was deeply mourned, both in Belgium and abroad. Because King Albert was an expert climber, some questioned the official version of his death. Nonetheless, rumors of murder have been dismissed by most historians. There are two possible explanations for his death: the first was he leaned against a boulder at the top of the mountain which became dislodged; or two, the pinnacle to which his rope was belayed had broken, causing him to fall about sixty feet.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/24912558
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Sep 22, 2014 - 08:07pm PT
I've just re-read The Forever War. I think Dexter Filkins especially captured the contradictions wrapped around every aspect of the war in Iraq. There is a scene he describes where during the battle of Falluja in 2004, amidst the sound of guns and bombs, one can hear the rally from the local minaret to the neighborhood people to pick up their weapons and fight the invading Americans. At the same time, the Marines are blasting Hell's Bells by AC/DC at full volume on an outdoor sound system they had brought along to help with battle psyche.

I read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini at the end of the summer. I just really enjoy how his novels span lifetimes, and his descriptions of Afghanistan and its culture. As with his other books, one feels the regrets that his characters tend to carry throughout their lives, but ultimately his stories are uplifting.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Sep 22, 2014 - 09:49pm PT
Blood Brotherhoods, John Dickie's 800 page account of the rise of organized crime in Italy since 1860 or so:

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Brotherhoods-John-Dickie/dp/034096393X

What happens when an entire society is corrupted by extortion, graft and murder. A real page turner. I like to read it in short snippets over breakfast. It's good in a way for the USA that Christian Sunday School cadets like Herbert Hoover built and entrenched themselves in the FBI and DOJ where they remained incorruptible (if reactionary) Christian soldiers. Now the Italian police force on the other hand . . . !!!!!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 23, 2014 - 02:55am PT
hey there say, sierra ledge rat... man oh man, what a book!

"the backyard blacksmith"

:)


say, please, wow, hope you can post on what things you learn to make:

in the 'what are you building thread'


:)
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Sep 23, 2014 - 03:36am PT
Edward abbey
Desert Solitaire

One of the best nature/ society books ever !
bookworm

Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Sep 23, 2014 - 05:40am PT
just finished H.W. Brands' biography of Grant--superb writing about the most underrated and underappreciated general in american history

also read Winston Grooms' "Shiloh" and "Vicksburg"
TwistedCrank

climber
Released into general population, Idaho
Sep 23, 2014 - 06:23am PT
De spam bump
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Sep 23, 2014 - 12:27pm PT
I don't read anymore.... in fact I may have forgotten how. ha
But books on tape, Teaching Company University lectures and Podcasts keep me going.

Just finished a great pod-cast on Genghis Khan. Great "read". 5 free pod-casts of about 1.5 hours each. What I guy he was. Biggest empire in human history I believe. From Beijing to Turkey or something... even into parts of Russia. His 'hordes' used to ride 120 miles overnight, attack a city, murder 20,000 people then ride home.... non-stop (these 'facts' from some other book I read years back). Kind of like the nose in a day. Imagine 20,000 of the most talented horsemen and dynamic archers in history galloping down on your town. They regularly would kill every single man women and child. Even sent teams back a few days later to make sure no one had survived.

They say he may have been responsible for 60,000,000 deaths. Hitler, Stalin and Mao couldn't compare.

anyway... the pod cast. Dan Carlin, hardcore history. The ones I just finished are titled 'Wrath of the Khans'. Real page turners to say the least.

http://www.dancarlin.com//disp.php/hharchive/Show-43---Wrath-of-the-Khans-I/Mongols-Genghis-Chingis
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Sep 27, 2014 - 01:53pm PT
Two books:
World Order, Henry Kissenger
The Wondrous Life of Oscar Woa, Diaz

Both awesome reads, depending on the mood of the moment. Been reading both for a few weeks now. Should be able to finish one or both now that we're on school break here on Tassie.
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
Sep 27, 2014 - 02:12pm PT
Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales.......fascinating stuff.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 27, 2014 - 03:00pm PT
Desert Towers!

We have a copy at work that I am perusing, but I'm going to buy my own copy and run down that Crusher guy to autograph it! An encyclopedic volume of stuff that runs deep in the lives many of us live! I really want to support this!

Crusher, do you do any direct, autograph sales??
crunch

Social climber
CO
Sep 27, 2014 - 03:44pm PT
Desert Towers!

We have a copy at work that I am perusing, but I'm going to buy my own copy and run down that Crusher guy to autograph it! An encyclopedic volume of stuff that runs deep in the lives many of us live! I really want to support this!

Crusher, do you do any direct, autograph sales??

Hey, just clicked in this random thread and there's a question for me.

Answer is yes indeed! I can sign copies and send them your way. I can take credit cards, checks, sexual favors, whatever. Well, OK, maybe scratch the last option....

And, since my birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, as is desert season and I'm getting psyched to sell some books and go exploring, how about any copies I sell between now and then, through Supertopo, I'll sell for 40 bucks, 20 percent off regular retail.

Send me a PM or just phone three-oh-three, four four three, zero nine five five

http://deserttowersbook.com/

Oh, and I've been reading Deer Hunting with Jesus, by Joe Bageant. Great writer, pithy yet hilarious dissections of modern life in the US, with something of the best of the Abbey/Thompson gonzo tradition.

Crusher
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 27, 2014 - 04:15pm PT
Pm sent!

Um, no sexual favors, but I do have plastic and paypal!

Happy birthday to come!
crunch

Social climber
CO
Sep 28, 2014 - 01:12pm PT
Hey Jaybro, have not seen any PM yet, sorry. Try my regular email, stephenbartlett (at) yahoodotcom

Crusher
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 28, 2014 - 08:55pm PT
Will send it now

Edit: email ( titled "Desert Towets) sent, can you hear me now?

Thnx Crunch this is a cool thing you're doing!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Oct 4, 2014 - 03:02pm PT
Hi Tobia,

Long time.....

Currently reading The Book Thief by Zusak. It's good. Different type of writing, but good.

Cheers for Life, Lynnie
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, or In What Time Zone Am I?
Oct 4, 2014 - 03:12pm PT
Sully, you always read such quality literature and have such profound insights. Wish I could still read like that. I'm on the entertain or thrill me track.
Currently reading Denali's Howl about the disastrous Wilcox expedition.


Susan
crunch

Social climber
CO
Oct 21, 2014 - 10:27am PT
Hey, if anyone tried sending a message to me via Supertopo's message function and is wondering why I've not responded, apologies. The messaging function does not seem to be working very reliably lately.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2513972&tn=0#msg2513983


Just email me direct.

stephenbartlett "at" yahoo dot com

Crusher

In the meantime, Joe Bageant's Rainbow Pie and Deer Hunting with Jesus are fabulous reads about modern life in the USA--feisty, informative, heartfelt, classics.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 21, 2014 - 10:40am PT
Clarence Kiing: A Biography by Thurman Wilkins.
Chock full of good mouuntaineering and sciience writing and hiistory.

These might interest some, as well.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=239841&msg=239841#msg239841

I've only seen it spelled "Blutarski" until now.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 21, 2014 - 10:42am PT
sullly,

If you enjoyed Lady with the Pet Dog (or Lap Dog, Toy Dog, etc.), check out The Doctor's Visit. Though it sounds cliche, Chekhov is the master at observing the human condition in the ordinary.

Also, if you admire Nabakhov's opinion on literature, check out Dr. Jekll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. I just reread that recently (between reading otehr things of course). Despite what you think you know about the story, as Nabakhov pointed out, it reaches the point of "great art". Most of Stevenson I believe is underrated, but you have terrific things like his novella, Markheim, or even Kidnapped and Treasure Island are masterful adventure yarns.

Other terrific short story/novella recommendations for those unwilling to commit to a novel:

The Golden Land, Faulker.
The Road to Colonnus, E.M. Forester
A Death in Venice, Thomas Mann
Parker's Back, Flannery O'Connor
At Sea, Checkov
The Secret Sharer, Joseph Conrad

That's just off the top of my head. There's just too much good stuff out there.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Oct 21, 2014 - 12:05pm PT
Just finished "Buried in the Sky" and "Dead Mountain, The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident".

Both are worthwhile.
john bald

climber
Oct 21, 2014 - 07:25pm PT
Joe Brown, The Hard Years.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Oct 21, 2014 - 07:46pm PT
I am looking to read In The Dust Of This Planet by Eugene Thacker - He describes himself as an author of books nobody will read...or something like that... Strangely... I have no idea how this may feel. Figure I'll try to finish the book and see if I can figure it out.

I think I'm punching above my weight class with this one...
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 21, 2014 - 08:00pm PT
The Manhattan Project: The Birth of the Atomic Bomb in the Words of Its Creators, Eyewitnesses, and Historians... by Cynthia C. Kelly and Richard Rhodes (Feb 10, 2009)

Fascinating insights into this incredible undertaking, including letters and manuscripts by famous scientists and authors as well as a touch of fiction: H. G. Wells had a story published in 1914 about the atom bomb. In his imagination, the bomb (2 feet in diameter, black and spherical with two handles) was hand-dropped from an aircraft by the pilot.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2014 - 06:40am PT
Nothing Venture, Nothing Win by Sir Edmund Hillary

Interesting read, highlighted by the chapters Aftermath of Everest summit, and The Race To The Pole.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Oct 22, 2014 - 09:41am PT
The World Rushed In by J.S. Holliday, about the California Gold Rush.

Pretty interesting.

I also recently reviewed our own Barry Blanchard's The Calling for The WSJ two weekends ago. My review is here, along with a bunch of other reviews I've done..
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 29, 2014 - 06:29pm PT
Do you mean enormous wings rips off the hunger artist? I don't see it. Elaborate please, Sully!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Nov 7, 2014 - 09:27pm PT
Just finished Love and War in the Apennines by Eric Newby. Which I thoroughly enjoyed. A POW in Italy in 1943, he escaped through a hospital window and survived in the Italian landscape thanks to the help of several peasant families. Among many adventures he had before being recaptured, Newby managed to meet the woman he would marry after the war. A blithe and delightful tale.

(Newby's the author of the classic climbing book A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, which, in my opinion, is one climbing lit's handful of absolutely mandatory reads.)

I also just reviewed Elizabeth Samet's //No Man's Land: Preparing for War and Peace in Post-9/11 America// for The Washington Post. Should be mandatory reading for all serving officers. It is, if nothing else, a paean to the military value of a literary education. My review is posted here.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Nov 7, 2014 - 09:37pm PT
"War That Ended Peace" about the lead up to WWI...

... fills up some missing history for me.
froodish

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 8, 2014 - 12:49am PT
The Peripheral, William Gibson's latest, and his first science fiction in a long time. Throughly enjoying it, he is a terrific writer.

Todd, have you read A Peace to End All Peace?

Sounds like it might be right up your alley.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Nov 8, 2014 - 07:16am PT
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.

Literary post-apocalyptic fiction. Well-done and entertaining.

Around the start of the first World War, it's very hard to do better than Barbara Tuchman's classic, The Guns of August.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Nov 8, 2014 - 07:53am PT
The Guns of August is a personal favorite, Stevep.

Barbara Tuchman does excellent history. I also strongly recommend her A Distant Mirror, about the 14th Century, the other one in human history whose misery seems to mirror the 20th.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Nov 23, 2014 - 07:14pm PT
Just got Kelly Cordes new one The Tower, about Cerro Torre.

It's rad. He did a great job.
MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Nov 23, 2014 - 07:56pm PT
The Artist's Way.

Pretty good so far, but committing...
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Nov 23, 2014 - 09:46pm PT
Just finished Ken Follett's "Dangerous Fortune"
Also halfway through "Eye of the Needle" by the same guy. Both are entertaining fiction when you just want to relax and enjoy a satisfying story with no real mental commitment.

This morning I re-read a short book "Who Moved My Cheese?" which is a nice reminder when you find yourself getting lazy in life, resting on your laurels, or otherwise getting fat and weak with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.

I'm in the middle of "The Sun Also Rises" by Hemingway, but I haven't picked it up in a couple of weeks. It's impressive how the style of writing perfectly reinforces the mood of the content. It's like a distinctive timbre of a musical instrument. When I was in high school I couldn't relate to the sort of angst and emptiness and futility the characters felt, especially in the context of romantic relationships because I had no personal experience as a frame of reference. Now I'm older than them and I see them as immature. Maybe it's a book best read in the 20s. It's still a good book to capture an era and a mood, but it's not a mood that I hold in high regard or want to immerse myself in. As a youngster it can seem romantic maybe, and looking from an older vantage point it just seems like a waste, a tragedy of lost young people and the lingering effects of war and disconnectedness and inability to create meaning for one's self.
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California
Nov 23, 2014 - 10:11pm PT
David Sedaris "Me Talk Pretty One Day"

Wonderful.

Was just sent this book from a flight companion whom I did not ignore while flying. (I tend do that... to just get lost in the Sky catalog.)
He has turned out to be an excellent friend, and gives me GREAT advice in terms of the business world and what I want to do.

This book may not be up my alley, but I love to read, so I appreciate the suggestion.

:)


stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Nov 23, 2014 - 10:15pm PT
Totally agree about A Distant Mirror, Greg.
The other interesting one I've read recently that combined WWI and climbing was Into the Silence by Wade Davis.
An account of the post-WWI British expeditions to Everest, and how they were influenced by the experiences that many of the members had during the war.

My current reading continues the literary post-apocalyptic theme:
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

That will be followed by One Day as A Tiger by John Porter, the Alex Macintyre biography, as soon as it makes it to me from the UK. Thanks to another thread here on ST for that recommendation.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2014 - 04:51am PT
"The Chrysanthemums" (John Steinbeck)
Never heard of it, how was it Sullly?

Currently reading Behind Barbed Wire by Lt. Morris J Roy. It is the stories of the young Allied pilots of WWII (ETO) who were shot down and spent the remainder of the war in Stalag Luft 1, Barth Germany.

Interestingly enough my PT's father flew a P-47 fighter and when he marched into Stalag 1, he eventually ran into one of his hometown pals, a friend of mine's father who was a bombardier on a B-17. There was one other local citizen there. They were all friends before the war.

I think I posted a pic of my friend's dad, the bombardier somewhere on the taco; but feel inclined to do so here.

[Click to View Linked Image]
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Nov 24, 2014 - 05:13am PT
Shadow of the Wind is a nice book- it was the first book my wife gave me when we were dating.

Sully, I'll definitely explore other Hemingway books- any disaffection I have with The Sun Also Rises is for the topic rather than the author.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 24, 2014 - 06:17am PT
RE hunger / wings, got it, Sully, interesting. Leads to thinking of more parallels...

Just got Periphals

Gonna reread, The Nose
MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Nov 24, 2014 - 07:23am PT
Mom sent me "Mink River" by Brian Doyle, which I also started recently but am having a hard time with because of the writing style and sheer number and depth of characters. He seems to jump around a lot, throwing in elements that, although I appreciate the irreverence, I find confusing.

David James Duncan (whom I love as a writer) compares this book to Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood" and Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio" - neither of which I have read.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Nov 24, 2014 - 08:17am PT
For Mother's Sake by Jimmy Carl Black. Not literature, but entertaining if you like the old Mothers.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Nov 24, 2014 - 11:42am PT
Jimmy Carl Black It's been at least 45 years since I saw him Play with the Mother of Invention.

Pacific Crucible War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941 - 1942.
MH2

climber
Nov 24, 2014 - 07:12pm PT
Going Solo by Roald Dahl. An account of his experiences in Tanganyika and the RAF before and during WWII. On the recommendation of a climbing partner. I was surprised that the library computer located the book in the Juvenile section. It now appears that that may be a way to keep the fragile adult mind safe from the horrors yet make them available to the more resilient child mind.

I also intend to read Boy by the same author if I still have the nerve.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 24, 2014 - 11:45pm PT
Disobeying Hitler (Oxford U.P.: 2014) by Randall Hansen, subtitled German Resistance After Valkyrie.

http://www.amazon.com/Disobeying-Hitler-German-Resistance-Valkyrie/dp/0199927928

Sounds as though the remnants of the Valkyrie plotters did their best to hand France over to the Allies. The Germans always did like the City of Lights as an R&R site away from the rigors of the Ost Front.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Nov 25, 2014 - 12:01am PT

Excellent book by a climatologist and former NASA space shuttle engineer who provides convincing evidence that the Earth could be on the verge of a coming Ice Age.
The sun goes through regular cycles called "solar hibernations" that produce either severe or relatively mild cold periods every 200 and 400 years, as well as extreme ice ages that occur every 11,500 years.
Arti

Trad climber
Vancouver, BC
Nov 25, 2014 - 11:01am PT
Lonesome Traveler by Jack Kerouac. Seems like an appropriate book for climbers.
Dickbob

climber
Westminster Colorado
Nov 25, 2014 - 11:32am PT

Has any one read a Narrow Road To The Deep North yet? It won the Mann Booker Prize this year.

john bald

climber
Nov 26, 2014 - 07:28am PT
Hell's Angels by Hunter S Thompson

jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Dec 5, 2014 - 10:22pm PT
Still plodding away on John Verdon's bizarre Holmesian Shut Your Eyes Tight.

I've been reading New Yorker articles, including one about the deployment of American drones in the Mideast. Very unsettling.

I've taken the New Yorker for about forty years and am continually amazed at the variety of intriguing articles (plus the wonderful cartoons!). I was introduced to the magazine by a graduate of the University of Chicago who was working as a car salesman and living in the rooming house - the home of an English professor at Roosevelt and his wife, an artist - where I stayed while a grad student at UC in 1958/59.
Ben Emery

Trad climber
Australia via Bay Area via Australia...
Dec 5, 2014 - 11:50pm PT
Has any one read a Narrow Road To The Deep North yet? It won the Mann Booker Prize this year.

Not yet picked up that one, but Richard Flanagan's back catalog is well worth checking out, especially "Death of a river guide" and "Gould's book of fish". Having lived in (or at least traveled to) Tasmania helps.

I'm currently re-reading Moby Dick and loving it, which a friend who read it at high school was a tad surprised by. I'm increasingly convinced that having to study classics at school completely ruins them for many.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Dec 6, 2014 - 07:31am PT
This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein


Kind of opposite of Dark Winter.

The book is about how we must change our fundamental economic model (capitalism) in order to battle the effects of our over-charged CO2 machine.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 15, 2014 - 08:36am PT
A tiny bit off topic, more like possible next book to read.

It seems the entire body of Tolstoi's work is now available online!

http://rbth.com/literature/2014/12/15/tolstoy_goes_digital_writers_collected_works_available_in_one_clic_42215.html

The catch of course is that it's all in Russian. Hopefully this project will expand to an English translation edition.

Meanwhile, I'm going to search out some of the shorter pieces and rely on iTranslate or similar to help me through the rough patches....
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 15, 2014 - 09:40am PT
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, an edition that supposedly contains material deemed to disturbing for 1900.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Dec 15, 2014 - 10:20am PT
Endurance- Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

Pretty darn epic, hard to conceive of anything more audacious in the history of humanity in terms of Man vs Nature. There was enough technology to make audacious things possible, but not so much as to make the effort seem contrived or trite. They pushed the state of the art technology to barely reach a state where survival was possible, and that only with an incredible amount of fortitude, skill, and perseverance. Maybe in terms of pushing Technology, Apollo 13 was similar... But it would have been more similar if it was a disaster on Mars, and it took a few years to unfold and suffer never being sure they would make it home, and then everyone surviving. I saw that Netflix documentary recreating just the open ocean travel part of Shackleton's adventure- the modern adventure looked like a weak cop-out in comparison (but still very far beyond what I would willingly subject myself to). It is even more of an eye-opener to see how much and how long the group went through other challenges even before the open ocean piece. I can't imagine the feeling of abandoning a ship that is being crushed by ice as you are carried farther from land on an unstable ice pack that will eventually melt out when you are hundreds if not thousands of miles from land.
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
Dec 15, 2014 - 10:23am PT
The Selfish Gene~ Dawkins
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 27, 2014 - 08:47am PT
Not unlike the blood and stone episode of a Doctor Who...

Sophocles,Faulkner & Kafka, yow! Now those are influences!
Skeptimistic

Mountain climber
La Mancha
Dec 27, 2014 - 08:51am PT
I, Asimov
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Dec 27, 2014 - 12:12pm PT
Anyone here read Dhalgren ? It's been recommended by a friend.
krahmes

Social climber
Stumptown
Dec 27, 2014 - 12:22pm PT
On the last book of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the Long Sun it is not the masterpiece like Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, but it is more accessible.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Dec 27, 2014 - 12:25pm PT
Read Dahlgren years ago. It was a bit too trippy and wandery for me. But I'm a chunk younger than you and maybe you'll relate better having lived through the 60s and early 70s when I was a tyke.

