June 30, 2016

Outdoor Community Question ~ Books

Over the next couple of weeks the OBN will be rolling out some new features, redesigns, and what-nots we’ve been working on and figured today looks like a good day to get one new feature rolling down the path.

~ The Outdoor Community Question ~

That sounds very official doesn’t it. Or maybe not. Either way, this is a great community full of idea’s, wisdom, knowledge and opinions, so who better to ask the important, strange, quirky, thought provoking, funny Outdoor questions then YOU? Exactly.

So I’ll start this feature off with a fun and interactive question.

As a bonus, I’m going to pick 1 answer comment (via RNG of course) to receive a copy of the book Shin Deep by Chris Hunt of the blog Eat More Brook Trout (he doesn’t know I’m doing this…surprise Chris!) on Friday morning–winner announced in the OBN Friday Notes (so check back please).

No, not all Outdoor Community Questions will come with a prize, but we’ll see what we can do in the future.

Help your fellow bloggers out by answering this question down in the comment section. I know I’m ALWAYS looking for good Outdoor reads and I’m excited to see what you all come back with.

“What Outdoor Book(s) would you recommend everyone read?”

(p.s. if you have an Outdoor question, need feedback, advice or just want to run something by the Outdoor Community, just let me know via–comment, twitter, facebook, google+ or contact form– and we’ll get your question posted front and center)

About Rebecca

When Rebecca isn't running the Outdoor Blogger Network, she is off Fly Fishing her favorite rivers. Occasionally she writes about those adventures at The Outdooress.


  1. 1

    “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson is a great read. Also “Following Atticus” by Tom Ryan is due out on September 20th. It’s been a great read. We were lucky enough to win an advanced readers copy.

  2. 5

    “Hunting Pressured Whitetails” by John Eberhart. This a great book on how to hunt deer on heavily hunted public land.

  3. 7

    Anything on the Florida Trail. It is a overlooked long trail that would kick many a people’s butt.

  4. 8

    Anything by Zane Grey. He’s written some great short stories about fishing. They are from a different time but are eminently readable. “Tales of Southern Rivers” is about his fishing trips in the everglades, the Gulf Stream, and an “unknown” river in Mexico. The other really good one is “Zane Grey on Fishing” it is a collection of short stories.

  5. 10

    “A River Runs Through It” is still my go to book, movie be damned.

  6. 14

    Tom McGuane’s “The Longest Silence” is one of the best pieces written on flyfishing. McGuane is one of the lions of literature – think Norman Maclean – and his prose is rich, thought-provoking, and passionate. He also reads like someone you’d want to fish with and get a beer afterward. The book covers his lifelong passion for flyfishing anywhere, for almost any species, from stripers off Manhattan to permit in the tropical flats. If “A River Runs Through It” is the one flyfishing book everyone should read, this is the other.

    • 15

      Agreed Robert. I’ve read “The Longest Silence” of couple of times. It’s one of those I can grab off my nightstand, open on any page and be taken into the moment.

  7. 16

    “Predator Calling with Gerry Blair” is by far the most entertaining and enlightening hunting book I’ve ever read. I like it so much I did a review of it on my blog:

  8. 17

    General outdoors: ‘Into Thin Air’ by Jon Krakauer.

    Bowhunting/hunting: ‘Archers Bible’ by Fred Bear.

  9. 19

    Patrick McManus’ “They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?”. For that matter, -any- of McManus’ books. They’re absolutely hilarious and you’re usually forced to put it down in order to catch your breath after a fit of uncontrollable laughter.

  10. 21

    After visiting the Redwoods last year I picked up ‘The Wild Trees’ by Richard Preston. I loved it. The story follows botanists and naturalists who study and climb California’s tallest trees. The book reads like fiction, but it is not and the people in it are fascinating. A must read in my opinion. Enjoy! http://richardpreston.net/preston-books/the-wild-trees

  11. 22

    “Hunting from Home: A Year Afield in the Blue Ridge Mountains” by Christopher Camuto.

  12. 23

    “A Fine and Pleasant Misery” by Patrick McManus. It is a book filled with stories about camping and fishing from a 12yr olds point of view. The book is pure comedy and will have you laughing out loud from chapter 1.

