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.