I just finished "One Day as a Tiger" by John Porter, the biography of Alex MacIntyre. Which has it's own separate thread on ST. I liked it, but it was a bit depressing. Reminded me of This Game of Ghosts by Joe Simpson. The death toll in that group of elite British alpinists in the late 70s and 80s was terrible. I moved to Seattle in the early 90s hoping to do that sort of climbing, but took another path. Reading those books, makes me glad I did, though part of me feels a missed adventure.

Now catching up on the Bernie Gunther novels by Philip Kerr, about a detective in Germany during the rise of the Nazis. I'd highly recommend them if you like detective novels and historical fiction.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 27, 2014 - 01:11pm PT
Santa brought me Kelly Cordes' The Tower, the history of Cerro Torre.
So far I've only started looking at the pics and, believe me, there are
a LOT! WOOT! I have skimmed a few sections and it seems very well written, too.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Dec 27, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
Now catching up on the Bernie Gunther novels by Philip Kerr . . .


I like those!


Modesto Mutant

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Dec 27, 2014 - 06:21pm PT
I'm reading a couple at the same time:

The Rules (of Cycling). Over the top purist's approach of what to do and what not to do in Road Cycling. It's a great read. Quick snippets and a lot of humor:

http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

Navy Seals. Their Untold Story. I've never read any books on the Navy Seals so I'm enjoying this.

http://www.amazon.com/Navy-SEALs-Their-Untold-Story/dp/0062336606





rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Dec 31, 2014 - 03:29pm PT
I'm in the midst of "The Peripheral" by William Gibson. I'm pretty confused, but it could be the beer. ;-)
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 31, 2014 - 03:49pm PT
.... It's not the beer.....
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Dec 31, 2014 - 05:02pm PT
"This is Your Brain on Music", Daniel Levitin. Good read if you like music. My son gave it to me for Christmas.
Happy New Year
Peace
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 8, 2015 - 01:01pm PT
here's the link to Donald's original thread, plenty of good reading material on it.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1570154&tn=20
Bad Climber

climber
Jan 8, 2015 - 01:28pm PT
Lots of killer ideas here--and such a literary bunch!

Just finished two climbing books:

The Calling by Barry Blanchard--excellent and must read.
Buried in the Sky about the stupid tragic events of 2008 on K2 when a bunch of people died during what was probably some of the best summit conditions that mountain has seen in many years.

Currently reading: One Summer: 1927 by Bill Bryson. Phreakin' awesome! All of his books are great. Got read 'em.

BAd
mwatsonphoto

Trad climber
Culver City, CA
Jan 8, 2015 - 02:16pm PT
Monkey Wrench Gang (Edward Abbey)
pc

climber
Jan 8, 2015 - 02:27pm PT
A Wolf Called Romeo. by Nick Jans.


With my 7 year old son. 3/4 the way through and have a bad feeling about the ending...
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Jan 8, 2015 - 02:49pm PT
Light reading:
The Dragon Of Never Was , book2 of of two, the 1st book is Hatching Magic.
Ann Downer

.Smart Fantasy, not dark, whimsical fun to read.


Heavy reading;
Huxley ; both,
Doors of perception and ,more, Brave New World.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jan 8, 2015 - 03:17pm PT
The Third Gate by Lincoln Child and The Circle by David Poyer.

I've read a couple of the Dan Lenson books by Poyer, but recently obtained all the rest, so I'm back at his first story: when Lenson is an ensign. I really enjoy naval stories - not quite sure why, but 60 years ago I almost went into NROTC but chose AFROTC instead.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 4, 2015 - 04:32am PT
[Click to View Linked Image]

I am looking forward to reading this, I always wondered what Scout did with herself as an adult.
To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books,as is the film.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 4, 2015 - 06:45am PT
I guess I'll reread Mockingbird in anticipation.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 5, 2015 - 11:29am PT
Sullly, i don't buy into the theory that Capote penned the novel for Harper Lee.

Of course, that doesn't mean to say it is not possible; but in my mind not likely. Since the book deals with a lot of realities in Harper Lee's life, I would offer that Capote may have indirectly been involved in Lee's writing the story that centered on the events in Monroeville. As you stated, there is the idea that Dill is modeled after Capote. The idiosyncratic personalities of the two, Dill and Capote, can't be dismissed as pure coincidence or happen-chance .

Add the realism of Lee's father being a real life attorney who was involved in defense of a black man accused of raping a white woman would certainly be branded on both of Lee's and Capote's mind forever. I'm sure that as children in that era the two friends spent a great deal of time discussing the event.

It is interesting that the authors spent time in NYC, just prior to Lee's publishing of the book and that she did research for Capote in Kansas for his book In Cold Blood. Payback? I doubt it, just friend's helping friends.

My thoughts are not intended as argumentative, just my thoughts, pure and simple.

I took a course in college on Southern Authors in Southern Literature. It involved a look at the names anyone that reads would name as Southern. I have to say Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams were two at the bottom of my favorites list. At the other end were Walker Percy, Pat Conroy, William Faulkner and a few more I can't bring to mind.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Feb 5, 2015 - 12:21pm PT
I'm doing a few pages at a time with Anna Karenina, and love it so far. I haven't read any other Tolstoy or Dostoevsky works yet, but had a false start on Crime and Punishment about 20 years ago.
Stewart

Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Feb 5, 2015 - 01:41pm PT
The Eagle Unbowed by Halik Kochanski - A history of Poland's martyrdom at the hands of Hitler and Stalin, as well as an account of this nation's disproportionate contribution to Allied victory in World War Two.

The book also examines the appalling betrayal of Poland by the Western Allies, especially in the face of its brutal post-war occupation by the Soviets.

A must read for any history buff with a serious interest in broadening their understanding of the horrors of WW II endured in Eastern Europe.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Feb 5, 2015 - 03:22pm PT
"God's Middle Finger" about the lawlessness in the heart of the Sierra Madre.
Pretty good. Cheers Tobia!
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Feb 5, 2015 - 05:28pm PT
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemmingway

Just finished it. Great reading for me. Probably not for everyone. More drinking per page than any book ever written. It's basically a bunch of cool people who go drinking in Paris, then Spain. There is a little bit about bullfighting, a tiny bit about trout fishing. Not much sex. Just drinking. But in a good way.

The Last Season, Eric Blehm

Mid book. About the Search for Sequoia back country ranger Randy Morgenson, who went missing in 1995. I believe I met Morganson once and I've traveled the trails of SeKi backcountry enough to be well oriented. Not actually enjoying it that much. Too much personal detail. I'm glad to see the big dedication to Patty Rambert, a lost friend, who did quite a bit to promote the book in the LA Sierra Club scene.

two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
Feb 5, 2015 - 07:17pm PT
Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi edited by Larry Siems

I'm about half way through it. Good book, and it reads as if "you can't make this stuff up!".

The sad thing is that they have yet to charge the poor man, with anything, and he has been in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002. He had previously been rendered to Jordan, and then to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. A federal judge ordered his release in March 2010, but the U.S. contested the decision Never charged with a crime!
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Feb 5, 2015 - 08:13pm PT
That looks like an interesting one Lynne. Thanks. On to the Amazon wish list it goes.

Just ordered Neil Gaiman's new collection of short stories. He's almost always excellent, and one of my favorite authors.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2015 - 08:46am PT
Sullly, Change is seldom seen in these parts. Were you in LaGrange? The college there has grown; but the town itself refuses to grow. In some ways that is good; but as related to the attitude you described, it seems to be unable to change. Surprising, as learning institutions are usually the springboards where change originates. I don't know why.

So much for thread drift.

Just started American Sniper (Chris Kyle) along with Problems with Pain (C.S. Lewis).
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Feb 12, 2015 - 05:14pm PT
the sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok
(the first Viking)
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Feb 12, 2015 - 06:21pm PT
I'm speeding through: "In The Kingdom of Ice." It's about an American North Pole expedition that went up towards the pole though the Bering Sea in 1879. It of course came to grief, & their ship went down after being locked in the ice for 1 1/2 years. At the moment, the crew is going across the ice to Siberian islands. (I know most of them survive.)

An absolute page-turner epic story, with a lot of great history in it. Yeah, it is nearly another Shackleton story, but I haven't finished it yet.

*

Spider! Re your mention!

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemmingway

Just finished it. Great reading for me. Probably not for everyone. More drinking per page than any book ever written. It's basically a bunch of cool people who go drinking in Paris, then Spain. There is a little bit about bullfighting, a tiny bit about trout fishing. Not much sex. Just drinking. But in a good way.

During a quest in my 20's to read all Hemingway's books, I read that one. I could relate to some of it, including the drinking & the fishing. It of course ends up in Pamplona for the "Bull-Running." So far, the only Hemingway books I've read twice are: "Farewell to Arms" & "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

Besides, my old man used to drink with Hemingway, as did most Ketchum Idaho males in the early 1960's.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Feb 12, 2015 - 06:40pm PT
ragnar comes with a comapanion, too
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 12, 2015 - 06:58pm PT
The Madonnas of Echo Park
-Brando Skyhorse
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Feb 12, 2015 - 09:26pm PT
sully! Thanks for the feedback. I do have a fair number of 1st person Hemingway stories from his time in Ketchum in the early 1960's, which include my father destroying his suicide shotgun.

I'm still not happy with how I've put the stories together, but I will hopefully share them one of these days.

Yeah! I've been in the suicide room.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Mar 1, 2015 - 10:56am PT
Julia Phillips (RIP) does an awesome job of telling it like it is.

Ever wonder how movies are really made?

two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
Mar 1, 2015 - 12:19pm PT
12 Years a Slave. It's got to be better than the movie!
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 5, 2015 - 03:31am PT
i was in the middle of 3 books and got stuck, uncommon for me; as i will force myself to read something through unless i find it impossible to read after several attempts. (For example, Gravity's Rainbow or Atlas Shrugged.)

i picked up China's Wings and can't put it down; which hopefully ends the drought, when i was looking for this thread, i found the China's Wing thread.

i used to know a "hump pilot" in the 1980's when i was managing a racquetball-fitness club and would listen to his stories for hours. i can't remember his name to save my life. At any rate a great read!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 5, 2015 - 09:52am PT
Peter Stanyer's epic Guide To Investment Strategy. Oh, yeah, some riveting
stuff in this AND quite relevant to this crowd. It delves considerably into
behavioural finance which is all about risk assessment.

"Risk is about the chance of disappointing outcomes." Yes, there is a rigorous
methodology to avoiding cratering while sending yer proj, and it doesn't
depend upon properly wearing yer toque.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 5, 2015 - 03:56pm PT
During a quest in my 20's to read all Hemingway's books, I read that one. I could relate to some of it, including the drinking & the fishing.

Fritz, strange as a literature major during my first tenure as a college student, I began a similar quest. I did the same with John Steinbeck and William Faulkner.

Can't say i accomplished my mission; but haven't given up yet. i read more Steinbeck and Faulkner, less of Hemingway. The bull fighting was a little much and i would get lost in other aspects as well. At the time it seemed pointless to write so much about (nothing as i saw it).
i'm much older now and a little more patient with my reading; but i doubt i will ever finish all the Hemingway books. One reason to finish the list was his end.
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Mar 5, 2015 - 07:21pm PT
I had a great time recently reading Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. If you're in the mood for good hard science fiction, Morgan's your man. Seriously good dialog and a well-developed plot. I'm now into the second of these three books about the main protagonist, Takeshi Kovacs.
vector

climber
Mar 5, 2015 - 10:03pm PT
{Taught "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" last week. "Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink."}

Sully, you're a teacher? The quote is "Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink."
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Mar 5, 2015 - 10:06pm PT
Annapurna-Maurice Herzog. (Again)
Danny the Champion of the World- Dahl (to my son.)
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Mar 5, 2015 - 10:29pm PT
Latest Reacher book in big print. BURT BRONSON would appreciate it.

Also a David Poyer Dan Lenson book. Good navy drama.

But Black Sails and Banshee keep me occupied while on the couch.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Mar 5, 2015 - 10:49pm PT
I'm a parallel reader. Or more precisely put, I'm a serial interleaving reader:
Anna Karenina
Holcroft Covenant (an old Robert Ludlum thriller)
50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Mar 6, 2015 - 08:21am PT
An Altered Carbon sighting! Excellent sci-fi noir, that. And set in San Francisco, which we should link to that thread currently devoted to people devoted to slagging off the Bay Area.

I've read all or most of Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Saul Bellow... to go with all of Patrick O'Brien, Michael Connelly, Alan Furst, and (almost all of) Bernard Cornwwell and Iain M. Banks's sci fi books. Because I do love me some potboilers.

If you're into historical fiction, you'll love Alan Furst--atmospheric espionage novels usually set in Eastern Europe, Germany, and France in the run up to World War II.

(And Tobia, psyched to hear that you're enjoying China's Wings. Thanks for taking the time to read it.)
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Mar 6, 2015 - 08:44am PT
GC, thanks for the heads up on Furst.

I like the Patrick o'Brian stuff. If you like that, you might like another prolific author Wilbur Smith- similar action, but some more graphic descriptions of violence, some gratuitous sex, and tracking a long arc of history in Africa, from western ship-based explorers to land-based hunters/colonial stuff to the emergence of mining industries. He even has some for ancient Egypt that goes off the deep end from historical fiction for a few books, then toward supernatural/fantasy with the same character/story arc.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Mar 6, 2015 - 08:53am PT
Good call. I read some Wilbur Smith back in the day. Enjoyed him very much. (I think he has much more of a following in the UK than here.) I never got in the habit of reading his new one each year or so. I'll add him to my "books to read" Evernote note.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 6, 2015 - 08:55am PT
IIRC our Guido took Patrick O'Brian sailing once and said he was a right lubber. LOL!
Urizen

Ice climber
Berkeley, CA
Mar 6, 2015 - 09:34am PT
Although I can't claim that I totally "got" Ulysses when I was 15 (does anybody, ever?), I thought it was one of the funniest things I'd ever read. What I couldn't cope with when I was 15, but am reading now, was Don Quixote--which is, yes, one of the funniest things I've ever read.

Don't tell the Don, but I spent last night promiscuously in bed with Philip Levine's The Bread of Time--which is, yes, one of the greatest titles ever written.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 6, 2015 - 09:50am PT
Gregory, can't put it down.

i read the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin novels without a break (that i can remember) in between them; w/ exception of constantly having to refer to a dictionary because of O'Brian's extended vocabulary.

That inspired a keen interest of ocean going vessels, both modern and of those long past. The Wooden World by N.A.M. Rodger gives a lot of insight into the design and mastery of the ships Capt. Aubrey sailed.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 6, 2015 - 09:58am PT
I just finished Hemingway's big non-fiction work, The Green Hills Of Africa. Well written with these crazy hundred word sentences, unlike his normal, sparse style.

I am now back to TE Lawrence's Seven Pillars Of Wisdom, one of the best written stories in our language. A MUST read. Beautiful
Prose flowed from that guy like water. IMO, one of the better books in the English language.

Please read it. It is long, but you won't be able to put it down.

Or you can waste your life reading Tom Clancy.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Mar 6, 2015 - 10:14am PT
Most recently:

Born To Run Very entertaining book about aging, ultramarathons, the Tarahumara and some highly unique characters. Lotsa fun.

13 Hours Fascinating book about what happened in Benghazi from the
special operators that were on the ground.

More Than A Score If you're wondering what's the big deal about all the standardized tests going on in public schools, this is a good read. Perhaps too conspiracy-theory oriented, but informative nonetheless.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 6, 2015 - 10:18am PT
You rarely hear about it, but some science fiction is outstanding.

Heinlein and Azimov are good places to start. They deal with wild ideas, that even now are still important.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Mar 6, 2015 - 10:30am PT
I am working slowly but surely through Robert Caro's
The Power Broker. It is a biography of Robert Moses, the engineer and politician who changed the face of New York during 1930 to 1960 through massive public works programs, including parks, bridges, highways and dams.

Moses is a fascinating but not likable character: brilliant and energetic, but also arrogant, racist and staggeringly mean-spirited to any one who got in his way.

After reading this book, you will never doubt the old maxim that money is the mother's milk of politics. It includes great descriptions of Al Smith, Fiorello La Guardia, and Moses' hated enemy, Franklin Roosevelt.

After the penance of a good but not easy read like Caro, I tend to go back to old favorites for a reading vacation. I have read all of Patrick O'brian (more than once), all of John Mortimer's Rumpole books and all of PG Wodehouse's Jeeves stories.

I had read that O'brian was a landlubber; apparently, he got his nautical knowledge completely through pouring over old Navy logbooks in London libraries. And he was not even Irish as his name suggests.

Urizen

Ice climber
Berkeley, CA
Mar 6, 2015 - 11:01am PT
The Power Broker is a masterpiece. I hope Caro lives long enough to finish the last volume of his LBJ biography, which is in spots brilliant as well.
DesertRatExpeditions

Trad climber
Flagstaff, Arizona
Mar 6, 2015 - 11:07am PT
Just finished Lost City of Z

Just Starting Light Behind Blue Circles
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Mar 6, 2015 - 11:36am PT
Base104, if you're into Seven Pillars, might I suggest Arabian Sands by Sir Wilfred Thesiger? IMO, that's one of the best adventure books of all time. (Although it takes about 60 pages to get into the meat of it...) I've actually stood on some super-obscure, remote spots in Oman that Thesiger wrote about with Arabian Sands in my hands, and his descriptions were so absolutely accurate that I suspect he was standing on the exact same spot when he was making notes in his journal. (Impossible to be that accurate without taking notes on the spot.)

I second The Lost City of Z. Recently read it on Kelly Cordes' reccy and really enjoyed it.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 18, 2015 - 08:36am PT
Mr. Crouch, I have much respect for your literary skills, as well as your work ethic in completing such a project. Your acknowledgement chapter was a complete work of literature within itself.

American Sniper Chris Kyle's Autobiography. Breeze of a read. I found it interesting how humble of a man he was, admitting his weaknesses such as not being fond of the water and a fear of heights doesn't exactly fit the traits of the ideal Navy Seal.

Now reading Summer of '49 by David Halberstam.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Mar 29, 2015 - 08:00pm PT
A simple, but profound book I just finished "The Orphan Train".

Also, "RED" an interesting book by Terry Tempest Williams. The writer speaks to the preservation of the Redrock Wilderness in the canyon country of southern Utah. I enjoyed her book, but would love to debate her on some of the books issues.
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Mar 29, 2015 - 09:05pm PT
Currently reading Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich. Incredibly interesting, amusing, and well written. Though the rare-species folks dislike ravens, it has always been one of my favorite birds, so I grabbed this one in an instant when I saw it in the bookstore.
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Mar 30, 2015 - 12:09pm PT
Tomahawk , a Dan Lenson novel by David Poyer. Recently finished the latest Jack Reacher book . . . disappointed in the finale.

Reading an article in the latest New Yorker on student political organizations during the Cold War. It reminded me of working at Glasgow AFB in the early 1960s, SAC nukes in abundance, and subscribing to that old Soviet cultural magazine, Soviet Life maybe, but I'm too lazy to look it up. It was fairly popular on the Base. Seems strange in retrospect.

Oh for the good old days when our enemy was another civilized state and Balance of Power worked.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Mar 30, 2015 - 03:39pm PT
preparation for the next life, by Atticus Lish

great move l of modern nyc, but not the ny you know, the poor immigrant blu collar nyc of queens, etc. Really great writing, poetic...
Bad Climber

climber
Mar 30, 2015 - 06:58pm PT
Just finished Last Call by Okrent--an AWESOME history of prohibition. Definitely read it.

Currently reading Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun by Geoffrey Canada

This is a short but compelling story of his growing up in NY in the fifties and sixties. Yikes! Interesting because it was a prelude to the gun culture that made such places "killing fields," as he puts it. Hard to put down.

BAd
two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
Mar 30, 2015 - 08:44pm PT
Totally interesting studies. The book was highly contested by big foods scientists. Dairy, Beef, chicken, pharma, etc, multi billion dollar industries went to war over potential lost in profits. It's the Capitalistic way! Excellent studies by Oxford, Cornell, and The Chinese Government for over 3 decades!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 31, 2015 - 02:01pm PT
This one may interest you, Tobia.

Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones/Paul Trynka.

BJ liked to take things to the edge and was addicted to risk.

The French singer and actress, Zouzou, said of staying in his Chelsea mews home, "It was very fun...but he was up and down very often."

Like me, he was a dandy and a narcissist.

He could get no satisfaction, truly.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2015 - 05:30pm PT
Mouse, I will give it a try. Someone handed me Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand the other day, so I'm going to jump in it for now. I enjoyed _The Summer of '49_, as I have all of Halberstam's books.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Apr 9, 2015 - 08:04am PT
Just finished "The Call of The Ice" Simone Moro 2012.