  13. 29

    Eberharts books on pressured deer are awesome from a technical standpoint if you hunt high pressured deer. For enjoyment I would give my nod to Longbows in the Far North by Don Thomas. Its hunting based but hunting doesn’t dominate the book. He makes you feel like you are right there in Alaska with him, taking it all in.

  14. 31

    I spend most of my free time reading books that strongly favor outdoor and nature based themes and there are too many to narrow down to a small list but among some of my favorites are Mammal tracks & sign: a guide to North American species by Mark Elbroch. If you hunt large or small game or are just very interested in mammal observation this is the best book out there with tons of color pictures and all the info one could ask for. Another good book is An Entirely Synthetic Fish by Anders Halverson. This book is a great read. It has very interesting history that shows where politics and people’s personal beliefs meet at the cross roads of the natural history one of America’s most beloved trout to fish for. Any book by John Burroughs or John Muir won’t disapoint. They may be a little on the verbose side but reading through any of their nature essays will give you a different perspective of the world and make you feel as if you are there side-by-side with them looking at what they are looking at. I could keep going on but I would need to write a book on it.

  15. 33

    I would go with “My Side of the Mountain.” I recently re-read it. oh so good. very simple, but it speaks to the part of me that always wants to be closer to the outdoors. I would imagine many outdoor bloggers have a little “sam gribley” in them.

  16. 36

    I’ve always been a huge Outdoor book reader and collector. One will CERTAINLY not do it. Here’s a few that I can’t live without:

    “The Old Man and the Boy” – Robert Ruark Should be a required read by every new hunter. Simple prose, short stories, messages much deeper than the face value. Beauty in it’s simplicity. Like all Ruark.

    “To Know a River” – Roderick Haig-Brown Actually, anything and everything from RH-B should be read. And re-read.

    “Selective Trout” – Carl Richards and Doug Swisher. You’ll know more about trout than you ever dreamed possible

    “Rifles and Shotguns” – Jack O’Connor There have been thousands of books written about rifles and shotguns. None are as good as this. imho.

    and, finally,

    “Undaunted Courage” – Stephen Ambrose The best Lewis and Clarke book ever written.

    Anything by Russell Annabelle, Gene Hill, or Nick Lyons. Flyfishing the 41st by James Prosek. A Fly Fisherman’s Blue Ridge by Chris Camuto. … the list goes on and on….

  17. 37

    I’ve read a ton of books, but two of my favorites are In Neck Deep by fly tier and Rocky Mt. Angler go-to guy and blogger ( Colorado Fly Fishing Reports) Jay Zimmerman. The other is The River Why. A great book about life and fly fishing.

  18. 38

    “Following the Equator” Mark Twain (more of a travel book..)
    “Into the Wild” Jon Krakauer
    “The Habit of Rivers” Ted Leeson
    “Tales of Fishing Virgin Seas” Zane Grey
    “Hatchet” Gary Paulsen

    ….I’ll second or third “The Longest Silence” Thomas McGuane

    Way too many to just list one or two :-)

  19. 40

    “The Journals of Lewis and Clark” by Lewis, Clark and Brandt. This is the original westward trek, taken from the authors’ journals. Awe inspiring and one of my favorite books ever.
    “Arctic Daughter” by Jean Aspen
    “Scraping Heaven, A Family’s Journey Along the Continental Divide” by Cindy Ross

  20. 41

    Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac.”

  21. 42
    Michelle aka ladysportsman says:

    “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv. We give a copy to all new employees.

    and I just picked up Hank Shaw’s new book, “Hunt, Gather, Cook.”

  22. 43

    Anything by Christopher Camuto. “Another Country” is my favorite by him.

  23. 44

    Well, I am solidly on the Patrick McManus bandwagon along with a few other folks who have commented here. I could read, and do, his books over and over again. The man is a treasure if you haven’t read his work yet. “Nuff said”.

  24. 45

    Three books by Paul Quinnett
    Pavlov’s Trout.
    Darwin’s Bass.
    And the one that is an absolute must read is Fishing Lessons. Read that one if no others.

