I didn’t read nearly as many books in 2015 as I set out to, but I did read some good ones. Here’s a list of some of the books I read last year.
Got any good book recommendations for me?
By my Nature by Bob Hatfield
I really enjoyed reading this. Written by one of my mother’s brothers, this is a book of essays on his life in the Pacific rain forest of Oregon. From hunting bear, elk and mule deer to fishing for bass, catfish or river run steelhead, my Uncle Bob did his entire family a great service of recording these adventures. Lessons of character and love of the land and of others are heartwarmingly told.
The River of Doubt by Candace Millard
Teddy Rosevelt’s South American expedition after a failed third attempt at a White House run almost killed him. In fact, he almost took his own life. This is a very good book. Highly recommended.
To the Last Man by Zane Grey
My first western rag to read. Way more kissing and way less gunfighting than I expected.
Fly Fishing Through The Mid Life Crisis by Lowell Raines
The author’s frequently espoused liberal beliefs would have been tolerable if he wasn’t so dog gone annoying about them. I kept waiting for this one to get good, but all I came away with were a few glimpses of some nice times on a river.
Another Lousy Day in Paradise by John Gierach
I really enjoy fly fishing essays. Mr. Gierach writes in a easy, familiar way. If you have fly fished much at all you find yourself relating to the stories he tells. Rather than envying him for his fishing expeditions, I find myself simply planning my own.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
I finally got around to reading this classic. I blogged about this one a few months ago here. One of my favorite sentences in the entire volume, “Reality outran apprehension; Captain Ahab stood upon his quarterdeck.” What a great introduction of the monomaniacal captain of the Pequod.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
This one surprised me a little. It still deals with race relations and bigotry, and it doesn’t answer all the questions it raises, which is just fine.
Father Water, Mother Woods by Gary Paulsen
I saw this title and at first glance it sounded pretty new age. Being the child of a very dysfunctional home, Mr. Paulson found refuge hunting and fishing in the northern woods and rivers around his home. Touching essays of childhood, adventure, and growing up.
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
This was one of my favorites last year. It’s the story of the 1936 Olympic rowing team from the University of Washington. It’s an inspirational story of determination, courage, and strength. Great read – Highly Recommended!
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
This is the story of the tragedy of the whaling ship Essex, which was attacked and sunk by a huge Sperm Whale. It’s the true story that inspired much of Moby Dick. There is also a wealth of information about the whaling industry in the 19th century, and of Nantucket Island.
The Revenant by Michael Punke
This is a work of historical fiction. Hugh Glass, a trapper with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company is mauled by a bear. Making matters worse, he is abandoned by his tropp, robbed of his rifle and knife and left to die. He recovers and is bent on revenge. The book goes into great detail (although somewhat conjured) of Mr. Glass’ recovery and survival in the winter mountains. I was somewhat disappointed with the end of the book. In fact, it didn’t seem to end; rather, it just stopped.
Side note – I was very disappointed with the movie, which didn’t really follow the book at all, nor did it develop the characters very well. So, you had to have read the book to make sense of the characters, but then the movie takes an extreme departure from the very book you have depended on for character development. Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance was excellent, though.