Simone is one of the most badazz human beings alive. The book documents his quest to climb 8000 m peaks in winter culminating in G2 in 2011. If you saw Cory Richards film "Cold" this book leads up to that.

If you saw it and remember that crazy Italian coughing his lungs out, that was Simone. After meeting Simone at a slide show last fall and reading this book I have huge respect for that crazy Italian who makes Cory looks like an adolescent American crybaby.

The writing style is raw, coursely edited and in a way that is about the same as listening him speak in English, not his first language. While not winning any awards for writing style, it makes for a clearer picture of who he is and what he is doing. So in fact, it is easier to understand him as he communicates.

He has a harshness and self-centeredness which I could easily forgive and live with. He is a doer. A man of great accomplishment, largely because he has a great sense of his limitations and knows when to give up. His list of failures on peaks outnumbers his successes. For this reason he still has all his fingers and toes and is alive today.

He is near the top of my heros list along with his equally badazz partner Denis Urubko.

The book is essential reading for anyone interested in high altitude climbing.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 9, 2015 - 11:44am PT
Levy told me to read....

"Don't Tel Mom I work on the Rigs, She Thinks I play Piano in a Whorehouse"

Paul Carter



Really funny, horrible and interesting stuff in there, has had me laughing a bunch.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Apr 9, 2015 - 02:45pm PT
I love all kinds of books, even literature for children. These are several very good ones grownups should enjoy too.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline
and
Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai. In this one the sentence structure threw me at first, but after a few pages I was totally engrossed.

Urizen

Ice climber
Berkeley, CA
Apr 9, 2015 - 04:25pm PT
E. M. Forster, The Longest Journey. It has the best opening sentence ever, better than Pride and Prejudice or Ulysses.

The novel opens in medias res, the first scene an idle discussion between Cambridge students arguing about whether there is an objective reality independent of the sensations of an observer. Sentence one:

"The cow is there," said Ansell, lighting a match and holding it over the carpet.
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
Apr 9, 2015 - 05:08pm PT
"Dark Star Safari" by Paul Theroux
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Apr 9, 2015 - 05:13pm PT
I don't often read modern "literature" as I find a lot of it purposely showy and obscure writing.

But I had liked Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, so I am now wading through The Buried Giant, his new book.

I'm about 50-50 on it. Interesting magical realism set in early Dark Ages Britain. But not great.

On the lighter side, also reading the SPQR mysteries by John Maddox Roberts, set in ancient Rome.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 16, 2015 - 09:41am PT
In the middle of David McCullough's The Johnstown Flood. A historic work on how the negligence of a few people combined with an unusual amount of rain in 1880's wiped an entire town and more off the Pennsylvania map.

I read his Path Between The Seas which covered the politics and mechanics of the building of the Panama Canal. I have one more of his books that I haven't read, The Great Bridge, the detailed summary of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Apr 16, 2015 - 10:42am PT
Tobia, I've read most of his: The Great Bridge, Path, 1776, John Adams, Mornings, etc. All superb. Can't go wrong with McCullough.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 16, 2015 - 10:52am PT
Boyd, the man who single-handedly changed fighter aviation.
A mesmerizing story exceptionally well told.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 20, 2015 - 09:18am PT
Finished The Johnstown Flood by D. McCullough and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer over the weekend. We are getting lots of rain here ; which makes for great reading time.
Gary

Social climber
From A Buick 6
Apr 26, 2015 - 05:35pm PT
If you saw Cory Richards film "Cold" this book leads up to that.

Spider, was that at the Banff film show at Caltech a couple of years ago? The one I'm thinking of was really good, a far cry above the usual "look at all the badass stuff I do" fare at Banff.

Just finished George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. It concerns his time fighting in the Spanish Civil War. He describes his time fighting the fascists on the Aragon Front. Catalonia was semi-independent at the time and mostly under the "rule" of the Anarchists. It was an interestingly different sort of army.

He details how the Russians stabbed the Spanish workers in the back.

A very good read.

Dead Wake is next.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 26, 2015 - 05:40pm PT
George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia

Sounds like a good read.
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab or In What Time Zone Am I?
Apr 26, 2015 - 05:50pm PT
All the Wild that Remains by David Gessner. A compare/contrast of Edward Abbey and Wallace Stregner and their respective approaches to environmentalism. I'm enjoying it. Thought provoking.


Susan
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2015 - 06:48am PT
Can anyone recommend a book on Joan of Arc? I have found one, much to surprise that was written by Mark Twain!

Posted on Amazon, Twain considered it "not only his most important but also his best work". It also says he spent 12 years researching in both England and France before he "reached his conclusion about Joan of Arc's unique place in history only after studying in detail accounts written by both sides, the French and the English".

Another person considered it a fictional biography(?)

Other authors that I am not familiar with include Helen Castor,.Kathryn Harrison,Régine Pernoud and George Benard Shaw
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 29, 2015 - 08:13am PT
Tobia, so little is truly known about La Pucelle d'Orléans that all the extant bios are mere
conjecture or outright hagiographies.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Apr 29, 2015 - 10:26am PT
10% Happier - Dan Harris

This book my wife gave me might actually help me figure out how to meditate. I've always had a hard time, felt silly when I tried it. His irreverent everyman perspective is easy to read and doesn't make New Age type and other worldly claims that have previously turned me off.
Stewart

Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
May 14, 2015 - 07:44pm PT
Spitfire Women of World War II: A beautifully written book that tells the largely unknown story of the women pilots who served in the Air Transport Auxiliary. The ATA was composed of pilots, many of whom were women, who flew thousands of aircraft to front line units in Britain and, later in the war, to the European mainland. These females came from all over the world, including such nations as Poland, Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere.

The book follows the struggles of these women to be permitted to perform this vital contribution to Allied victory in the air and recounts many heroic and tragic events related to this story, while never neglecting the often hilariously irreverent way that they performed their duties.

This is a must read for anyone with an interest in World War II, especially for those who wish to develop a greater appreciation of the many ways in which women served the Allied cause.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
May 14, 2015 - 08:06pm PT
Just finishing George Friedman's
The Next 100 Years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Next_100_Years

Just starting Cormac MaCarthy's Child of God
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_of_God
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
May 14, 2015 - 09:45pm PT
In the process of reading:

The Ardennes 1944-1945: Hitler's Winter Offensive (2014) by Christer Bergstrom

The diction and syntax are at times a bit awkward (Bergstrom is a Swede), but arguably the best tactical analysis of the many small unit actions and engagements that comprised the Battle of the Bulge. Offers American and German after-action reports along with eye-witness testimony. Better even that Peter Caddick-Adams' monumental study, Snow & Steel (2015), and topping an Oxford edition says a lot. Fantastic photographs, many of them published for the first time, compliment Bergstrom's narrative. You really get a sense how during the first 6 or 7 days of the battle, the US almost lost WWII in Europe as the Allied command structure frayed and buckled under the unanticipated German onslaught.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 15, 2015 - 10:11am PT

Calvino Bookmark Interview 1985
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Into the pine woods...
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
May 15, 2015 - 10:41am PT
"A Pound of Paper" by John Baxter
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2015 - 06:48pm PT
Finished The Great Bridge by David McCullough, a fascinating tale of engineering and political graft.

I followed that up with George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia because I knew very little of the Spanish Revolution or Civil War.

The last sentence really grabbed me, as foreboding as it was, (written in early 1937 upon his return to England after his stint in the Spanish revolt):

Down here it was still the England I had known in my childhood: the railway cuttings smothered in wild flowers, the deep meadows where the great shining horses browse and meditate, the slow-moving streams bordered by willows, the green bosoms of the elms, the larkspurs in the cottage gardens; and then the huge peaceful wilderness of outer London, the barges on the miry river, the familiar streets, the posters telling of cricket matches and Royal weddings, the men in bowler hats, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, the red buses, the blue policeman--all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of England from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked out of it by the roar of bombs.

Now I will try to find a good book on Joan of Arc, thanks for the suggestions.

jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
May 20, 2015 - 08:20pm PT
In the middle of Command by David Poyer. Too much distracting TV. I've been on this book for a month.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 20, 2015 - 10:17pm PT
I just listened to The Glass Castle, and while I wouldn't say it was the best book ever, it was one of the only defenses (to the extent that it was) of not-totally-crazy or drug-addicted people choosing homelessness because it just suited them that I've ever seen get mass-market traction. It was slow going to start, but I'm glad I finished it.
Gary

Social climber
From A Buick 6
May 27, 2015 - 01:49pm PT
Just finished Unbroken. What a yarn. Hillenbrand is a captivating writer.

So, I came here looking for something to read. I might give The Boys in the Boat a try.
Gunkie

climber
May 27, 2015 - 01:52pm PT
Hotel Kerobokan
DanaB

climber
CT
May 27, 2015 - 02:55pm PT
The Life of Samuel Johnson
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 22, 2015 - 07:59am PT
Realism, Rationalism & Scientific Method Vol 1
Problems of Empiricism Vol 2

Philosophical Papers of Paul Feyerabend
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Jun 22, 2015 - 09:05am PT
Reading an older book by Kim Stanley Robinson (of Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars fame) called The Memory of Whiteness. If you like scifi and you like music, and philosophical themes, this book is quite the mind bender.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Jun 26, 2015 - 06:58pm PT

A rare treat.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Jun 26, 2015 - 07:02pm PT


I haven't seen the film but the book is a joy.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 28, 2015 - 04:48am PT
Just finished the last two volumes of Allan Eckert's series, The Winning of America, The Conquerors & The Wilderness War. Although Eckert's work has taken some criticism for his employment of imagination when recreating conversations based on historical facts, these books are valuable accounts of this land's history.

stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jun 28, 2015 - 12:01pm PT
I just finished Command & Control by Eric Schlosser. Basically a history of nuclear weapons safety in the US. Interesting and well-written, but also a bit scary and depressing. Finished it thinking that it was sheer luck that we didn't have an accidental nuclear detonation at some point between 1950 and 1980. And that such an accident could very easily have led to war with the Soviets.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 3, 2015 - 06:46am PT
Iron & Silk by Mark Salzman. A good read and probably the last look at China before the advent of the internet; which has had a marked impact on the ancient culture there, at least from what I read in the news about modern China. Of course the internet has changed every culture; but probably not to the extent that has taken place in China.

stevep, Command And Control sounded interesting so I bought a used copy and am starting it today.

Stewart

Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Jul 9, 2015 - 03:46pm PT
Homegrown Democrat by Garrison Keillor: A must read for all citizens of the U.S. as the next Presidential election nears.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 12, 2015 - 02:32pm PT
[Click to View Linked Image]
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 12, 2015 - 03:31pm PT
malemute, looks like a good read, i will give it a try, i'm about to finish up Command And Control , if that isn't enough of a realistic scare, i don't know what is. Mind boggling.

sycorax, our stories are reversed, i came home to GA for a medical checkup for what i thought was going to a few month's visit until spring of 1985 and here i have unintentionally remained for 30 years. i had planned on another exodus to Yosemite.

Thanks for the link, i read that in 2010; certainly worth reading again.

Somethings have changed, somethings have remained the same. i have a friend who is an organic chicken farmer for both laying and frying hens and two others that are organic truck farmers. Waffles and grits remain strong and the instant variety of grits is not part of the diet.

tgt, my little library looked like that once;however i culled what i knew i would never read and have whittled down the orange variety to about four. That was a mission i started 2 years ago, most belonged to my mother, a student of history.

i have two of the "gray" variety Tom Wolfe's A Man In Full (i did enjoy the parts on quail hunting.) The other is Hunter Thompson's Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. Tom Wolfe's other works i have read more than once, he must have owed his publisher one more and dumped A Man In Full on them to settle up. i have no idea why i keep them; except to tear the pages out to light the fire in the winter. i offer them up to anyone who wants them to read.

i did enjoy HT's Hell's Angels.

i can't say i have any of the hot pink one's, except that which are made to be looked at.
Psilocyborg

climber
Jul 12, 2015 - 03:40pm PT
I liked fear and loathing, I thought it was a fun read. Some times when things are over-hyped, critics become over critical. Or perhaps you really didn't like it!

I also enjoyed his Hell Angels book.

I am reading desert solitaire. I like it!

rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 12, 2015 - 04:12pm PT
David Edmonds and 1 more

Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers

The one time Wittgenstein met Karl Popper -in the Cambridge debating club - it ended with Wittgenstein threatening Popper with a fire poker and then storming out of the room...... or so the story goes. :)

Fun read so far if you are into that sort of thing. Important philisophical issues in the background but the book is not too dense for a layman.
More about personalities and the culture of Cambridge in 1946. And the great clash of competing approaches to reality as represented by these two figures.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 12, 2015 - 06:21pm PT
So this copy's lying in the cab of Flip Flop's truck and we agreed it's got more smooth moves than a Casanova.

Then Erika, his climbing partner for the weekend, showed up in camp and she had her female wolf-dog with her, a mellow little love named "Bumi."
Flip Flop decided to give me the chance to read it one more time. Thanks!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jul 13, 2015 - 08:59am PT
Sir Karl Popper was my Dad's PhD adviser at LSE...

One story my Dad liked to tell was that he and Sir Karl were discussing some difficult theory and Sir Karl leaned back, rubbed the bridge of his nose, and said, "Crouch, even after all these years, I am amazed by what I do not know."

Wise man, that.

Wish more of us had that depth of understanding.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 14, 2015 - 01:51am PT
^^^like^^^
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 26, 2015 - 04:05pm PT
Wrapped up Command & Control by Eric Schlosser a few minutes ago. It is a captivating tale of the haphazard handling of nuclear weapons dating back to their advent. The sad part is that the saga of nuclear weapons will continue. Thanks for posting it stevep.
jmacrosoft

Sport climber
Atlanta, GA
Jul 27, 2015 - 07:20am PT
"How to climb big walls"

Yay for supertopo plugs on the supertopo forums!
Gary

Social climber
From A Buick 6
Jul 28, 2015 - 08:52am PT
The Study of Counterpoint

It's a real page turner!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 28, 2015 - 11:03am PT
The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt. Second time around.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 5, 2015 - 01:19pm PT
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 5, 2015 - 01:46pm PT
“Here’s another thing I always carry. A souvenir of Oxford days. It was taken in Trinity Quad — the man on my left is now the Earl of Dorcaster.”
(Jay Gatsby bragging to Nick Carraway)
Interesting that sycorax posted a Gatsby quote since I just reread that a couple of weeks ago for the first time in about 25 yrs. Absolutely terrific. I hadn't really appreciated it in the earlier period of my life.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Aug 5, 2015 - 01:56pm PT
"What Hath God Wrought"
The transformation of America, 1815 - 1848
by Daniel Walker Howe
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 5, 2015 - 04:30pm PT
I think it was who Reilly mentioned Fur, Fortune And Empire by Eric J. Dolin on another thread, it sounded interesting and it is. Less than ½ through it; but it is very good reading.
yeahman

Mountain climber
Montana
Aug 5, 2015 - 05:10pm PT
This book will haunt your dreams...totally engrossing and disturbing as hell.

jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Aug 5, 2015 - 07:14pm PT
The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons. I just started reading it and doubt I will have it done in the three weeks the library allows (600+ pages). Might have to buy it and read at leisure. Sherlock Holmes meets Henry James.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Aug 5, 2015 - 07:41pm PT
a fascinating man according to
his thick story seeped in
women, tragedy, alcoholism,
serendipity, risk, reward;
a virtuoso in so many regards,
ludwig.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Aug 6, 2015 - 12:01pm PT
Nice statue, sycorax. I've reached the point in the book where Holmes faces the ultimate existential threat: He realizes he is a fictional character. 540 pages to go.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 6, 2015 - 12:19pm PT
Lot of folks seem to be reading Crime and Punishment, which is terrific of course. First I need to finish rereading The Brothers Karamosov, (for the third time I think) which I picked up a while back but got bogged down with the length and my own commitments, etc. Really one of the standout books of Western literature. That was the nice thing about reading Gatsby is that the length wasn't daunting and didn't seem an impediment to finishing it, which begins to feel worrisome. I had a similar reaction to David Copperfield, which is great. But when you read and write all day at a desk, long books can become a chore.

Also need to finish Cadillac Desert, which, for a book about water, is really compelling.
MikeMc

Social climber
Aug 6, 2015 - 03:07pm PT
Just yesterday, while rummaging through a closet, I found a box I have moved many times, but not opened, in about 20 years. Books of course, those heavy things I always seem to drag around the country when I move, yet never actually unpack, or shelve.

Last night I enjoyed dipping back into Soul of Wood, by Jakov Lind. It will be interesting to see the difference, if any, 20 years makes in my overall impression of this book, and the rest of the boxes contents.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Aug 6, 2015 - 04:15pm PT
The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi

In the near future water wars between Las Vegas and Phoenix are serious. Phoenix is a dying city with much of it abandoned and the houses stripped of plumbing and wiring. Good stuff for those with a post apocalyptic appetite.
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Aug 9, 2015 - 09:37am PT
Enemy at the Gates
Words cannot describe the horror, but William Craig does a pretty good job. Over a million soldiers killed, 40,000 civilians dead in the city alone in the first two days. Reading words like "The primitive instinct to survive at any cost" And "monumental human tragedy" and the stories/facts behind those words leaves my mind reeling.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Aug 17, 2015 - 04:42pm PT
i failed this subject
once or twice,

so i'm studying up
for my last go-round:
teenage daughters.
i got this.

coolrockclimberguy69

climber
Aug 17, 2015 - 06:36pm PT
Just finished Cat's Cradle for the second time. Vonnegut might be my all time favorite author.

Now I'm reading a book I found in the children's section of the library called The Art of Racing in the Rain. It's about a dog who is a Formula 1 racing fan and trying to get reincarnated as a human.

Anxiously awaiting Cormac McCarthy's new novel The Passenger.

edit: also have The Martian on deck since I've heard nothing but great things about it.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2015 - 04:05pm PT
I finished Fur, Fortune And Empire by Eric J. Dolin, less than a week ago. If you are interested in North American History and how the fur trade drove the international economy, it would be of great interest to you.

I read Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson by Raymond Thorp and Robert Bunker in a few days time. It is the book which the movie Jerimah Johnson was loosely based on. A lot of documented history, again involving the fur trade. It was a quick one. I need to read the other book used to write the movie script, Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher. (I may be reiterating information posted up thread somewhere.I am not sure where I learned of this.)

I just started Incidents In The Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs. When first written she used another name and apparently no one put much stock into it. Someone did some research and discovered it to be a factual account and a true autobiography. (It is one of my mother's books that has been sitting among others that I want to read. I thought I had about four in that category; but it turns out I have a whole shelf full.)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 28, 2015 - 02:40pm PT
You can have it next, WBraun.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Sep 2, 2015 - 09:09am PT
Just finished reading Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward.

Boy can that guy research a story. Scary on many levels.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Sep 2, 2015 - 09:13am PT
*
Mouse, can i borrow the book after Warner?
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Sep 12, 2015 - 04:30pm PT
Timely since it's about a disastrous fire in Jackson.

Loaned to me by the present owner of the mine.

Inheriting a gold mine isn't all it's cracked up to be.


[Click to View Linked Image]

It's a really well put together book weaving the technical and personal aspects without shortchanging either, the coming of age of mass media, coverage of a disaster, and women in the press.

There's probably lot of folks with connections to the area here that would really like it

http://www.amazon.com/47-Down-1922-Argonaut-Disaster/dp/0471446920
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Sep 12, 2015 - 07:45pm PT
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

Excellent memoir from a New Yorker writer that was a surfing bum in the 70s. One of the first couple guys to surf Tavarua in Fiji, and early days at a number of the other now well known SE Asia spots.

john hansen

climber
Sep 12, 2015 - 08:04pm PT
I am finishing up "To Hell and Back" by Charles Pellegrino. The Last Train From Hiroshima.


He gives the stories of people who lived through the atomic bomb blast of Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
Some people very near ground zero survived in cellars or concrete buildings. Very horrific tales of radiations effects depending how far away you were. Sometime just being protected by the leaves of trees would be the difference between living or not.

Like a kid that dove down to the bottom of a river and held on while he tried to hold his breath as long as he could, and came up to a world destroyed around him but no radiation effects.

Lots of good science.

There were quite a few people who experienced both of the blasts and survived , having gone from Hiroshima to Nagasaki to get to family or just to get away.

