Friday, August 6, 2010

Completely amazing nonfiction: Into Thin Air, by John Krakauer

(This ties into China, people! Just by fact of geography:))

I've been reading lately... reading a lot. I've loved to read ever since I was old enough TO read, but while I was intensively studying Chinese for almost a year and a half at a really strict school, my recreational reading of English books was put on hold. Since I've been in China, I feel like I've been trying to make up for lost time, because reading has again become one of my favorite hobbies!

Now, I know I've mentioned in the past that I am a complete girly girl - and while I love the great outdoors, I mostly prefer to look at it from the beautiful window of a plush hotel... so, you can imagine, I'm really not into mountain climbing. In fact, I have no desire to do it, and I've never really climbed any sort of real mountain or have done anything I consider to be serious hiking.

This is precisely why its nothing short of amazing that I decided to pick up John Krakauer's non-fiction, eyewitness account of the 1996 Everest Disaster - something I admittedly only became aware of about a month or so ago when my husband was watching the movie on HBO. After someone mentioned it on a book message board I frequent, I began to research the event online and instantly became fascinated with the story. I also have the opportunity next year to go to Tibet and see Everest for myself, which I think played a role in why I picked up this book.

I read Into Thin Air last week, picked it up on Tuesday and finished by Thursday. When I wasn't reading, I was wondering what was happening on the mountain, and when I fell asleep, dreams about Everest plagued me for days. I "googled imaged" the different places Krakauer mentions in the book - I wanted a visual of what he was talking about.

The book, in short, is amazing... suspenseful... harrowing... tragic. Its completely mind boggling to imagine anyone can climb that mountain, just a few thousand feet below the altitude at which airplanes fly, let alone survive in those elements under extremely poor circumstances.

Pick this up. Trust me. I am traditionally a fiction girl, but occasionally read nonfiction when it's worth it... this, my friends, is worth it.

Its available here.


  1. Great post!

  2. awesome, thanks for the review. My husband and I read a bunch of non-fiction, I'll add this to my list...

  3. I liked this book, but if you like it you should check out "Addicted to Danger" by Jim Wickwire and "A Life On the Edge" by Jim Whittaker.
    Funny tidbit, that particular author (Krakauer) lives in my area and his wife was an assistant librarian in my high school library. And her brother was also my middle school science teacher...

  4. Thanks for the recommendation, I've been looking for a good read!:D

    Have a wonderful weekend, Steph!:D
    Beauty. Fashion. Interior Design.
    & Life According to Marie.

  5. If you liked the book, you must watch the movie adaptation! it's a bit old (late 1990s) but contains a couple of intense, jaw-dropping scenes.

    have a lovely weekend!
    the style and musings of a fashion lawyer living, playing and shopping in LA.