The lure of the magical is hard to resist.
I really, really loved Wanderland. It’s gentle, honest and full of hope - just a joy to read. Jini Reddy gives an open and authentic account of her journey to find connection with the land, exploring new and hidden places around the UK. It feels like a really special book in its warmth and authenticity, and I’ve found it pretty tricky to write a review that captures any part of this; I would really just recommend reading it yourself if it sounds even remotely like the sort of book you’d enjoy.
Statement is a lovely biography: it’s personal, easy to read, and gives a close and compassionate view of Ben’s character and climbing. Douglas gives us some fascinating insights into other top climbers, and into the relationship between Ben and Jerry Moffatt – it’s interesting to compare the different abilities and mindsets of two climbers both operating right at the top level of the sport, and to see how they inspired and motivated each other.
Tops of the North is a delightful and esoteric romp across the north that never takes you quite where you expect it to.
If climbing is speaking a fluent body language,/ yesterday was all Greek/ to me …
I really loved this book, but it feels impossible to be sure anyone else would enjoy it. It’s certainly unique; I can’t really think of anything else similar to compare it to. Poetry is interspersed with deeply personal memoir, out of order and occasionally out of sense. It’s an eclectic collection and I found myself never quite sure what I might be about to read next.
I’m pretty sure it would be impossible to read The Climbing Bible and not become a better climber. I was really impressed by how comprehensive and accessible this manual is, thoroughly covering the physical side of training, but also with in-depth sections on technique, mental training and tactics for a successful send.
‘Lie Kill Walk Away’ is a teen thriller, so slightly outside my usual review sphere, but I read (and reviewed) it when I was working as a literacy teacher in a secondary school. I thought it was an enthralling read. It’s a bold story about the importance of family and the pain of absent mothers, about unthinkable decisions and the difficulties of loyalty when your choice will inevitably lead to someone getting hurt.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve run many of the routes in this book and really enjoyed them all. I find it so easy to get stuck running the same local routes, so this guide has been brilliant for inspiration to try something different. The routes range from 5km to 17.5km, spanning the width of the Brecon Beacons and venturing as far north as the Begwns, and there’s a good mix of mountain routes or gentler lower options.
I first read this a couple of years ago now; I loved it and I still think about it all the time. I really can't recommend it enough, particularly if you're a woman spending a lot of time outdoors and feeling quite alone in it.
The risk game is addictive.
‘Quest for Adventure’ describes 17 bold expeditions: crossing oceans, flying, climbing mountains and caving. It’s definitely a fascinating read for anyone interested in the broader spectrum of adventure and exploration.
I don’t read mountaineering novels very often; I suppose I don’t really see the point of them when there’s already so many dramatic factual accounts to read.
I’m really glad I made an exception here. I thought First on the Rope is an exquisite novel. It’s a finely-written love letter to the mountains, perfectly capturing the beauty and magic of long days moving through the mountains balanced against the cost.
Predominantly climbing/outdoors literature, mountaineering history and nature writing.