There’s never a bad time to start a good book. Here are three suggestions for outdoors lovers:
1. Winter: Notes from Montana. Anyone who has spent time outdoors has a place — a locale that grabs him or her, whether from the start or over time, and refuses to be shaken off. Author Rick Bass’ place is the remote Yaak Valley in northwestern Montana, and his slim book about his first winter there is filled with the growing love for place, even during its most trying season, that anyone who has experienced it will recognize.
2. The Longest Silence. Fly-fishing lit tends toward purple prose, which tends to a) reinforce the false notion that the sport is for the eclectic or wealthy and b) bore readers to sleep. Thomas McGuane’s celebrated writing is high-minded but not heavy-handed, and the authenticity of his collection of short pieces stands alone as a result. His stories are as spare or as rich as the moment, the thought, the company. Buy this one — you’ll want to read it again.
3. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. To understand water is to understand the politics, business and life of the West, and the inner workings of Washington. Marc Reisner‘s meticulously researched and enormously entertaining (and enlightening) book is one of the definitive pieces of conservation writing, the ongoing story of who owns moving water, who benefits, who suffers and who pays (one guess). Larger-than-life figures populate the pages, and their words and actions stick with the reader long after the book is closed. Essential reading for outdoorspeople, nature and U.S. history lovers, conservationists, environmentalists and anyone who pays taxes.