The Final Days: Book Review

The Final Days: Book Review

The Final Days by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein Review by Ryan With the election season blasting around us I thought it would be a good time to get away from feeling gross about modern politics with an escape to feeling gross about politics from 45 years ago. The Final Days is Woodward and Bernstein’s follow up to their Pulitzer Prize winning journalism on the Watergate scandal in their first book, “All the President’s Men” which is also a worthwhile read for some (like me) who didn’t grow up during the Watergate years…continue reading →
1Q84, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and After Dark

1Q84, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and After Dark

by Haruki Murakami. This guy has written over a dozen novels (mostly fiction) and his writing has been translated from Japanese into forty different languages. Every time I finish a Murakami novel I am left grieving because that means the end of his characters’ worlds (at least for the reader). Good thing I have many more novels to go...here are brief reviews of three. I started with 1Q84, which is an intimidatingly bulky book whose first chapter is titled “Don’t Let Appearances Fool You.” It's just that you're about to do something out of…continue reading →
5 Blogs You Should be Reading

5 Blogs You Should be Reading

Misadventures Mag was founded in 2013 when a group of women were completely fed up with male-dominated (focused and written by) outdoor magazines (move over, Outside!). The on-line (with new print option!) magazine is written by women and includes interviews, book reviews, gear reviews, how-to’s, and everything in between. There are so many incredible women adventurers, do-ers, and creators of all kinds highlighted. This is by far my favorite “outdoorsy” magazine! Not exactly a “blog” per se… Fit and Feminist whose tag line reads, “Because it takes strong women to smash the patriarchy.”…continue reading →
Book Review–SevenEves

Book Review–SevenEves

Review by Ryan.  Book by Neal Stephenson. “The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.” Reads the first line of Neal Stephenson’s latest sci-fi epic, Seven Eves. The hefty tome, which weighs in at 861 pages in hardback is about par for the long-winded, big dreaming author. Contained within are really two fantastic stories imagining the fate of humanity after a world-ending disaster.  In the first part, or rather two parts as this story itself is divided, Stephenson entwines a fantastic story with myriad characters around the fascinating thought experiment:…continue reading →
Book Review–Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Book Review–Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

by Susan Cain. The U.S. is obsessed with extroversion. We organize classrooms and workplaces in open space design with little privacy. Jobs are advertised for potential employees “who have enthusiasm!” Quiet kids are encouraged to break out of their “shell” or even sent to therapists for their apparent problems “relating” to other children. The DSM-IV (that bulky and often controversial diagnostic manual for psychiatrists) lists fear of public speaking as a disease (right alongside homosexuality and caffeine withdrawal?) “They [people in the U.S.] became captivated by people who were bold and entertaining.” These…continue reading →
The Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood has all the peculiarity of fuchsia lipstick, asexual teeth, PR teams, hidden cameras, teddy bear fetishes, Elvises at a retirement home, organic (although spoiled) chickens, special-order Possibilibots (sex robots), smarmy CEOs and just a few other warped obsessions. Stan and Charmaine are a couple living in their van during a social and economic catastrophe. Stan is out of work and Charmaine bartends at the seedy PixelDust with her two energetic hooker co-workers. Day-to-day life is rough scavenging food in dumpsters and evading car thieves. The police…continue reading →
Penguins on Everest

Penguins on Everest

**Update 2016: The author did contact me and asked me to remove this review. I deleted one paragraph that he had a particular problem with, but I do not believe in censorship. The paragraph I deleted was about plagiarism. I still believe the author did not adequately cite some of his information, but I'm not an English teacher or a lawyer. He did notify me that "his friends disagree" with my review. Well. I also note I am the only one who has reviewed this book on Amazon. By David Durkan. Our trekking…continue reading →
Missoula: Rape & The Justice System in a College Town.

Missoula: Rape & The Justice System in a College Town.

by Jon Krakauer. (Review by Ryan). I knew that it would be a personal and disturbing experience to read Jon Krakauer’s Missoula, having lived there for almost four years. This point was hammered home on the first page as I read about a person I had personally met (this person was neither victim nor villain). The trend continued as each description of every building on campus, downtown bar, and neighborhood of the town I called my home was described. Described as the scene of a crime. Several crimes actually. In Missoula, Krakauer takes…continue reading →
Snow Crash

Snow Crash

I first read this book roughly five years ago. Reality is tough & I decided re-reading this book would be an excellent excuse for escape. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Snow Crash starts in a manic frenzy as Hiro Protagonist speeds to make a pizza delivery for The Mafia. The Mafia control CosaNostra Pizza and pizza delivery is a life and death business. All of America is privately owned and the streets are lined with religious franchises like "Reverend Wayne's Pearly Gates" and community franchises like "Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong." The Mafia…continue reading →
Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life

Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life

Note: I know many of you have been asking questions about Nepal (especially this "little" earthquake business). I promise all of that is coming. A book review seemed much more manageable and realistic to start! Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life by Arlene Blum (author of: Annapurna: A Woman's Place). Blum is an author, climber, and has a PhD. in biophysical chemistry. This is not an "average" climbing book with only cold, technical details. This climbing book is also Blum's memoir. Each chapter begins with a glimpse into Blum's dysfunctional childhood in a Jewish…continue reading →