Reading List: The Best Outdoor Books of 2013

The National Outdoor Book Awards announces this year’s winners

Today the National Outdoor Book Awards released its picks for this year’s best books. The list includes 18 winners and honorable mentions in ten categories, including “Nature and Environment,” “Outdoor Literature,” “Design and Artistic Merit,” children’s books, guidebooks and more.

Special attention was given to the winner in the Nature and Environment category, The Continental Divide by Krista Schlyer, about the environmental impact of the border wall between the United States and Mexico. [slideshow:813]

“This is a groundbreaking work,” said Ron Watters, the Chair of the National Outdoor Book Awards.  “The effects of the border wall on the environment have been left out of the national discourse, but Krista Schlyer casts a bright light on this forgotten part of the debate.”

Also earning special mention was the Outdoor Lit winner, I Promise Not to Suffer by Gail Storey, which is a memoir of self-discovery documenting the author’s decision to ditch her home and possessions to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with her husband.

“Her story … is brilliantly witty,” said Watters. “She is a master storyteller and has a wonderful way with words.  It’s one of those books that leaves you with a smile on your face and completely satisfied when you reach the end.”

Also honored was the 50th anniversary edition of a mountaineering classic, Everest: The West Ridge by Thomas F. Hornbein, which tells the true story of survival on a 1963 expedition gone terribly wrong, and a lavishly illustrated tribute to the Appalachian Trail published in honor of its 75th birthday.

The awards program is sponsored by the National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation, Idaho State University and the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.

Click here to see all the winners. All descriptions come courtesy of the judging panel.