Saturday, December 29, 2012

Books from Christmas

I try to avoid getting "stuff" for Christmas, but books are my weakness. Mostly I buy ebooks rather than dead trees, but I make an exception for books with lots of photos. Here are the ones I got this Christmas:

National Geographic Guide to State Parks of the United States
I also have the National Parks guide in this series. They're good for armchair browsing, planning a trip, or getting ideas for what to visit in an area. Aside from all it's other flaws, the USA is gifted with a wonderful array of landscapes and nature. Another one that I might pick up is their Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways.
Unexpected: 30 Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography
I've always loved the photography in the Patagonia catalogs so it's great to have a collection of them. It won the award for best mountain images book at last year's Banff Mountain Book Festival. There are also some great essays mixed in. (Too bad the photograph by Rob Owens of Murray Hainer and I in Tibet that was in one of the catalogs didn't make it into the book. )

Fred Beckey's 100 Favorite North American Climbs
At 89 years old Fred Beckey is a climbing legend and one of my heroes. Many years ago I was climbing at Skaha (near Penticton in BC) with Ian Marsh. Standing in the parking lot, he said "I think Fred Beckey is here! (Fred was already legendary, even back then.) I was skeptical and asked how he could possibly know that. He pointed to a beat up wreck of a car and said "I recognize his car." And the reason he recognized the car was because there had been a picture in a Patagonia catalog. (Back in those days we studied those catalogs religiously.)

The Responsible Company: What We've Learned From Patagonia's First 40 Years
Yvon Chouinard is another hero of mine, for his climbing and for his business and environmental work. I just started reading this, so I can't give much of a review yet but I really liked his previous book Let My People Go Surfing. (What is the Saskatchewan equivalent? Let my people go tobogganing?) We saw him in person at the Banff Mountain Festival when he launched the 1% for the Planet initiative. (I got this one as an ebook.)

Thanks to my family for the great gifts!

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