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review 2018-02-22 07:10
Embrace Release Week - February
 




Leaving Everest by Megan Westfield

Leaving Everest by [Westfield, Megan]About the Book:

Twenty-year-old Emily Winslowe has had an adventurous upbringing. Daughter of a Himalayan mountain guide, she has climbed Mount Everest and other peaks most Americans only dream of. But for all her mountaineering prowess, she's lacking some key experiences. Namely, guys. Especially one guy in particular—Luke Norgay, her childhood best friend who she hasn't seen since he left for college in the United States two years ago.

Luke unexpectedly reappears as a guide just in time for the Everest climbing season. He's even more handsome than she remembers, and that something that had been building between them during their last season together is back in front of them, bigger than ever.

The problem is, there's a detail about Emily's past that Luke doesn't know. It's the reason she ended up in the Himalayas in the first place...and the reason she must make it to the summit of Mount Everest this year. It's also the reason she would never consider following him back to Washington after the climbing season ends.

But first, they'll have to survive the mountain.

Purchase Link: https://entangledpublishing.com/leaving-everest.html



About Megan:

Megan Westfield grew up in Washington State, attended college in Oregon, and lived in Virginia, California, and Rhode Island during her five years as a navy officer. She is now a permanent resident of San Diego, along with her husband and two young children. Aside from writing and her family, her great passions in life are reading, candy, and spending lots of time outside hiking, skiing, camping, climbing, running, and biking.
Connect with Megan Westfield and learn more about her upcoming books at www.meganwestfield.com.

Megan’s Links:

Author Website: www.meganwestfield.com
Author Blog: www.meganwestfield.com/blog
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/MegWestfield
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MeganWestfieldAuthor/
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meganwestfield/
Author Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/westfieldwrites/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15342456.Megan_Westfield
Newsletter: http://meganwestfield.com/connect/


~~~~~



Straight Up Irish by Magan Vernon




About the Book:

I need a wife if I want to help save my family’s billion-dollar pub empire. There’s just one problem: I never plan on marrying. So, I need someone who understands that this is just another business deal. I don’t do commitments. And my brother’s executive assistant, Fallon Smith, fits that bill.

Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.

A fake wedding and a whole lot of whiskey. What could go wrong?

Purchase Liink: https://entangledpublishing.com/straight-up-irish.html


About Magan:

Magan Vernon has been living off of reader tears since she wrote her first short story in 2004. She now spends her time killing off fictional characters, pretending to plot while she really just watches Netflix, and she tries to do this all while her two young children run amuck around her Texas ranch.

Magan’s Links:

Website: www.maganvernon.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/maganvernon
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/authormaganvernon
Twitter: www.twitter.com/maganvernon
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/qIJA5
#FEELTHEVERN (Reader Group): http://on.fb.me/1lVsZEo


~~~~~
 
 
 
 

Cinderella and the Geek by Christina Phillips




About the Book:

From Christina Phillips a sexy, new romance with a hero you won’t forget…

I'm not looking for love or a Happily-Ever-After because I know how that ends. I just need to concentrate on my degree and look after myself. But there's something about my boss, Harry, I can't resist. It's crazy since he's so hot and smart it should be illegal.
And then, just like Cinderella, I have my night at the ball and a midnight kiss, and for a week all my sexy daydreams come true. That fake date changes my life in a way I could never imagine. It turns out, Harry wants me too.

But I’m off to pursue my dreams, and he’s taking his business to the next level. There’s no way this fairytale has a happy ending, but that doesn’t keep me from wishing for it.

Purchase Link: https://entangledpublishing.com/cinderella-and-the-geek.html

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harry and his partner run a successful gaming site. Their assistant is leaving them for higher education. How will they survive without her?

Alice has definitely found herself falling down the rabbit hole. She has a thing for her boss, but rather than ruin what they have, she decides to go to school without telling him. Then one day - he invites her to a ball.....

This is a rather sweet story which has rich characters I hope to see again. Compelling from page one, I eagerly turned the pages. These characters were meant to be together. As things heat up, the pace picks up also. I hope to see these MC's again in future installments in the British Bad Boys series.


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

View all my reviews

 



About Christina:

Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing contemporary, historical and paranormal romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Christina’s Links:

Author Website: http://christinaphillips.com/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristinaPh_
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinaphillips.author/

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review 2017-11-05 16:50
Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate
Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate - Reinhold Messner

I don’t climb mountains simply to vanquish their summits. What would be the point of that? I place myself voluntarily into dangerous situations to learn to face my own fears and doubts, my innermost feelings.

