Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
This is another one of B's books. It's the story of of the tragedy in 1996 when one unfortunate storm and several avoidable errors left many people dead, including two expedition leaders. This was the story that sparked B's interest in Mt. Everest, when he watched the Frontline episode about it. But with so many people in different places and so many people unable to tell their stories (because they're dead), it was hard to understand all the logistics. Luckily, this reporter was there and did some diligent work interviewing and piecing the events together. It reminded me of Bill Bryson's A Walk In the Woods (but without the humor), the way he fills in the background information to provide perspective. It's a compelling and exciting story that I read most of on the plane, and then finished here in LA.