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.)

Skiing Library

I highly recommend the following books, especially if you ski in Utah. The Powder Hound’s guides are comprehensive and will open Alta and Snowbird to you for thorough exploration. The Chuting Gallery will make you want to go out and bootpack up some chute for turns, even if such a pursuit may ultimately prove both dangerous and beyond your appetite for risk-taking. Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain will help you understand avalanches so that you can make better decisions when exploring the backcountry. Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth will help you understand how Mother Nature fills the hills with all that snow.

The Powder Hound’s Guide to Snowbird
by Brad Asmus

The Powder Hound's Guide to Snowbird cover

The Powder Hound’s Guide to Skiing Alta
by Brad Asmus

The Powder Hound's Guide to Skiing Alta cover

The Chuting Gallery
by Andrew McLean

The Chuting Gallery cover

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain
by Bruce Tremper

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain cover

Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth
by Jim Steenburgh

Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth cover