There are indeed some classic books of both fiction and non-fiction on their list. Things like On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen, both of which are well known adventure classics. Other popular works, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Milton’s Paradise Lost earn a spot too, and the rest of the books are equally diverse and eclectic.
When defining what makes a good “backpacker classic” Bookride says they “should have an element of profundity, preferably mystical -if not it should have cult status or be a statement about who you really are.” Personally, I look for something entertaining, and in paperback form. Hardbacks taking up space and adding weight aren’t a lot of fun for your pack. But all in all, this is a good list that is difficult to argue with. Lots of classic books. But I have to argue with the inclusion of Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger’s seminal novel. No one outside of a high school classroom should subject themselves to that one.
I’d have to add Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – got me thru a very wet stay in Austria one month years back. McMurtry also wrote a little book entitled, Terms of Endearment.