New Books in Brief – 2018
The Eight Mountains, by Paolo Cognetti (Atria Books, $24), a novel of a friendship in the mountains, was the grand-prize winner at Banff and a finalist for the Boardman-Tasker prize.
As Above, So Below, by Chris Kalman (chriskalman.com, $24.99), is a gem of a novella set in Patagonia, with drawings by Craig Muderlak. A Banff finalist in the Fiction/Poetry category, Kalman was also a finalist in the guidebook category for The Index Town Walls (Sharp End, $32.95), a rare double.
Legendary Maps from the Himalayan Club: Commemorating 90 Years of the Iconic Institution, by Harish Kapadia (Roli Books, 34.95), offers a collection of maps, many hand-drawn, from both the familiar (Shipton and Tilman, Herzog, Bonington) and the wonderfully lesser known, particularly to North Americans. A truly beautiful collection assembled by a true Himalayan explorer.
End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood, by Jan Redford (Counterpoint Press, $26), is a woman’s memoir about the long arc toward finding balance among passions and responsibilities, including climbing.
Vantage Point: 50 Years of the Best Climbing Stories Ever Told, by Matt Samet and the editors of Climbing (Falcon Guides, $26), lives up to its promise, representing “the living breathing history of our dynamic sport, [an] archive of accomplishment and courage and perseverance and tragedy.” A regular Climbing reader for most of these years, I was surprised how many of these I had missed. “The Black Dog,” a collection of five short essays in the magazine on “the dark manifestations of the climber’s mind,” from 2008, is unflinching in its look into our collective mirrors.
– David Stevensn