Another National Book Award


The results of the 2014 USA Best Book Awards have been announced.
Adventure Inward: A Risk Taker's Book of Quotes by Jonathan J. Wunrow,
Life Is Twisted Press has been honored as a "Finalist" in the "Self-Help: Motivational" category:


Writer's Digest Book Awards - Judge's Commentary

Author Jonathan Wunrow is a mountain climber, so it is no wonder that he is interested in enlightenment. I liked his acknowledgment that risk is often about inner (intellectual/spiritual) meaning and growth. When Wunrow writes that he used to think that climbing to the top of a high peak like Denali in Alaska or Sajama in Bolivia was an end in itself, my attention was hooked. I liked Wunrow's ability to find quotes from others that drive his own message home.  I appreciated Wunrow's prose at the beginning of each segment. He may prefer climbing, but he is a writer with something to say, and he says it well. I enjoyed his admittedly sad story of not being able to reach the summit of Mt. Logan, but it resonated for me, telling me that life is as much about trying as about succeeding. I loved what he says about how much energy humans put into persuading themselves that options aren't possible. His comment about the difficulty of getting climbers to put their aspirations and egos aside for the good of the whole resonated too. That is as much true about anything in life as it is about mountain climbing. I liked his humility: Book sales and speaking engagements are for the HIllarys and Boningtons and not for the rest of us. This is an eye-opening book in more ways than one. The cover is appealing. The book will make a stimulating gift for readers of all ages. 

5 Stars!!

Adventure Inward - A Risk Taker's Book of Quotes wins 5 out of 5 stars from "Reader's Favorite Book Reviews"

Avery Griffin, Author of "The Demon Rolmar" Offers His Thoughts on "Adventure Inward"

Adventure Inward is a wonderful book that I enjoyed reading. The author does a great job of explaining many existential issues concerning life, death, and one's purpose. I really liked the quotes that were about one's path in life. One particular quote written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery resonated with me: "It is in your act that you exist, not in your body. Your act is yourself, and there is no other you." The quote refers to an individual's calling in life. My calling in life is writing, and for me, the act of writing is something that reveals my true or authentic self.  I would definitely recommend this book to readers who like extreme sports and also to anyone interesting in contemplating life's mysteries.

Avery Griffin (author of The Demon Rolmar)

Review by AmandaMac, of "Something toPonderAbout Book Reviews"

I loved this book and would recommend it to others.  It is surprisingly relevant to anyone's life. Quotes are wise words from ages past, uttered so succinctly that much can be learned from these words.

The Author says a good quote can inspire, transcend, counter negative thoughts, help us dream,  allow us to escape, validate our thinking and beliefs, and offer basic truths. Indeed, the quotes, proverbs, and sayings Jonathan Wunrow has collected from people of all kinds during his years of mountain climbing experience, can translate to life itself. He makes the point of saying that they are meaningless unless embodied in habit, and also provides tips on how we can do this.

Just read long enough to find one or two quotes substituting the word mountain climbing for whatever your passion is, that connect to where your head is at the moment, or randomly choose a page and start reading. Wunrow reflects with telling quotes on nature, on living in the moment, on taking risks, what paths in life to take, of managing fear, of death and family sacrifice.

Wunrow's message in this book is to live in the present: He tells us we live in a world of distractions of technology, we are constantly barraged by information that previous generations never had, and we feel we can't live without. It keeps us focused on things outside of ourselves, outside of our control, and outside of the present moment, distracted by meaningless things.
If we teach ourselves to be happy and content in this moment, we learn the secret of living a happy and content life. To do this, we need to create a space of inner calm in this moment and the next. This moment is all we have. We cannot live in the past of the future.
Henry Miller wrote " The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome. indescribably magnificent world in itself." What would happen if we were truly attentive to all the people who crossed one's path?

"So the time to live is now. The time to love is now. The time to travel to new places is now. The time to risk is now. The time to say "I"m sorry" to someone you've hurt is now. The time to give away what  you have to someone who needs it more is now. The time to hug your spouse is now, and to tell your daughter or won you love them is now. To focus on the past or the future in the presence of a challenging and dangerous moment, can be fatal. The same can be said about life."

