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What's new this month? July 2017

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The wait is nearly over. Later this month Voytek Kurtyka’s much-anticipated biography, Art of Freedom, and The Magician’s Glass, Ed Douglas’s collection of eight climbing essays, will be ready for your bookshelves. Limited edition, numbered, signed copies of both books will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis, with standard, unsigned editions also available in late July. Read on for details about each book and a brand-new walking guide that we’re releasing this summer.

Art of Freedom: The life and climbs of Voytek Kurtyka by Bernadette McDonald

What’s it about? Art of Freedom is a profound and moving profile of one of the international climbing world’s most respected, complex and reclusive mountaineers.

What publishing manager John Coefield thinks … A few years ago, Bernadette let on that she was working on a new book, and its subject was quite a coup. VK. No kidding. I remember reading Freedom Climbers; I came away with a great picture of many of the main characters, yet I was left thinking I'd really like to know a bit more about Voytek Kurtyka – the paradox with enigmas being that you surely can't know anything or more about them. Project VK finally became a reality, thanks to Rocky Mountain Books in Canada, and to be able to release an edition of such an internationally significant book this summer is incredibly exciting. When you consider that Voytek Kurtyka operated in an era when his peers were trying to climb the biggest things, it's fascinating to read about some of mountaineering's most stylish and pure climbs – the West Face of Gasherbrum IV, for example. It's not what you do; it's how you do it. All credit to Bernadette for making this book a reality. 

Perfect for … Anybody with an interest the golden age of Polish climbing or anyone who’d like to find out more about the exceedingly private individual behind some of the greatest alpine ascents of all time.
The Magician’s Glass by Ed Douglas

What’s it about? The Magician’s Glass by award-winning writer Ed Douglas is a collection of eight recent essays on some of the biggest stories and best-known personalities in the world of climbing.

What publishing manager John Coefield thinks … Like most people, my interest is naturally aroused by the whiff of controversy, and climbing has had – and continues to have – its fair share of bullshitters. In no other activity (sport?) could you claim to have done something significant without presenting categorical proof. Just imagine: 'Hey Dave, I just ran a sub-9.5-second 100 metres.' No you didn't. Cesare Maestri's first ascent of Cerro Torre with Toni Egger in 1959 had no substantive evidence and it took half a century for the claim to be debunked. But Toni Egger died out there in 1959, and the how, why, where and when of that matters too. Stories like this are bigger than climbing and demand a writer as skilful as Ed Douglas to really get to grips with them. But it's not all controversy in The Magician's Glass; Ed's portraits of legends like Kurt Albert and Patrick Edlinger celebrate the personalities that make the climbing world so intriguing. 

Perfect for … Anyone after a fresh take on some of the climbing world’s most daring feats and disputed ascents by its most famous characters.

Day Walks in Devon

What’s it about? Day Walks in Devon features 20 circular routes, between 8.8 and 17.6 miles (14.1km and 28.3km), suitable for hillwalkers of all abilities. The routes are split into five geographical areas: North Devon and Exmoor, Torridge and West Devon, Mid and East Devon, Dartmoor, and South Devon and the South Hams.

What we think: Authors Jen and Sim Benson have put together some of their favourite routes from the region in this easy-to-use guidebook showcasing their stunning local National Trails and the wild places of Dartmoor.

Perfect for … Hillwalkers of any ability.

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