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Old 10-23-2010   #31
malloypc's Avatar
Albany, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Lots of my favorites already listed. One notably missing and IMO a must read is:
We SWAM The Grand Canyon - By Bill Beer
The true story of a cheap vacation that got a little out of hand. In 1955 Bill Beer and John Daggett, at the time both recently out of the military, and in their mid 20s, footloose, and more or less unemployed conceived the idea of swimming the Colorado River through the 279 miles of the Grand Canyon-principally because they couldn't afford a boat. This simple idea escalated into a national news story and has been one of the legends of the Grand Canyon ever since. Never equalled nor duplicated, their illegal venture and many of its dangers, comic episodes, innovations, side effects and long term ramifications are the story of this book.

You can get it on Amazon for ~$25, but you can save a few bucks by ordering it directly from Bill's widow Sue Beer We SWAM The Grand Canyon - By Bill Beer

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Old 10-23-2010   #32
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 292
two more:

Rock Me on the Water, by Renny Russell...With the help of David Brower, he and his brother co-authored On the Loose, a hippy/cult classic of 1969 consisting of photography, poems, and calligraphy inspired by the brothers vagabonding throughout the west. When On the Loose was at the publisher, the brothers went down Deso and had an accident...Renny is now a guide on the Grand as well, and Rock Me on the Water is a memoir of sorts, that swirls all about the rivers and landsapes of the west. I loved it.

Another Wallace Stegner: Encounters with the Archdruid. The third part of this one is an account of the Author's float on the Colorado with Floyd Dominy (dam builder) and his antithesis, David Brower...

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Old 10-23-2010   #33
Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 75
Wow didnt know there were so many river books out there! One I must add is: The very hard way: The Bert Loper story by Brad Dimock. Loper is one of if not the founding father of river running, most famous for dying while running the Grand at 80.
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Old 10-23-2010   #34
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 150
Well, that was the third time the Very Hard Way was recommended in this thread.

Another good one is Down The River by Edward Abbey. Wish I could have done a river trip with him.
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Old 10-23-2010   #35
Idaho, Wyoming
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 147
river books

"The Big Drops- 10 Legendary Rapids" by Rod Nash
"If We Had a Boat" by Roy Webb, great Green River book
"River Gods" by Richard Bangs and Christian Kallen
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Old 10-25-2010   #36
wannabe kayaker
Dayton, Ohio
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 56
Not a river book, but a facinating book (or set of books) is the trilogy biography of Teddy Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" is about his life before the presidency, "Theodore Rex" is about his presidency, and "Colonel Roosevelt" is about post presidency (Colonel Roosevelt is released in November). I've listened to the audiobooks, and it is detailed without being boring. He was an amazing man, and certainly a hero to anyone who loves the outdoors.
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Old 10-25-2010   #37
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,911
If you run rivers in the West, "Cadillac Desert," by the late Marc Reisner is a must-read for its perspective on Western water resource management.

Another good one is Westwater Lost and Found by Milligan.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 10-25-2010   #38
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
If you like "big" books, this one is excellent:

W. H. Calvin's THE RIVER THAT FLOWS UPHILL (Sierra Club Books 1987)
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 10-25-2010   #39
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 200
Westwater History

I just finished a good book on the history of the Westwater settlement in Utah in the late 1800's and early 1900's leading up to the early river runners and first descents of the canyon. The book is called 'Westwater Lost and Found' by Mike Milligan. It was very interesting to learn who first attempted and completed the canyon in their various crafts as our sport has progressed.
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Old 10-26-2010   #40
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Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 267
One of my favorite books is Back from Tuichi. Its about a misadventure in Bolivia. I read it while spending a month in Bolivia and it was one of the fastest reads. Very interesting book. Back from Tuichi (9780679424581): Yossi Ghinsberg: Books

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