What Ten Books Must All Men Read BeforeThey Die ?


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Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 21, 2009 - 09:06am PT
Now that I start thinking about it, it's a tougher question than I thought. I'll start with the following:

The Bible
Brothers Karamozov
The Iliad
The Divine Comedy
A good fifteen or so of Shakespeare's plays
Ulysses (though maybe you could squeak by with Portrait of the Artist)

Hmm, only six. Totally Euro-centric. You can go in lots of directions from there. Definitely need an Aristotle. The Republic (Plato) would be nice. I know there are some big things I'm forgetting but need to think about it more.
Stewart Johnson

t.c. ca.
Oct 21, 2009 - 09:22am PT
Credit: Stewart Johnson
required reading for all the top brass in the us military

Social climber
Oct 21, 2009 - 09:46am PT
Tao Te Ching - Lao Tsu
Analects - Confucious
Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Thomas Kuhn
First Folio - Shakespear
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
Varities of Religious Experience - Wm James
Mastering the Art of French Cooking V1&2, Julia Child (we all gotta eat).
1984 - Orwell
Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences - Abraham Maslow

Trad climber
Central Coast
Oct 21, 2009 - 10:03am PT
California Road Trip A Climber's Guide Northern CaliforniaBold Text ; )

and probably the BibleItalic Text cover to cover.


Tucson, AZ
Oct 21, 2009 - 10:13am PT
Upanishads eh Will?

I didn't expect that in anyones list.

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Oct 21, 2009 - 10:32am PT
I think if yer gonna read the Bible, shouldn't you also include the Torah and the Koran as comparative studies for the Old Testament?

I'm gonna steal my kid's copy of The Histories by Herodotus. That seems like a Must Read.

Then again I'm a "woman" and not a "man" so I suppose my "must read" list can vary :-D
Ray Olson

Trad climber
Imperial Beach, California
Oct 21, 2009 - 10:47am PT
yes Tami, but the OP doesn't state that a woman
cannot make her own list of must reads for men...


Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Oct 21, 2009 - 10:49am PT
Anything by

Jack Kerouac
Edward Abbey
Hunter Thompson

And for fun (not that those up top aren't fun)

Tom Robbins
Kurt Vonnegut


Social climber
The Portal
Oct 21, 2009 - 11:33am PT
Endurance- Alfred Lansing

Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky

The 21 indispensable Qualities of a Leader - John C. Maxwell

The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupe'ry

The Prophet - Kahlilgibran

Aesop's Fables - The Harvard Classics

Free Spirit - Reinhold Messner

Yosemite Climbs; Free Climbs - Don Reid


Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Oct 21, 2009 - 11:45am PT
It's better to just get the Cliff notes, all that reading on dead tree format is so dreary.

Trad climber
Oct 21, 2009 - 11:54am PT
Cliffnotes are a dry peck on the cheek compared to full-on lovemaking. ;)

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 21, 2009 - 11:59am PT
"Upanishads eh Will?

I didn't expect that in anyones list."

i dunno, I bet there's at least four of us who've spent some time in there.

Mountain climber
Poor Valley
Oct 21, 2009 - 12:02pm PT

"Jugs" issues 1-current.

Also "That Untravelled World" "Upon That Mountain" and "Nanda Devi" by Eric Shipton.

Trad climber
Oct 21, 2009 - 12:06pm PT
Pretty much anything by Tolstoy and Chekov top my list.

Ya gotta slog and flog your way through Tolstoy's long books, but in the end they're worth it.

Chekov's short stories are miraculous.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 21, 2009 - 12:13pm PT
i'm pretty 'on' with Will and Jobee's lists, Quietpartner has a point, Though Crime and Punishment pretty much has to be the best Novel ever written, Imho
Howie S

Mammoth Lakes, Ca
Oct 21, 2009 - 12:14pm PT
Desert Solitaire, Ed Abbey
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 21, 2009 - 12:16pm PT

Re the Bible vs. Torah: the first five books of the Bible are the Torah.