Some very powerful stories.
Scylax

Trad climber
Idaho
Sep 13, 2015 - 09:29am PT
"The Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer- story of combat on the Eastern Front by a German Infantryman. Intense.
"Me, Myself, and I" by Andy Kirkpatrick-the PDF version. HEY ANDY!! Hurry up on the print version, would you??
😉
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Sep 13, 2015 - 09:40am PT
craig morris

Trad climber
la
Sep 13, 2015 - 11:45am PT
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Oct 8, 2015 - 08:24pm PT
so I have ordered two books not yet arrived:

"The Story of the Inyo" by Willie Arthur Chalfant, a classic reprint.. and

"Freedom Climbers: The Golden Age of Polish Climbing, Legends and Lore" by Bernadette McDonald

I'm also looking for suggestions in Irish history for some indeterminate supraconscious impetus defying all logic, most likely having to do with the pain meds I'm using today..

and btw what are your favorites in California history of the west? I did see Tobia's list on the fur trade.. damn interesting I'll check them out
BigB

Mountain climber
Sin City
Oct 8, 2015 - 09:39pm PT
Great Exploration Hoaxs....
interesting but dry.
The Tower by K Cordes...
good read re: Cerro Torre
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Oct 9, 2015 - 07:48am PT
The Martian by Andy Weir. Started, kept me up late, finished in the morning. Fabulous good fun.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 9, 2015 - 08:07am PT
I got lost in the ozone and didn't read for awhile.

I finished Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl recently. An autobiography, like no other I have read.

Roger Brown's posting of Enemy At The Gates made me want to read it, as I haven't read a book centered on that front during WW II. R.B.'s comments are spot on.

Both of the above books make me realize how easy my life has been, each trivializing my life circumstances despite my perception of them.

When I wrap that book up I have purchased two books by "Tacoians" to read, more on those later.
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
Oct 9, 2015 - 10:45am PT
DEEP SOUTH by Paul Theroux
MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 9, 2015 - 10:58am PT
The Smart Growth Manual.

Unbounded Wholeness.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Oct 9, 2015 - 11:56am PT
The Weapon by David Poyer.

his Dan Lenson novels are fascinating.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2015 - 05:55pm PT
I wrapped up Enemy at the Gates today. William Craig's Prologue ends with the following sentences in the last paragraph:

Brutality, sadism, and cowardice are undeniably prominent in the story. Jealousy, overriding ambition and callousness to human suffering occur with shocking frequency... What happens is not pleasant reading. No book that deals with widespread slaughter can be.

I read some chapters more than once because it was hard to believe what I had just read.

I started A Stance of Wonder by Mark Rodell this afternoon. The first few pages seem promising and I am sure it will be pleasant reading.

↓Nita, no problem. Send me a mailing address.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Oct 20, 2015 - 11:42pm PT
*
Tobia, by any chance do you loan out books?

I would like to read/ borrow ~ Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl..


ps..Mark Rodell is a good writer...Hope you enjoy his book.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 21, 2015 - 09:06am PT
sycorax and I have similar tastes in literature.

If you liked Heart of Darkness, check out N888er of the Narcissus. A dated title, which is unfortunate, but a terrific book. I remember absently mindedly reading it in the Atlanta airport and then realized some folks might not take kindly to me reading a book with that word in the title so I slyly tucked it away.

I just picked up Wind, Sand and Stars by St. Exupery again after a long lapse. Though it clearly has some touchy feely parts, when you get through those into the accounts of early aviation, it is riveting.

St. Exupery had an interesting life. Didn't know this when I first read it but, while I knew that St. Exupery disappeared in his plane. Rereading this book prompted me to check him out and found out that he lived in the U.S. for a couple of years during the WWII after the Nazis invaded France and attempted to persuade the U.S. to join the fight against Nazi Germany. He was actually on a recon mission for the Allies when his plane disappeared.
Bluelens

Social climber
Pasadena, CA
Oct 22, 2015 - 09:56pm PT
Second the rec for Conrad's N888er of the Narcissus found in some short story collections. It's almost a novella. A sea voyage returning home from India to Europe....with a fine company of sailors.
My all time favorite Conrad is Secret Sharer outstanding short story. Recommended at the US Naval Academy. A leadership story about the shadow side of self.
Last read Defending Beef by the Niman Ranch wife. Covers climate change, water, grazing, and a short but valuable chapter on the value of having in our nation children raised on farms, with animals and nature.
On deck: Life in Motion by Misty Copeland the ballerina from San Pedro in LA County with the outraged anti-stage mother who turned down full scholarships for her daughter at the best dance programs to keep her at home with her (nonwhite) family and culture.
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Oct 22, 2015 - 10:11pm PT
Recommended at the US Naval Academy

David Poyer's Dan Lenson series was required reading at the US Naval Academy. His novels range from the heights of heroism to the depths of human behavior, and he is less than kind to high command.
Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Bangkok
Oct 25, 2015 - 08:51pm PT
Thank you Tobia.
Nita, you are very kind.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 28, 2015 - 12:17pm PT
I finished A Stance Of Wonder within a couple of days of starting it. I enjoyed it, as much as I thought I would. Although it a fictional tale, a lot of the descriptive language involved in sculpting a reader's p Yosemite Valley, Tenaya Canyon, Cloud's Rest, places that burned into my soul, made me forget I was reading fiction. The same can be said of Camp 4 and the variety of personality types found in the climbing community.

I have never been to Thailand; but I feel like I have now.
Gerg

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 28, 2015 - 12:30pm PT
Rondoy by David Wall

The Complete Tintin
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Oct 28, 2015 - 03:22pm PT
John, speaking of recommended reading in the military, have you read Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer? Another one that is highly regarded, and none too kind to high command and bureaucracy.

I'll have to try those Poyer books. I had read one or two of his Tiller Galloway diving thrillers and liked those.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 28, 2015 - 03:46pm PT
Anybody interested in military history and, more importantly, Pentagon shenanigans
MUST read Boyd - The Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art of War. The title
addendum is somewhat misleading in that while Boyd's impact on war fighting
is undeniable his greatest legacy might be the valiant, if marginally effective,
war he waged within the Air Force and Pentagon to further accountability and
just plain common sense. It is impeccably researched searing in its analyses.

Boyd's battles with the AF brass should be front page news today with the
Obama administration's announcement of the awarding of a contract to build
another in a long line of useless AF pet projects - a new long range nuke
bomber. WTF? If you read the book you will have to agree that the whole
existence of the Pentagon is twofold:
1. To build expensive weapons so
2. Retired generals and admirals can get nice high paying jobs after they
retire.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2015 - 07:19am PT
Reilly, thanks for posting above book. Sounds like something I would like to read.

I started Doug Robinson's The Alchemy Of Action today. I have always enjoyed reading Doug's posts on the historical threads here. I also have a background in exercise science; which makes his theory about brain chemistry during climbing and other physically demanding sports intriguing.

Has anyone else here read it?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 29, 2015 - 08:33am PT
^^^ I grabbed an autographed copy in Bishop at that great little bookstore there but haven't
started it yet. It looks deep, I could be in trouble!
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 10, 2015 - 06:09am PT
The Alchemy Of Action is a bold new look into the chemistry of our brains when we experience those heights in spirit and vision when stressing our bodies (and minds) in heavy duty action on granite, trails or asphalt.

The biochemistry of action is explained in layman's terms and easily understood. Dick Robinson put a lot effort into writing a book that made the science easily digestible and transferable to my own experiences.

Reilly, if you can fly a jet, you can easily handle this information. No "crankloon" stuff here.
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
Nov 10, 2015 - 08:17am PT
"M" Train by Patti Smith
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 10, 2015 - 09:25am PT
I recently finished "Bloodsucking Fiends" by Christopher Moore. It's one of the funniest books I've ever read.

Regarding Joseph Conrad, mentioned on the previous page, I have recently read Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness, and Typhoon. I have a hard time understanding why Conrad's writing has the reputation it does, I really didn't find much to appreciate. I was so surprised by this fact that it took me 3 works to decide that I really wasn't going to go for it.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Nov 10, 2015 - 10:00am PT

And a good follow up to Neil Irwin's book:

looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Nov 10, 2015 - 10:03am PT

Just read this the other. Better than I expected.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Nov 23, 2015 - 03:15pm PT
Invisible Man by Ellison and "The Guest" by Camus.

The former is stellar but haven't read the latter. I have been meaning to reread The Plague though, which is terrific.
losbill2

climber
Nov 23, 2015 - 03:32pm PT
"Reading Lolita In Tehran" by Azar Nafrsi published in 2003. What a wonderful writer. She paints scenes that draw you into her apartment and into her circle of students in Tehran in the mid-90's. As real and vibrant and relevant today as the day it was written. It offers the reader tremendous insight into the culture and politics of Iran and the Revolution still playing out today,
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
Nov 23, 2015 - 04:53pm PT
The Ghosts of K2 by Mick Conefrey
DanaB

climber
CT
Nov 23, 2015 - 05:01pm PT
The Life of Samuel Johnson.
Crapshoot: Rolling the Dice on the Vice Presidency.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Nov 23, 2015 - 05:59pm PT
[photoid=435496
current
Reptyle195

Trad climber
Ca
Nov 23, 2015 - 09:33pm PT
Esse tial Genetics
D-<
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 30, 2015 - 10:33am PT
The Ugly Swans

Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky

translated from the Russian by Alice Stone Nakhimovsky and Alexander Nakhimovsky


Wild and strange but strangely true
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Nov 30, 2015 - 12:06pm PT
I'm about 1/2way through The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts.

It is the follow-up to Shantaram. Last time I read anything like these 2 books was the Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan series.
Gary

Social climber
Hell is empty and all the devils are here
Dec 1, 2015 - 07:28am PT
I'm getting old, and need to get serious about my bucket list. Just took a train to Indiana and had time to read.

Finished Crime and Punishment on the way out. It was a good translation apparently and it was a real page turner, especially as things started closing in on Raskolnikov. The only issue I had with it was trying to figure out why Nastasia, Dunia, Sofia and Razumihkin were so devoted to Raskolnikov.

After that Shooting Polaris by John Hale. Hale was a summer temp for the BLM's cadastral survey in Utah in the early '80s, right before technology caught up with surveying. The book is about the conflict with his personal views on nature and conservation with his love of surveying. Good read.

Just started East of Eden and it might be better than Grapes of Wrath.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Dec 1, 2015 - 08:33am PT
Lots of 19th Century American, Californian and Western history and commentary: Vigilantes in Gold Rush San Francisco, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, The Rush, Rush for Riches, Eldorado, Mining in the Pacific States of North America, Days of Gold, The Telegraph in America, The Life and Legend of Jay Gould, Five Points, The Great Hunger, American Colossus, Mining Frontiers of the Far West, Scenery of the Plains, Mountains and Mines, and The Irish Americans, My Memories of the Comstock, Comstock Women... phew. There's more, too. A lot more.

Of those, only The Great Hunger, The Irish Americans, Five Points, and Rush for Riches were good. And only then if you're psyched to learn about those topics.

Also the Stegner (Where The Bluebird...). But Stegner worries me. Angle of Repose is one of my favorite novels, but he unarguably directly cribbed about ten percent of that book from the writings of Mary Hallock Foote. All the beautiful descriptions of the 19th Century west? Foote. Ten percent. Uncredited. That is a colossal amount. I suspect that cost him the Nobel Prize.

Okay, that said, I detected another one in Where the Bluebird Sings...

In it, Stegner writes to the effect of: "California, it's America, only more so."

Great quote, one you see widely attributed to him...

Problem is, I just happened to be perusing back issues of The Overland Monthly, and there it is, that exact quote, in the December 1883 issue.

Ouch.

After awhile, it's a bit much.

So when I'm not plowing through skull-crushing 19th Century history, I've been reading pulp for funzies: The Mask of Dimitrios, Masie Dobbs (#1 & #2), Glitz, Freaky Deaky, Maximum Bob, Brown's Requiem, The Hot Country, The Star of Istanbul, and The Martian.

That last was a real thriller.

And then three WSJ reviews I've done: Snowblind by Daniel Arnold, Alone on the Wall by Honnold, and The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck. All three of which were very good. The Oregon Trail is almost great. I think most of us following this thread would enjoy all of them.

Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 1, 2015 - 09:29am PT
^^^
Interesting. The Oregon Trail sounds intriguing. I need another good nonfiction to start and then put aside when I find I lack the time to finish it. Nonfiction is interesting in that it can either be a relatively quick read, like one of Steve House's books, or it can be really, factually dense and make for interesting but slower going, like Cadillac Desert, which I'm now about 80% through.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Dec 1, 2015 - 10:17am PT
Funny. It was the exact opposite for me. Took me a good while to get through Beyond the Mountain, but I read Cadillac Desert in one sitting, noon to two a.m.
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Dec 1, 2015 - 01:22pm PT
My brother just came down for a visit and left two books with me. Both are baseball books. Baseball has always been a big part of our family, so his gift was all the more meaningful. It also helps keep the stoke going during baseball's doldrums between the end of the World Series and the start of Spring Training.

First was Driving Mr. Yogi by NY sportswriter Harvey Araton. Published in 2012 and based on much material gathered in 2011. It explores the relationship between Yogi and his "keeper", another former Yankee star, Ron Guidry. Of course Yogi passed away earlier this year, and I'm sure there are going to be a bunch of "Yogi" books coming out to take advantage of the momment, but it was nice to read this that was written while Yogi was still alive. You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this book.

The other is Fridays with Red by Bob Edwards, the host of NPR's Morning Edition. It's about Bob's 12 year gig with the great radio announcer Red Barber. I remember these broadcasts (they lasted only 4 minutes! I would have sworn theye were longer) and loved tuning in on Fridays just to catch these two having fun. Just starting to read it. So far so good. Again, baseball is not the central theme, so don't shy away because of that.

Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Dec 1, 2015 - 01:27pm PT
baseball books

LittleZ, I'm assuming you and your people have read Roger Angell's baseball books, because if not...
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Dec 1, 2015 - 01:36pm PT
Hey Greg,

yes, a long time follower of Roger. My Mom used to clip his New Yorker bits and send them too me. Before the internet, his stuff helped keep me afloat as a baseball fan here in Costa Rica, where futbol is king. I've also got his books A Pitcher's Story and Season Ticket, both well dog-eared.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Dec 1, 2015 - 01:48pm PT
Phew... I revisit a few of his stories during the dark time of each year as I attempt to survive the dull thuds of the football season and connect the end of the World Series with the start of spring training.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2015 - 02:18pm PT
The Summer of '49 by David Halberstam is a great "baseball book". I look forward to reading Driving Mr. Yogi .

I love baseball myself, I wasn't very good at hitting, only fielding. I got to throw the ball some with my nephew on Thanksgiving, first time in a few years.

He was a standout in high school and helped his team win the state championship in 2011. Funny thing, I have a bunch of my left handed gloves from years ago. He forgot to bring his right handed glove; but it made no difference because he is ambidextrous at hitting and fielding. Not sure if he got to pitch both ways in high school; but batted that way often.

I'm working on Moanin' At Midnight, The Life & Times of Howlin' Wolf by James Segrest and Mark Hoffman.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Dec 2, 2015 - 07:55am PT
The Summer of '49 by David Halberstam is a great "baseball book".

I second Tobia's opinion. Why is it that baseball seems to do so well in lit relative to the other big sports? There are reams of good baseball books, but the shortlist of the good books on the other major sports is pretty small. For football, I think of Semi-Tough (classic, in my opinion), North Dallas Forty, The Blind Side, and Friday Night Lights (also classic). I don't know of any great basketball books. But there's a really long list of good and great and classic baseball books...
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 3, 2015 - 03:26am PT
My guess as to the answer to your question concerning the quality and number of books written about baseball is that baseball was the greatest game before the advent of televised sports events, as well the fact that the sport's complexity and strategy makes better literary material.

David Halberstam wrote two other books on baseball, October 1964 and The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship.

According to Halberstam's biography, printed on the back jacket of his last work, The Coldest Winter, (published posthumously) he died in an automobile accident that occurred on his way to an interview for his next book about the 1958 NFL Championship Game.

An article concerning the 1958 game in Wikipedia states the game was between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants that became known as the "The Greatest Game Ever Played" and the beginning of the rise of the NFL as the leading (spectator) sport in the United States. The book was completed by Frank Gifford, who was quarterback for the NY Giants.

I read a few football books when I was a youngster: Jerry Kramer's Instant Replay, Joe Namath's I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow...'Cause I Get Better Looking Every Day, and in later years The Junction Boys; which was the story of Bear Bryant's era at Texas A&M. I also read North Dallas Forty at some point.

Halberstam also wrote three other books concerning sports, none of which I have read. Those include books about Bill Walton, Michael Jordan and Bill Bellichick,
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Dec 3, 2015 - 08:18am PT
I didn't realize Halberstam had done so much sports writing. I really enjoyed The Coldest Winter. You're probably right about the dynamics of baseball/football lit, but if that's the case, where are the excellent modern books about football, since the rise of TV to rule our lives? Although we might not have enough perspective yet to winnow out the good ones.
DanaB

climber
CT
Dec 3, 2015 - 08:27am PT
Greg, have you read The Game by Ken Dryden? You mentioned the relative lack of books on sports other than baseball.
Byran

climber
San Jose, CA
Jan 3, 2016 - 02:51pm PT
At the end of every year I like to look over what I read through the year. Make sure I'm staying on track with my reading goals. I thought I'd share this here in the form of mini-reviews in case someone is looking for book recommendations. Title and author is followed by a rating and then very brief (5 words or less) synopsis/word-association.

Notre Dame de Paris - Victor Hugo 10/10
Heartache, self-loathing... architecture!

The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe 10/10
Manly men playing with rocketships.

Les Miserables - Victor Hugo 9/10
Humanity, God... La France!

Time Machine - H. G. Wells 9/10
The unlikely future of mankind.

Island of Dr. Moreau- H. G. Wells 9/10
Unsettling scifi horror.

Age of Reason - Thomas Paine 8/10
This week on Mythbusters: Christianity.

Shanghai - Stella Dong 8/10
History of the International Settlement.

The Creators - Daniel Boorstin 8/10
History of the arts/humanities.

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens 8/10
You know the story.

Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith 8/10
Free trade, prosperous nations.

Elements of Style - Strunk and White 8/10
Learn to write good.

War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells 7/10
Better without Tom Cruise.

First Men in the Moon - H. G. Wells 7/10
Yes "IN" the moon.

The Language Instict - Stephen Pinker 7/10
Linguistics theory 101.

Fail Falling - Royal Robbins 6/10
The first one is better.

Hiding in the Mirror - Lawrence Krauss 6/10
Over-my-head quantum theory.

Invisible Man - H. G. Wells 6/10
Interesting premise, weak characters.
Joron

Trad climber
Hoodland, Oregon
Jan 3, 2016 - 03:07pm PT
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jan 3, 2016 - 05:00pm PT
Totally agree on the Bacigalupi books. Shipbreaker is also good.

Just finished Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina. Very good insight into emotion and intelligence in elephants, wolves and killer whales.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Feb 5, 2016 - 04:09pm PT
William Finnegan's Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.

Genuine magic animates his pen. Without question, the best book about surfing ever written. Stands with Quartered Safe Out Here and With the Old Breed as one of the best memoirs I've ever read.

Having invested a significant portion of my existence in pursuit of both endeavors, I don't think a book this good has yet been written about climbing.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 5, 2016 - 04:17pm PT
Good respective list from Bryan. Wish I had that much quiet time to read. I've been eyeing The Invisible Man, which is on my shelf, after enjoying two other Wells' novels, The Time Machine and The Lost World. Both are good fun but really more adventure yarns than anything else. Maybe I'll save it for later. I've been meaning to go back to Steppenwolf but wasn't too impressed with Narcissus and Goldmun, so I back burnered it after a couple of chapters.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Feb 5, 2016 - 04:25pm PT
No surprise, it's NON fiction...

The Most Good You Can Do
Peter Singer (2015)
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Feb 6, 2016 - 10:01am PT
Here's my review of Mick Conefrey's "The Ghosts of K2" for this weekend's edition of The Wall Street Journal.

(Clicking on the photo of the review should make it easily readable.)
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Feb 6, 2016 - 10:32am PT
Nice review Greg.

I'd agree with you on Barbarian Days...very well done. And a lucky guy to be there early on in Fiji and Indonesia.

Have you read Tapping the Source or Dogs of Winter by Kem Nunn? Both are fiction, and more mystery/thrillers, but I'd argue equally good writing about surfing.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Feb 6, 2016 - 11:25am PT
SteveP.... Thanks. As for Kem Nunn, I've read them both. Enjoyed them both, too. I seem to recall them both tipping a little too far into "magical realism" for my tastes. I wasn't as convinced by the surfing scenes as I wanted/needed to be. (It has been a long time since I read them, so I could be wildly misremembering.)

I think it was Tapping the Source that had the description of a commando trip to what was clearly supposed to be the secret spots west of Goleta, where i grew up. I've been fortunate to come to know a few of those spots pretty well in the last 35 years. I wasn't completely sold.

