Monday, July 20, 2009

And even more reviews....

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
© 1999, rating: *****

When I was a junior in college, we did a mock trial case based on this book by Jon Krakauer about his Mt. Everest Experience. At the time, I didn't read it - probably because I was so immersed in the case and I didn't really have any free time to read what I wanted to read. Eight years later, I finally read it.

Into Thin Air is a memoir of Krakauer's ascent to the top of Mt. Everest during one of the deadliest single events in the history of Everest Expeditions. The year that Krakauer climbed the mountain, eight people died during the ascent to the peak due to a deadly combination of an unexpected storm and a series of small mistakes. Jon Krakauer's description of these events takes the reader from his initial training to go up Mt. Everest, through the entire climb and then into the aftermath of the incident. Something that bothered me about Into The Wild was Krakauer's clear admiration for the idiocy of Chris McCandless and his man-beats-nature attitude. This book lacks of that. Krakauer admits early on that in this case, Mt. Everest wins the battle between humans and nature. This book really is absorbing and even though you know how it is going to end, it does make it a less interesting read.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
© 2008, rating: ****

Loving Frank is the story of Frank Lloyd Wright's seven+ year affair with the wife of one of his clients, Mamah. The story is told from Mamah's perspective as she deals with having an affair, leaving her husband, getting a divorce and being in love with Frank Lloyd Wright, who quite honestly comes across as self-centered and narcissistic through most of this book.

This was one of our book club selections, and I have to say that while I probably wouldn't have selected this book myself, it was an easy read and it led to a lot of great discussion. Despite the fact that this book was written about the early 1900s, Mamah is a very modern woman and many of the questions and trials she faces are the same as the ones that women face today. We all had to keep reminding ourselves that we were reading about 1910, and not 2009. The end of the book is shocking and I won't give it away, but we had a lot of discussion about that as well.

So, in the end, I do recommend this book even though it wasn't something I would have chosen for myself.

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