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OrygunJim

Book Recommendations Sought

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Looking for reading materials during those long wintry nights by the fire. What books have helped shape your climbing style, or what persons have you read about that inspired you? Looking primarily for climbing related items here, no Oprah book club sh*t.

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This Game of Ghosts was pretty good. So Was K2 Savage Summit. Burgess Book of lies was also fun.

 

Not climbing related, but Mission: Al Jazeera is worth reading.

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"conquistadors of the useless" by lionel terray is my favorite - i also like walter bonatti's stuff

 

my fav quote from "conquistadors":

 

"Philistines may think that we were madmen indeed to go through such suffering and danger to arrive at this lonely spot. What did you hope to find there, they may ask. Glory? Nobody cares about young fools who waste their best years in meaningless combats far from the eyes of the world. Fortune? Our clothes were in rags and next day we would go back down to a life of slaving for the barest essentials. What we sought was the unbounded and essential joy that boils in the heart and penetrates every fibre of our being when, after long hours skirting the borders of death, we can again hug life to us with all our strength. Nietzsche defined it thus: `The secret of knowing the most fertile experiences and the greatest joys in life is to live dangerously.'"

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"Climb" - Boukreev's account of the '96 Everest disaster. Anything that makes Kraukauer look like the sanctimonious prick that he is has to rate high.

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'Me, a Chest Beat.'

Search on 'Bug'.

 

Is that the one about humility being the finest virtue of the gentleman climber, I love that one.

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'Me, a Chest Beat.'

Search on 'Bug'.

 

Is that the one about humility being the finest virtue of the gentleman climber, I love that one.

No. Why?

 

How about a "real" book?

Desperate Journeys and Abandoned Souls.

Seriously, check it out. It is about "The Will to Survive".

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I read a novel titled "The Wall", written by Jeff Long. Interesting story of a couple of guys trying to recapture glory on a route they pioneered in Yosemite 30 years later. Great read.

 

Annapurna - Herzog

K2 The Savage Mountain - Curran

This Game of Ghosts - Simpson

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Reminds me of a trip to JT with a friend who I used to do first ascents with in the Bitterroots. We were both married with kids etc and were just getting back together for a fun trip to see if we could still climb. When we were down in Hidden Valley CG we ended up camping with a group of young climbers from Missoula. They recognized our names from the local Missoula guide books and we had fun exchanging stories about the Bitterroots. The next day, they invited us to go climb with them but we knew we were just setting ourselves up for total humiliation. So we made up some lame excuse and hid in Echo canyon.

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The Games Climbers Play. Good collection of short stories.

 

One of my favorites: The Douche - "oh there's a chance, there's a chance"

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"Conquistadors of the useless" is great.

 

Other good ones:

"Starlight and Storm" by Gaston Rebuffat

"The worst journey in the world" by Apsley Cherry Garrard

"The mountains of my life" by Walter Bonatti

 

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Climbing:

 

"Americans on Everest" Ullman

 

"The Challenge of Rainier" Molenaar

 

Non-Climbing:

 

"Women" Bukowski (anything from Bukowski really)

 

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"Climb" - Boukreev's account of the '96 Everest disaster. Anything that makes Kraukauer look like the sanctimonious prick that he is has to rate high.

 

Have to agree with that rec. "Climb" was excellent, and "the rest of the story" that desperately needed to be told.

 

Other climbing books that I liked...

"The Boardman-Tasker Omnibus", authors are obvious

"In the Zone", Potterfield

"Addicted to Danger", Wickwire

"Feeding the Rat" (story of Mo Anthoine of Joe Brown fame-a really good read), Al Alvarez

"Big Wall Climbing", Doug Scott (it's almost 35 years old, but a really good history of BWC throughout the world's ranges from the English perspective)

"Nanda Devi", Roskelley

Anything climbing-related by David Roberts (I second the rec from above)

Second the rec on "Challenge of Rainier" by Molenaar and wish to add

"Challenge of the North Cascades", Beckey

 

Non-climbing related books that I've read in the past year...

"Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism...", Ahmed Rashid (really really dense read, lots of Muslim/Islamic lineage to wade through, but really sets the stage for what is happening in the world today)

"Infidel", Ayaan Hirsi Ali (a Muslim woman's, who becomes apostate, perspective - this is the same woman who was a Dutch Parliamentarian who had death threats/fatwas put out on her after she did a short movie with Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered as a result. She was to be next...)

"From Baghdad, With Love", Lt. Col. Kopelman (really fast read)

"Lone Survivor", Marcus Luttrell (really, really fast read)

"The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell", John Crawford

"Shooter", Coughlin, Kuhlman, and Davis

"Three Cups of Tea", Greg Mortenson (starts out as a climbing story, but changes tack quickly - a really good read)

"Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time", Dava Sobel (really really really great read, if you like this sort of thing)

"Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage", Alfred Lansing (this is a really really really really great read - a truly magnificent story - and NOBODY DIES!)

 

That oughta get ya through the winter, eh?

 

Speaking of reading... what does it say on the tramp stamp on your avatar pic?

 

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Second the rec on "The Games Climbers Play," especially good if you are in a situation where you have to break your reading up a bit. If you can get your hands on any of the various editions of "Ascent," that's another worthwhile compilation.

 

Non-climbing:

 

"History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," if you've got the endurance.

 

The Atheist Troika of Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins..."The End of Faith, "God is Not Great," or "The God Delusion," if you're into thinking about these things.

 

Going back a ways, "Rameau's Nephew/D'Alembert's Dream" by Diderot or "Letters on the English" by Voltaire were especially enjoyable, but everything that I read from the major figures of the Enlightenment was enjoyable, with the exception perhaps of Rousseau.

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The Microbe Hunters, by Paul De Kruif (1926). It's still in print because it is a good read about guys like Leeuwenhook, Pasteur and Koch, who changed the world.

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I second JayB's recommendation of any copy of Ascent. An eclectic collection of pictures, art, short stories, climbing stories, it has something for any mood. Better than all but a few accounts of the first free nude but for a penis gourd ascent of the direct north north east face of the blowhard in winter under the sign of Aquarius by a Gemini

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Thanks for the all the feedback. I look forward to hours in the puffy leather chair with the tawny port and cigars, reading of bold ascents and devastating failures in regions unknown.

 

Speaking of reading... what does it say on the tramp stamp on your avatar pic?

 

corinthians_tramp_stamp.jpg

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Thanks, OJ, for that reminder...

... "Hey Honey, You're right! Love is the greatest of all! And I'm gonna last forever!" <...in-out, in-out, in-out...> :laf:

 

I have to wonder, though, will her boyfriend/hubby be able to read that when he's banging her doggie-style thirty years from now...? :noway:

 

Or maybe she'll have switched to the widescreen version: "This Bible verse has been formatted to fit your huge ass." :laf:

 

BTW, second JayB's rec on Christopher Hitchens. The guys says what really needs to be said. "God is Not Great" is a must-read.

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