A Good Writer is a Good Reader: Pypeline Editing’s Favorite Environmental Books of All Time


There are so many books out there. If you are an aspiring writer, especially in Reno, Nevada, it would behoove you to read. A good writer is a good reader. Now Pypeline Editing could throw a jumble of books at you in all sorts of genres. Or, the better solution, we split our suggestions into separate posts categorized by types and genres. Let the reading begin. This post will focus on Environmental Writing at its best.




Into Thin Air: This book written by Jon Krakauer follows his first-hand account into the Mt. Everest Disaster of 1996. In it, Krakauer engrosses you in all that is horrifying and exciting about such an expedition. It will leave you breathless. You can go one of two ways; witness the devastation and swear off anything dangerous ever again. Or, you could read his account and focus on the adventure and despite the peril, promise yourself to climb Mt. Everest before you die. You see this event from many perspectives: an explorer, journalist, father and a writer. This is definitely not for the faint of heart.




On The Ice: An Intimate Portrait of Life at McMurdo Station, Antarctica: This book written by Gretchen Legler follows her story as an observer by the National Science Foundation at McMurdo Station in midwinter. A time of -70 degree temperatures and months of near-total darkness, she goes into the struggles of being in one of the most isolated places in the world. As a lesbian struggling with her past, she hopes to escape to a place few will ever visit. Belongings have no purpose, and yet even isolated as the scientists are, they discover that technology is slowly shrinking the world. A good book for anyone who ever wanted to get away from it all.



200px-Between_a_Rock_and_a_Hard_Place_CoverBetween a Rock and a Hard Place: Written by Aaron Ralston, the doomed hiker who, in an effort to survive, cut off his own arm. The book follows the disaster that almost cost him his life. In great detail he goes into the pain and suffering as he ran out of food and water, and inevitably the terrible event where he uses a small knife to hack off his own arm in order to wriggle free of the rock which entrapped him. The danger doesn’t end there, as he is then forced to hike to civilization—bleeding, dehydrated and near death. This book recently became a smash hit as the movie 127 Hours. But please, if you buy the book, don’t purchase the movie cover, that’s embarrassing.


If these books don’t get the creative writing juices flowing, we don’t know what will. As you notice, other than environment being a theme, these are firsthand accounts. A good writer has experience; where else would he or she get inspiration? A big thank you goes to Scott Slovic, a former educator at the University of Nevada, Reno, who suggested some of these titles and for inspiring a love for this genre.

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