In interviews, in this book, in about anything I have read or watched featuring Reinhold Messner, I always thought he comes across as self-righteous, arrogant, unsympathetic seeker of attention. Love or loathe Reinhold Messner? I can't bring myself to do either. I do, however, have a lot of respect for his feats as a climber.

 

And this is what this book, Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate, is about - Messner's motivation to climb mountains and his one of his incredible adventures: the idea to climb Mt. Everest without the help of supplementary oxygen.

Is it really possible to climb the highest mountain in the world without any help from oxygen apparatus? That is the question. Many doctors don’t think so. A large percentage of expedition climbers agree with them. After the West Ridge had been climbed, and the North side, and the South-west Face, as well as the normal route, the problem of a ‘fair’ ascent still remained, to storm the summit without masks. And I wanted to be the person to do it, together with Peter Habeler; we wanted to attempt to climb Everest ‘by fair means’.

Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate is based on the notes Messner took during the expedition, and chronicles the history of previous expeditions as well as the expedition that saw Messner and his long-term climbing partner, Peter Habeler, manage to be the first to climb up without supplemental oxygen in May 1978.  

 

There are some serious issues with the book:

 

I read the translated version which also contained an introduction by Messner - the translation was atrocious. Really horrible. The flow of writing read like it had been put through Google Translate, which did not make sense in parts. I have a hunch that it would make even worse reading for someone not familiar with German syntax. 

 

In addition, the book really needed an editor. Messner's introduction included passages that seem to have been taken from articles written about him, but not by him - unless, he intentionally chooses to speak of himself in 3rd person. This did not make sense.

 

The book also includes excerpts from the notes of previous expeditions and other books which are not set off from the rest of the text. This makes them look like a part of the author's narrative - even though they aren't.

 

Apart from this, Messner did not endear himself to me much. He goes on and on about how his motivation for climbing is to find out more about himself and how he acts in extreme situations, but he doesn't actually tell us anything about it. All we get is:

During the walk in to Base Camp I frequently asked myself why Peter and I should want to climb Everest without oxygen. The reason does not lie in a pure mountaineering or sporting purpose. To be able to explain this I had always to turn back to history and say that in the first 200 years of alpinism, it was the mountain that was the important thing. During this time it was the summit that was conquered and explored, that was the unknown that man attempted to reach by any means, employing any techniques. But for some years now and particularly on my own tours, it is no longer the mountain that is important, but the man, the man with his weaknesses and strengths, the man and how he copes with the critical situations met on high mountains, with solitude, with altitude. My expeditions have thus enabled me to draw closer to myself, to see into myself more clearly.

The higher I climb, the deeper I seem to see within myself. But were I to put all sorts of technical gadgets between myself and the mountain, then there would be certain experiences that I could not feel. If I were to wear an oxygen mask, I should be unable to know exactly what it means to climb at heights of 8,000 metres or more, what it feels to struggle against the body’s resistance and to endure the loneliness of being totally beyond the reach of help.

 

Despite all of its short-comings, tho, the draft-like quality of the book also has a rawness to it that makes the book quite credible. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I still believe Messner's ego should have been named as a co-author, but there are parts - where he is not going on and on about his own motivations - that are really interesting and heart-warming and just plain astonishing:

 

I mean, there are a lot of emotions on that mountain - A LOT of EMOTIONS -  due to serious and fatal accidents, weather conditions, and the sheer exhaustion of the men. And then there are some lighter bits about how to deal with challenges of a hostile environment:

I ask the Sherpas for a mug of hot tea, and at the same time keep an eye on my sauce, which is beginning to thicken, to make sure it doesn’t burn. The onions are too dark, I notice. This is probably because they were frozen solid when they went into the hot fat, I think. Ang Phu, the Chief Sherpa, sits now beside me and eats potatoes. To get the noodles al dente at 5,340 metres is a real art. A minute too long and they turn into a soup.

What I liked best tho was when Messner reached the top of the world but waited for his  sherpa guide, Ang Phu, to catch up so they could climb the last few steps together. When his climbing partner, Habeler, made his attempt at the summit a day or two later, Messner was with him, too. It really appears from this account that he just did not want to be alone on that summit (even tho he would make the ascent alone a few years later). There was a sense of community in the expedition that I had not expected - not just between the climbers but also with the guides, without whom the expedition would have been impossible.  