But that's nit-picking, too. Both were really good California novels. Surf noir.

Back to Barbarian Days... being one of the first nine people in the world to discover Tavarua... it boggles the mind. Three MONTHS of trading waves there with just your buddy in the water... How much perfection can one man stand? Finnegan knows. And then Lagundri Bay under just slightly more crowded circumstances? That's one of the waves in the world I would most like to try, but I sure won't get it with five other guys. (Rifles, J-Bay, Lagundri Bay, P-Pass... I'm going to try to get to them once my son goes off to college and I have large chunks of time on my hands again. Wouldn't mind ramping up the climbing ambitions again, either.) I got nothing to complain about. I've had my share of low-crowd go-outs on fantastic waves.

It's just never enough.
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
Feb 6, 2016 - 12:04pm PT
"The Little Paris Book Shop" by Nina George
and "Sir Vidia's Shadow" by Paul Theroux
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Feb 6, 2016 - 06:20pm PT
The Devil's Chessboard by David Talbot (founder of salon.com) about the life of the first director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, who oversaw:
1) the 1954 coup d'etat that overthrew Arbenz who was trying to implement democratic reforms in Guatemala,
2) Operation Ajax that overthrew the democratically elected Mosaddegh government because they nationalized Iran's oil industry,
3) the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, and
4) project MKUltra (aka Mind Control Program) that experimented with LSD and hypnosis techniques on subjects without their consent.

Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Feb 14, 2016 - 11:35am PT
The Last Thousand: One's School's Promise in a Nation at War by Jeffrey Stern.

Not all is nihilistic chaos in Afghanistan. There is hope, however tenuous.

Good book. Astonishing story.

My review of it is in today's Washington Post.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Feb 14, 2016 - 12:19pm PT
I read fairly heavy stuff this winter ( couldn't get enough of Cormack McCarthy.)

So I'm reading some cotton candy right now and it's really fun.

Tourist Season by carl Hiassen. He writes corny murder mystery/investigative reporter stuff that pokes fun of Florida and its gawdy, sleasy, tacky side. Fun characters and outrageous understatement. The perfect summertime reads. Makes me feel like I'm on vacation mentally. Tourist Season starts off with the body of a well known Shriner found floating in the ocean zipped up in a suitcase. The legs are missing and the body is covered in suntan oil and a rubber alligator shoved down his throat. A skinny Cuban car thief and a large washed up ex-NFL star turned petty burglar are the most likely culprits right now early in the book. But another Shriner has just gone missing and a poorly written ransom note has just turned up from a group calling themselves the "Noches del Deciembre." The writing is silly and casual and not heavy on any level.


He also wrote Bad Monkey. Which was really fun.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 19, 2016 - 04:59am PT
I read two good biographies on musicians lately:

Skydog: The Duane Allman Story by Randy Poe. Of the books related to the Allman Brothers Band this is has been this best so far.

The other book, Moanin' At Midnight: The Life & Times of Howlin' Wolf by James Segrest and Mark Hoffman is a well researched and informative biography of not just the Wolf but also the history of the Delta & Mississippi Hill Blues.
perswig

climber
Mar 19, 2016 - 07:29am PT
Left of Bang, Patrick van Horne, Jason Riley

Risk management, situational awareness; applicable to most walks of life.
Some of the discussion of subconscious cues and how not to smother them with higher-function interpretation suggests info covered in Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell.

Dale
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
Mar 19, 2016 - 09:48am PT
"Walking the Nile" by Levison Wood. Great story about his 2013 trek the length of the Nile River from Rwanda to the Mediterranean coast in Egypt.

"Reclaiming Conversation" by Sherry Turkle. Fascinating book about the decline of person to person conversation in the age of texting and its affect on education, personal relationships, family, friends, and work.
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Mar 19, 2016 - 11:15am PT
Off The Grid by C.J. Box. For those of you not familiar with C J Box, his books are set in the Wyoming backcountry, usually involving hunters, poachers and some larger conspiracy.

They're well written and have a nice appreciation for nature and the wild.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Apr 19, 2016 - 08:52pm PT

Incredibly current for a first draft of 1936. The later revisions are slightly polished but no changes in the original story.

Highly recommend this read if you ever wondered what actually took place on this tragic journey.
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Apr 19, 2016 - 09:01pm PT
^^^^^^ I just got that in the mail and will start it after I finish "Titan:" The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr." by Ron Chernow whick I am reading now.

"Titan" is one of the best biographies I have ever read. I'm currently finishing re-reading "The Gathering Storm" by Churchill and then I'll start in on "And Then All Hell Broke Loose." On deck is "Capital in the 21st Century" by Thomas Piketty.

Curt

MisterE

Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
Apr 19, 2016 - 09:02pm PT
1491.

A mind-blower.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 19, 2016 - 09:49pm PT
Mozart - A Life by Paul Johnson. Mind-boggling scholarship went into the 156 pages
of densely packed observations often at odds with the prevailing prejudices. I will probably
immediately re-read this.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 20, 2016 - 03:41am PT
Reading a few books at once, The Myth Of the Lost Cause and Civil War Hisory, edited by Gary Gallagher & Alan T. Norman. Interesting reading for a person who lives in the deep South. If I could only get some people I know to read it!

Also reading From The Heart Of The Crow Country, by Joseph Medicine Crow. Another sad tale of the demise of a Native American tribe.

I think Reilly suggested Longitude, by Dava Sobel. It seems very promising from the first few pages I have read.

I see some good material posted above to select from.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Apr 20, 2016 - 08:34am PT
Tobia, I add my props for Longitude. I really enjoyed that book. Wanted more detail, but I suspect the primary sources are pretty thin and that Dava Sobel did the best she could with what is available.

Good to see there are a few books out there talking sense about slavery and secession.

I recently read David M. Potter's Impending Crisis, 1848-1861. Thoroughly enjoyed it. No matter what anybody says, it was all about slavery. Can't believe there's any doubt considering that many of the southern states' declarations of secession mention slavery outright. Sample Mississippi's, which begins: "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery."

As General Grant wrote in his memoirs, discussing Lee's surrender: "I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought."

I just finished two on early Nevada: Mark Twain in Virginia City by Paul Fatout and Devils Will Reign by Sally Zanjani. Both decent.

I did hit on a clause of Twain's, in an obscure newspaper article, that is so good it makes me weep: "with the serene confidence that a Christian feels in four aces."

That is about as close to perfect of a sentence fragment as I've ever read.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Apr 20, 2016 - 09:35am PT
Dark Star Safari. Paul Theroux.
Budget backpack journey from Cairo to Capetown.
4 out of 5 so far.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Apr 20, 2016 - 10:04am PT
Just finished Erik Larson's Dead Wake. Great book for the long airline flight. Now onto The Martian ... for the return flight.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Apr 20, 2016 - 11:26am PT
Just finished China's Wings by ST's own Gregory Crouch, liked it!

I am now reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union, an alternative history novel by Michael Chabon, a Pulitzer winner. It's helping me "bone up" on my Yiddish phrases.
Pete_N

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 20, 2016 - 02:15pm PT
I've just started Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell by Janet Wallach. So far, so good though it's clear the writer has no clue when it comes to climbing (a very minor component of the book). I'm struggling a bit to get into We the Navigators (David Lewis). I read mostly to escape having to think hard (for me, required for most activities), and this is a bit too close to work, but I'm hoping to break through.

I also just got a dvd of Moana, Robert Flaherty's film about his family's experiences living in Samoa in the 1920s. Flaherty is the fellow who directed Nanook of the North btw. I'm getting ready for a work trip to Micronesia and the purchase seemed semi-justifiable. I'm psyched anyway.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Apr 20, 2016 - 02:38pm PT

A good reference for those interested in this historic route.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Apr 20, 2016 - 02:58pm PT
ydpl8s! Psyched. Thanks for making the effort. Moon Chin just celebrated his 103rd birthday, and Pete Goutiere is coming up on his 101st.

Now you'll appreciate your connection to CNAC and the Hump whenever you handle a Fedex package--after the war, ten of the AVG (Flying Tiger) pilots who came over to CNAC after the AVG disbanded in July of 1942 went on to found The Flying Tiger Line based out of Los Angeles International Airport. (Joe Rosbert--he who crawled out of the mountains with the broken leg--was one of the principals.) It was the first airline in the world dedicated to flying freight. So they used their fighter pilot cache for the name, but actually did what they'd learned with CNAC--flying freight. Fronted by Bob Prescott, it operated successfully until Prescott died in 1992, at which time the others sold out to Fedex. Hence the connection between Fedex, the Hump flying, the AVG, and CNAC.

CNAC forever! ;-)
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Apr 20, 2016 - 03:00pm PT
Pud. If you're an Oregon Trail enthusiast, you might enjoy Rinker Buck's recent The Oregon Trail: An American Journey. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Two brothers get the wild hair to drive a covered wagon from Missouri to Oregon in 2012. Great story.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Apr 20, 2016 - 03:08pm PT
Thanks Gregory, I'll check it out!
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Apr 20, 2016 - 05:02pm PT
Just about finished with The Story of Edgar Sawtelle........not sure how I missed it when it came out, but have quite enjoyed it. The author definitely knows dogs, which makes it even more interesting to me. Just starting "The High Mountains of Portugal", which has gotten great reviews, and has captivated me from the beginning....I'm only about a chapter in, as I have to finish Edgar S. first!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 20, 2016 - 05:18pm PT
Just finished "The Journey of the Flame", by Walter Nordhoff.

On the day of his 104th birthday, Don Juan Obrigon.....standing tall and straight, with hair still flaming red....prepares to tell his life story to assembled relatives and guests.

"This is an artfully imagined work of fiction that is based on meticulous research and personal knowledge, bringing life to the study of history."

It's Great! Enjoy and Cheers, Lynnie
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 20, 2016 - 06:54pm PT
This has been a year of re-reads for me. Currently I'm 150 pages into "The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill" by William Manchester, the excellent biography of Winston Churchill.

This time around I can much better appreciate the historical reach of Churchill's life . Born in 1974 during the high point of Victorian England, the span of his life encompassed that nation as the preeminent Imperial power, only to arrive to the edge of ruin, and after rescue from that ignoble state to the dissolution of its longstanding colonial reach , then eventually to second class status among the global powers.

Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 20, 2016 - 07:04pm PT
Thanks for the share Ward Trotter. I will check it out!
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 20, 2016 - 07:06pm PT
And yes Churchill even rock climbed once as a youth during his days at Harrow I believe.( A list of this man's hobbies and interests is astounding)

Churchill notwithstanding this book contains a fast and furious description of Victorian England that is quite the eye-opener.
john bald

climber
Apr 20, 2016 - 08:06pm PT
"Pacific" by Simon Winchester

If you liked "Atlantic", you won't be disappointed with this one.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Apr 20, 2016 - 08:45pm PT
Just finished Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. I actually lost sleep when I finished the book. Lewis' end is not a happy one. Great book, tho.

Currently into No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy--awesome!

In fact, gotta get to that right now. Read on, amigos.

BAd
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Apr 20, 2016 - 09:01pm PT
^^ those are both great books.
Blood Meridian was intense so if you haven't read that I'd recommend it but be forewarned.

Just finishing the last pages of Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History


Fascinating story and I'd highly recommend it as well.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Apr 20, 2016 - 09:34pm PT
^^^^ +1 I loved Empire of the Summer Moon.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Apr 29, 2016 - 01:56pm PT
Here's my review of Maurice Isserman's Continental Divide: A History of American Mountaineering in this weekend's New York Times Book Review.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 1, 2016 - 01:04pm PT
Hey Gregory,

If the title of Isserman's book were "A History of North American Mountaineering through the North American Wall," would it be a good history? What's different between Isserman's take and Chris Jones'?

Also in your lead-in you state that the national parks and the environmental movements are the result of American Mountaineering. Maybe the book should end with the early-60's since none of the climbing since the mid-60's has contributed to either, as far as I know. Interesting that the NY Times thought that this book would be of interest.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
May 1, 2016 - 02:10pm PT
Roger: Yes.

It IS a good and detailed history through that point. Especially through the end of the early K2 expeditions in 1953. Very detailed look at the early days in the 19th Century. That stuff was interesting, and he did a good job wrapping in the philosophical evolution of attitudes toward the natural world. I enjoyed that stuff.

He's much more detailed than Jones, and more all-inclusive. Jones is perhaps more fun.

IMHO, he kowtows way too much to what he calls "The Brotherhood of the Rope" generation. Basically, the Harvard Five, led by Brad Washburn. Then takes the subsequent generation to task for, among other things, "Yosemite-style competitivenes."

I think those 1930s-1950s climbers were every bit as competitive as subsequent generations. Witness the 1938-1939 rivalries with the K2 expeditions, and Charlie Houston losing an entire day of his life when he learned that the Italians had reached the summit of K2. If that isn't an indication of a hyper-competitive man, I don't know what is.

p329: "If Yosemite epitomized the the competitive individualism coming to the fore in big-wall climbing, the American expedition to Everest was perhaps the last golden moment of the spirit of the brotherhood of the rope." As if none of us have ever experienced that on an expedition! (And please, who in modern mountaineering/alpinism draws inspiration from an expedition that needed 900 porters to get it to the base of a mountain? To my mind, that expedition goes against the grain of one of the great American climbing traditions, which is to try and do more with less... (ironic, considering how our nation approaches just about everything else.) Historically, I think we've done pretty well in that regard, with the early K2 trips, the stuff done in AK, and our modern efforts.

And said "There were no budding David Browers in their ranks," which I took to indicate that he believes there was no one in that generation to extend the legacy of Brower and John Muir. To that, I submit Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, who are surely at the forefront of modern environmentalism, and who, in my mind, definitely extend the environmental conservation legacy of Muir and Brower through the ranks of American climbing.

Also, he says that "the era of the all-around climber was drawiing to a close." Not true, in my opinion. Robbins, Chouinard, Frost, and so many others of that era, in Yosemite and elsewhere, were very accomplished all-arounders, particularly in comparison to what had gone before. And there are SO MANY all-rounders in the modern game.

A few factual errors, too, like about TR's visit to Yosemite: "Most of the presidential entourage stayed behind at the Wawona Hotel on the Valley floor." Describes Devils Tower and the Wiessner Route on it as "One of the first dramatic climbs of a desert rock formation." In aggregate, not that big of a deal, and should have been caught by his copy editor.

He did raise interesting points about the horrible racism in the AAC and AMC in the first half of the 20th C.

I'm psyched the NYT thought it was worth reviewing. The WSJ has been doing a lot of climbing and adventure themed book reviews, too. If I knew nothing about American climbing history, Isserman's book would be the go-to survey for an overview for everything that happened pre-1964, even if I have some significant criticisms of tone and content.





pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
May 2, 2016 - 06:58am PT

A history of the state's agribusiness and the exploitation of the communities it touched, through the eyes of various talented writers and historians.

Many interesting facts but, I think the essence is a 'glass half empty' view.
Perhaps my rose colored glasses get in the way of the facts, again.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 2, 2016 - 07:12am PT
Referring to Gregory Crouch's comments:

I like "Yosemite-style competitiveness." Probably applies to fashion too.

I think there is a hinge point in American climbing--maybe climbing worldwide--which occurs about the mid-1960s: with few unclimbed peaks or major faces, the focus shifted almost entirely to difficulty and style. One consequence of this is that the headlines become less grabby, and journalistically riskier interior monologues become more important. Think of Royal's account of Tissiack, in which he wrote all of the parts as if spoken by each climber: a few of us read it.

After the 60s few climbers wrote about climbing. In Yosemite in the 1970s, for the most part, the first ascensionist of major new climbs did not publish accounts. Partly I think that this reflects a shift in climbers' sense that they were doing anything so special. Just climb hard, man! Workaday stuff.

If you were not there, where do you turn to for information; how do you parse the difference between an envelope-pushing new ascent versus a run-of-the mill, "mopping-up operation," to quote Robbins. And even if one had a thread of ascents which moved the progress along, would anyone care. Until the public started thinking of rockclimbing as gym climbing, who cared that the East Face of Washington Column was climbed all free. Lynn's ascent of the Nose got attention and was press worthy.

As a practical matter, no one has really written an integrated history of climbing since the mid-60s. The closest in the mid-70s was the introduction in Meyer's Valley guide, written by Royal.

This shift in climbing focus and a lack of source material leaves a vacuum for an historian. I am sympathetic to the difficulty in finding an audience for the best stuff--what does a lay reader hang her attention on: the new climbs are mostly captured in visuals or knowledge of the difficulty. (I was mesmerized by Jorg Verhoeven's video of climbing the Changing Corners on the Nose, and later found a clip of Lynn's ascent. I doubt that any non-climber would have had a clue how cool it was. Ice skaters fall down all the time so that the audience knows how hard it is.)

Interestingly, retrospectively, the 60's climbers invented heroics in their accounts to stoke interest in their ascents. Given their record, it seems overwrought nowadays.

As an aside, Alex' free-soloing and Tommy and Kevin's camping trip seem to excite public interest, give-or-take, 50 years later. Great climbs, great climbers, great publicity.

On another note, I am not sure that Yvon and Doug's environmental reach is in the same league with what had gone before. I don't minimize it, but I don't think it reached beyond the climbing community. Yvon's later environmental efforts at Patagonia on cotton sourcing is certainly having an impact on water conservation. Yvon is also showing how at least a small niche marketer can make a fortune in promoting environmentalism.

I am glad that the NY Times and the WSJ is interested in climbing related articles. Good gigs. I also don't have to dance around my lost-years climbing in the Yosemite. One 75 year old colleague introduced me to his granddaughter as a "Yosemite Rockclimber." I had never talked to him about it; the granddaughter smiled blankly. It doesn't seem to do any harm.

PS: to stay on thread I am reading "Hamilton" by Chernow and a stack of short academic books on Shakespeare's style, character, plot and metrical devices--a long running chapter in reading-for-pain.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 3, 2016 - 06:31pm PT
Thanks, Sycorax. I'll check it our.

The ancient and august Cleveland Public Library has a copy of Stephen Booth's "Shakespeare's Sonnets," published in 1969. It has been checked out 40 times in 47 years. Interesting stuff. It is a little like move-by-move beta on a big wall free climb: hugely varied, rich, and very precise; overwhelming from afar but necessary upclose: tiny variations make all the difference. A connective function for every syllable in every line with the minimum structure to create a whole. Like every note in a 60 minute symphony. 5.14 reading. Booth is a cool analyst. Professor at Berkeley. Has been trying to find the answer to, "What's the big deal?" with Shakespeare.

Several years ago I had a conversation with an old climbing partner about reading hard stuff. His reaction was why bother?; why cater to authors who make it hard; stick with the plain stuff. I reminded him that in our sunny days of climbing we did anything but stick with the plain stuff. We sought out the not-so-obvious, hoping for an elegant solution to a hopeless line, looking for fully-meshed linking of improbable doability--sneaking by in the dark. I am sure there is a connection.

Although, pictures of me in a good reading chair, with a glass of neat whiskey, does not compare to a good climbing picture in sunny Yosemite.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
May 3, 2016 - 08:57pm PT
The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson. I'm howling. It's hilarious.
Craig Fry

Trad climber
So Cal.
May 3, 2016 - 09:01pm PT
This book is a vital source of information that documents what's killing our democracy.

Very good and required reading for anyone interested in politics


Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

Hardcover – January 19, 2016

by Jane Mayer

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical/dp/0385535597/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462328809&sr=1-1&keywords=dark+money+jane+mayer


Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers?
The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against “big government” led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.
The network has brought together some of the richest people on the planet. Their core beliefs—that taxes are a form of tyranny; that government oversight of business is an assault on freedom—are sincerely held. But these beliefs also advance their personal and corporate interests: Many of their companies have run afoul of federal pollution, worker safety, securities, and tax laws.
The chief figures in the network are Charles and David Koch, whose father made his fortune in part by building oil refineries in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. The patriarch later was a founding member of the John Birch Society, whose politics were so radical it believed Dwight Eisenhower was a communist. The brothers were schooled in a political philosophy that asserted the only role of government is to provide security and to enforce property rights.
When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies chose another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency. Richard Mellon Scaife, the mercurial heir to banking and oil fortunes, had the brilliant insight that most of their political activities could be written off as tax-deductible “philanthropy.”
These organizations were given innocuous names such as Americans for Prosperity. Funding sources were hidden whenever possible. This process reached its apotheosis with the allegedly populist Tea Party movement, abetted mightily by the Citizens United decision—a case conceived of by legal advocates funded by the network.
The political operatives the network employs are disciplined, smart, and at times ruthless. Mayer documents instances in which people affiliated with these groups hired private detectives to impugn whistle-blowers, journalists, and even government investigators. And their efforts have been remarkably successful. Libertarian views on taxes and regulation, once far outside the mainstream and still rejected by most Americans, are ascendant in the majority of state governments, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Meaningful environmental, labor, finance, and tax reforms have been stymied.
Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews-including with several sources within the network-and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy.
Dark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 4, 2016 - 05:45am PT
Hey Sycorax and others interested in Shakespeare 5.14,

Fifteen years ago while spending lots of time working overseas, after I had read a few Shakespeare plays and popular critical essays, I realized that what made Shakespeare so interesting is that he was the foremost playwright and poet of his day. Folks flocked to his plays, not because he was the world’s greatest poet or playwright but because he was the best entertainment. Titus Andronicus, which most of us can barely stand to read or watch, was his biggest hit, measured by publications and performances around Europe. His plays were popular with Queen Elizabeth and King James, and he filled the cheap seats. So I set out to try to hear Shakespeare the way it was heard in the 1590’s and the 00’s.

