Books That Mattered

This article is just a list of books (and a few magazines) that have been impactful for me. I highly recommend all of them. (They are listed in no particular order.)

The Firm

By John Grisham

The first can’t-put-it-down novel I ever read.

Into Thin Air

By Jon Krakauer

The first can’t-put-it-down non-fiction work I ever read. This book changed my life. It made me want to write. It made me want to visit Mount Everest (but not climb it). After reading this book, I became almost obsessively interested in mountaineering, despite the fact that I had neither the will nor the desire to pursue similarly adventurous pursuits.

Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer

A superlative story reported by one of the most gifted non-fiction writers, in my opinion.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific

By J. Maarten Troost

Hilarious, engaging, and accompanied by the perfect amount of cynicism.


By Michael Crichton

Funny, unexpected, disjointed, but still with a point. “Direct experience” became a mantra for me.

Memories of Summer: When Baseball was an Art and Writing About it a Game

By Roger Kahn

Everything I love about the romanticized aspects of baseball in one book.

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

By Gary Taubes


The DaVinci Code

By Dan Brown

I debated whether or not to include this book because it frustrated me. I didn’t like the ending. There were many aspects of the plot that were unbelievable and absurdly convenient. However, this book is significant for me because it was so engaging that I read almost the entire book (480 pages) in one sitting.

Ski, Skiing, Powder, and Snow Country Magazines

I had a subscription to Skiing before I ever even skied. These magazines changed my life. I spent hours daydreaming about skiing while perusing their contents. (Skiing and Snow Country are now defunct.)