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The Butterfly Alphabet Book by Brian Cassie
Catty-Cornered by Cheryl Ware
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Circle by George Tucker
City of Light by Laurent Belfer
The Crew by Bali Rai
Dark Summit by Nick Heil
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A Day with Traffic Controllers by Joanne Winne
Demons Are Forever by Julie Kenner
Deserts by Seymour Simon
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
Expecting Adam by Martha Beck
Firooz and His Brother by Alex Jeffers
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
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Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Hungry, Hungry Sharks by Joanna Cole
In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen R. Lawhead
Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch by Barbara Park
Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying by Barbara Park
Light in August by William Faulkner
The Little Baby Snoogle Fleejer by Jimmy Carter
The Lost and Found by Mark Teague
Magic School Bus: Going Batty by Joanna Cole
Magic School Bus: The Great Shark Escape by Joanna Cole
Mercury and Venus by Robin Kerrod
Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies
Nettie's Trip South by Ann Turner
Peace: 50 Years of Protest by Barry Miles
Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened by Jason Rodriguez
Puss in Boots by Rochelle Larkin
The Road from La Cueva by Sheila Ortego
Seduction by Design by Sandra Brown
The Seven-per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer
Space by Carole Stott
The Stone Gods by Jeannette Winterson
Thrilling Wonder Stories by Albert E. Cowdrey
Traitor by M. Rickert
Treasure by Clive Cussler
Under the Microscope: Insects by Grolier
WLT: A Radio Romance by Garrison Keillor

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Dark Summit: 05/17/08

Dark Summit

Although Dark Summit sells itself as "the true story of Everest's most controversial season" it also tries to a be a more general history of climbing on Everest. While the details of the mountain's history are interesting and perhaps necessary to help readers put the 2006 season into perspective, the presentation of these facts interrupts the core story.

Nick Heil recreates the 2006 season on Mt Everest and focuses mostly on the climb lead by Russell Brice's Himex team. He breaks the book up into two parts: David Sharp (the expert who died) and Lincoln hall and Thomas Weber (Hall being the man who was pronounced dead but managed to survive the night). He further breaks up the book into chapters named for the different camps along the climb. The David Sharp half takes up 2/3 of the book leaving Lincoln Hall's amazing survival to round out the book in breakneck speed.

The pacing problems come in the David Sharp section. Just as Brice's team is setting out on their climb Heil begins dumping massive amounts of Everest history into his chapters. I think since David Sharp died on the climb and was an Everest celebrity, Heil felt compelled to include a mini biography of the man. Unfortunately Dark Summit isn't set up to be David Sharp's biography. It's supposed to be an examination of what might have gone wrong in the 2006 season or more precisely: what factors were different with Sharp's climb versus Hall's climb that made it possible for one to survive and not the other? With the bulk of the book bogged down with Sharp's life, there isn't much time to actually look at the climb or the 2006 season.

I liked the initial chapter "Katmandu" which sets the stage for the 2006 season and explains the business behind these expeditions. I also enjoyed the entire second section dedicated to Lincoln Hall and Thomas Weber because of the analysis of the rescue methods and the aftermath of the season. If more of the book had been like this final part, I would be raving about this book rather than giving it a luke warm review.

Despite Dark Summit's flaws I did learn a thing or two about Mt. Everest.

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