HIDDEN MOUNTAINS

SURVIVAL AND RECKONING AFTER A CLIMB GONE WRONG

A hard-to-put-down tale of tenacity, bravery, and friendship in the face of staggering odds.

A gripping account of a disastrous climbing trip gone wrong and the harrowing rescue attempt that followed.

In June 2018, two couples decided to go on the most ambitious climbing adventure of their lives, traveling to “the far western end of the Alaska Range” to tackle the Hidden Mountains, which Wejchert describes as “thin needles of rock capping a wild landscape.” All of the adventurers were experienced technical climbers and alpinists, spending years summiting intense peaks, engaging in some of the most challenging climbs in the world. What made this trip different was that for the first time, they would head into unknown territory and attempt to claim a first ascent in the Hidden Mountains, “a phalanx of peaks so remote they had no names or history.” The Hidden Mountains take days, even weeks, to reach via charter planes and laborious hiking, through snowstorms and clouds of mosquitoes. The climbers’ difficulties began early on: Bushwhacking through unforgiving alder trees while grizzly bears looked on, they realized the peak they had originally planned on attempting—the one they spent months meticulously researching and planning for—was too far away. Because they were weighed down with hundreds of pounds of gear, every mile took them three trips to carry the packs in manageable loads. They would have to climb a closer, unknown peak—a choice that would come to haunt them. Narrated with an intensity that grabs readers from the start, the ascent began with courageously difficult climbing and a sense of adventure. The true bravery, however, came in the aftermath of the tragic accident that forever changed their lives. The determination, strength, and courage of the four climbers and the rescue team are impressive, and the narrative is moving in its portrayal of “bits of humanity enveloped in wilderness and quiet.”

A hard-to-put-down tale of tenacity, bravery, and friendship in the face of staggering odds.

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-06-308552-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022

UNGUARDED

Basketball fans will enjoy Pippen’s bird’s-eye view of some of the sport’s greatest contests.

The Chicago Bulls stalwart tells all—and then some.

Hall of Famer Pippen opens with a long complaint: Yes, he’s a legend, but he got short shrift in the ESPN documentary about Michael Jordan and the Bulls, The Last Dance. Given that Jordan emerges as someone not quite friend enough to qualify as a frenemy, even though teammates for many years, the maltreatment is understandable. This book, Pippen allows, is his retort to a man who “was determined to prove to the current generation of fans that he was larger-than-life during his day—and still larger than LeBron James, the player many consider his equal, if not superior.” Coming from a hardscrabble little town in Arkansas and playing for a small college, Pippen enjoyed an unlikely rise to NBA stardom. He played alongside and against some of the greats, of whom he writes appreciatively (even Jordan). Readers will gain insight into the lives of characters such as Dennis Rodman, who “possessed an unbelievable basketball IQ,” and into the behind-the-scenes work that led to the Bulls dynasty, which ended only because, Pippen charges, the team’s management was so inept. Looking back on his early years, Pippen advocates paying college athletes. “Don’t give me any of that holier-than-thou student-athlete nonsense,” he writes. “These young men—and women—are athletes first, not students, and make up the labor that generates fortunes for their schools. They are, for lack of a better term, slaves.” The author also writes evenhandedly of the world outside basketball: “No matter how many championships I have won, and millions I have earned, I never forget the color of my skin and that some people in this world hate me just because of that.” Overall, the memoir is closely observed and uncommonly modest, given Pippen’s many successes, and it moves as swiftly as a playoff game.

Basketball fans will enjoy Pippen’s bird’s-eye view of some of the sport’s greatest contests.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982165-19-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

THE ELEPHANTS OF THULA THULA

A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.

The third volume in the Elephant Whisperer series.

In this follow-up to An Elephant in My Kitchen, Malby-Anthony continues her loving portrait of the Thula Thula wildlife reserve, which she co-founded in 1998 with her late husband, South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony, who published the first book in the series, The Elephant Whisperer, in 2009. Following his death in 2012, Malby-Anthony sought to honor his legacy by continuing his vision “to create a massive conservancy in Zululand, incorporating our land and other small farms and community land into one great big game park.” At the same time, the elephants gave her “a sense of purpose and direction.” In the Zulu language, thula means quiet, and though the author consistently seeks to provide that calm to her charges, peace and tranquility are not always easy to come by at Thula Thula. In this installment, Malby-Anthony discusses many of the challenges faced by her and her staff, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. These included an aggressive, 2-ton rhino named Thabo; the profound loss felt by all upon the death of their elephant matriarch, Frankie; difficulty obtaining permits and the related risk of having to relocate or cull some of their animals; the fear of looting and fire due to civil unrest in the region; and the ongoing and potentially deadly struggles with poachers. Throughout, the author also shares many warm, lighthearted moments, demonstrating the deep bond felt among the humans and animals at the reserve and the powerful effects of the kindness of strangers. “We are all working in unity for the greater good, for the betterment of Thula Thula and all our wildlife….We are humbled by the generosity and love, both from our guests and friends, and from strangers all around the world,” writes the author. “People’s open-hearted support kept us alive in the darkest times.”

A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 9781250284259

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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