A friend of ours is going back to Mt Everest this season. He prepares well for it, of course – including the most important factor of all: thinking through what books he’s going to take. He asked a few of us fellow readers what books we’d recommend. Which made me immediately jealous of having weeks to read.
He said I could hide out in the supply tent with the snacks if I was that desperate for free time. I looked up airline tickets.
But then I actually started thinking, what books would I take to Everest? This would be one of the hardest decisions ever & I would end up with about 2,347 books in my pack. But – I tried to keep it simple – and this is what I came up with:
Light Reading to Pass the Time
There’s a lot of sitting around time, but you’re all jittery and ready to go… in that case, there’s gotta be some light, not-too-much-concentration-required reading involved:
1. Confessions of a Shopaholic. SAS (Short Attention Span) Review: Girl goes deeply into debt and tries to climb her way out. It’s a chick lit book, so of course there’s a guy. But the humor in this book is great and it’s definitely my favorite funny book of all time. “Dear Ms Bloomwood, …Should payment not arrive within the next seven days, your account will be frozen…I was glad to hear that you have found the Lord and accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior; unfortunately this has no bearing on the matter.”
2. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan SAS Review: 5 kids, 2 bedroom apartment. Hilarious comedian makes parenthood funny.
3. The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford. SAS Review: I can’t even explain these books. They’re about an eccentric family; set in the aristocratic country life of England. Some of the lines about Uncle Matthew (“who has been known to hunt his children when foxes are scarce”) are so awesomely humorous. It’s a beautiful, dry humor, too – which I think has to be the hardest to write.
Motivational Biographies to Make You Believe in Yo’self:
I mean, you gotta be all PUMPED up and ready to go! So let’s read some good books about other people accomplishing awesome lives:
3. Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for God at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
SAS review: Okay, honestly, I haven’t read this yet. It’s waiting for me. BUT it’s gotten super super high reviews and if you liked Unbroken, you will like this (so I’ve heard).
4. The Kid Who Climbed Everest by Bear Grylls. SAS: Not sure you’d want to read about some punk kid summiting while you’re still in the “will I/won’t I” stage of the game, but this is the best account of climbing Everest because it’s the one that explains what it must feel like (and how/when/where you pee! #importantissue). Good book.
A Good Cry
I automatically assume being on Everest accomplishing a dream must make you think and feel things more deeply, no? So here’s some good books guaranteed to make you think of life, love and also… cause you to have a good sob.
5. East of Eden by John Steinbeck SAS: Well, if this book didn’t make me CRY. And I’m not a book cryer. But by the time you get to the end of this story, you are crying, my friend, over all that has not happened, and all that could happen: Timshel! I love Steinbeck’s writing, and this is one good, long book. Take a few Milky Way bars & East of Eden into your tent and while away the hours.
6. Gilead by Marianne Robinson. SAS Review: An elderly pastor writes letters to his son about life, God and the boy’s mother. Beautifully written. Don’t stand outside while reading this – the tears will freeze on your face.
Closer to God
You’re on top of a mountain! That means you’re closer to God, right?? (no?) Read these great theology books for your soul!
7. Can Man Live Without God by Ravi Zacharias SAS Review: Ravi is an apologist. This book discusses…well, it discusses what it says: can man live without God?
8. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis SAS Review: you need a review of this one?? No, you don’t. Just read it if you haven’t.
9. In The Likeness of God (Combined volume of the two books: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and In His Image) by Dr Paul Brand and Phil Yancey. SAS Review: Seriously one of the top ten books I’ve read. Dr Brand was a doctor famous for working with leprosy patients. He writes beautiful descriptions and explanations of the human body and Yancey turns those into beautifully written applications to the church and Christians. LOVE this book.
And there you have it, the books I’d recommend for Everest. How about you? What books would you take on your climb?