Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Reading

   What can you say about a good book that hasn't already been put into words?  Truth is nothing, but since I love to read and I seldom mention books on this blog I thought I would devote at least one entry to the books and authors that I recommend everyone read.  Warning: This Is Not A Fishing Post.  If you don't read anything longer than a 250 word blog post then this might not be for you but if you do occasionally pick up a book, grab a beer, and sit on the deck then listen up.
    First up is my all time favorite books by my favorite author; Ernest Hemingway.  I have read nearly everything he has ever written including dispatches to the Toronto Star newspaper when he was just starting out.  A few of those early writings were even laced with fly fishing the great north woods.  The Sun Also Rises also has a bit of fishing but its mostly about Spain, Bullfights, and a group of ex-pats that go to party.  Great read! and if you don't get it all in the first read then read it again... I have 4-5 times... I'm fairly dense.
 If you haven't read any Robert Louis Stevenson then you are one depraved individual.  What kid doesn't like pirates right?  Anything by him is money.
    Then there is the few that go along with him like James F Cooper or Jack London, both of which are great authors even if Cooper can be a bit long winded.  I would also say you are safe with anything that Mark Twain penned. As a kid that spent a whole lot of time on the banks of the Mississippi, his book Life On The Mississippi opened up a whole new world for me when  it came to understanding what this country was like back when Samuel Clemons was a riverboat captain.  Roughing It wasn't that bad either.
    Which brings me to a great work by one of our nations top exploring teams; Louis and Clark.  The Journals Of these two men are a must in any woodsy persons library.  If cant stand reading history (honestly I just worked with a guy that said he hated history....I was dumbfounded) then at least have it as a reference.  I found it fascinating to hear how open and wild this country was only two hundred to three hundred years ago.
    Bartrum is another more dry account of exploring this country before it was made a country and might be interesting to Southerns but L & C would be the most notable and easy to find choice.

    If you are looking for a bit more of a political underlining theme then look know further than Ayn Rand.  "Who Is John Galt?"  If you don't know then pick up this book.  It was written sixty or so years ago but could have been written yesterday.  As a girl Rand escaped the communist revolution and saw first hand was a socialist society can do to the human spirit.  A lot of schools and media outlets shy away from this book because of some of the politically unpopular views but I think every person should at least take a look.  Its a big book - we are talking War and Peace big - but it is much easier to get through than Dickens.
Next is any first hand account of a WWI, WWII, Vietnam, or any war veteran.  Seven Roads to Hell was picked because It Was Amazing.  If you don't read history then you don't understand the sacrifices people went through to make this country great.  I have many first hand accounts on war including many that come in this series of World War II Library books, some of which were written by German Panzer commanders and a Japanese Zero pilot.  Do your country proud and pick up a war biography.  You just might learn something.

 When you are all done with that then relax with some easy reading.  Louis L'amour is one of Americas gems.  If you want an easy read and one that is about real men fighting for what the believe, then pick up any L'amour book.  You will not only breeze through them but they will take you back to the times of Billy The Kid and Wild Bill Hikcok.  If you don't feel like Clint Eastwood after sitting a spell with a Sackett novel then you are one hopeless soul.

   If you have read any two of these book that I have mentioned then you might notice a theme.  I like books that feature individuals with drive and determination.  The heroes, be them real or fiction, sport courage and a willingness to do what needs to be done.  You wont catch me reading the Notebook - though I hear its a good book its just not for me - but I have been known to pick up Walden from time to time, but then again there is a man sporting a sort of self sufficiency I hold in great respect.
    If you don't make a pilgrimage to hunt those wild Russian trout that eat duck as an entree - Or if you do and need a good book for the plane ride - read at least one good book this summer.  And no, The Orvis Fly Tying Recipe book does not count even if it is well illustrated.


cofisher said...

Great job Joel. I'm surprised...we have the same taste in books and authors. I once had a complete collection of Louis L'amour then found out he had written many Hopalong Cassidy books under another name!. Also had the pleasure of meeting him a few years before he died. What an honor.

Mark Kautz said...

Hey Joel. Can go wrong reading. I generally have three going at the same time. One upstairs, one downstairs, and one on Audible for driving in the truck.


Unknown said...

Howard, glad to hear it. I am envious, Louis is proving to be one of my absolute favorites.

Mark. I can usually only handle one at a time mixed in with my fly fishing magazines.