Tag: non fiction


by Mary Hunt Jentsch

Trek is the memoir of world war II written by my grandmother, Mary Hunt.  She was american, and a Radcliffe college girl when she fell in love with my grandfather, a German man studying at Harvard. After they graduated they married and went to live in Switzerland, and then Germany. They had two children: my mother, Erika, and my uncle Jerry.  Trek recounts the story of the nearly idyllic pastoral life of my grandfather’s family In rural Eastern Germany.…

The Complete Walker

The Complete Walker

by Colin Fletcher

This was my hiking handbook in the 70s and 80s. In the 70s I didn’t actually have this book, and all my hiking was done with friends family. I was just a teenager and wasn’t planning my own trips. But I found this book somewhere–on the bookshelf at summer camp? At my best friend’s house?

In any case, Fletcher was not nearly so gear oriented as current writers.…

Iron Horse

Iron Horses

by E P Alexander

A sweet vintage book consisting of profiles of steam locomotives.. if you are into such things.

I used it as a reference for designing railroad themed board games.…

Sons Of Sinbad

by Alan Villiers

This book was introduced to my childhood home by my uncle Jerry (who lived in the Sausalito hippy houseboat community) and it was read by my parents and myself and my siblings at various times. We all used to quote its slogan “Allah’s winds are free, therefore his faithful use them”. It is a really beautiful book on so many levels: the exquisite photography by the author, the ethnographic details of beduin society, and most of all the accounts of the working of an wooden arab sailing cargo vessel, a dhow.…

King Solomon’s Ring

by Konrad Lorenz

I read this natural history book as a kid and it inspired me to keep a variety of pets. The illustrations by the author, and the chapters on aquariums are especially wonderful.…

Guns, Germs and Steel

by Jared Diamond

It is not often that I read a book that makes me think: Wow, this explains everything!” Jared Diamond’s book did exactly that, in a literal sense. The entire tapestry of global civilizations is explained in this book.…

The Mammoth Book of Chess

by Graham Burgess

This is a little of everything in terms of chess, but my favorite thing about it is Graham Burgess’ enthusiastic conversational style. I like the simplistic way he covers openings, and his annotation on the attack and defense chapter.…

Beyond Backpacking

by Ray Jardine

A classic backpacking manual. Jardine invented an integrated system for backpacking very light, with a pack weight of about 10 pounds (not including food and water). So, for a 5 day trip you might start with 8 pounds of food, and often carry 2 liters of water, and your total weight would be 22 pounds, and go down from there.

I adopted his system.…

Ocean Crossing Wayfarer

by Frank Dye

If you like sailing tales this is a good one. Frank Dye recounts two of his most harrowing voyages: one from Scotland to Iceland, the other from Scotland to Norway. Both were sailed in his 16 foot wooden open boat in the 1970s, and were beset by storms.…

Reassess your chess

by Jeremy Silman

This is a very interesting chess book for me, and it is my primary middlegame guide. I still read it frequently when I want to study chess.…