What Ed Viesturs Is Reading Right Now

Four books that come highly recommended from one of America's most prolific mountaineers

Ed Viesturs near the South Col of Everest at 26,000'. (Courtesy Eddie Bauer/Jake Norton)
Photo: Courtesy Eddie Bauer/Jake Norton Ed Viesturs

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Among professional winter athletes, you would be hard-pressed to find someone with a more impressive résumé than Ed Viesturs. The Indiana native is the only American to have climbed all 14 of the world’s 26,000-foot-plus peaks—including summiting Mount Everest seven times. To make matters more impressive, he climbed all 14 peaks without the use of supplemental oxygen, making him the fifth person in the world to do so. Here are four books the mountaineer thinks you should check out.

Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari

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(Courtesy Harper Perennial)

“I’m currently reading this. I was given Homo Deus [the author’s previous book], which I read, and then felt compelled to read Sapiens. Such an amazing history of the development of mankind.”

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The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf

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(Courtesy Vintage)

“This was a gift from a great friend. Unbeknownst to me, the concept of what nature is had to be invented by someone. It’s a very interesting read.”

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Alone on the Wall, by Alex Honnold

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(Courtesy W.W. Norton & Company)

“After seeing Free Solo, I wanted to learn more about Alex Honnold. My friend and coauthor of my four books, David Roberts, wrote this with Alex, and I love whatever David writes.”

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The Colosseum, by Keith Hopkins and Mary Beard

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(Courtesy Harvard University Press)

“I recently toured this amazing structure with my family, and afterward I wanted to learn more about its history, construction, use, and eventual demise. This book tells the entire history. I’m always blown away when I see and touch something so massive and complicated that was constructed almost 2,000 years ago.”

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