We're captive to the past and the future. We're so distracted and that's why  a lot of people are unhappy. One of the addictive aspects of climbing is that it allows you to be in the present moment in ways that are impossible in ordinary life. Jim Wickwire

Accepting things as they are is very different from allowing them to remain that way. Don't confuse acceptance with acquiescence, inertia or surrender. There are sometimes in our life when acceptance is cause for inaction, and there are times when taking actions is the only way to accept a situation and move on.

Furthermore, he gives us advice on decision making:
How do you know which life paths to take... Do you take the easiest and most comfortable route. Or do you take the road less traveled, hoping that it will make all the difference? Do you leap before you look? Do you follow your heart/gut? Do you follow your family's advice and remain oblivious to your heart's desire. Or do you follow social convention or wait so long to make a touch decision that is ultimately made for you as the other options disappear?
IN trying to find your path, ask yourself a few question: What is is that you are passionate about? What do you love to do? Waht makes you smile? Waht motivates you to get u pin the moring? If you aren't sure about the answers to these questions, don't worry about it or put pressure on your self. Plenty of us have spent a good part of our lives not sure about the answers. If you aren't sure, take the time to consider the less complex questions:

What can you do to make the person sitting next to you smile? What can can you do to make the world or the street you're walking down a better place ?
What is the one thing you can do today that will reduce the suffering in this world by just a little tiny bit? Answering any one of these question can help you start to find your path.

Life is a series of moments and actions, so focusing too much on goals and endpoints can cause a lot of unneeded misery along the way. The only control we really have in this world is over what we choose to do in this moment.
For me, the key to living a self directed life, and finding one's path, is being willing to make mistakes and to try something knowing that you might fail. It is falling down and getting back up only to fall down and get back up again. Risk takers and adventurers understand these things. The fear of making a mistake or making the wrong choice can be paralyzing for some. Often the biggest barrier to making a decision is our fear of the unknowns that will follow and of messing something up if we try, or facing the reality that the path we've been on, may not longer be the right one or the best one for us. 
Chouinard once said that "sometimes progress involves making a 180 degree turn and then taking one step forward"

People are stuck in dead end jobs who dare don't quit, because they need the money, others feel trapped in unsatisfying relations, but are too scared to leave, that often the simple act of identifying options helps us feel less stuck, less trapped and more in control of our situation.

Ultimately, the quest for purpose, for finding our path in life is a personal journey. There is a Zen saying that goes"If you're born clumsy it's not bad. IF you are born clever it's not good. The proper way to serve tea is to find your own way. Traveler, there is no path. You  make your path as you travel.

My favorite quote in the book was one from Lemony Snicket:
It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as your try to readjust the way our thought of things.

Which quote will be your favourite. Read a few random pages and find it.

Amanda Mac
Something to Ponder About Book Reviews

D. Donovan of Midwest Book Review comments on "Adventure Inward"

D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


Adventure Inward: A Risk Taker's Book of Quotes is primarily a pick for adventurers; but those non-adventurers who like taking personal risks will also find much here to appreciate. It comes from an adventurer and extreme sports enthusiast who has spent over thirty years mountaineering around the world, and who describes his life of adventure and how to remain open to life's possibilities.


Adventure Inward consists of inspirational and humorous quotes designed to get readers thinking about their own course in life, and it reaches its own summit in tacking the bigger questions of life purpose. Even if you're not a natural risk-taker, it will provoke reflections on life's meaning that ultimately lead to transitions and changes, and is dedicated "…to the dreamers, the risk takers, and to the misfits."


This is a big job, and it requires organization: there are literally many hundreds of quotes here, and without structure they could all too easily become lost or prove overwhelming. Jonathan Wunrow provides that essential structure in chapters that open with 'Why Play a Risky Game?' and move logically to 'Finding Your Path in Life', 'Hardships and What They Can Teach Us', and 'Family and Other Sacrifices'.


Each chapter comes packed with inspirational quotes from fellow adventurers and spiritual seekers, from Ram Das to Sir Edmund Hillary, and each section receives a fine introduction by Wunrow, who uses his personal experience to translate the process of change.


