One of the best books I have read on the pursuit of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, is George Mallory’s Climbing Everest. George was possibly the first man to summit Everest (nobody knows whether he did it), almost 30 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay began their ascent.
It was during his third expedition to the Everest that he lost his life, last seen about 800 feet from the summit.
Anyways, all his writings on climbing are collected in Climbing Everest, which started out as letters to his wife Ruth. One of my favourite parts from the book is when George shared his response to one question asked by a journalist about why he would risk his life to attempt to reach the Everest.