I just finished a book titled Shaded By Stone by Ari Schneider. As the title implies, it’s a book about climbing. It was a very enjoyable book, both for its short, manageable chapters and for its soul-searching questions mixed with adventures galore. I really like this book for several reasons, and I’ll be re-reading it immediately when I get done with this post. This book came out on Amazon on 12 Feb 2019 and is well worth getting and giving a read. It is comparable to Al Alvarez’s Feeding the Rat in terms of its readability, page-turning drive, and ability to get one absolutely psyched to go send your dream climb right this minute!
One reason I like this book is beause it’s an honest confession of the author’s deep thoughts and struggles with why climbers climb, alcohol’s grip on his life, societal expectations, and what happiness really is. This book, if you allow it to, will take you to the depths of your own motives in life and will make you examine every one of them, dissecting them to the core and laying open every aspect of yourself to see clearly. If you stop and answer the questions posed in this book for yourself, you will know yourself a lot better, and be better off for it.
Another reason I like this book is that it is a portrait of a climber (a complex one, as we all are) and various other climbers in short, vignette-style chapters that are easy to read and well-written. I have trouble focusing for long periods of time and I appreciate the style in which this book is written. It is efficient in its prose, and effective at the same time. I don’t feel rushed to finish a chapter, but I do feel the need to turn the page and continue reading, which is the perfect balance in a book as far as I’m concerned. A page-turner, it truly is, and I like that in a book with shorter chapters that I can manage. It’s one that I can carry around and pull out during a short wait in a doctor’s office or while waiting for someone to run in and grab lunch for us at the deli as long as I have a scrap of paper to mark where I leave off with, even though I don’t necessarily want to leave off anywhere!
Give it a read and let me know what you think if you’re at all interested in climbing or are a climber yourself. This is a quick read if you have a lot of time on your hands, and provides a welcome relief to the monotony of your day if you only have a 10-minute break from your office job or other stuffy, suffocating day job. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to live the life you want, you’ll be able to appreciate this book as well. This book is a keeper! Buy two copies while you’re at it!