The 2011 One Book One Valley choice is Following Atticus by Tom Ryan. Amazon’s description of this charming book is as follows: “Middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan and miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. In a rare test of endurance, Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home. . . .
At the heart of this remarkable journey is an extraordinary relationship that blurs the line between man and dog, an indelible bond that began when Tom, following the advice of Atticus’s breeder, carried the pup wherever he went for the first month of their life together. Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation: how a five-pound puppy pierced the heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman, opening his eyes to the world’s beauty and its possibilities. It was a change that led to a new life among the mountains; an unforgettable saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family; and an inspiring tale of finding love and discovering your true self. ”
Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship is many things, but mostly it’s a love letter to our own White Mountains. Tom Ryan came to both dogs and hiking late. But late is always better than never and he has more than made up for it. For two winters in a row, he and Atticus attempted to climb the 4000 footers each twice, in an attempt to raise money for various causes. His hiking exploits are all chronicled in the book and, as mentioned before, the White Mountains never looked better. But this book is more than a hiking journal – it’s about the deepening relationship between Tom and Atticus, something most pet lovers can understand. And it’s about finding your place in the world, doing what you love doing. Of course, there is hardship to overcome and obstacles in the way, but Tom and Atticus find their way through, strengthening their amazing bond along the way.” ~Laura Lucy
Following Atticus will be published on September 21st, and and available to readers soon thereafter. Take a look at One Book One Valley‘s schedule of programs and book discussions during the fall and culminating in the author’s presentation on November . And the trailer is worth watching too.