Here is an example of the sort of pay-offs I have learned: Juliet says,

Give me my Romeo, and, when I shall die
Take him and cut him out in little stars

Which makes no sense, until “to die” is pointed out to be a common synonym for, in the 1590's, “to have an organism,” in which case, Juliet wants to come and see Romeo as stars in the heavens. Way more romantic and charming than Juliet's apparent murder/suicide revere.

So to answer the question, what am I reading, these are the books that I have either read through or dip into as something strikes me. They cover the characters and plots of the plays and the poems as well as the language of the period and Shakespeare’s specific usage. They are mostly readable for someone like me with a general interest, as long as I remind myself that Shakespeare was wildly popular before anyone thought to study his plays and poems to gain meaning. That said, Shakespeare's plays did cover dangerous topics of kingship, succession, and governance in ways that the court allowed. Shakespeare's later political plays were set outside of England in part to avoid incurring the wrath of the court, at least that is one compelling theory.

The plays are covered by Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare The Invention of the Human for which he won the Marlow bombast award, and by W.H. Auden’s, the poet, Lectures on Shakespeare. Scholars have attributed more works to Shakespeare than covered by Bloom or Auden. Also in this category is Shakespeare’s Style by Maurice Charney.

I usually read the Arden Shakespeare Series, 3rd Series editions of the plays as the extensive notes provide context. However, I usually end up reading the play twice, once including the notes and a second time straight through. Until recently, this was very laborious. The Arden series also includes plays that are recently attributed to Shakespeare, forty-two including the poems and Sonnets. For the Sonnets, Stephen Booth’s edition includes the most thorough commentary on the language. The other poems are easy to read straight through.

The most helpful books on Shakespeare’s language include:

Shakespeare’s Metrical Art, by George Wright from which I learned to read verse distinct from prose and learned the range of variation in iambic pentameter used by Shakespeare. Once iambic pentameter became the engine of poetry, Shakespeare managed to bend it into flexibility while maintaining five beats per line, except sometimes he left some beats out. I did not study poetry in school. Now I have learned to read it silently with stresses and end stops.

Shakespeare and Language, Edited by Catherine Alexander which includes sixteen academic papers on language, some focused on language in general and some focused on specific plays. I dip into this, but it has been helpful in learning to recognize what makes a sentence, line or passage characteristic of Shakespeare.

More specific, short books on Shakespeare’s language include:

Shakespeare & the Arts of Language by Russ McDonald. McDonald is a great analyst and easy to read.

Shakespeare’s Freedom by Stephen Greenblatt, which tries to get at Shakespeare’s over-the-top-ness which Stephen Booth characterizes “strenuously impertinent,” “conspicuously irrelevant,” a quote from “The Shakespeare Wars” by Ron Rosenbaum—see below. Greenblatt is the editor of the Riverside edition of Shakespeare and the author of Will in the World.—see below.

Shakespeare’s Style by Maurice Charney which includes an essay on specific topics in 32(?) of the plays.

Shakespeare’s Late Style, by Russ McDonald takes on the shift in Shakespeare’s language in the late tragedies and romances. I have not read much of this because I am not so familiar with these plays—they are next up. But McDonald is a good writer, so I feel comfortable recommending it.

Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt is a best seller. Interestingly Greenblatt, who is known for being a stickler for presenting the evidence and facts on Shakespeare, delves into speculation. I heard him speak and he said that he only linked actual facts about Shakespeare (which he said could be recited in ten minutes) with events described in the plays. I have read this a few times—it is better the more I know of the plays.

The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, An Introduction with Documents by Russ McDonald collects the bits and pieces of actual documents related to Shakespeare and his plays. Just the facts, Mamam, just the facts: readable but history.

The final book, The Shakespeare Wars is by Ron Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum is a NY reporter and author whose book is an engaging if breathless tour of Shakespeare academia. I am not sure that I would recommend it per se, but most of the books I recommend above came from references in Rosenbaum’s book. The two things it does is to make the scholars more human and interesting and to point out juicy tidbits of scholarship, such as the “…I shall die…” bit quoted above, or for example the general derision of Bloom expressed in the academic community. Rosenbaum likes to stir the pot, but his writing is okay and he remains fairly evenhanded.

Well, there it is: 5.14 reading. All of these books are available on Amazon.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jul 3, 2016 - 10:08am PT
The Swerve, Stephen Greenblatt. Pulitzer Prize winner for non-fiction a few years ago, this is a fascinating book. Greg C. recommended it to me and I had a great time with it. Thanks again Greg.

It weaves the story of a Vatican functionary, Poggio Bracciolini--who in the 15th century brought to light the lost writings of Lucretius, a Greek philosopher--into a larger discussion of Lucretius' ideas and their significance. These ideas are thoroughly modern ones(including that atoms are the building blocks of nature and scientific arguments against religion).

Highly recommended, even though, as a friend of mine pointed out, some scholars have criticized the book's possibly over-broad generalizations about medieval life and thought.

Roger, thanks for the Shakespeare recommendations! I'm going to start with Will of the World, also by Greenblatt.

Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 10, 2016 - 06:01am PT
Hi Rick,

Hope all is well. Swerve is a great book, but picking it up is a little like plunging off a high cliff with a vague idea that somehow it is going to work out. It is interesting that Greenblatt picked up Lucretius' epic poem for a book topic--I guess this proves that at least one person exhausted Shakespeare. I like the modern, ironic name, Swerve.

For readers who are not likely to plunge in, here is a summary of Lucretius' poem. To get your bearing, Lucretius as a Roman and this is pre-christian times.

De rerum natura (Latin: [deː ˈreːrũː naːˈtuːraː]; On the Nature of Things) is a first-century BC didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius (c. 99 BC – c. 55 BC) with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in some 7,400 dactylic hexameters, is divided into six untitled books, and explores Epicurean physics through richly poetic language and metaphors.[1]

Lucretius presents the principles of atomism; the nature of the mind and soul; explanations of sensation and thought; the development of the world and its phenomena; and explains a variety of celestial and terrestrial phenomena. The universe described in the poem operates according to these physical principles, guided by fortuna, "chance," and not the divine intervention of the traditional Roman deities.

To Epicurus, the unhappiness and degradation of humans arose largely from the dread which they entertained of the power of the deities, from terror of their wrath. This wrath was supposed to be displayed by the misfortunes inflicted in this life and by the everlasting tortures that were the lot of the guilty in a future state (or, where these feelings were not strongly developed, from a vague dread of gloom and misery after death). To remove these fears, and thus to establish tranquility in the heart, was the purpose of his teaching. Thus the deities, whose existence he did not deny, lived forevermore in the enjoyment of absolute peace, strangers to all the passions, desires, and fears, which agitate the human heart, totally indifferent to the world and its inhabitants, unmoved alike by their virtues and their crimes.

To prove this position he called upon the atomism of Democritus, so as to demonstrate that the material universe was formed not by a Supreme Being, but by the mixing of elemental particles that had existed from all eternity governed by certain simple laws. Lucretius' task was to clearly state and fully develop these views in an attractive form; his work was an attempt to show that everything in nature can be explained by natural laws, without the need for the intervention of divine beings.[3]

Lucretius identifies the supernatural with the notion that the deities created our world or interfere with its operations in some way. He argues against fear of such deities by demonstrating, through observations and arguments, that the operations of the world can be accounted for in terms of natural phenomena. These phenomena are the regular, but purposeless motions and interactions of tiny atoms in empty space. Meanwhile, he argues against the fear of death by stating that death is the dissipation of a being's material mind. Lucretius uses the analogy of a vessel, stating that the physical body is the vessel that holds both the mind (mens) and spirit (anima) of a human being. Neither the mind nor spirit can survive independent of the body. Thus Lucretius states that once the vessel (the body) shatters (dies) its contents (mind and spirit) can no longer exist. So, as a simple ceasing-to-be, death can be neither good nor bad for this being. Being completely devoid of sensation and thought, a dead person cannot miss being alive. According to Lucretius, fear of death is a projection of terrors experienced in life, of pain that only a living (intact) mind can feel. Lucretius also puts forward the 'symmetry argument' against the fear of death. In it, he says that people who fear the prospect of eternal non-existence after death should think back to the eternity of non-existence before their birth, which probably did not cause them much suffering.

See, that was not so bad.

On a Shakespeare note, the Folger Library in Washington DC organized a tour of original First Folios of Shakespeare's plays, published in 1623, to all fifty states to commemorate Shakespeare's death 400 years ago. Shakespeare's First Folio Tour Host Locations and Dates The one in San Diego closed on 7 July but the one in Boulder is in August. We got a copy in Cleveland. I had no idea of what to expect--it's a book. But was startled by: "It's a book." Not fancy, just a readable book, like any other book. History is not so long ago if Lucretius sounds modern is ideas and Shakespeare 400 years on, looks like Barnes and Noble.

Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jul 10, 2016 - 09:18am PT
Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson. Excellent.

Left in my car a few years ago after a climbing weekend by Andrew Lindblade.

Here's the NY Times review.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jul 10, 2016 - 10:55am PT
Seems like you're having a great trip.

Samuel Johnson's house in London is worth a visit, especially since there is an ancient and atmospheric pub he frequented around the corner!
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
Jul 10, 2016 - 11:23am PT
"On the Trail of Genghis Khan" by Tim Cope.....The author's present day expedition on horseback and on foot along the original Khan route.

"Everybody Behaves Badly" by Lesley Blume......The story behind Hemingway's masterpiece first novel, The Sun Also Rises.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Jul 10, 2016 - 11:43am PT
Just finished Don Delillo's "Zero K" a strange nightmare of a book, though compelling...recommended.

Spent time in the lake district two years ago where it always felt like Wordsworth was leading the way. Can't wait to go back.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 10, 2016 - 12:19pm PT
Hi Paul,

I have not read any of Delillo's novels. I read the recent NYTimes review for "Zero K" but could not get a clear signal that this is the one to start with. Any suggestions?

Nice pictures Sycorax. Jane's place, by comparison, looks a little shabby.

Since my long Shakespeare post upthread, I have delved into his Sonnets and found (in the Cleveland Public Library) and read Stephen Booth's An Essay on Shakespeare's Sonnets, 1967 (Only about 40 people have checked it out and the selling price on Amazon is ~$100). I am not sure that I would recommend this, except for bragging rights (5.14 R). That said, I have a much deeper appreciation of why these poems have been on everyone's reading list for the past 400 years. Booth has his own edition of the Sonnets with his copious textual notes. I also have several other editions--somehow I keep buying them until I finally started reading. These other editions refer to Booth's comments, especially in tricky bits.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 10, 2016 - 12:43pm PT
The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
R.A. Fisher

the foundational work of neo-Darwinism,
an excellent read even if written in difficult prose.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jul 10, 2016 - 01:27pm PT
If you want a little edge of your seat, solving a mystery, true story with an adventure bit to it, check out Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson.
I've never been much of a "water guy", but read it cover to cover in a nearly single stretch.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships. But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment. No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Jul 10, 2016 - 02:11pm PT
Hi Paul,

I have not read any of Delillo's novels. I read the recent NYTimes review for "Zero K" but could not get a clear signal that this is the one to start with. Any suggestions?

I'd recommend it. It's a quick read. He's a stylist of sorts a bit like James Salter but more surprising and, at least in this case, more surreal... sentences that are at once confounding and yet perfectly clear.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 15, 2016 - 07:42pm PT
I want to nominate Moby Dick as a great climbing read. The "Mast-Head Chapter" captures so much of what love about being on rock with partners.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 15, 2016 - 08:27pm PT
Alan Turing: the enigma by Alan Hodges. Superbly written about the man who saved western civilization and envisaged the computer as we now know it, and was foresaken by his nation.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Oct 15, 2016 - 09:52pm PT
Grisham; The Rogue Attorney

great build up, likeable character, entirely flat ending.

like his publisher said, 'tough, you give me what you got or you're out'


could have tied the story lines together to a grand finale. let down.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Oct 15, 2016 - 10:02pm PT
"Tribe", by Sebastian Junger. Good stuff about how people traditionally relate to one another, or not. Also great insights in how to treat PTSD, in the realm of a "tribe of people", or veterans who cannot relate to civilian life anymore.

Easy read too.

Still trying to parse my way through the "Republic" too. Plato. I can relate to it, and I see where they're going, by it's fuking slow....
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 17, 2016 - 08:07am PT
About a third of the way through War and Peace. This is my third try and three's a charm. I'm hoping somewhere in here Pierre gets his head out of his ass.

Next in the pile is An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Oct 17, 2016 - 09:29am PT
Name of the Rose, by Umberto Ecco, last month.

Now, the full Gungslinger series.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Oct 17, 2016 - 10:28am PT
Wow, I read a ton and don't shy away from difficult reads, but Name of the Rose is right up there with the few I've had a hard time getting through. Two others on that list are Anathem by Neal Stephenson (I loved Cryptonomicon) and V by Thomas Pynchon (I liked Gravity's Rainbow).

I'm currently reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 17, 2016 - 10:42am PT
Brandon, what did you think of Name of the Rose? Should it go on the pile?
EP

Trad climber
Osteoarthritis Shouldervile
Oct 17, 2016 - 11:13am PT
In the last month I have read two Phillip K Dick books, two on teleporting, and one on prime numbers.

Gotta start a new one today after I learn the Theme from Lumpy Gravy on my new classical guitar, dry out the tent and fly after getting rained on at Plakett Creek Campground this weekend, and miss climbing since my neck and shoulder no longer allow it.
DanaB

climber
CT
Oct 17, 2016 - 11:23am PT
Essays by Gore Vidal.
An interesting one about the War of 1812.
Writing in Restaurants, David Mamet
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Oct 17, 2016 - 11:27am PT
Name of the Rose is an incredible book!

It begins slowly, and is full of lists as it gets going, but if you stick through the first hundred pages you'll have figured out the writing style and are in for a great read.

IMHO, his style is excellent. Best book I've read in a couple of years.

There is a Twenty Thousand Leagues aspect to it which wasn't my favorite.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 17, 2016 - 11:48am PT
Gary, here's one for yer pile: Moscow Nights:The Van Cliburn Story-How One Man and His
Piano Transformed The Cold War by Nigel Cliff

OK, it won't win awards for its succinct title but "The Economist" gives it a thumbs up.

You'll like this quote:

"...Sviatoslav Richter...reportedly awarded him full marks for each round and zero to other contenders."

Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 17, 2016 - 06:43pm PT
Reilly, I'll check that out, thanks. They loved him in Russia. That was a tough jury: Richter, Gilels, Kabalevsky and Shostakovich.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2016 - 07:45am PT
i fell in a slow reading gulch last spring, managing to climb out by reading a book authored by a close friend, Allen Levi, The Last Sweet Mile, written about his brother's life with ended all too with cancer .

i followed that by re-reading most of Mitch Albom's works. i think tuesdays with Morrie is my favorite.

i re-read The Final Leap by John Bateson. i can't restrain myself from mentioning the irony in the fact that one the most beautiful man made structures in the world is being used as a platform for one of humanities most desperate acts. Both the bridge and the act serve transportation roles, only one by design.

Lately i read several of Pat Conroy's books, My Losing Season, The Water Is Wide, The Death of Santini and South of Broad. i have The Boo, his first work to read soon.

Gregory, knowing you enjoy books about sports, i think you would enjoy My Losing Season.

i just finished Sitting Bull, Champion of The Sioux by John Vestal, which has led me to The Heart of Everything Is (the story of Red Cloud) by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.

For those that Empire of the Summer Moon, you will find these two books just as intriguing.

bluering, read Junger's The Perfect Storm.







Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
Oct 30, 2016 - 08:17am PT
ooooh, Perfect Storm, forget about the movie. That book was tough to read - tragic, humbling . . .

I'm getting back into my sci fi addiction with "Lies Inc." by Philip K Dick, can't put it down. Written in 1964, his depiction of a world where the superpowers are not governments, but corporations, I find to be particularly spot on . . .
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Oct 30, 2016 - 08:31am PT
Going old school right now- The Pickwick Papers by Dickens.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Oct 30, 2016 - 10:19am PT
I took some late night pleasure reading lately to counterbalance my steady diet of 19th century newspapers and mining treatises.

Into the Woods by Tana French, the first of her Dublin Murder Squad mysteries. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I was hoping to considering the recent rave in the NYT book review. I might give the second and third a spin to see if the series improves.

And Welcome to Paradise, Now Go To Hell by Chas Smith about the North Shore surfing scene. It's not Barbarian Days, but I still thought it was pretty good. Very different POV. Does anybody know Chas Smith? Considering how little actual surfing there was in the book, I'm curious to learn how much time he spends in the water. (He could well do tons and just doesn't write from that POV. I simply don't know.) Some very well drawn characters in that book, particularly Kaiborg Garcia and Eddie Rothman, quintessential North Shore heavies.

Tobia, I have not read My Losing Season. I'll put it on the list.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 31, 2016 - 02:33am PT
hey there say...

don't read much, as, i don't like to when i am writing...
though, i have not done the writing on my last book yet,

and i see why...

i am refreshing my spanish, suddenly...


so, i am reading:
the hound of the baskervilles, IN SPANISH...
AND-- had finished reading around the world in 80 days, IN SPANISH...

and will now read--
the secret garden, (after this last chapter of the hounds)
and will read this IN SPANISH now, too...

very fun to do...

:)


by christmas, i will read: a christmas carol, IN SPANISH...


:)
and hope to finish my vol. 6 book, for january, :))
Adventurer

Mountain climber
Virginia
Oct 31, 2016 - 03:01am PT
"Hitler" Assent 1889-1939 by Volker Ullrich. A bio of Hitler from birth to the start of WW2. A good read which explains just how he developed into the scourge of the 20th century.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Nov 18, 2016 - 08:18am PT
A sampling on my shelf right now. A Canyon Voyage is really good and highly recommend it.
Urizen

Ice climber
Berkeley, CA
Nov 18, 2016 - 08:27am PT
Islands in the Stream. I missed this one on my first trip through Hemingway, but I'm fascinated by it now. As usual, it's about men who do things and make things and their friends and their sons. Almost exclusively dialogue; It's as if one person you met invited you onto his boat for the weekend and now you're just watching and listening to everyone, trying to figure what each of these people really is, or will turn out to be.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2016 - 09:39am PT
I'm in Stephen Ambrose's Crazy Horse And Custer and forgot how thorough and well written his books are.

I have Enduring Patagonia beside it and looking forward to it.

Batrock, A Canyon Voyage sounds like a likely title to follow up with.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Nov 18, 2016 - 10:38am PT
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand . The incredible story of Louie Zamperini, Olympic runner ,bombardier, survivor of a 2000 mile raft drift in the Pacific Ocean, and appalling treatment by a sadistic guard in a Japanese POW camp.
Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Nov 18, 2016 - 10:41am PT
MaoII by Don DeLillo and Rigadoon by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.

Current craziness and what it's like at the end of civilization...got it covered.
Mike Honcho

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Nov 18, 2016 - 10:47am PT
I just finished Edmund Morris' three books on Teddy Roosevelt, "The rise of Theodore Roosevelt" "Theodore Rex" and "Colonel Roosevelt".

