The Push: The latest 85086 Book Club read reaches great heights
The latest 85086 Book Club read reaches great heights.
By Kristine Abrams
When starting something (anything), and you’ve heard a lot of good things, and you’re expecting to enjoy it, you can’t help but hold it to a higher standard than had you gone into it “blind.” That being said, and that being the case here, I actually liked The Push: A Climber’s Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits more than I thought I would. Yes, I love a memoir, especially one that centers on overcoming hardships or obstacles. More importantly, I love seeing the different ways people come out the other side, or in this particular situation, come to the summit of a rock wall.
The Push: A Climber’s Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits by Tommy Caldwell is not only about climbing. True, Caldwell fully describes and embraces his seven-year journey to free climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite’s El Capitan. (The Dawn Wall is El Capitan’s biggest, steepest, blankest face.) The Push is so much more though. Tommy goes into detail about his childhood, his relationship with his parents, his teenage years, and ultimately finding himself as a climber and a man.
There were considerable setbacks throughout his life: being held hostage, the loss of a finger, a divorce… However, he doesn’t dwell on them––in life or in the book. Instead, he explains how they changed him, taught him, and pushed him. There were definite highpoints, too (besides the one where El Cap towers about 3,000 feet above the ground). Tommy truly triumphs many times throughout the events in the book: he becomes a renowned climber, a father, a world traveler… And he describes these experiences, but not in a flashy, pompous way. Instead, in a very matter-of-fact and appreciative way. It’s refreshing, even endearing at times. He sets the perfect tone and makes you want to keep reading and definitely keep rooting for him.
Also, no worries if you aren’t extremely familiar with climbing, as it’s not a “climbing book” per se. It’s mostly a book about life and challenging yourself. When it gets to the more technical climbing parts, Tommy does a great job helping you understand the terms, the concepts, and even the mood of the sport. It really is a well-written, moving story and Tommy Caldwell now has a new Instagram follower! I highly recommend this book.
Next, a debut novel by a local author. Just a Shelter Dog, by Anthem resident Sally H. Cronk, is told from Singer’s perspective. Singer is an intuitive hound dog who was born and raised in a shelter and reads minds. Then, rumor is, Singer meets an autistic boy and miracles happen. Won’t you read with me? And next month, as our incredible local authors always kindly do, Sally will answer a few questions for us.
Happy Reading, 85086!
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