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Anna Begins

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About Anna Begins

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    Addicted!

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  • Reading now?
    No god, But God by Reza Aslan and Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • Location:
    California

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  1. Anna Begins reading in 2018

    Here are reviews of my May reads, not too great of a month, but still came in at 1,236 pages. And 3 of them were climbing books The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (322 pages) 5/5 This book is so good, the pages fly by. Ending up an outcast by all other slaves on the Georgia plantation, Cora risks her life and that of many others- and others to come- to be free via the US slave escape routes on the Underground Railroad. Excellent read. Pulitzer Prize for 2017, Oprah's Book Club recommendation. K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain by Ed Viesturs (354 pages) 5/5 I am totally obsessed with this mountain, having previously read K2: The Savage Mountain by legendary American mountaineer Charles Houston. K2 is the second highest peak in the World, near the Himalayas, but in an mountain range in Pakistan called Karakoram. With the second highest death rate of the "8000ers" (14 of the highest mountains in the world, all above 26,247 feet above sea level (or 8,000 meters), K2 has only been summited by about 300 people, with 77 fatalities. In this book, the American amazing- fabulous- stunning climber Ed Viesturs tells some of the stories of the summits... and the fatalities. No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs (368 pages) 5/5 I was so taken by Ed Viesturs writing in the book above, I had to read more of his work. He is the only American to face climbed all of the world's 14 8000ers, and the 5th person to do it without supplemental oxygen. This man is amazing to me. I am totally smitten. He has furthered my desire of mountain climbing and I have since joined Instagram and am addicted to climbing videos on YouTube His email address is on his website, I wish I could get the courage Ed Viesturs also was the subject of the most successful IMAX documentary in history, about an Everest expedition that took place during the 1996 tragedy. That tragedy was the subject of Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air, which started this all for me. I ended the month with Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer 4/5 Jon Krakauer is an interesting figure in the mountaineering and climbing society. Eiger Dreams is a collection of some of his articles for Outdoor Magazine, a magazine devoted to aspects of climbing. I was introduced to ice climbers who climb frozen waterfalls and to the hip French Alps town of Chamonix. Eiger is a mountain in the Swiss Alps.
  2. How many books have you read this year?

    21 since February, I'm quite pleased
  3. Your Book Activity - May 2018

    I just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Which was really, just so very good. It's provoked me to read some additional Pulitzer Prize winners (and some finalists), so I posted a TBR list of a selection of them in the beginning of my thread. I am currently reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Oh! And I bought some books to read this month, including Less by Andrew Sean Greer, 2018's Pulitzer winner.
  4. Matt Haig

    I actually couldn't wait for How To Stop Time. My anger dissipated and I'm glad it did, HTST was really good.
  5. Anna Begins reading in 2018

    This got posted before my reviews! Hi!
  6. Anna Begins reading in 2018

    That's sweet, thank you I think you'd like it
  7. Anna Begins reading in 2018

    I finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (435 pages). At one time, I had this story down to one sentence, but now, I'm not so sure. It was a good multi layered story. Almost as good as The Nightingale. I thought a little long and drawn out. Ernt Allbright moves his wife, Cora and his daughter, Leni all over the country at his whim, all the while suffering flash backs of Vietnam. When his flashback nightmares reach a peak, he is notified he inherited a piece of land in Alaska from a fellow soldier. In the bush, Leni and Cori struggle to survive, with the help of locals, in an extreme landscape in extreme winters of straight blackouts/ no sunlight. Ernts violent outbreaks increase as they struggle to be a family. There is one other 14 year old in town. Matthew. This is dramatic read, emotional. I cried. 3.5/5 (for being a bit too long, and then too short at the end)
  8. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    I just can't get it in one post! grrr... I finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and started Happy Dreams by Jia Pingwa. It's about a life of modern day trash pickers in China.
  9. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    Nice- it sounds like you're enjoying it
  10. What's the weather like?

    It was another beautiful sunny day in California, 78F/ 25C!
  11. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    Oh! I just finished Pachinco by Min Jin Lee and started The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Pachinco was great.
  12. Your Book Activity - April 2018

    I'm glad you are reading this! I hope you enjoy it. It didn't seem like 800+ pages when I read it.
  13. Anna Begins reading in 2018

    *hug* I hope you like it!
  14. Anna Begins reading in 2018

    Here are some brief reviews of a few books I have read this year: 4/5 The Midnight Line by Lee Child This is one of the best Jack Reacher books! Reacher finds a West Point graduation ring in pawn shop while on a bus pit stop in a small dusty town. Fans of Reacher knows he just randomly stops around the country, getting involved in certain... matters Anyway, this particular ring is a tiny size and from a year that would suggest years of tours in Afghanistan or Iraq. Intrigued, Reacher is immediately in trouble- much to the delight of readers! 5/5 How to Stop Time by Matt Haig I LOVED The Humans and when I found out about this book, I was anxious to read it, it was just published in February. I love how Matt Haig always has dogs in his books Tom Hazard is 41 years old- at least, he looks 41 years old. Tom actually is over 400 years old. While working for a secret society of people with the same affliction, he searches for his daughter who also contracted his condition. Haig once again does what he does best- capture humanity and it's nuances. 4/5 Sing, Unburied, Sing by Yesmyn Ward Elements of magical realism in this book I didn't like, but I never like it. Jojo is 13 years old and living dirt poor in the middle of Mississippi. His mother is a mother only when she wants to be. There is also Michaela, Jojo's 2 year old sister who he dotes on, his baby sister loves him above all else. Jojo and the baby live with his mother's parents, mostly raised by her father (Jojo's grandfather). He is a good role model for Jojo and they love each other very much. The time comes for Jojo and Michaela's father to be released from prison and Jojo's absent, meth taking, abusive mother loads up both Jojo and his sister to meet him when released so they can be a family. 5/5 Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo This is a great book and could easily be one of my favorites of the year. Yejide and Akin love each other very much and have a great life in Nigeria. Despite Akin's mother continuing to pressure Yejide for sons, Yejide can't conceive. Then, Akin's mother proposes a second wife for him and he accepts. Then, Yejide becomes pregnant. The setting was different for me, I don't usually read about Africa, I'd like that to change. 3.5/5 Into the Thickening Fog by Andrei Gelasimov This book makes me wish I remembered my 4 years of high school Russian, just so I could read this book in the native language. The plot is loose. Some parts may have been lost in transition. It may have been symbolism for existentialism, I'm not sure. BUT! I liked this book because it took place in modern day Northern Russia. Like, -40F Northern. It is so cold, you must breathe from a scarf over your face. Within minutes, any exposed body part may suffer sever frostbite, possibly leading to death. Fliippov is a playwright in Russia and gets a job offer in France- but first he must tell his partner and childhood friend who lives in the Far North. The cold blurs the lines of reality for Filippov, who drinks his way through life, passing out and not really knowing what is going on. 5/5 Homegoing Yaa Gyasi This is a stunning book, a type I am becoming attached to... I call it an epic family story or generational. Homegoing follows generations of two half sisters in 18th century Ghana- one sister is captured into slavery, the other marries an Englishman. Thanks for reading!
  15. Anna Begins reading in 2018

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