    He’s a psychologist and an expert on suicide. That’s tied into the books. And, oddly, he can be funnier than hell.

    It’s also worth reading The Forever Decision by him, but that’s a different topic.

  25. 46

    WOW ~ You guys are awesome. I’ve been writing down books all day long that I’ve never read or heard of and the list keeps getting longer and longer. This is going to be a nice cozy winter curled up with all my new books. Keep them coming!

  26. 47

    “No Shortage of Good Days”, by John Gierach. Even if you don’t fly fish, it’s a good look into what makes a fly fisherman tick.

  27. 48

    You get two from me…

    In the fly-fishing category: “Casting a Spell” by George Black- it’s a fascinating account of the history of bamboo fly rod making in America.

    In the nature category: “U.S. Guide to Venomous Snakes and Their Mimics” by Scott Shupe- if you ever wondered what kind of snakes you’re seeing in the wild and wondered whether or not they’re dangerous, this is your book. It is written for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts, and is organized in a way that makes it really easy to learn to differentiate venomous from non-venomous.

    Y’all should know I had to recommend a snake book.

  28. 49

    I was surprised that it took till the 41st comment for someone to mention Gierach. I can’t help but run through his books and the go back and read them again. So…anything by John Gierach.


  29. 50

    Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe

    It may not be as specific to outdoor recreational types, but the OP said “everyone” and it is definitely a read I would recommend to everyone, and it certainly qualifies as an outdoor book.

    This one’s a classic for a reason. :)

  30. 51

    I vote for “Into Thin Air, A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster” by Jon Krakauer and “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. Both are still very impactful no matters how many times I have read them already.

  31. 52

    I will bestow additional accolades onto Patrick McManus. Many good books, so how about adding”Never Sniff A Gift Fish” to your list?

    Another outdoor writer with many enjoyable books worth reading is John Gierach.

  32. 53

    One of my favorite pastimes is reading 19th Century outdoor books, online.
    These are digitalized, downloadable, free, and can be read online from Google books.
    These are also too old or predate any copywrite restrictions, so, you are usually free to reuse these for another project.

  33. 54

    WOW… Suprise indeed! Happy to oblige. As for great books, especially if you’re an angler, you must read “River Music,” by James Baab, the editor of Grays Sporting Journal. It’s just as the title intimates–musical. Great idea, Rebecca!


    • 55

      I’ll have to get River Music. Been getting Gray’s for a dozen years. First thing I turn to is Baab. His this month is pretty good.

      Not sold on his replacement yet, have only read a few by Mr. Nolte. Not sure I want to get Alaska Chronicles. Time will tell.

  34. 56

    I just received a book for my birthday actually. Henry Winkler’s “I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River”… I handed it over to the hubby to read. Guess what? He found it enlightening…now understands a little more about WHY I do this!!! He exclaimed, “Another person who loves MT. as much as you!!! Hmmm…

  35. 57

    I recommend The Call of the Surf by Van Campen Heilner , it’s old and the language is a little dated , but a really entertaining read about surf fishing. There are also a chapter or two on fishing in California and about some of the first attempts at catching big tuna in the North Atlantic with rod and reel.

  36. 58

    This is shameful of me, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest Olive the Little Woolly Bugger, Olive and The Big Stream, and Olive Goes for a Wild Ride.

    Sorry, I had to.

  37. 61

    The Seasonable Angler – Nick Lyons
    Spring Creek – Nick Lyons
    Full Creel – Nick Lyons

    Our Southern Highlanders – Horace Kephart

  38. 62

    OK, I’m several days late and $$ short but-

    The Fish’s Eye by Ian Frazier on fly fishing

    The Sharks of Lake Nicaragua by Randy Wayne White on fly fishing and adventure travel

    Anything by Theroux or Cahill on travel.

    I second all the submissions by McManus and Krakauer

  39. 63

    Now that you fine folks have cost me my gear allowance for the week (spent on books) I’m going to stop reading this list. I assure you I’ll be coming back to it after I finish the John Gierach and Nick Lyons books I just ordered! Amazon thanks you all. lol

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