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Favorite Big Sur Books

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Re: Favorite Big Sur Books

Postby Steve B on Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:19 pm

I would add the Ventana Chapter – Sierra Club ‘Trail Guide to Los Padres National Forest’
Things have changed considerably since the Kirk Fire (1999) and the Basin Fire (2008) but I still use this book more than the others.
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Favorite Big Sur Books

Postby Blarneyguy on Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:20 pm

As an East Coaster whose Sur time is somewhere between a fortnight and three weeks, I found the place evocative enough to read about it, and not just trail guides. (Although I found two great ones pretty much by chance.)

These are the books I have found most interesting and that 'bring it back' most to me:

Big Sur, Jack Kerouac (1962) - my favorite Kerouac; the opening chapters in particular bring the place back to me every time.

Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch, Henry Miller (1957) - a long-time resident (you can see his neighborhood from the ridge on the Tanbark-Tin House Loop); this book is an affectionate but unsparing look at the people with whom he shared the place, and he captures - OK, he might have had quite a bit to do with creating - a good deal of its mystique.

And two guidebooks are, to me, legitimate additions to fine Big Sur literature:

Explore! Big Sur Country, Barry Parr (2007): Falcon Guides can be meh, but this one is written by somebody who clearly knows and loves and spends a lot of time in the place. He too hits literature touchstones and heavily emphasizes the place's special lore and atmosphere. It's almost worth having for the introduction alone; and it's a great guide not just to trails but also the back roads.

Hiking and Backpacking Big Sur, Analise Elliot Heid (2013): One of those guidebooks one reads just to read it.

Anybody else have favorites to add?
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