Night Driving

Invention of the Wheel and Other Blues.

Dick Dorworth's newly released memoir Night Driving: Invention of the Wheel and Other Blues (First Ascent Press, $25) is a colorful chronicle of exploration and adventure during socially and politically tumultuous times. This world-renowned skier and climber compiled his stories and musings in the signature beat style that has become the hallmark of his news and magazine writing over the years. Dorworth’s essays and articles have appeared in Ski, Skiing, Backpacker, Men’s Journal, and the Idaho Mountain Express, where he is a reporter and columnist.

From his inadvertent discovery of a vegetarian lifestyle to musings about Mother Theresa’s work in Calcutta, Dorworth runs the gamut. Night Driving is full of layered irony, earthy humor, and deft turns of phrase especially evident in his nature-turns-the-tables story of an encounter with a trickster coyote. Whether recalling a memorable climb, a guiding experience gone bad, or a time of rest with good companions, all along the way Dorworth wrestles frankly with environmental, political, and social issues. If his prose were photography, he’d be a master of light, which, of course, requires equal mastery of shadow and depth. This one is a must for the winter reading list.