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Book 51 of 80

August 3, 2010

I’ve mentioned before that I really like Jon Krakauer. Into the Wild is one of my favorite books of all time — I read that book and sobbed; then, I immediately turned around and told everyone I knew to read it too. I don’t want to over-sell it, but I think the book is emotionally gut-wrenching, especially as a parent, and I appreciated that Krakauer was exceptionally well-researched, but also unapologetically on the side of his subject. I felt like I could disagree with his assessment of Chris McCandless while riveted with how he tried to dissect the young man at the center of such a horrible tragedy.

Last year I read Under the Banner of Heaven and found it equally engaging — but a bit more heavy-handed.

I’ve had Into Thin Air on my bookshelf for years — I mean…YEARS. It has a sticker on it from when I was a student teacher, with my name and room number, and a post-it note from a student thanking me for letting him borrow it. But I never found the time to read it…until now. For Nepal. It’s perfect.

This book is a first-hand account of the a 1996 expedition to Mt. Everest that ended in death and tragedy. Krakauer was on this expedition as a journalist for the magazine “Outside” and he wrote the first draft of this book mere months after returning from the mountain. After reading a fair bit about mountain climbing in Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, this is a good example of how so many of my books connect to each other throughout the whole challenge. That’s been an unexpected joy — seeing how the books interweave with each other.

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