And yes, Chekhov and Tolstoy rock. I don't think there is any better short story authors than Chekhov. Equal yes, better no. I had considered putting Anna Karenina on my list. It's amazing but probably not top 10, especially when you already have (on my list) the Bros. K.

I think the Mahabharata is probably a better read than the Upanishads. I think people have a tendency to assign a bit too much worth to the Upanishads since the foreignness of the thoughts raised appear to be profound, rather than just, well foreign, or vague. Stuff that's interesting to chew on, but nothing that I don't think is already better represented in the Western canon. The Mahabharata, in contrast, is wonderful at creating myth and has passages of real profundity.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 21, 2009 - 12:18pm PT
if more people actually read Origin of Species, would that increase or decrease, internet word count?

Trad climber
Canoga Bark! CA
Oct 21, 2009 - 12:25pm PT
Any 10 of these:

My Ishmael, D. Quinn, ISBN# 0-553-10636-8

The Celestine Prophecy, J.Redfield, ISBN# 0-446-51862-X

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss, ISBN# 0-394-82337-0

Animal Farm, G Orwell, ISBN# 0-451-52634-1

The Pearl, J. Steinbeck, ISBN# 0-140-17737-X

Way of the Peaceful Warrior, D. Milliman, ISBN# 0-915-81100-6

Atlas Shrugged, A. Rand, ISBN# 0-451-19114-5

Solar Living, Real Goods, ISBN# 0-930-03168-7

Voluntary Simplicity, D. Elgin, ISBN# 0-668-12119-5

Siddhartha, H. Hesse, ISBN# 0-553-20884-5

Medicine Woman, L. Andrews, ISBN# 0-061-05703-7

Your Money or You Life, Dominguez/Robin, ISBN# 0-140-16715-3

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, D. Adams, ISBN# 0-345-41891-3)

Start Where You Are, P. Chodron, ISBN# 0-877-73880-7

Satanic Verses, S. Rushdie, ISBN# 0-670-82537-9

The Quest, T. Brown, ISBN# 0-425-15381-9

The Doors of Perception, A. Huxley, ISBN# 0-060-90007-5

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, K. Kesey, ISBN# 0-140-04312-8

The Fifth Disciple, P.M. Senge, ISBN# 0-553-47321-2

Animal Speak, T. Andrews, ISBN# 0-875-42028-1

The Tao of Pooh, B. Hoff, ISBN# 0-140-06747-7

The Aquarian Conspiracy, M. Ferguson, ISBN# 0-874-77458-6

Flowers for Algernon, D. Keyes, ISBN# 0-553-27450-3

Weaveworld, C. Barker, ISBN# 0-671-70418-4

Tibeten Book of Living and Dying, S. Rinpoche, ISBN# 0-062-50793-1

Cat's Cradle, K. Vonnegut, ISBN# 0-440-11149-8

Lord of the Flies, Golding, ISBN# 0-399-50148-7

The Brothers K, D.J. Duncan, ISBN# 0-553-56314-9

Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems, G. Snyder, ISBN# 0-865-47455-9

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, T. Robbins, ISBN# 0-553-34949-X

Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, ISBN# 0-316-76948-7

Poems, W.B. Yeats, ISBN# 1-565-11147-8

Journey Without A Goal, C. Trungpa, ISBN#0-397-74194-3

Book of Runes, R. Blum, ISBN# 0-312-09758-1

Enter the Zone, B. Sears, ISBN# 0-060-19131-7

Out of Freedom, Into Slavery, G.Spence, ISBN# 0-312-95840-4

28-Day Yoga Plan, R Hittleman, ISBN# 0-553-27748-0

The Straw Bale House, Steen/Steen/ Bainbridge, ISBN# 0-930-03171-7

Anatomy of the Spirit, C. Myss, 0-609-80014-0

In the Absence of the Sacred, J. Mander, ISBN# 0-871-56509-9

Gaia, Lovelock, ISBN# 0-192-86030-5

Returning to Silence, D Katagiri, ISBN# 0-877-73431-3

An Innocent Millionaire, Vizinczey, ISBN# 0-226-85889-8

Black Elk Speaks, Neihardt, ISBN# 0-803-28359-8

Desert Solitaire, E. Abbey, ISBN# 0-345-32649-0

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Journey, A. Lansing, ISBN# 0-786-70621-X

