100 books to read before you die. What do y'all think?


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Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 11, 2018 - 06:11pm PT
Honch, if ya like history then honor Rick Aís nod to Patrick OíBrian. I dare ya to stop at one!
Virtually everything that happens in his books actually occurred and often quite closely to
how he so eloquently relates it.
Mike Honcho

Trad climber
Glenwood Springs, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 11, 2018 - 06:35pm PT
Thanks dude, but I actually wrote down everything he suggested. You had me at Rick A!

Funny, I've actually had Master and Commander at the bottom of a fat stack of books for years and just haven't read it.

Super interesting Gore Vidal suggestion that has Alexander Hamilton maybe being the villain! Hamilton seemed like he might have been a really big as#@&%e if you weren't on his side.

If everybody would just read a couple books on a our founding fathers (pick any of them, I don't care which), the US would be a far smarter landscape I think.



Trad climber
Ventura, CA
Sep 11, 2018 - 07:00pm PT
Agreed everyone's list is different which is cool. I've been affected by two books centered around places I've lived.....

namely the Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold -- lots of Wisconsin pastoral appreciation in there....and....

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. Coastal CA before the Gold Rush? Oh my!!

Sep 11, 2018 - 07:24pm PT
There's nothing in books except ink and paper so I threw them into the dumpster ......


Sep 11, 2018 - 07:36pm PT
Three more modern novels that I enjoyed.
By Gaslight
All The Light We Cannot See
The Orchardist

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Sep 11, 2018 - 10:59pm PT
I never finished Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and I was reading it while riding an XR 650 from Colorado to California. And it was breaking down! Agreed with Nick Danger. Dense and boring.

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Sep 11, 2018 - 11:44pm PT
Boardman Tasker Omnibus. Okay, three books in one, but the Changabang stuff is awesome and it's well written.

They each wrote about Changabang, and their individual accounts of the climb, what happened there, are very personal, and different. For a climber this is the real stuff.

As for the original list, Harry Potter with no mention of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or anything by Ambrose Bierce?

Social climber
The internet
Sep 12, 2018 - 05:56am PT
Iíve read Zen and the Art 2x, and once by audiobook, far from anything Iíd call dense. Itís a worthy book.

Audible.com has gotten better, good selection, often multiple readers for the same book and you can sample them to see what might be tolerable. I drive a lot, great time for a book. Itís a little lazier, but I also have a bit of ADT for the novel, less so for technical books, having someone read to me is nice.

Richard Bach - Johnathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions are quick reads - almost childrens books in thier content - but good - definitely not dense.

Social climber
Location: It's a MisterE
Sep 12, 2018 - 06:25am PT
^^Dense? You want dense?

Godel Escher Bach.
okay, whatever

Sep 12, 2018 - 06:45am PT
Yes, Douglas Hofstader's book "Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" is one that I encountered in the late 1970's, or maybe 1980, whenever it was published. I have it to this day. It is an intellectual merry-go-round, for sure, for anyone interested in logic, computer science, and so forth. Though the main topic that suffused the book was really RECURSION, or self-reference of a sort, which anyone who has a software education or a mathematical education would know about. You certainly can see the concept visualized in some of Escher's work. Hofstadter was, and maybe still is, a physics or computer science professor at the University of Indiana. He wrote at least two, and probably more books after that, which were also good... "Metamagical Themas", and "The Mind's I" ( or was it "The Mind's Eye"?) were two, I think? And also wrote a column for "Scientific American" magazine, for several years. I haven't looked him up for several years now online, but perhaps will now.
okay, whatever

Sep 12, 2018 - 07:11am PT

Occupied Territory
Sep 12, 2018 - 07:18am PT
The Bible would be #1 on my list.

Stewart Johnson suggested Everest: Kangshung Face by Steven Venables, I agree! That was an awesome read!
Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Sep 12, 2018 - 08:02am PT

One upside of reading is that it carries less risk than base jumping :)

On the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin (main characters) novels, I have recommended those books to many of my friends over the years. About half read the entire series, then read it again, sometimes multiple times, like I have.

It's very rich and dense with details about life at end of the 18th century, including nobility and slavery, warfare, domestic life, philosophy, botany, music, food and wine.

The other half don't make it through the first book and tell me,


another nickname

Social climber
Yazoo Ms
Sep 12, 2018 - 08:28am PT
WIth all you California types, there ought to be mention of the author Frank Norris.

"Vandover and the Brute" in particular. Novels, very well regarded.

Very heavy on San Francisco society at Turn of Century. Whoring and drinking.

Also I'm told "Octopus" is good, (though I haven't read it and it's a bit more of a slog (seemed to me). Depicts central valley, I think. Same era.

The silent film "Greed" is based on great Norris novel "McTeague' and has lots of real shots of SF, ca. 1920. Also Death Valley "on location." A key bit of film history.


Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 12, 2018 - 08:59am PT
The Octopus is a good read, not a slog. The best part, though, is after you read it you can look up Victor Davis Hanson's interpretation of the novel. VDH thinks Norris was sympathetic to the Southern Pacific!!!

Here's another great one not on the list: Joe Hill by Wallace Stegner.
another nickname

Social climber
Yazoo Ms
Sep 12, 2018 - 09:06am PT
Was there any connection between "Octopus" and 1960s TV show "Big Valley" with Barbara Stanwick ?

I never read the book nor watched the show. I'm sure the book was fine. Can't imagine the TV show was much good, although I like BS ok.

Trad climber
Sep 12, 2018 - 01:07pm PT
A must read about the Vietnam War is "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien
Mike Honcho

Trad climber
Glenwood Springs, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 12, 2018 - 01:15pm PT
A must read about the Vietnam War is "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

I've heard that's good, it's on the list, thanks!

Reminds me of one of my favorite Largo stories "Rats" a little bit.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 12, 2018 - 01:24pm PT
Best flying memoir of Nam: Flying Through Midnight by Halliday.
You canít make that shiz up, and he is a gifted writer.

You should be able to relate, Honch, rumour has it youíve done some flyiní on Half Dome. 🤡

Sep 12, 2018 - 02:11pm PT
A must read about the Vietnam War is "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

A good triptych of grunt-level Vietnam is the above book, Quang Tri Cadence by Jon Oplinger, and Into the Green by Cherokee Paul McDonald.

IDK about 100 books/die, but in my top 100 would certainly be The Alchemist.
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