 

So, for all my misgivings about the author, I actually liked his approach to writing about the expedition - giving credit where due. In the end, I would even say that while Messner's personality mostly gets in the way of the book, there is a part where is passion for climbing and his conviction that climbing Everest is an endeavour that most people are probably not worthy of, makes a valid point:

Mount Everest tends to shrink in our imagination when we read it has been ‘conquered’ by a couple of hundred mediocre alpinists, who probably would not trust themselves to climb Mont Blanc without help; but then it grows again, if a half dozen of these trophy-hunters get themselves killed in the process, as happened in 1996 in the course of two commercial climbing trips organised by Rob Hall and Scott Fischer. Jon Krakauer has written a profound book upon the subject, Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster. Despite this, the hordes came again the following year, and once more there were tragedies.

We seem to have lost sight of the fact that humans cannot survive at heights approaching 9,000 metres. While more and more of us climb where we don’t belong, the accidents will go on increasing and, with them, because of them in fact, so will the desire to make such an attempt. Treading the footsteps of those before them, waiting in line at the Hillary Step below the summit, growing numbers of people clamber to heights that offer no retreat for the inexperienced when storm, mist or avalanche play havoc with fuddled brains. What makes Mount Everest so dangerous is not the steepness of its flanks, nor the vast masses of rock and ice that can break away without warning. The most dangerous part of climbing Mount Everest is the reduced partial pressure of oxygen in the summit region, which dulls judgment, appreciation, and indeed one’s ability to feel anything at all.

With modern, lightweight oxygen apparatus the mountain can be outwitted, but what happens when the bottles are empty, when descent through a storm becomes impossible, when you can’t go a step further? An Everest climb cannot be planned like a journey from Zurich to Berlin, and it doesn’t end on the summit. In any sports shop you can buy, for a price, the lightest equipment there is, but you cannot purchase survival strategy. The client surrenders responsibility for him- or herself to the guide – and the higher the mountain, the more personal responsibility is yielded up, even though this is the basic prerequisite for any mountain experience. And what happens when the leader gets into difficulty? Clients are left hanging in the ropes on a mountain they neither know nor understand.

This Everest is no longer the Everest of the pioneers. Increasingly the apex of vanity, it has also become a substitute for something the summit-traveller wants to flaunt on his lapel, like a badge, without taking any of the responsibility in the field.

The more Mount Everest is turned into a consumer article, the more importance attaches to the key moments of its climbing history – with or without supplemental oxygen. As the highest mountain in the world – for trekkers, climbers, environmentalists, and aid workers (to say nothing of undertakers) – it is guaranteed more publicity than other mountain. Its mythos is continually being misinterpreted, so that it becomes a mountain of fortune and fantasy even for those with no need to go there themselves. For them, I tell this story of climbing ‘by fair means’.

 

(Photo source)

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text 2017-10-19 22:54
Reading progress update: I've read 34%.
Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate - Reinhold Messner

As I noted yesterday, parts of this book are really cringe-worthy. Other parts make me question whether Mt. Everest is of any size at all when compared to Messner's ego. 

Others still tempt me to pledge to dnf the book the very next time he tells us (YET AGAIN!) that he is climbing Everest without oxygen (because everything else is cheating).

 

And then you get to passages like this one (excuse the shoddy writing - like I said, the book needed an editor - or at least a decent translator):

I must get this second tent up. I do want to come out of all this, I do want to survive. One more time. So Ang Dorje and I climb out from the chaos, under the torn canopy, and try in the lulls of the storm, to erect a new tent. But over and again the gusts of wind get under the slack fabric and blow it up like a balloon. The tent is almost ripped from our hands. The storm drowns our cries; we cannot understand each other from as little as a couple of metres apart. We have to keep turning out of the wind to rub away the snow which is clogging up our eyes. Once I can see the utter ridiculousness of our situation, I relax a bit. Even towards death. It is too late for anything. The storm builds up into a hurricane. My skin feels as if it burns. The first blue-white tinges of frostbite appear on my finger tips and the end of my nose. I am chilled to the marrow although I am wearing a complete down suit. At last, after an hour, I crawl into the second tent. It sways, it flaps, but it holds. It holds, and I burst into tears.

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text 2017-10-19 00:37
Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate - Reinhold Messner

I'm delighted to say that the descriptions of the actual climb are much better than the introductory chapters. Yes, chapters.

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text 2017-10-18 22:42
Reading progress update: I've read 17%.
Everest: Expedition to the Ultimate - Reinhold Messner

Well, this is never going to be a favourite book. For a start, it needs an editor. Badly!

And then, of course, we have the author...

 

But at least this will be a quick read. :D

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