The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is underway! But unfortunately I’m not reporting from there. Instead I am in flat and un-glamorous Peaklessburg. That doesn’t stop me from getting in on the mountain book action though.
First off, I’m excited that the Banff Mountain Book Competition will be giving the grand prize to Bernadette McDonald for her book Freedom Climbers (Rocky Mountain Books, Canada , 2011.) McDonald will receive the $2,000 CA grand prize and read from her work at the presentation on Thursday evening. This is great — if for no other reason than because it celebrates the hardiness of mountaineering in the Polish tradition. As an American that had the Walia Christmas Eve traditions as an anchor to my Polish heritage, and something in common with all Catholic Poles, I’m always interested and take pride in what the Poles do in the hills anywhere. Plus, the stories of the Poles in the Himalayas always make those Polish jokes from when I was a school kid seem laughably naive. I have not read McDonald’s work yet, but I have to now!
Next off, there were a lot of other books nominated in this competition and only a handful became finalists. Even fewer, I’m sure, have you heard about. But if you enjoy this blog and mountaineering literature, you would probably enjoy many of them.
As you know, I am very supportive of mountain nonfiction, particularly stories of accomplishments in climbing, mountaineering history and climbing and hiking guidebooks. I also believe the authors need our support by buying the books new, reviewing them and recommending them whenever possible. This genre is a small corner among sports, travel and cultural writings. The authors rely on us as a loyal audience so they can climb and write again.
This is the idea behind the program
Suburban Mountaineers for Authors. What I’ll be doing for the next several months is promoting some less popular but no less valuable mountain nonfiction. To start out, I’ll be going through some of works from the larger publishing houses’ books and feature their authors.
After we go through some of the select works from possibly The Mountaineers Books, Sharp End Publishing and others, we’ll turn exclusively to individual works, regardless of publisher. If you want to contribute a review, I would love to post your work as a guest on The Suburban Mountaineer!