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National Outdoor Book Awards

Prize Background

The National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) is one of the outdoor world's most prestigious book award programs. The purpose of the Awards is to recognize and encourage outstanding writing and publishing for books relating to the outdoors, nature, the environment. It is a non-profit, educational program. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges consisting of respected outdoor columnists, authors, educators, and book reviewers from throughout the country. In early November, the NOBA committee announces the winners of the nine categories that make up the awards program plus a set of books that achieved honorable mentions.

Award Winners
Awards are named in nine different categories. The following pages include all of the award-winning books in each category since the award was first made in 1997.
bulletChildren's Books
bulletDesign and Artistic Merit
bulletHistory and Biography
bulletInstructional and How-To
bulletNature and Environment
bulletNature Guidebooks
bullet Outdoor Adventure Guidebooks
bulletOutdoor Classics
bulletOutdoor Literature

 

2004 Award Winners

  Category   2004 Award Winning Books
Children's
Books
Whose Garden Is It? by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Jane Dyer
Who owns that beautiful garden blooming with every color of the rainbow? The gardener says it belongs to him. But the woodchuck insists it's his. And so does the rabbit, the butterfly, and the little squash bug. This lovingly done book does what all good children's books should do: it stimulates thought, and through words and illustrations, it asks youngsters to reach their own conclusion to that pressing question: who really owns that garden? (For ages 3-7.)
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
Design
&
Artistic
Merit
(tie)
Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky photography by Art Wolfe
Nine years in the making and photographed on seven continents, Edge of the Earth showcases an artist at the peak of his powers. While largely known for his striking wildlife photography, Art Wolfe proves in this volume that he is equally adept at capturing natural landscapes. Wolfe hopes that his work will motivate others to protect wild lands whose destruction he has witnessed first hand. Perhaps, that's why the book's images are so haunting: places of temporal beauty, living on borrowed time in a world ever hungry for land and resources.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
The Mountains Know Arizona: Images of the Land and Stories of Its People Photographs by Michael Collier. Text by Rose Houk. Designed by Mary Winkelmann Velgos
This book started with a wish that would have been difficult to achieve under any circumstances: tell the story of Arizona through the perspective of its mountain ranges. Arizona, after all, is a desert state. But photographer Michael Collier and writer Rose Houk did just that. From seven of Arizona's mountain ranges, we learn something of the state's first inhabitants, its settlers and fortune seekers, its diversity of landforms and ecosystems, and even something of contemporary life. This is a stylish and satisfying book and a testament to a wish come true.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
History
&
Biography
Ways to the Sky: A Historical Guide to North American Mountaineering by Andy Selters
Author Andy Selters and the American Alpine Club deserve a big round of applause for this new and significant work in the outdoor field. Tackling a subject as broad and diverse as the history of North American mountaineering is no easy task, easily ranking up there with making a winter attempt on Denali. But Selters undertook the project and carried it off with aplomb. Backing up Selters' painstakingly researched and very readable text are a wonderful selection of historic photos. Rounding off an already first-rate effort, Ways to the Sky, is also part guide book, including several mini-chapters which picture and describe climbing routes dating from the era under discussion.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
Instructional
&
How-To
Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skillsby Craig Luebben
Looking for an up-to-date and reliable instructional book on climbing? Look no further. Long time guide and instructor, Craig Luebben takes you through the paces, covering top roping, sport climbing, traditional climbing and bouldering. A lucid text is amply supplemented with instructive photographs, understandable illustrations and a clean and crisp design.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
Nature
&
Environment
The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty by Kenneth Libbrecht. Photography by Patricia Rasmussen.
John Muir called them snow flowers. Thoreau described them as sweepings from the floor of heaven. For ages, snow crystals have captured the attention of poets and writers. In more recent times particularly the last couple of decades scientists have learned much about these seemingly simple but incredibly complex minute wonders. Yet little of that scientific work has been available to the layman. Until now, and it's all packaged in an elegant and splendidly designed book. Author and researcher Kenneth Libbrecht clearly explains the processes by which crystals are formed and how to identify major crystal types. The highlight of the book is the exquisite and mesmerizing photography of Patricia Rasumussen which remind us why these sweepings of heaven continue to astonish and amaze.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
Nature
Guidebooks
Dragonflies of the North Woods by Kurt Mead
Who doesn't love dragonflies as they flit and flutter about on a warm summer day? Certainly Kurt Mead is smitten. He is the author of this new and exceptionally useful identification guide. Considerable thought has gone into the design of this compact guidebook: sharp and colorful photos, easy-to-use field markings, habitat information, natural history notes, sizing scales, sighting frequencies, and... well, you get the picture. It's a darn good little guide.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
Outdoor
Adventure
Guidebooks
100 Classic Hikes in Oregon: Oregon Coast, Columbia Gorge, Cascades, Eastern Oregon, Wallowas by Douglas Lorain
You can always tell when a guidebook author knows his stuff. Douglas Lorain, who literally lives on the trail, was the perfect person to author this book. Combined with a stylish design, full color photographs, and very useable maps, this is the cream of the crop of this year's guide books.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
Outdoor
Classic
Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition by Henry David Thoreau and edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer
Knowingly and unknowingly, many of the reasons that people offer these days why they participate in outdoor activities can be traced to the pages of Walden. "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity," wrote Thoreau. Indeed, in part, we enjoy outdoor activities because they allow us to get away from the rush of modern society and simplify our lives even if it is just for a few days. For all its impact on the literary and outdoor worlds, however, Walden is not an easy book to read. That's why this new annotated version, edited by Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer, is so invaluable. Cramer's explanatory notes accompanying Thoreau's text help readers understand the richness of his writing and why Walden is truly a great work of art.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
Outdoor
Literature
(tie)
Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age by Ted Kerasote
Ted Kerasote has a friendly style of writing, and in Out There you feel like you've settled in a chat with an old friend. The chat, in this case, centers on a trip that Kerasote has taken down the Horton River of Canada's Northwest Territories. This not a trip where death is lurking around every corner; rather it's a fine and thoughtful journey in which Kerasote grapples with the use of GPS, satellite phones, and other technology in the wilderness. Honestly written and well-crafted, it says much about what has become of the outdoor experience.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA
Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure by Maria Coffey
This is a moving and gracefully written story, one that has been waiting to be told for a long time. This is what it's like for the families and friends of mountaineers who die or who are injured on expeditions. Maria Coffey, who intimately knows the pain of losing a loved one to the mountains, could have easily turned the book into a tirade against climbing. Instead she embraces adventure, emphasizing again and again that risk serves an important role in contemporary society. Nonetheless, she cautions that, when we venture into the unknown, we should never forget the terrible costs of adventure gone awry.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA

 

15% OFF Arcteryx and Merrell

If you like this list and want to see other award winning books on mountaineering, check out the winners of the following awards:
bullet

American Alpine Literary Award

bullet

Banff Mountain Book Awards

bullet

Boardman-Tasker Memorial Award for Mountain Literature.



 

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