Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “On Top of Spoon Mountain” as Want to Read:
On Top of Spoon Mountain
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

On Top of Spoon Mountain

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  65 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews

Jonathan Kepler wants to climb Spoon Mountain with his grown son and daughter on his sixty-fifth birthday in three weeks. The kids, Ben and Miranda, think he's crazy. For starters, Spoon Mountain is almost the tallest alpine peak in New Mexico. Jonathan's health is terrible. Still reeling from his third, nearly fatal, divorce, he has a rotten heart, serious asthma, and a f

Hardcover, 232 pages
Published August 2012 by University of New Mexico Press (first published May 29th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about On Top of Spoon Mountain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about On Top of Spoon Mountain

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Scott Holman
Jul 16, 2015 Scott Holman rated it liked it
Some good editing could cut this book down to half it's size. After a while, you begin to feel bludgeoned to death by repetitive themes and almost identical character descriptions.
Nov 12, 2013 Scottie rated it really liked it
I loved Nichols' "Milagro Beanfield War" and wanted more of his writing. In "Spoon Mountain", the main character is turning 65, in bad physical shape, has many marriages and mistakes in his past, and is looking for some sort of re-uniting with his adult children. What a journey he undertakes. I enjoyed accompanying him on it.
David Roberts
Jun 09, 2013 David Roberts rated it really liked it
This is the final tome in my quest to read all of John Nichols' novels. I think there are twelve of them. I read it while on two airplanes from New Mexico (the setting of the novel) to Detroit. Like other reviewers, this reads to me like an autobiography and perhaps heartfelt apology to his two children for an errant or misspent or inattentive (to them) life, now being rediscovered through his relationship with his granddaughter and crows. (He talks to ravens. You'd have to read the book to ...more
Ellen Librarian
This roman a clef is a funny, bittersweet tale about an aging writer who decides to celebrate his birthday by climbing a mountain with his two grown children. It’s an effort that was a lot easier in his youth, before he bumbled through three failed marriages, sort-of parented a couple of not-always-sympathetic grown children and hooked up with a new main squeeze impatient for wedding number 4.

Those familiar with Taos will undoubtedly get a kick out of the small town that just so happens to resem
Sharon Warner
Jun 15, 2013 Sharon Warner rated it really liked it
Have you ever read a book at just the right moment? If so, you'll understand my response to On Top of Spoon Mountain by John Nichols. I chuckled and nodded as I turned the pages, and enjoyed it all the way to the end. The protagonist is a writer named Jonathan Kepler who is mighty similar to a fellow named John Nichols. Because I know John a little, and because I know Taos where the book is set, I was amused by this turning-65 writer who wants to spend his birthday climbing Spoon Mountain with h ...more
Rebecca Russell
Jan 10, 2016 Rebecca Russell rated it liked it
This story is about an aging novelist and avid naturalist named Jonathan trying to come to grips with his many physical limitations and lost opportunities. He dreams of climbing a mountain with his grown kids and reliving the joy they all knew when they climbed it together in years past.
There's a lot about this book that is funny and very entertaining. There's also a lot of diatribe I could have done without.
Certainly not a total loss, I was glad I read it. I gleaned what I found good, especiall
Sep 23, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
Here 's a beautiful novel for all you old hippie baby boomers. Read it and identify, laugh, cry and steep yourself in our generation 's and this author's unique and timeless way of experiencing our lives and the world. Americans don't really know or admit the truth about our country. Nichols foresaw the water wars to come in the 70s in THE MILAGRO BEAN FIELD. In this novel he narrates how he lives every day as a gift, ironically and self- deprecatingly and heartbreakingly beautifully and gives ...more
John Benson
Jan 31, 2013 John Benson rated it really liked it
This is an exuberantly-written novel about a man who is much like the author himself. His dream is to climb Spoon Mountain in northern New Mexico (not sure if it is a real mountain) on his 65th birthday with his son and daughter. He is terribly out-of-shape and in the days leading to his birthday, all sorts of other things hurt his body and everyone tries to convince not to climb it. He is a great character and the others in the book are really enjoyable, as well.
Jul 06, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok
I wondered if this was at all autobiographical. An absent father with heart & lung problems wants to recapture childhood memories on Spoon Mt. by climbing it with his 2 adult children (who refuse). He goes by himself and would have died if his 2 kids didn't come & rescue him. A book about a selfish, ignorant, immature man. Does he have any redeeming qualities?
Eric Steere
Dec 02, 2016 Eric Steere rated it liked it
Caustic cutting humour with the conviction of a geriatric who no longer gives a shit. Nothing fantastic doing here, but entertaining all the same. The cynicism is a welcome respite in the faux enlightened facade of peace and love in New Age Taos. Read this for a laugh when the monotony of healing crystal peddlers are making you cry and no longer do the trick.
Casey Nichols
Jun 11, 2013 Casey Nichols rated it really liked it
Imperfect and certainly somewhat autobiographical, but I loved this book. I forgot how Nichols, like my writing hero can create some stunning sentences full of insight and humor. For aging dads and their children, a particularly great read. Well worth it.
Sep 04, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Milagro Beanfield War was one of my most favorites back in the 70's & I too, loved (& always will) New Mexico. I had forgotten about John Nichols until I found Spoon Mtn & an old friend... hey old friend, don't feel like the lone ranger
Oct 28, 2012 lisa rated it liked it
I have such a soft spot for John Nichols because he writes so well about the towns of Northern New Mexico. This novel about a writer living in the southwest (gee, just like John Nichols) is a little tiresome, but very funny and insightful. (Kind of like all his books.)
Nov 04, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
Okay, I'm a sucker for Nichols' work, beginning with, of course, The Milagro Beanfield War, but I like this one a lot.
Jul 23, 2014 Patti rated it it was ok
I found this book very tiresome. It wasn't until the end of the book and he was actually on the mountain that I enjoyed the writing.
Oct 08, 2012 Cristina rated it really liked it
See my review at John Nichols rocks and this is an insightful and fun read, especially for those of us in New Mexico.
Michele Strider
Michele Strider rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2014
Diana rated it liked it
Jun 06, 2013
Tim Cronin
Tim Cronin rated it really liked it
May 04, 2014
Mary Kleinheksel
Mary Kleinheksel rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2015
Tfalcone rated it it was ok
Oct 23, 2012
Dave rated it liked it
May 12, 2013
Brandon Kempner
Brandon Kempner rated it liked it
May 04, 2014
Bob rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2015
Achmad Sirojjudin
Achmad Sirojjudin rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2014
Shaun Campbell
Shaun Campbell rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2015
Alex Miller
Apr 29, 2013 Alex Miller rated it did not like it
Unreadable rumblings of a novelist far past his prime.
Barbara rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2012
Amy Rogacki-Bjarke
Amy Rogacki-Bjarke rated it it was ok
Jan 28, 2014
Ruth Gardner
Ruth Gardner rated it liked it
Apr 01, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
John Nichols is the author of the New Mexico trilogy, a series about the complex relationship between history, race and ethnicity, and land and water rights in the fictional Chamisaville County, New Mexico. The trilogy consists of The Milagro Beanfield War (which was adapted into the film The Milagro Beanfield War directed by Robert Redford), The Magic Journey, and The Nirvana Blues.

Two of his oth
More about John Nichols...

Share This Book