Monday, November 26, 2018

Alone on the Wall

36531127Something you all probably don't know about me from reading my book reviews (and why would you?) is that I love to rock climb. I'm a very outdoorsy person who enjoys hiking and climbing (not too tall) rock faces. That is why when I saw that Alex Honnold's book, which I hadn't read, was coming out in a new edition that featured three extra chapters on his free-solo of El Cap, I knew I had to get it! I ordered it quite some time ago but just finished it today during naptime. Here's the synopsis:

On June 3rd, 2017, Alex Honnold became the first person to free solo Yosemite's El Capitan—to scale the wall without rope, a partner, or any protective gear—completing what was described as "the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport" (National Geographic) and "one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever" (New York Times). Already one of the most famous adventure athletes in the world, Honnold has now been hailed as "the greatest climber of all time" (Vertical magazine).

Alone on the Wall recounts the most astonishing achievements of Honnold’s extraordinary life and career, brimming with lessons on living fearlessly, taking risks, and maintaining focus even in the face of extreme danger. Now Honnold tells, for the first time and in his own words, the story of his 3 hours and 56 minutes on the sheer face of El Cap, which Outside called "the moon landing of free soloing…a generation-defining climb. Bad ass and beyond words…one of the pinnacle sporting moments of all time."

For those other lovers of rock climbing, this book is a must read! However, for readers who enjoy stories of adventure and uncertainty paired with detailed moments of heart-stopping fear, this book is also for you. Alone on the Wall shares detailed stories of many of Honnold's escapades with readers. He's climbed all over the world, literally. From Patagonia to Europe to Africa. The stories that accompany these climbs are intense and, as my husband says, make your palms sweat just reading it. Though I didn't feel any sweaty palms while reading, I definitely had to keep telling myself that Alex Honnold is still alive. Important information to know is that the type of climbing he does, free soloing, is climbing without ANY protective gear. That is NOT the type of climbing that I enjoy. I go for toprope and sport any day, but even thinking about free soloing something that means life or death with each movement is not for me. Reading about it though... now that's something I can get behind.

The book spans several years of Honnold's climbing adventures and even throws in a bit of a love story. One thing that bothered me a little bit was that, at some points, Honnold seems so arrogant it's nearly annoying. However, everyone that makes a quote in the book mentions that he's so down to earth. I can't really imagine that as I struggle with these two conflicting mental images. I'll have to take everyone's word for it as they know him and I, obviously, do not.

Regardless, this collection of adventures is definitely a book that rock climbers and non-climbers will enjoy. It's absolutely mind-blowing to imagine that someone has accomplished all of these fantastic feats. And the descriptions are so detailed that you can even picture yourself there, not that all readers would want to (too scary!). And, if you want to be able to actually see it (at least the climb of El Cap) --- you can! They made a movie during his climb, which is on my to-see list. Though, watch at your own risk, I've heard it's the most intense climbing movie so far.

Rating: 4/5 Cups 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Stalking Jack the Ripper

40727470Hello all! It's been quite some time since I posted anything. Between a new job and a newborn baby, my plate has been overflowing. But, I finally finished reading a book! And it was wonderful. This book was given to me by one of my best friends and I started it nearly six weeks ago. Somehow, between feedings, naps, and late nights, I finally completed Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.

Here's the synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

This historical fiction/mystery crime novel was very entertaining. Though I didn't have the time to become completely enthralled, I feel like if given the proper attention, then this book could consume a reader's entire day (or night).

I really enjoy historical fiction so I also enjoyed Maniscalco's interpretation of Jack's reign of terror. She combined some interesting scientific advancements and trials of the time to add to the plot. The characters were also intriguing. I liked Audrey Rose's resistance to the typical stereotype associated with the late 1800s woman. She fought against the poufy skirts by studying science, specifically forensic science. The love interest, Thomas, who is a suspect at one point, was also intriguing. He seemed like a dark and twisty kind of guy but turned out to be a sweetheart with a scarred past. Just the way we romance readers like 'em! *wink wink*

It was also very satisfying to be right about the identity of Jack the Ripper, though the blurb "I was the girl who loved Jack the Ripper" kind of limits the suspect list.

I do recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction and young adult novels. However, I feel I must add that this book has some gruesome descriptions along with a couple creepy photographs! (Add a dark and stormy night to induce chills.)

Rating: 4/5 Cups

(Can't believe I got this whole thing written while my little one sleeps! Maybe I should change the name of the blog to A Mom Who Reads so the interruptions are already implied! haha! Happy reading!) 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Summer Vacation


The Coffee Pot Review has been on summer vacation with so much happening in the last couple of months! (Including finishing up grad school!) Reviews and such should be getting back to normal this fall. Can't wait to dive back into all my reading lists.

Hope everyone had a great summer of reading! 


Thursday, June 21, 2018

What's Next, Wednesday (109)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to... 

She Dreams in Color by Jessica Calla. This is the fourth (and probably final) book in the Sheridan Hall series and I cannot wait to read it! I've been reading this series since the beginning and Calla has self-published the last book and it's FREE! Can you believe it?! So I'm downloading it and adding it to my reading list. Can't wait to dig into this one with the friends of Sheridan Hall.