I'm just starting "The First Afghan War and it's Causes" by Major-General Sir Henry Marion Durand ~1879

In the que after that is another, but more extensive history of "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow

Love me some muthafukin history baby! I wish I had a small nest egg and a MASSIVE library to just go bonkers..
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Nov 19, 2016 - 08:14am PT
A look into the mind of a woman raised without love.
Not for everyone but, an education in the importance of caring.

jogill

climber
Colorado
Nov 19, 2016 - 12:28pm PT
Nancy and I have been enjoying the PBS series "The Durrells in Corfu" and it finally dawned on me that Larry Durrell is in fact Lawrence Durrell, whose Alexandria Quartet I read in the early 1960s. We picked up a couple of his books for pennies on the dollar at the local library sale.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Nov 20, 2016 - 12:38am PT
Just geeking out on Natural history stuff. Reading "Pinion Pine" by Lanner right now
sempervirens

climber
Nov 20, 2016 - 11:02am PT
Just finished "Crazy for the Storm, A Story of Survival", by Norman Ollestad. It's a true story that reads fast and easy. It's very compelling. Supertopo crowd would probably relate to it - a plane crash in CA in the late 70's (no, not that plane crash, and drugs are not a theme in this book). A fun read.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Dec 8, 2016 - 10:39pm PT
Inferno by Dan Brown

Superb fun read. I realized I hadn't read a novel in a long while, so I fixed that on a flight. Just finished it and looking for something unpredictable for the next read.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 9, 2016 - 01:41pm PT
The Earth Beneath Me: An Epic Helicopter Journey Across the World
by Dick Smith,1983

Author: Pilot Dick Smith of Australia
Date: Began August 5, 1983, ended in Sydney on July 22, 1983.

Stage One
Fort Worth to London
6,345 nautical miles (ll,752 km0.
60 hrs/52 mins.
Avg. speed 104 knots 9192 km/h).

Stage two
London to Sydney
12,469 nautidal miles )23,092 km).
113 hrs/20 mins.
Avg. speed 110 knots (203 km/h).
Dickbob

climber
Westminster Colorado
Dec 23, 2016 - 06:34pm PT
I just finished our own Neebee's Steppingstones Through Jakes Ranch Volume one. It is a collection of short stories that my family and I read. I'm sure it is no suprise to you all that she is an extremely prolific author.
This novel took a ton of effort and I was surprised by the quality.

You should all purchase one of her books from her. The money goes to the best of causes.

I am starting George R. R. martin's Game Of Thrones next. I have been wanting to dive into his works for a long time now. Never saw the TV thing. We don't do much TV around here.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 24, 2016 - 03:43am PT
i just finished Enduring Patagonia, a job well done, Mr. Couch. If you haven't been to Patagonia or climbed at that level (like me), you will feel as though you have. i also learned a lot about Jim Donini's accomplishments, so a tip of the hat to him as well.

i zipped through a short read by a local friend Awake My Soul, by Grant Scarborough. It has nothing to do with climbing, but inspirational none the less.

i just got a toehold into Blood & Thunder (The Epic Story of Kit Carson) by Hampton Sides.
kenny morrell

Trad climber
danville,ca
Dec 24, 2016 - 07:32am PT
valley walls by: glen denny
pb

Sport climber
Sonora Ca
Dec 24, 2016 - 01:05pm PT
the kindly ones
EdBannister

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Dec 24, 2016 - 04:27pm PT
Needles Guidebook
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 24, 2016 - 04:46pm PT
Ed, the Needles guidebook is porn!

Alan Turing: The Enigma
Hey, he only saved Western Civilization.
Jamesthomsen

Social climber
Mammoth Lakes, California
Dec 24, 2016 - 08:16pm PT
The Bond by Simon McCartney
One of the best new mountaineering books.

And if you were lucky enough to know Jack Roberts or Simon you will love the story!
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 24, 2016 - 09:31pm PT
Goodbye, Columbus, by Phillip Roth. Solid book, but my god is that guy obsessed with his penis. One of the reasons I stopped bothering with Updike.

I was in the bookstore yesterday and looking at something new to buy (until I saw the checkout line). I was hovering over a few choices, The Crying of Lot 39 by Pynchon, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers and either Roth's The Counterlife or American Pastoral. Any recommendations as to which? All books whose reputations precede them but my reading time is pretty limited. I'd love to have a week to sit and read The Underworld by Don Delillo, but I don't see that happening soon.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Dec 24, 2016 - 09:37pm PT
Richard Evans: "The Coming of the Third Reich"

One of I believe 5 volumes, more or less updating the current understanding of the Rise of Nazi Germany. Targeted for the non-professional historian.

Amazon's summary
There is no story in twentieth-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time. A masterful synthesis of a vast body of scholarly work integrated with important new research and interpretations, Evans’s history restores drama and contingency to the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, even as it shows how ready Germany was by the early 1930s for such a takeover to occur. The Coming of the Third Reich is a masterwork of the historian’s art and the book by which all others on the subject will be judged.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Dec 25, 2016 - 09:22pm PT
Barkskins
by Annie Proulx
Should appeal to this crowd, a long epic about the timber industry and how it affected change both personal and societal across N America. it is long, but i dig long books, and it was hard to put down.
EdBannister

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Dec 25, 2016 - 09:37pm PT
Reilly.. the new needles guidebook...
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 25, 2016 - 10:17pm PT
Yes, the one with a photo of mine in it!* Hard core rock porn! :-)

*Taken from the minimum focal distance of 14" :-)
EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
Dec 27, 2016 - 09:05am PT
Not a book. Just a piece about a book and movie.

Hysterical.

http://gardenandgun.com/article/delivering-deliverance

James Dickey was the kind of man who made Ernest Hemingway look like a florist from the Midwest....

PAT CONROY: My friend Terry Kay is a novelist from North Georgia, and he was furious with Dickey’s book. He said, “He didn’t write about your people, Conroy. He’s writing about my people.” I said, “Look, all he said was your people had no teeth, they were dumb as sh#t, they never bathed, they were all retarded but could play the banjo. Otherwise, he didn’t say anything bad about your people. They’re just like you, Terry. I recognized them immediately.” So Terry, who’s got this great Churchillian voice, replied, “Conroy, let me tell you one thing: You can go up to the mountains with my people and we may kill you, but we’re not going to f*** you.”

The first place I met Dickey was at his house. He said, “I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told a living soul, and I want you to promise not to mention it to anybody: Everything in that book happened to me.” Of course, I couldn’t wait to tell someone. I was there with my associate producer, Charles Orme, and as soon as we left the house I said, “Do you know what he told me? That everything in the book happened to him.” And Charles said, “Yes, he told me the same thing.” Dickey told everybody that story.



pb

Sport climber
Sonora Ca
Dec 27, 2016 - 10:52am PT
about Phillip Roth "He's a hell of a writer, but I wouldn't want to shake his hand."
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 27, 2016 - 11:29am PT
Here's what I read this year, with a quick review and rating from 1-4 stars. Mostly non-fiction, but for every hour I spent reading books, I spent probably 2 hours reading comics and manga which is all fiction.

Natural Science
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins * * * *
The classic book that provided an essential course correction, and got people thinking about evolution clearly again. Each chapter is sort of an essay on a different topic, but it's all held together by a strong central theme. Make sure you get the second edition (or one of the "Anniversary" editions), which include two additional chapters and 70 pages of endnotes.
The Ancestor's Tale - Richard Dawkins * * *
In this, humans march backwards through time in search of common ancestors which link us to each of the branches on the tree of life. You get a complete phylogeny (or as near complete as is currently known), plus a sampler of quick essays on a whole bunch of different topics pertaining to biology.
The Origins of Life - John Maynard Smith * *
This is a popularization of "The Major Transitions in Evolution" by the same author. The general premise of the book is profound, and the earlier chapters about molecular biology are engaging. But the later chapters about social groups and language are all too brief, and these topics are better explained in books by Dawkins and Pinker. I suspect that the original book is better, although written for academics.
The Mystery of Comets - Fred Whipple * *
A history of the science of comets, from evil celestial omens fortelling Armageddon to dirty snowballs drifting through space (which hopefully don't collide with the earth, causing Armageddon).
A Guide to the Elements - Albert Stwerka * *
Each element on the periodic table gets a page or three explaining its discovery, what it's commonly used for, how it reacts in certain environments, and any other fun facts the author could think of. Good for reading on the toilet.

Political Science
A Modern Utopia - H. G. Wells * * *
The narrative elements in the book are well done, with two fleshed-out main characters. The Utopia itself is sometimes so modest in its aspirations, that it can scarcely be considered a Utopia. It's also interesting that the book is somewhat critical of the very society it envisions.
Letters on England - Voltaire * * *
Hilarious and insightful. The chapters on religion, philosophy, and science are the best.
Rights of Man - Thomas Paine * * *
This book kills fascists. Still relevant to the world today. Why government should serve the people and not the other way around.
Common Sense - Thomas Paine * *
An essay on why the American colonies should secede from Britain. Influential in its day, but sort of forgettable now. The bit about Quakers and religious toleration is good.

Philosophy
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion - David Hume * * * *
This is the best thing I read this year. If you're at all interested in theological arguments you should absolutely pick it up.
The History of Western Philosophy - Bertrand Russell * * * *
The first two "books" on Classical Philosophy and Catholic Philosophy can be a little slow going at times. It picks up for the final book on Modern Philosophy, as Russell wades into the fray to take swings at all the idealism, romanticism, and metaphysical bullshit which still clouds modern thinking.
The Seekers - Daniel Boorstin * *
This is the last in a trilogy. The first two volumes, The Discoverers and The Creators (on the history of science, and the arts, respectively), are both excellent and highly recommended. For this final entry on theology and philosophy, it feels like Boorstin really phoned it in. The History of Western Philosophy covers a lot of the same ground and is much more worthy of standing alongside the first two books in this series.

Fiction
Candide - Voltaire * * *
A laugh-out-loud satire on the absurd world that Voltaire found himself living in (which is unfortunately the "best of all possible worlds"). The plot is sort of epic in scope, and yet you can read it in a single sitting. Very fast paced, as comedy should be.
The Tempest - Shakespeare *
Some of the dialogue is pretty funny, but the plot is absolute nonsense. Maybe I'd appreciate an actual performance of it more, but I think I maybe prefer Shakespeare's tragedies to his comedies.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 27, 2016 - 12:08pm PT
Here's some excerpts from my 3 favorite books I read this year.

From "The History of Western Philosophy" (1945)
Without criticizing Hobbes's metaphysics or ethics, there are two points to make against him. The first is that he always considers the national interest as a whole, and assumes, tacitly, that the major interests of all citizens are the same. He does not realize the importance of the clash between different classes, which Marx makes the chief cause of social change. This is connected with the assumption that the interests of a monarch are roughly identical with those of his subjects. In time of war there is a unification of interests, especially if the war is fierce; but in time of peace the clash may be very great between the interests of one class and those of another. It is not by any means always true that, in such a situation, the best way to avert anarchy is to preach the absolute power of the sovereign. Some concession in the way of sharing power may be the only way to prevent civil war. This should have been obvious to Hobbes from the recent history of England.

Another point in which Hobbes's doctrine is unduly limited is in regard to the relations between different States. There is not a word in "Leviathan" to suggest any relation between them except war and conquest, with occasional interludes. This follows, on his principles, from the absence of an international government, for the relations of States are still in a state of nature, which is that of a war of all against all. So long as there is international anarchy, it is by no means clear that increase of efficiency in the separate States is in the interest of mankind, since it increases the ferocity and destructiveness of war. Every argument that he adduces in favour of international government, in so far as it is valid at all, is valid in favour of international government. So long as national States exist and fight each other, only inefficiency can preserve the human race. To improve the fighting quality of separate States without having a means of preventing war is the road to universal destruction.

From "The Selfish Gene" (1976)
The question of why we die of old age is a complex one, and the details are beyond the scope of this book. In addition to particular reasons, some more general ones have been proposed. For example, one theory is that senility represents an accumulation of deleterious copying errors and other kinds of gene damage which occur during the individual’s lifetime. Another theory, due to Sir Peter Medawar, is a good example of evolutionary thinking in terms of gene selection... (A) general quality that successful genes will have is a tendency to postpone the death of their survival machines at least until after reproduction. No doubt some of your cousins and great-uncles died in childhood, but not a single one of your ancestors did. Ancestors just don’t die young!

A gene that makes its possessors die is called a lethal gene. A semilethal gene has some debilitating effect, such that it makes death from other causes more probable. Any gene exerts its maximum effect on bodies at some particular stage of life, and lethals and semilethals are not exceptions. Most genes exert their influence during foetal life, others during childhood, other during young adulthood, others in middle age, and yet others in old age. (Reflect that a caterpillar and the butterfly it turns into have exactly the same set of genes.) Obviously lethal genes will tend to be removed from the gene pool. But equally obviously a late-acting lethal will be more stable in the gene pool than an early-acting lethal. A gene that is lethal in an older body may still be successful in the gene pool, provided its lethal effect does not show itself until after the body has had time to do at least some reproducing. For instance, a gene that made old bodies develop cancer could be passed on to numerous offspring because the individuals would reproduce before they got cancer. On the other hand, a gene that made young adult bodies develop cancer would not be passed on to very many offspring, and a gene that made young children develop fatal cancer would not be passed on to any offspring at all. According to this theory then, senile decay is simply a by-product of the accumulation in the gene pool of late-acting lethal and semi-lethal genes, which have been allowed to slip through the net of natural selection simply because they are late-acting.

From "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" (1779)
PHILO speaking: Let the errors and deceits of our very senses be set before us; the insuperable difficulties which attend first principles in all systems; the contradictions which adhere to the very ideas of matter, cause and effect, extension, space, time, motion; and in a word, quantity of all kinds, the object of the only science that can fairly pretend to any certainty or evidence. When these topics are displayed in their full light, as they are by some philosophers and almost all divines; who can retain such confidence in this frail faculty of reason as to pay any regard to its determinations in points so sublime, so abstruse, so remote from common life and experience? When the coherence of the parts of a stone, or even that composition of parts which renders it extended; when these familiar objects, I say, are so inexplicable, and contain circumstances so repugnant and contradictory; with what assurance can we decide concerning the origin of worlds, or trace their history from eternity to eternity?
[...]
You propose then, PHILO, said CLEANTHES, to erect religious faith on philosophical scepticism; and you think, that if certainty or evidence be expelled from every other subject of inquiry, it will all retire to these theological doctrines, and there acquire a superior force and authority. Whether your scepticism be as absolute and sincere as you pretend, we shall learn by and by, when the company breaks up: We shall then see, whether you go out at the door or the window; and whether you really doubt if your body has gravity, or can be injured by its fall; according to popular opinion, derived from our fallacious senses, and more fallacious experience. And this consideration, DEMEA, may, I think, fairly serve to abate our ill-will to this humorous sect of the sceptics. If they be thoroughly in earnest, they will not long trouble the world with their doubts, cavils, and disputes
"We shall then see, whether you go out at the door or the window" - that line always makes me laugh when I read it. It's interesting to note, at the start of the Dialogues I found myself mostly in agreement with Cleanthes, as I am in this passage, but by the end Philo had slowly won me over.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 27, 2016 - 12:20pm PT
The History of Western Philosophy might be the first philosophy book I read.
It is possible to disagree with Russell, but he can not be refuted. ;-)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Dec 30, 2016 - 12:55pm PT

Reilly: The History of Western Philosophy by Russell was the second philosophy history I spot read. I started with the philosophy history of Arne Næss.

What I'm reading now: I'm spot reading Potard and Pelloux's "Les Enfants du Mont Blanc" - 150 ans d'histoire de la compagnie des guides de Saint-Gervais Val Montjoie.


[Click to View YouTube Video]
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Dec 30, 2016 - 01:16pm PT

True story about the 4 man English crew of a yacht shipwrecked in 1884 in the equatorial Atlantic on its way to Australia. They went adrift in a small dinghy for over twenty days with no water or food. The youngest crew member made the fatal mistake of resorting to seawater in the agony and desperation of a maddening thirst. Since he was likely to die anyway, 2 of the other crew deliberately took his life so that they would have a chance of survival.

The second portion of the book details the sensational trial, verdict and politics that followed in Victorian England, as well as the overall aftermath in the lives of those involved.

Great read. Well written.
Published in1999
Peater

Trad climber
Salt Lake City Ut.
Dec 30, 2016 - 08:16pm PT
I don't usually like women authors but this one I have to include.

Nicolaia Ribs Trying To Float. I haven't finished it yet but I'm loving it.

StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Dec 30, 2016 - 08:19pm PT
Willie Boy - A Desert Manhunt

by Harry Lawton.

justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Dec 30, 2016 - 08:45pm PT
"Nathanial's Nutmeg" - for the third time. :) My favorite history book about the early spice trade on the East Indies . One of those truth is stranger than any fiction stories. Very entertaining.

@ Ward - I have a whole library of nautical survival stories. I have a different ( short story ) version of what you are reading but I'll check it out. A fascinating story is "Men Against Sea" which is the remarkable and lttle known story of the 3600 mile journey across the Pacific Captain Bligh and 20 loyal sailors survived in an open skiff after Fletcher Christian set them adrift.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 30, 2016 - 09:08pm PT
Pour Marlow...

Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
Dec 31, 2016 - 06:41pm PT
Try "Shopping for Porcupine" Seth Kantner

Excellent read about living in Northern Alaska.
Peater

Trad climber
Salt Lake City Ut.
Dec 31, 2016 - 07:07pm PT
Byran: Love R.Dawkins books.And the others on this subject matter.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jan 3, 2017 - 04:32pm PT
hey there say, ... awwww, yes, ... my jake books...

please read them, :)
i hope you will be very glad that you did...

:)


Dickbob

climber
Westminster Colorado
Jan 3, 2017 - 04:41pm PT
Come on! Every one of you should have read a Neebee book by now. She has written a ton of them. Do it. Like I said, It is for a good cause.
Mike Honcho

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 3, 2017 - 07:29pm PT
Just finished The Teddy Roosevelt Trilogy from Edmund Morris. Just started Alexander Hamilton from Ron Chernow. History, always history!
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jan 3, 2017 - 08:45pm PT
Bryan, too bad you didn't like The Tempest. One of my favorite Shakespeare plays, and definitely my favorite of his romances (or later plays). If you ever get to see a well staged production of it--shipwrecks, Ariel flying around the stage, Caliban-- it is magical. Shakespeare really is meant (and was intended) to be seen rather than read. No offense intended, but maybe you're a little too young to appreciate Prospero looking back at his life, tolerating a suitor for his daughter, betrayal by his brother, etc. I'm tempted to start rereading it right now, but then I'd never finish The Omnivore's Dilemma, which I'm enjoying right now.
perswig

climber
Mar 22, 2017 - 03:26pm PT
Weight, Jeanette Winterson.

Part of a series by various authors revisiting mythical tales.
With Lighthousekeeping, an accessible intro to her writing. I like her mix of earthy and out-there, and her cadence throughout.
Dale
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Mar 28, 2017 - 07:44pm PT
I just finished reading When the Sleeper Wakes (1899) by H.G. Wells. It's a fairly quick read about a man who falls into a coma, is kept alive for 200 years without aging, and then wakes up in the future. I've read about ten books by Wells, and I consider him one of my favorite authors. That said, "When the Sleeper Wakes" is one of my least favorite of his novels that I've read so far. It's really a mixed bag, some elements I really like, other things really fall flat.

It's strongest aspect (and this is true of most of Wells' fiction) is the world it takes place in. It is a well crafted future that holds a lot of promise for an engaging narrative. Most authors when envisioning the future tend to fall into a cliche of either making their world a utopia or dystopia. The world the Sleeper wakes to is neither extreme. Rather it's an embellishment of all the trends Wells saw taking place in the 19th century. There are wondrous innovations in transportation, engineering, architecture, communication, medicine and science. You can tell Wells put a lot of care and thought into designing the various machines and devices which exist in this future, and you get a sense of his astonishment at all the incredible advancements in technology that were happening in his time. On the other hand, many negative developments of the 19th century are also still present and amplified: class inequality, political strife and civil unrest, proliferation of propaganda by the state, and ever more destructive weapons of war. This all makes for a diverse world that feels alive while allowing for much social commentary.

Where the novel comes up short is pretty much everywhere else. The starting premise for the story is good, but the sequence of events once it gets going quickly becomes predictable and the plot never really goes anywhere. The characters are lacking in any charisma or personality (and this is my main gripe with most of Wells' fiction) The good guys aren't likable and the bad guys aren't despicable, so it's hard to get invested in the drama. The ending doesn't drive home any of the moral or philosophical threads which the story had been cultivating, and instead brushes any sort of nuance aside in favor of a grandiose action scene and then ends very abruptly. Basically the novel has a good set-up but just doesn't follow through. Also a lot of the conflict towards the end centers around a privately contracted "negro army" which is brought in from Africa to squash the rebellious working peoples of London. Most modern audiences will probably find this a just a little bit racist, although I think Wells was aiming more at irony given the British Empire's sordid history of doing the exact same thing in reverse.

Here's a couple short passages that I liked

It seemed to him the most amazing thing of all that in his thirty years of life he had never tried to shape a picture of these coming times. “We were making the future,” he said, “and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making. And here it is!”

