What We Are Reading Today: The Moth and the Mountain

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Updated 21 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Moth and the Mountain

Author: Ed Caesar

The Moth and the Mountain restores Maurice Wilson to his rightful place in the annals of Everest and tells an unforgettable story about the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
“This is an extraordinary true story about one man’s attempt to salve the wounds of war and save his own soul through an audacious adventure,” said a review in goodreads.com.
Ed Caesar has long been captivated by Wilson, and in The Moth and the Mountain he writes beautifully about the attractions and problems of researching his life.
“Caesar’s fundamental challenge is that very little survives about Wilson beyond official registers, ships’ passenger manifests and some brief diary entries and letters, written in a bland, cheery London slang,” said Rory Stewart in a review for The New York Times.
Caesar is a British author and feature writer who contributes to the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Outside, the Sunday Times Magazine of London and British GQ. Caesar was named Writer of the Year in 2013 by the UK’s Professional Publishers Association.

What We Are Reading Today: Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

Updated 28 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

This is a harrowing and intricate nonfiction account of an all-American family of 12 (10 boys and two girls) born between 1945 and 1965. 

Bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker presents an interesting story about this large Colorado family plagued by schizophrenia. 

He also explores some of the research that has been done on this fairly common but devastating mental illness that affects one in one hundred people.

With clarity and compassion, Kolker uncovers one family’s unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope. 

“Meticulous research combined with unbiased treatment of the facts leads to a very devastating true story like no other,” said a review in goodreads.com. “It is written clearly and gives a broad picture of ways to define and cure a disease which terrifies us.” 

“For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation of the family is permanently tilted,” Kolker writes. 

His is a feat of narrative journalism but also a study in empathy; he unspools the stories with enormous compassion while tracing the scientific advances in treating the illness.