A captivating narrative guidebook that will inspire readers to test their own limits, on the trail and off.

READ REVIEW

THE PURSUIT OF ENDURANCE

HARNESSING THE RECORD-BREAKING POWER OF STRENGTH AND RESILIENCE

An instructive exploration of endurance, in sports and in life, from a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

Before hiking the Appalachian Trail for the first time in 2005, Davis (Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph, 2013, etc.) took a class taught by Warren Doyle, a renowned long-distance hiker and legendary trail record-setter. He was the first person to suggest that the author attempt a trail record for the fastest known time (FKT) on the Appalachian Trail; in 2008, she did just that. Davis set the unofficial record for the FKT on the A.T. by a woman, completing the 2,181-mile journey in under 58 days. Still not completely satisfied with her accomplishment, Davis headed back to the trail three years later, this time to set the FKT by anyone, male or female. She finished in under 47 days, a record-setting achievement that she explores throughout this enlightening analysis of endurance. With humor and the wisdom of a seasoned adventurer, Davis breaks down the secrets to harnessing the kind of personal strength and perseverance it takes to not only set records on the trail, but lead life to the fullest off it. The author gives equal weight to the nitty-gritty details of long-distance trail-hiking techniques and the intense mental and spiritual preparation involved in record-breaking, and she offers several spellbinding scenes from her famous treks. Throughout, Davis uses science, psychology, history, hiking methodologies, and her own personal experience to craft a fascinating examination of the human spirit. The author’s natural storytelling ability and a charming cast of characters in the form of spirited hiking mentors make the pages fly in this accessible handbook, which reads less like a step-by-step instruction manual and more like an empowering blueprint to building one’s own endurance.

A captivating narrative guidebook that will inspire readers to test their own limits, on the trail and off.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-2189-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players scores another basket—a deeply personal one.

BACK FROM THE DEAD

A basketball legend reflects on his life in the game and a life lived in the “nightmare of endlessly repetitive and constant pain, agony, and guilt.”

Walton (Nothing but Net, 1994, etc.) begins this memoir on the floor—literally: “I have been living on the floor for most of the last two and a half years, unable to move.” In 2008, he suffered a catastrophic spinal collapse. “My spine will no longer hold me,” he writes. Thirty-seven orthopedic injuries, stemming from the fact that he had malformed feet, led to an endless string of stress fractures. As he notes, Walton is “the most injured athlete in the history of sports.” Over the years, he had ground his lower extremities “down to dust.” Walton’s memoir is two interwoven stories. The first is about his lifelong love of basketball, the second, his lifelong battle with injuries and pain. He had his first operation when he was 14, for a knee hurt in a basketball game. As he chronicles his distinguished career in the game, from high school to college to the NBA, he punctuates that story with a parallel one that chronicles at each juncture the injuries he suffered and overcame until he could no longer play, eventually turning to a successful broadcasting career (which helped his stuttering problem). Thanks to successful experimental spinal fusion surgery, he’s now pain-free. And then there’s the music he loves, especially the Grateful Dead’s; it accompanies both stories like a soundtrack playing off in the distance. Walton tends to get long-winded at times, but that won’t be news to anyone who watches his broadcasts, and those who have been afflicted with lifelong injuries will find the book uplifting and inspirational. Basketball fans will relish Walton’s acumen and insights into the game as well as his stories about players, coaches (especially John Wooden), and games, all told in Walton’s fervent, witty style.

One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players scores another basket—a deeply personal one.

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4767-1686-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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