Mists of Avalon, M. Bradley, ISBN# 0-345-35049-9

Small is Beautiful, E.F. Shumacher

Heart of Darkness, J. Conrad, ISBN# 1-566-19490-3

Earth Speaks, VanMatre, ISBN# 0-917-01100-7

Alice in Wonderland, L. Carroll, ISBN# 0-553-21345-8

The Milagro Beanfield Wars, Nichols, ISBN# 0-345-34446-4)

The Seventh Son, O.S. Card, ISBN# 0-812-53305-4

1984, G. Orwell, ISBN# 0-451-52493-4

The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity, D. Reid, ISBN# 0-671-64811-X

Journey to Ixtlan, C. Castenada, ISBN# 0-671-73246-3

The Monkeywrench Gang, E. Abbey, ISBN# 0-380-71339-X

A Wrinkle in Time, M. L'Engel, ISBN# 0-440-49805-8

On the Road, J. Kerouac, ISBN# 0-670-87478-7

Leaves of Grass, W. Whitman, ISBN# 0-192-82675-1

Autobiography of a Yogi, P. Yogananda, ISBN# 0-876-12079-6

To Kill a Mockingbird, H. Lee, ISBN# 0-345-32649-0

The Path of Power, Sun Bear, ISBN#0-943-40403-7

Brave New World, A. Huxley, ISBN# 0-060-80983-3

Of Mice and Men, J. Steinbeck, ISBN# 0-140-18642-5

The Eagle and the Raven, J. Michener, ISBN# 0-938-34957-0

Breakfast of Champions, K. Vonnegut, ISBN# 0-440-13148-0

Ishmael, D. Quinn, ISBN# 0-553-37540-7

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis, ISBN# 0-064-47104-7

The Road Less Travelled, S. Peck, ISBN# 0-684-84728-0

Tracker, T. Brown, ISBN# 0-939-64368-5

Book of 5 Rings, Musashi, ISBN# 0-553-27096-6

Rodale Book of Composting, G. Gershuny, ISBN# 0-878-57991-5

Black Like Me, J. Griffin, ISBN# 0-451-15530-0

Living with Vision, L. Marks, ISBN# 0-904-57553-5

The Little Prince, A. St-Exupery, ISBN# 0-156-50300-X

This Side of Paradise, F.S. Fitzgerald, ISBN# 0-804-11480-3

The Sand County Almanac, A. Leopold, ISBN# 0-195-05305-2

No Exit, J.P. Satre, ISBN# 0-679-72516-4

A Brief History of Time, S. Hawkings, ISBN# 0-553-34614-8

Silent Spring, R. Carson, ISBN# 0-395-68329-7

Ecodefense, D. Foreman, ISBN# 0-993-28503-5

Messages from Michael, C. Yarbro, ISBN# 0-425-10437-0

Return of the Bird Tribes, K. Carey, ISBN# 0-062-50188-7

The Idiot, F. Dostoevski, ISBN# 0-140-44054-2

Rolling Thunder, D. Boyd, ISBN# 0-385-28859-X

Steal This Book!, A. Hoffman, ISBN# 1-586-58053-3

Forty Stories, A. Chekhov, ISBN# 0-679-73375-2

The Alchemist, P. Coelho, ISBN# 0-783-811-95-1

Les Miserables, V. Hugo, ISBN# 0-451-52526-4

Envisioning a Sustainable Society, L. Millbraith, ISBN# 0-791-40162-6

A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis, ISBN# 0-060-65284-5

An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, D.T. Suzuki, ISBN# 0-802-13055-0

