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New Reads: Following Two Iconic Authors of the West

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    • New Reads: Following Two Iconic Authors of the West

      a new book about two of my favorite authors:

      outsideonline.com/outdoor-adve…utm_campaign=facebookpost


      New Reads: Following Two Iconic Authors of the WestA fresh look at Wallace Stegner and Edward Abbey
      Mar 24, 201

      Wallace Stegner (left) and Edward Abbey (right) both made names for themselves as they moved west. Author David Gessner followed their path and gained new insights on the men. Photo: Alex Gotfryd/Corbis; John Blaustein

      Released in April, David Gessner’s All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West ($27, W. W. Norton) is a biography of two of the West’s most iconic authors. At least, it’s primarily biography; it’s also a travelogue in which Gessner, a thoughtful and irreverent essayist, traces the two men’s lives as they headed west across the country.

      He begins in the east, visiting Vermont, the setting of Stegner’s last novel,Crossing to Safety, and Home, Pennsylvania, where Abbey was raised “without flush toilets, with a gun sometimes in hand, and with an intimacy with animals both wild and tame.” In the early going, much of what Gessner learns fits in with what we already think: Stegner the restrained writer and Stanford professor; Abbey the wild man of conservation with a running FBI file.

      But those conceptions begin to change as Gessner makes his way west and discovers that Stegner, who lobbied to pass the Wilderness Act and save Dinosaur National Monument from flooding, was more radical than many believe. “Having witnessed the failure of a thousand rugged individualists, his father among them,” writes Gessner, “he came to believe in community,” predating the counterculture’s adoption of the idea in the 1960s. By contrast, Gessner begins to think that Abbey, “for all his own forays into monkeywrenching and protest,” wasn’t always radical so much as selfish. “Some of Abbey’s bad personal behavior was brave. But some was simply bad.”

      These revelations, and Gessner’s subtle humor, make for an absorbing read. Abbey’s and Stegner’s lives, Gessner says, “are creative possibilities for living a life both good and wild.” That’s something many in the West still seek—and what makes this book such a great read for anyone living there
      its all good
    • I'm in the middle of rereading my favorite book that I've ever read.
      Actually is like the 6th or 7th time I've read it, because it's THAT good.
      The title is "Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America? Five Kids Meet Their Country" and the author is John Seigel Boettner.
      It's about John Seigel Boettner, a Social Studies teacher, who along with his wife leads a small group of his students on a cross country bike ride to really lean about America. They start out in Washington DC and ride to their home in California taking a less than direct route. Along the way they experience every kind of weather imaginable, and meet a wide variety of people from rednecks to cowboys and Amish to surfers.
      The book isn't just a dry account of their journey but is well written and makes you wish you had been there with them. At least that's how I feel about it. It's listed on Amazon for $11.52, it would be money well spent.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      I'm in the middle of rereading my favorite book that I've ever read.
      Actually is like the 6th or 7th time I've read it, because it's THAT good.
      The title is "Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America? Five Kids Meet Their Country" and the author is John Seigel Boettner.
      It's about John Seigel Boettner, a Social Studies teacher, who along with his wife leads a small group of his students on a cross country bike ride to really lean about America. They start out in Washington DC and ride to their home in California taking a less than direct route. Along the way they experience every kind of weather imaginable, and meet a wide variety of people from rednecks to cowboys and Amish to surfers.
      The book isn't just a dry account of their journey but is well written and makes you wish you had been there with them. At least that's how I feel about it. It's listed on Amazon for $11.52, it would be money well spent.




      i read this one some years ago, and it was pretty powerful: amazon.com/The-Kindness-Strang…ess-America/dp/1495213765
      its all good
    • Thanks for all the recommendations, I've added them to my list.

      JJ, I love Tony Hillerman and his stories about Native Americans. I read tons of old westerns when I was a teen ... Max Brand, Louis L'Amour, Zane Grey, etc. I've always wanted to be a western pioneer woman.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • TrafficJam wrote:

      Thanks for all the recommendations, I've added them to my list.

      JJ, I love Tony Hillerman and his stories about Native Americans. I read tons of old westerns when I was a teen ... Max Brand, Louis L'Amour, Zane Grey, etc. I've always wanted to be a western pioneer woman.


      There's another really good western mystery writer like Hillerman but I can't remember his/her name. I'll check next time I'm at the library. Once I find an author I like I go right down the shelf and read all of their books.
      "Dazed and Confused"
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