Thus a series of involving quotes ("It's not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves." Sir Edmund Hillary) are preceded (or followed) by Wunrow's own self-examination: "An even more important question is how do we define "good" and who gets to do the defining?...(sic) …the best risk takers are the fearless ones…Commitment, determination, and patience are key to dealing with the day-in and day-out mental, emotional and physical grind of training and participating in extreme sports."


And lest you think you need to be a sports enthusiast to properly absorb his adages, let it be said that the only prerequisite is an interest in self-growth and understanding life paths and transition points. If it's an inspirational and thought-provoking reader that's desired, packed with quotes and insights for personal advancement, then Adventure Inward more than fits the bill.

Jack Magnus of Reader's Favorite Reviews "Adventure Inward"

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Adventure Inward: A Risk Taker's Book of Quotes is written and compiled by Jonathan J. Wunrow. Wunrow is a mountain climber, one of those intrepid souls who crave extreme sports. Collecting risk-taker related quotes has been a hobby of his for most of his life. He's organized them for extreme sports fans and anyone else who's still alive and ready for adventure. While many of the quotes are from mountaineering greats such as Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, George Leigh Mallory, (and one is even taken from Robert Scott's diary found in the hut where he and his team died), other contributors are from all walks of life and cultures. There are quotes from Helen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Robert Frost, Dante, and Barack Obama. In his introductions to each section, Wunrow discusses why some take extreme risks, how it impacts on their lives and the lives of their loved ones, and how taking risks can make one feel truly alive.

There are a lot of quotes in Jonathan J. Wunrow's remarkable collection and it won't matter if you've never even been near a mountain or risked edging the speedometer of your car a mile or two over the speed limit. There are quotes in here that will speak directly to you. Some will make you laugh while others, such as the above-mentioned passage from Scott's diary, will make you stop and think, reread, and consider the mindset of the man who wrote it. One passage strongly affected me and I was quite surprised to see the author was Mother Teresa. Wunrow suggests making copies of your favorites, or the ones that might inspire you to create your own adventure or thrill, and I intend on doing just that. This book is quite aptly titled for it is an adventure inward and an inspirational call to live life fully. Settle in for a read, and listen to the voices collected in Adventure Inward: A Risk Taker's Book of Quotes. They have a lot to say and it's all well worth hearing.

I Highly Recommend This Book

An excellent compilation of inspiring, humorous, and thought-provoking quotes sure to get anyone, no matter their hobbies, pastimes, or interests, thinking deeply about their world and what it means for us, as humans, to look inside ourselves. Each chapter is adorned with Wunrow's clear voice and unfailing insight into the human psyche in the presence of "risk" and the many ways this can be interpreted. From start to finish, Wunrow has done a wonderful job writing and compiling this book. It will make an impression and spur you to thought. I highly recommend this book to anyone, not just those who risk their lives by pursuing extreme adventure or action sports, but to anyone who steps out into this world and takes any risk, no matter how small.


- Bri Bruce, Publisher and Author of The Weight of Snow

A Wonderful Book!

A wonderful book. Adventure Inward does a great job of explaining many existential issues concerning life, death, and one's purpose. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who like extreme sports and also to anyone interesting in contemplating life's mysteries.

-Avery Griffin, Author of The Demon Rolmar

Pico da Neblina, Brazil - The next country high point

Our next country high point climb will be Pico da Neblina, hopefully in August/September, 2013.  My son Seth and I attempted Pico da Neblina in August, 2012, but we were turned back by ICMBio and FUNAI, two Brazilian federal bureaucracies who have severely restricted access to the mountain.

Chimborazo, Ecuador - 20,561'

My climbing buddy Anthony Melov and I just returned from climbing Chimborazo, the highest peak in Ecuador.  Summit day was a ball-buster!  For those of you who know about climbing Ecuador's volcanoes, they are typically summited in the dark.  On Chimbo, due to the soft snow and rock fall that daytime sunlight brings, we left for the summit at 11pm and climbed by headlamp for eight hours.

We also headed to Ojos del Salado, the highest peak in Chile for a summit attempt, but unfortunately, due to car troubles (long story), we ran out of time to reach the summit. We approached Ojos from the Argentina side which include a 4 hour 4WD ride to the 13,000 mule camp, and then an 18 mile hike to Agua de la Vicuna at 16,500.  It's a long long approach to climb Ojos from the Argentina side.  We came up about 3-4 days short.