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Reader! Reader!

Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

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Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

Free Spirit: A Climber's Life

Free Spirit: A Climber's Life, Revised Edition (Legends & Lore) - Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner made the first successful summit of Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen. He also climbed the highest points on every continent, all mountains over 8000 meters, and had many first ascents on new routes. He spent decades climbing, beginning as a child in South Tyrol (Italy). He has also written numerous books and guides, restored a farmhouse in Tyrol, and opened several museums about mountain people, climbing, etc.

He also claims to not be foolhardy when it comes to climbing. I disagree. It is amazing that this man is still alive (though some of his climbing partners, including a brother, did not survive their expeditions). "Storm? Lets keep trying! I will keep trying alone! Let's split up!" Crazy talk. He seems to have mellowed a bit with age. He has also had at least 3 wives (3 are mentioned by name in this book), and I can imagine how being married to someone with such a one-track mind would be exhausting. He has at least 1 son and daughter. Even at the age of 70 he cannot stop traveling to remote locales, having adventures.

But the book. It is interesting, the writing is fine if the translation (from German) a bit awkward at times. (Cram full for crammed full, for example.) But what this book needs are a few maps, a glossary of climbing terms, and a glossary of people. So many names are thrown out there (are these people historically significant? some are for sure); so many climbing terms (tower, piton, bivy sac, buttress, rock slabs, friable, etc etc etc) thrown out on the assumption that the reader knows what they are.

So an interesting read, but I do not think I would like this man in person.