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Recommended Outdoor Reads

11.11.14

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Recommended Outdoor Reads

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  • A camper reads in his tent as the light fades on Clark Island. - Recommended Outdoor Reads
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We asked the community to share their favorite adventure reads and we've put together a pretty good list. In no particular order are some great trail, or cozy-by-the-fire, reads to fuel your next outdoor adventure. Have more to add? Comment below or shoot us a tweet @OutdoorProject. 

Need to add more titles to your shelf? TODAY, November 20th, is a special Give!Guide day. By donating a minimum of $10 to Friends of Outdoor School, you have a chance to win a $500 Powells Book's shopping spree! Learn more here.

WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By Cheryl Strayed, recommended by Twitter user @KarinMcKercher.
This book is everywhere right now, but for good reason. A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe — and built her back up again. 
 

River of Doubt

By Candice Millard, recommended by  Twitter user @KarinMcKercher
This book is an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, "The River of Doubt" is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.
 

The Measure of a Mountain

By Bruce Barcott, recommended by Twitter user @PDXpersky.
Intrigued by the defining pillar of his native landscape, writer Bruce Barcott set out to grasp the spirit of Rainier through a journey along its massive flanks. Filled with adventure, poignant personal reflections, and fascinating mountain lore told by Indian chiefs, mountain guides, priests, and scientists, "The Measure of a Mountain" is one man's stirring quest to reconcile with the mysterious disparities of nature.


The Klamath Knot

By David Rain Wallace, recommended by Twitter user @PDXpersky.
This is a personal vision of wilderness in the Klamath Mountains of northwest California and southwest Oregon, seen through the lens of "evolutionary mythology." David Rains Wallace uses his explorations of the diverse ecosystems in this region to ponder the role of evolution and myth in our culture. The author's new epilogue makes a case for the creation of a new park to safeguard this exceptionally rich storehouse of relict species and evolutionary stories, which has largely been bypassed by conservationists since John Muir.


My Story as Told by Water

By David James, recommended by Twitter user @PDXpersky.
In this remarkable collection of essays, acclaimed author David James Duncan braids his contemplative, rhapsodic, and activist voices together into a potently distinctive whole, speaking with power and urgency about the vital connections between our water-filled bodies and this water-covered planet. All twenty-two pieces in this collection swirl and eddy around his early-forged bond with the rivers of the Pacific Northwest and their endangered native salmon. With a bracing blend of story, science, and comedy, Duncan relates mystical, life-changing adventures; draws incisive portraits of the humans and wild creatures who shaped his destiny; rips the corporate greed and political folly that have brought whole ecosystems to ruin; and meditates on the spiritual and practical necessity of acknowledging our dependence on water in its primal state.


Becoming Odyssa

By Jennifer Pharr Davis, recommended by Twitter user @runnerteri.
"I am very proud of my book, "Becoming Odyssa". But I am NOT proud of everything I did in "Becoming Odyssa". Perhaps, the thing that I value most about the book is that it is a honest, authentic retelling of my first thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. I share the good, bad, and ugly – even when I’m the one being ugly." - Jennifer


Be Brave, Be Strong

By Jill Homer, recommended by Twitter user @runnerteri.
Jill is an unassuming recreational cyclist who has about as much in common with Lance Armstrong as she does with Michael Jordan. But despite her perceived athletic mediocrity, the newspaper editor from Alaska harbors an outlandish ambition: the "world's toughest mountain bike race," a 2,740-mile journey from Canada to Mexico along the rugged spine of the Rocky Mountains. "Be Brave, Be Strong," is the true story of an adventure driven relentlessly forward as foundations crumble. This is a brutally honest account of one woman's incredible journey and simple discovery — to take on the world's toughest mountain bike race, one doesn't have to be the world's toughest woman. Not even close.


A Walk in the Woods

By Bill Bryson, recommended by Twitter user @Todd_the_Hiker.
Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes—and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.


Undaunted Courage

By Stephen Ambrose, recommended by Twitter user @Todd_the_Hiker.
From the bestselling author of "Band of Brothers" and "D-Day," the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time. High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.


The New American Road Trip Mixtape

By Brendan Leonard, recommended by Twitter user @JustinLFricke.
Following in Kerouac and Steinbeck's tire tracks, a 32-year-old, post-breakup Brendan Leonard hits the road in search of healing and a new, post-economic-downturn American Dream. Sleeping in the back of a beat-up station wagon, he seeks answers—and hopefully, the occasional shower—in the postcard-worthy places of the American West. Part ballad to the romance of the road and part heart-searching treatise on the American Dream, "The New American Road Trip Mixtape" is Leonard's raw, often hilarious, barstool storytelling at its best.


Climbing Out of Bed + The Great America Dirtbags

By Luke Mehall, recommended by Twitter user @JustinLFricke.
The muses of Mehall’s pieces are the people who make up the rock climbing and mountain town culture. He describes the experience as being a lost soul who floated to the mountains, and then discovered his true self. Many of the stories in "Climbing Out of Bed" are coming of age tales, especially when the author embarks into the unknown of the rock climbing world. Included in this collection are essays on friendship, hitchhiking, couch surfing, buildering (climbing buildings), road tripping, dumpster diving, extended camping experiences, dirtbag living, love, loss, wanderlust, and Zen dishwashing.
 
"The Great American Dirtbags" is a collection of 20 short stories. The book is a follow up to Climbing Out of Bed, and the main focus is mountain town culture and the dirtbag climbing existence.


Travels with Charley

By John Steinback, recommended by Twitter user @JustinLFricke.
In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante.
 
 
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