The Conquest of Happiness, B. Russell, ISBN# 0-871-40244-0

Keeping the Rabble in Line, N. Chompsky, ISBN# 1-567-51033-7

The Education of Oversoul 7, J. Roberts, ISBN# 0-671-64318-5

Man and Superman, G.B. Shaw, ISBN# 0-140-45019-X

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein, ISBN# 0-345-33968-1

Deep Ecology, B. Devall, ISBN# 0-879-05247-3

A World Beyond, S. Peterson, ISBN# 0-694-01018-9

Remaking Society, M. Bookchin, ISBN# 0-896-08372-1

Catch 22, J. Heller, ISBN# 0-684-83339-5

American Primitive, M. Oliver, ISBN# 0-316-65004-8

A Course in Miracles, H Schucman, ISBN# 0-670-86975-9

The Simple Living Guide, J. Luhrs, ISBN# 0-965-02397-0

Mutant Message Down Under, M. Morgan, ISBN# 1-863-40557-7

Elemental Power, A. Wolfe, ISBN# 1-567-18807-9

Joshua, J. Girzone, ISBN# 0-684-81346-7

The Chakras, C. Ledbetter, ISBN# 0-835-60422-5

The Reluctant Shaman, K. Whitaker, ISBN# 0-062-50943-8

The Mind of God, P. Davies, ISBN# 0-671-79718-2

The Hero with 1,000 Faces, J. Campbell, ISBN# 0-691-01784-0

Peace Pilgrim, Peace Pilgrim, ISBN# 0-943-73401-0

Gesundheit!, P. Adams, ISBN# 0-892-28178-X

The Cobber's Companion: Earthen Homes, M. Smith, ISBN# 0-966-37380-4

The Story of Edgar Cayce, T. Sugrue, ISBN# 0-440-38680-2

The Complete Kama Sutra, A. Danielou, ISBN# 0-892-81492-6

The Hundredth Monkey, K. Keyes, ISBN# 0-942-02400-1

Fools Crow, J. Welch, ISBN# 0-140-08937-3

Sacred Eyes, L.R. Keck, ISBN# 0-964-69780-7

The Bible Code, M. Drusnin, ISBN#0-684-8973-9

The Glass Bead Game, H. Hesse, ISBN# 0-805-01246-X

How Your Mind Can Keep You Well, R. Masters, ISBN# 0-933-90009-0

Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World, A Weisman, ISBN# 1-890-13228-4

The One Straw Revolution, M. Fokuoka, ISBN# 0-878-57220-1

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown ISBN#

Myth of Freedom, C.Trungpa, ISBN# 0-87773-084-9

Inner Teachings of Taoism, Chang Po-Tuan, ISBN#0-87773-363-5


Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Oct 21, 2009 - 01:07pm PT
Not THE ten, but some more worth being on anyone's list that haven't been mentioned (and aren't quite as obvious as the best of Mark Twain, Dickens, and all of the justifiably more famous or worthy authors already mentioned):

A Graham Greene book or two. Power and the Glory, Heart of the Matter, The Comedians, Monsignor Quixote and at least a dozen more you can't go wrong with.

Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas, and if you like that grab Medusa and the Snail.

Another Vonnegut book or two (for all his fame, my two cents worth is that he's still under appreciated). God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Hocus Pocus, Galapagos, plus all those already mentioned and more. Again, you can't go wrong.

100 Years of Solitude

Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Autobiography of Malcom X (though it's not, 'cuz he didn't write it)

Ball Four, by Jim Bouton. For those of us who grew up when baseball was truly the national pastime, or anyone who wants to read the best mainstream sports book ever written.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (if this book doesn't make you laugh out loud I'm not sure you're capable of it)

Any Hemmingway book or story set in Africa, followed by Paul Theroux's Dark Star Safari. He's not a Hemmingway fan, and this book makes you understand why, and concede that he has really got a point. A great and entertaining read, and an excellent snapshot of modern Africa and how its changed over several decades. May also cause you to never again give a dime to any of dozens of well known charities...and actually help the continent a bit as result. One helluva travel yarn. This guy's got some cojones, all the more impressive in light of the fact that he was long ago set for life financially and is 60+.

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