A Life In Books: Jon Krakauer – Newsweek


It isn’t libelous to say that Jon Krakauer likes to get high. Before he was anacclaimed journalist, he was a revered rock climber, having challenged peaks like Mount Everest. Here are the books he revisits most often when he’s closer to sea level.

The Dead Father” by Donald Barthelme. A breathtakingly original meditation on the volatile bond between fathers and sons.

Against Love” by Laura Kipnis. A provocative deconstruction of modern marriage presented with magnificent wit.

House” by Tracy Kidder. The exquisitely written account of building a home. It made me yearn to become an accomplished writer.

The Journalist and the Murderer” by Janet Malcolm. An exceedingly unflattering look at journalism’s underbelly.

For the Time Being” by Annie Dillard. The most engaging book I’ve encountered about the nature of evil and other great mysteries.

A Certified Important book you still haven’t read:

Principia Mathematica” by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell. I bet fewer than 5 percent of the people who claim to have read this actually have.

A classic that, upon rereading, disappointed:

In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. After I learned of his boast that he wrote all the dialogue from memory, much of it struck me as having been invented.

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