And some very prescient remarks on the course of democracy and formation of political parties.
But the Parliament — the organ of the land-holding tenant-ruling gentry — did not keep its power long. The change had already come in the nineteenth century. The franchises had been broadened until it included masses of ignorant men, ‘urban myriads,’ who went in their featureless thousands to vote together. And the natural consequence of a swarming constituency is the rule of the party organisation. Power was passing even in the Victorian time to the party machinery, secret, complex, and corrupt. Very speedily power was in the hands of great men of business who financed the machines. A time came when the real power and interest of the Empire rested visibly between the two party councils, ruling by newspapers and electoral organisations—two small groups of rich and able men, working at first in opposition, then presently together.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Mar 28, 2017 - 07:51pm PT
re: Fat Dad, yeah I think I'd probably like Shakespeare more in performance than in writing. I've seen pitifully few stage productions in my life, but generally liked them even if I wasn't engaged by the story.


edited to add: And on that same note, I think When the Sleeper Wakes would actually be perfect for a film adaptation for many reasons. First, the story has untapped potential and could be greatly improved by a talented screenwriter. Also you wouldn't have the pressure of taking a beloved classic and inevitably making a film which fails to live up to it. Additionally, the book paints a visually stunning world of towering skyscrapers and winding walkways crowded with people and this would translate well to a visual medium. And of course the book is also filled with big action scenes, chases, battles, and aerial dogfights which are a little bit tedious to read but would make for a good Hollywood action flick.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2017 - 06:28am PT
Someone up thread mentioned Six Frigates by Ian Toll. i just wrapped it up. A fine account of the original U.S. Fleet and a telling story of U.S. politics during the 2nd & 3rd presidencies and Congress during those times. (nothing changes).

i also read David Halberstam's The Powers That Be, the story of CBS radio and television news division, the Washington Post and the L.A. Times. As usual Halbertsam is thorough in his research. Although published in 1975 (pre internet) the book reveals how manipulating the "news" business is.

i just started his Breaks of the Game concerning the Portland Trailblazers and their 1977 championship.
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
Apr 6, 2017 - 06:47am PT
Tobia, Ian Toll totally rocks as both a historian and as a writer. I have read "Pacific Crucible" and "Conquering Tide" about the Pacific campaign in WW II and I highly recommend both for folks who enjoy that sort of thing. Just finished Hornfishers' newest effort "The Fleet at Floodtide" and it is very good as well. Both authors are first rate historians and both are fabulous wordsmiths as well. I often caught myself rereading a passage just because I loved the writing style so much.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Apr 6, 2017 - 06:53am PT
The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 5, 2017 - 07:22am PT
I put down Breaks of the Game about a ½ way through it, I just couldn't get into it.

I followed Nick's lead and read the next two Ian Toll books. It was hard to put them down.

I followed that with Wooden World by N.A.M. Rodgers, which I started 5 or 6 years back. It dispels a lot of myth of what it life in the British Navy during the French and Indian Wars was like. Mighty Hiker mentioned it on a thread about whaling.

When searching the forum to see if I had posted anything about the book I discovered a "book thread" started by yosguns (The last book you read, December 2007), which is where I found my initial post about Wooden World. The last post on her thread was August 2011, which is about the same time D. Thompson started his thread. You never know what you will turn up in a ST forum search.
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Jun 5, 2017 - 07:27am PT
Eruption. About Mt Saint Helens. Very good read.


Susan
hootowl

Mountain climber
VA
Jun 5, 2017 - 08:10am PT
The Jersey Brothers by Sally Mott Freeman--the author is a friend of mine but that's not the only reason I love this book. She did 10 yrs of research to discover what happened to one of her uncles who was a POW in the Phillipines for most of WWII. Her father, as a very young naval officer, ran FDR's map room, and her other uncle was a gunnery officer on the USS Enterprise. This true story is gripping, heartbreaking, and as hard to put down as a good thriller. It's available on Audible and Kindle, but the hardcover edition gives you maps, photographs and end notes documenting all the diaries, letters, and Red Cross records she was able to track down. Amazing work, amazing story.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 5, 2017 - 08:24am PT
The White Tower, by James Ramsey Ulman (gotta love the three names, something unfashionable - and long considered garish and vain - in 'Merica), published in 1945. Had the pleasure of getting a guided tour through the AAC library in Golden, Co., on Saturday, and bought this beauty for three dollah, thirty-three cents.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Jun 5, 2017 - 09:14am PT
Just finished; A Short History of Nearly Everything-Bill Bryson.
https://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/076790818X

I would highly recommend it.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 5, 2017 - 09:25am PT
"A Problem from Hell-America and the Age of Genocide" by Samantha Powers

Pulitzer Prize 2002.

Superb!



Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2017 - 05:54am PT
I just finished River Of Doubt by Candice Millard, a well written account of the first passage down the 1,000 mile river that flows northward in the Brazillian Amazon Basin led by T. Roosevelt and Cândido Rondon in 1913–14. The river is now known as the Rio Roosevelt. The descriptions of the plant and animal life in the rain forest and river are fascinating, as well as the hardships endured by the ex-president, Rondon and the rest of the team.

Prior to that I read The War Below by James Scott (WW II submarine warfare in the Pacific) & A Dawn Like Thunder by Robert J. Mrazek (an account of Torpedo Squadron Eight from its inception to decommissioning).
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Sep 3, 2017 - 06:16am PT
American Pastoral


Susan
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 3, 2017 - 07:17am PT
The Marvelous Land of Oz L Frank Baum
The second oz book. Written in a different style than today, fascinating
Urizen

Ice climber
Berkeley, CA
Sep 3, 2017 - 09:52am PT
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Is there anyone more amazing than the Bronte sisters?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 3, 2017 - 10:22am PT
I'm finishing up The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence. Most of the events recollected in this book took place in 2017-18, exactly a hundred years ago. Earlier in the year I read a small,thumbnail biography Lawrence of Arabia by Anthony Nutting (who was consultant on the film released in 1962).

This is an incredible story about the Arab Revolt masterminded by the British against the long-ruling Ottoman Turks. The Turks were allied with the Germans in WW1 and had ruled over the Arabs for hundreds of years until deposed by the end of the war.

Lawrence was a sort of guerilla fighter who was a major liaison in this regard between Faisal, the various Emirs and Sharifs -- and the British.
The meticulously reconstructed battlefield tales, the unbelievable camel journeys of hundreds of miles in all sorts of conditions and weather, and inscrutable desert logistics in a region remote, and very difficult, and very deadly. All of this against a deep inner conflict that Lawrence shares with the reader.


Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Sep 3, 2017 - 10:37am PT
just finished The Infinite Jest. my first thought is okay, back to page one.
life is a bivouac

Trad climber
Bishop
Sep 3, 2017 - 04:32pm PT
"The Bond" by Simon McCartney is one of the most griping recollections from the literature of Alpinism I've ever read. Somewhat akin to "Gervasutti's climbs", in which we are invited into the mind of the climber, facing doubts and fears.


Simon McCartney and Jack Roberts met in '77 at the famous Bar National in Chamonix. Sussing each other out they climbed together becoming friends, subsequently teaming up to do two first ascents of immense importance in Alaska during the late '70'S. Huntington's north face in '78 and Denali's southwest face in 1980.

I personally knew Jack Roberts as a lad in So. Cal., thru the climbing shop I worked at, The West Ridge. Jack was a member of a High School Climbing club known as "Buff" which was made up of a bunch of young guys and gals from Santa Monica High School. We often bouldered together on the local sandstone.

Jack, as many of you know, became a driven hardman of the highest caliber , strong, proud, capable, true in spirit; and without a doubt Simon is of the same mettle.

I'll not recount their achievements, however, as the story completes, after the episode on Denali, Simon drops out of the climbing scene for almost forty years; then thru a series of fateful connections, one of which was the Supertopo, Simon is lead back to the climbing community.

The read is as vigorous as 2000 feet of front pointing, compelling as melting spin drift on blackened fingers and as visceral as leaving your compromised partner on a face with only a promise.

Thank You Simon, for giving us clear incite into your, and our, love/hate affair with the mountains.

I highly recommend this to those of us who climbed in the 70's and 80's and on... As well, to those interested in our unique history.

Published by: Mountaineers Books, Legends and Lore Series 2016
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Oct 13, 2017 - 12:40pm PT
It Takes a Tribe: Building the Tough Mudder Movement by Will Dean and co-author Tim Adams.

Here's my review of it in The WSJ, 10/13/2017, with a little discussion of where Tough Mudder fits on the spectrum of genuine adventure.

And since that'll likely get you stuck in front of the WSJ paywall unless you're a subscriber, here it is on my website, with a photo that should enlarge enough for reading when clicked twice.

I also recently read "Deadwood," by Peter Drexler, a literary western tragedy about well, Deadwood, through the eyes of Charley Utter. Which was pretty good.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 12, 2017 - 01:46am PT
hey there say.... just a bit about my books...

they don't get read much, as, they are self published and hard to get the word out...

have worked on one of the new ones, recently...

for those that don't know FULLY what they are about, here is a small example
to share: Jake... ex-rodeo cowboy, from south Texas, turned rancher in Montana... and this 'gang' of buddies... and a TWIN sister, that
just won't quit, ;)

FOUR NOVELS... and five, going on six, short stories,
all based on ASL, head injury, tongue loss, seizures and:
overcoming! through the bond of strong friendship, and twinship, :)

FOR THOSE THAT DON'T know about my JAKE smith ranch series... the character, Jake, recovers from a serious injury, after saving his buddy, from a bull-- he learns he had no tongue, anymore, and has head injuries, and can't function as well as he used to:

his twin sister teaches his sign language, as, he can't talk, (though, has learned to make various sound, but does not like to hear himself, or, read or write... (though later, he works out a system, down the year, as to a 'code' of sounds to mark down)-- eating is hard, and can be dangerous, too... he finally succeeds to even try eating in public, with his buddies...

god's grace, is all through my books... his whole recovery, is strongly spiritual, as well, to not give up, to, once again, 'feel like himself again'...

HE SUCCEEDS through love, friendship and loyalty, of good buddies... THESE book, show various parts of his life, to reach victory, as, being 'new and different' but STILL the same, -- the Jake that he knows he is... THIS VIDEO might give folks an idea what he goes through... there are two that i found...

i hope my BOOKS someday HELP folks to learn to be patient with others, that have these troubles, and/or head injuries, or, seizures... folks that are 'suddenly' DIFFERENT, but still wanting to be themselves...

HERE is a video, that found, recently... this woman, who-ever she is, was very brave and kind to post these, to show folks how hard her life is... (she, i think, had cancer-- another way, that folks can lose their tongue) ...

as the TITLE SAYS... this type of surgery, as to tongue loss,
is LONELY...

the character in my book, had a twin sister that was NOT going to
let him 'isolate' himself...

he gets back into being a 'mentor' to youth, as like he used to do...
through the horses on his ranch...

[Click to View YouTube Video]


[Click to View YouTube Video]


*not sure how old this video, is, but wow, please keep her in our
prayers, she was so sad, in the last one... :(
Ross911

Trad climber
Lyons, Colorado
Nov 12, 2017 - 06:34am PT
River of Doubt:Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
--Ross
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2017 - 09:04am PT
Stephen Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage about Lewis and Clark. Definitely worthy of its Pulitzer Prize.

And why do we use a trite phrase like ‘badass’ instead of saying ‘Lewis and Clark’?
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Nov 12, 2017 - 12:28pm PT

Just finished Echopraxia by Peter Watts and Angle of Repose (again) by Stegner.


Just starting Death’s End by Liu Cixin and The Idiot (again) by Dostoevsky.

SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Nov 12, 2017 - 02:46pm PT
^^^^^^. I must have read Angle of Repose 10 times. I love it. I can’t ever tire of it.
I like Stegner’s other work but that one always gets me.

Susan
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Nov 12, 2017 - 03:07pm PT
I last read Angle of Repose over 30 years ago. I had forgotten how great it is. I remember that I liked it so much back then that I read Crossing to Safety and some of his other works; I might have to revisit them also.

Echopraxia is hard sci-fi. It’s not as good as Watts preceding novel Blindsight, but it gave me a lot to chew on, and it was several orders of magnitude more interesting than the “What is Mind?” thread.

The first two sci-fi novels of Liu Cixin’s Three Body Problem trilogy were incredibly inventive and unpredictable. I hope this third one holds up.

As with Angle of Repose, The Idiot is something I read many years ago, and I remember very little of it. For a few years back then I was obsessed with everything Dostoevsky. I read all of his works, and I read The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, and Notes from Underground several times each. I'm not religious, I don’t believe in god, and I disagree with much of what his writing seems to propose, but I still lovingly remember parts of The Brother’s Karamazov quite vividly such as Ivan’s grand inquisitor and Alyosha’s dream.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Nov 12, 2017 - 04:03pm PT
The latest addition to the Oxford History of the United States series—Richard White's The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States During Reconstruction and The Gilded Age, 1865-1896.

Lots of us know our Civil War history. Very few know much about Reconstruction, and its failure.

It's excellent, but not for the faint of heart.
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Nov 14, 2017 - 01:50pm PT
when I was back in Seattle in August I went into the UW Bookstore and bought about $200 of bargain books off the front tables and carts. Been happily working my way through the pile since then.

Last night started The Best American Sports Writing 2013. This anthology has been published yearly since 1991 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) when David Halberstam edited the inagural version. The editor for 2013 was J.R. Moerhringer.

from his intro:

"Though every competition, from aikido to Xbox, is at surface about winning, it's the losing that matters in the end, because we're all going to lose more than we win. Our bedrock task as human beings is coping with loss, the knowledge of it, the memory of it, the imminence of it, and sports have the power to show us, starkly, bracingly, how."

Started with a story about the death of ultra-runner Micah True: Caballo Blanco's Last Run by Barry Bearak which first appeared in the NY Times.

Was a fine start to what looks like some good reading.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2017 - 05:47am PT
When the Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam started I was reading Huê 1968 by Mark Bowden. It gives a focused view on exactly how misguided our military leaders were and how brave the young soldiers were fighting for survival and the citizens of Huê had little input on their survival or death.

I read David Halberstam's Ho following that and Duong Thu Huong's Novel Without A Name, which was mentioned in Bowden's book. It is a perspective of the war written by a soldier of North Vietnam.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Nov 15, 2017 - 11:00am PT
Tobia, since your'e on a Vietnam jag, have you read Graham Greene's The Quiet American?

Well worth it if you haven't.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2017 - 05:33am PT

Gregory, I will find a used copy, thanks.

Sycorax, I will check the Tobias Wolff book as well.
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Nov 18, 2017 - 05:56am PT
sycorax - it's on deck, at the top of the stack of my bargain book haul

stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Nov 18, 2017 - 03:10pm PT
Another Vietnam novel I'd highly recommend is Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. Marlantes won the Navy Cross, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, so on top of being a good writer, has the experience to back up the writing.

I just finished Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan. Biography of Edward Curtis, who was a pretty interesting character.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Nov 23, 2017 - 01:06pm PT
Here's a first book which will knock your sox off, Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris. An Atlin gal whom I like to think of as an Honorary Grand Daughter. Here's what Dave Roberts has to say about it (from Facebook):

Dave Roberts

"Last week I came home from Banff, and from the cozy little writers’ dinner my agent, Stuart Krichevsky, hosted, with a galley copy of Kate Harris’s forthcoming book, Lands of Lost Borders. I first met Kate six or seven years ago at Banff, where she was enrolled in the writing program. Bernadette McDonald told me that one of the students there was a gifted, promising writer, but that she was too shy to approach me for advice. We had a good chat in the MacLab bistro, and later I read an early draft of her book, which hangs an inquiry on the meaning of exploration on a grueling ten-month bike journey along the Silk Road that Kate and her best friend accomplished in their mid-twenties.

Here, I realized, was a writer of uncommon intelligence with a penchant for the lyrical, but the draft seemed hamstrung by a certain academic rigidity. No wonder—Kate was a former Rhodes scholar who had pursued a doctorate in science at MIT. But Bernadette was right: what promise she showed! I passed her on to Stuart, who, seeing the same talent and lucidity that impressed me, took her on.

I finished Lands of Lost Borders two days ago. Old cliché: I couldn’t put it down. But beyond the fact that Kate’s story hooked me, I realized that I was witnessing the emergence of a formidable voice speaking startlingly original things about the world. I can’t remember coming upon a first book that so dazzled me. I wish that at her age I had had half the skills that Kate unearthed in herself, and that now, with Stuart’s help, she had transmuted into prose.

The care and fresh insight show in virtually every sentence. Of an old woman met along the road in post-Soviet Georgia: “A gold ring hung on her thin finger, loosely orbiting the bone—a hand that had held hunger once and probably expected to grip it again.” Of an aperçu wrung from a truck speeding past in the muddy night: “Every heartbeat is a history of decisions, of certain roads taken and others forsaken until you end up exactly where you are.” Of the mystic pleasures of marathon biking: “I’m not sure where I go when I spin wheels for hours on end like that, except into the rapture of doing nothing deeply—although ‘nothing,’ in this case, involves a tantrum of pedal strokes on a burdened bicycle along a euphemism for a highway through the Himalaya.” “Beautiful writing” per se, though, is not my cup of tea. I can’t read Lawrence Durrell, Annie Dillard, or Rebecca Solnit. All of the craft that goes into each of Kate’s paragraphs is marshaled in the service of an accelerating plot, and toward the end of her book, her restless intelligence rises to a cri de coeur in Chinese-occupied Tibet against the tyranny of nations, xenophobia, and cultural oppression.

Yes, the biking itself often sounds arduous and lonely, the furtive campsites grim, the moments of joy too fleeting. But some of the best stories are woven out of desperate adventures: think of Apsley Cherry-Garrard or Fridtjof Nansen. My own second book, Deborah, narrated a two-man journey into our own psychic hell in Alaska. Shortly after we met, my longtime buddy Ed Ward gave me his capsule review: “I’m sure glad I didn’t go on that expedition.”

Lands of Lost Borders will be published by Knopf in Canada in January, by Harper Collins in the U. S. only next August. Write the title down, my friends, and pre-order from Amazon as soon as you can.

Meanwhile, I can’t wait to see what Kate writes next. And while our evening with Stuart, Sharon, and Roman Dial in Banff made me sorry that she lives so far away from Boston, in the wilds of northern British Columbia, I trust that we’ll find a way to connect long before next year’s Banff rolls around. After all, in my been-there, seen-it-all old age, I suspect that Kate Harris has a lot to teach me about writing and life."

Add to the above the incredibly enthusiastic reviews of Pico Iyer; "Carried me up into a state of excitement I haven't felt for years. It's a modern classic." and Barry Lopez, and you know this one is a winner. I'm ordering a bunch for friends who deserve the best. It's not just travel and adventure, it is literature in the truest sense.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 23, 2017 - 02:32pm PT
Just got Alan Steck's new hardback book from Patagonia. That guy DID stuff.
Gail Hightower

climber
SE
Nov 23, 2017 - 03:00pm PT
Strange as This Weather has Been by Ann Pancake.

It is about the cost of living below a mountain top removal mine in West Virginia, and at times sounds like a post apocalyptic novel. Written from five character's perspectives.

I think it is the premier appalachian ecocriticism novel of the last 10 years.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 23, 2017 - 03:02pm PT

Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better by Pema Chodron.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Dec 5, 2017 - 10:45am PT
My second reading of this fine little book on the life of this most extraordinary humanitarian


I have this same edition printed in 1954.Notice the price.

Farrow ( father of Mia and husband to Maureen O'Sullivan) copyrighted the original in 1937.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:26pm PT
Currently reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons and re-reading The Red and the Black by Stendhal.



I really like this description of Mathilda from The Red and the Black:

“When anyone offended Mlle. de La Mole, she knew how to punish him with a witticism so calculated, so well chosen, so proper in appearance, so timely launched, that the wound kept growing by the minute, the more one thought about it.”
Mark Sensenbach

climber
CA
Dec 8, 2017 - 07:09pm PT
Think I found a goldmine. Googled National Outdoor Book Award after seeing that 'the last season' had won it - not knowing what it was and found a site w years of great outdoor books. -Check it;

http://www.noba-web.org/PastWins.htm
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 8, 2017 - 07:39pm PT
Currently reading Hyperion

Excellent SF novel. Very imaginative.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 19, 2017 - 05:11pm PT
Just finished An American Tragedy by Dreiser. It's a very disturbing piece of writing. Might take a while to digest this one. Clyde is such a shallow boy it's hard to know which way to think about him. Pity?

Is it comparable to Crime and Punishment? Raskolnikov is an intellectual, Griffiths is a cipher. Rasklonikov gets 7 years in Siberia, Clyde gets fried. Raskolnikov get spiritual redemption in prison, Clyde thinks maybe he does, but he's not sure.

Is there something American about Clyde's moral cowardice?

Alice Adams is next on the list. And at some point I need to get to Angle of Repose. And there's all that Faulkner...