by Ed Viesturs and David Roberts (2006). Well crafted and illustrated personal account of the climbing exploits of Viesturs from Seattle, America’s preeminent mountaineer. From his early days as a guide for Rainier Mountaineering, as a vet and as a carpenter (enabling him to drop any job at a moment’s notice to go climbing somewhere), to his successful climb of all 14 mountains that are higher than 8,000 meters (26,247 ft; all of these are in the Himalayan and in the Karakoram mountain ranges) and his family life. He was the star climber of the Everest IMAX movie, that took place during the 1996 Everest debacle that cost 8 climbers their life. And he did all of these climbs without oxygen. Climbing any mountain over 8 kilometer tall is not conducive to your health. The ratio of the number of climbers who successfully reach the summit compared to the number who die on the mountain is 7:1 for Everest, 3:1 for K2 and a remarkable 2:1 for Annapurna (of Maurice Herzog fame; this was the first 8,000plus peak to be climbed in 1950). Because of his remarkable success, Viesturs feels compelled to make a bogus probability argument about his risk of dying being so much lower than everybody else’s. It is amazing how people continuously under appreciate the role that chance plays in their life. Other than that, I recommend this book that tries to explain not only why Ed feels compelled to climb but how.