Saturday, June 20, 2009

White-Knuckling it For Father's Day

Tick tock...Father's Day rapidly approaches -- it's Sunday, in case you've forgotten. THIS Sunday. Yikes! Here's another book idea for Daddio: Halfway to Heaven: My White-Knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High, in which author Mark Obmascik, inspired by his son's climbing bug, attempts to climb all 54 peaks higher than 14,000 feet in Colorado -- known as "The Fourteeners." Given the author's physical conditioning at the start, it was a pretty ambitious undertaking -- especially since The Colorado Fourteeners have killed more climbers than Mount Everest! Think Bryson's A Walk in the Woods meets Krakauer's Into Thin Air, but probably a little more Bryson than Krakauer.

His wife's only insistence in this whole endeavor was that he never climb alone, so while many of his favorite climbs were in the company of his oldest son, he also trolled the internet for potential climbing partners when his son wasn't available, resulting in what Obmascik calls his hiking "man-dates," which he says turned out to be his favorite part of climbing the Fourteeners.

Besides being an entertaining account of his quest, the book offers historical tidbits about previous Fourteeners and portrayals of his various hiking man-dates.

Mark Obmascik has been a journalist for two decades, most recently at the Denver Post, where he was lead writer for the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize in 2000 and winner of the 2003 National Press Club Award for environmental journalism. His freelance stories have been published in Outside and other magazines, and he has aired numerous political stories on public affairs and television news programs.His most recent book was The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession An obsessed birder himself, he lives in Denver with his wife and sons.

We've got lots of other great suggestions for you for gifting Dad on Sunday, including Michael's Lewis's new book about fatherhood, which Ron Charles of The Washington Post recently described as the Dad's version of Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions. Come see us!

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