Posts Tagged With: hiking
I love hiking and that passion first began with a trail, not just any trail but a 2100 mile long trail that stretch from Georgia to Maine…that’s right, folks, the Appalachian Trail (or the AT). My very first backpacking trip was when I was 12 and we hiked in to Trail Days (a huge festival that revolves around the AT, it’s held in Damascus, VA every year). There I fell in love with backpacking, the AT and thru hikers…and I swore that one day, when I grew up I’d be a thru hiker. Sadly, that day hasn’t come yet, but…I still hold out hope that it will.
Since it’s been 15 plus years since that first encounter, I’ve read many, many books about thru hiking (yes, including Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods) and after a while they just kind of start to blend together…almost seems like all thru hikers kinda have that same few experiences and decide to write a book about their life changing experiences. I’m not saying that it’s not life changing to thru hike, I’m sure it is, but considering thousands of people do it (or at least attempt to) every year it just doesn’t seem that special anymore…at least not special enough to write a book about. But…every once in a while a book comes out about the AT that is truly different, truly unique…and Becoming Odyssa is truly one of those books.
I love Jennifer’s candor…her struggles that she faces. The fact that she doesn’t for one moment attempt to “prove” what an experienced backpacker she is…in fact, she isn’t, and that is part of the fun! Plus, most of her stories are unique…she doesn’t talk about getting blisters from wearing brand new boots, she doesn’t just decide to hike and then do it. She researches, she actually tries to guarantee that she’ll do good…yet, mishaps happen, and there’s not much you can do to prepare for them…like her eyelashes freezing shut or the dead body she finds…how exactly are you suppose to prepare for that?
Her writing style is relaxed…it’s fun, laid back, kinda like you’re just two friends kicked back around a campfire sharing stories…and that is what makes this such an incredible book…it’s also what will make you itch to ditch everything and go hiking, or was that just me?
And the best part about reading this book? Is where she claims she’d never have a desire to hike the AT again…so funny considering that she has now done it 3 times. The first time as a regular thru hiker (and the story she tells in this book), the second time she set the women’s record for fastest thru hike, and the third time she set the overall record for fastest thru hike…and the first woman to hold such honor.
I saw her speak a few years ago and she is as fascinating as a speaker as she is a writer, so if you ever get a chance to see her speak you totally should!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers from all around create lists based on the chosen topics, and post links to the host blog to share our love of books. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’d Recommend As Good Beach Reads. Now…this is kinda hard considering I hate the beach, I mean the sun and the sand and the salt…I just don’t understand the appeal…however, “beach reads”…those mindless novels that flourish during summer’s lazy months…that I can understand! So here goes my top ten books I’d recommend for lazy summer afternoons.
- Harry Potter: Really, do you need a reason to reread these? These are great summer reads cause they are rereads and the skill level is low plus you know they’re addictive (so make sure you pause long enough to add on extra sunblock)
- Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Pharr Davis: I just recently finished this book and LOVED it! If you like adventure, camping, hiking, backpacking, the outdoors or just funny stories then this is an excellent book. Just be forewarned…it’ll make you want to pack your bags and hit the AT.
- The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: A wonderful series, great reads that will keep your butt stuck to that beach towel (or hammock). Easy reads but amazingly complex story lines about an adult wizard (ironically, named Harry). Think of this as the grown up, R-rated Harry Potter.
- Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss: ‘Cause am I right…did not every single high school senior receive that for graduation? So before you rush off to college sit down and read this inspiring little book and give your life a little thought. And for those of us that have been out of school for a while, we could always use a refresher.
- Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson (and some other people): Short chapters make for quick reads and the good girls always win!
- A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson: A woman’s journey to rediscover her self after her marriage has gone cold….she runs off to live in a little cottage by the sea (where else?) to figure out if her marriage is what she wants, and to figure out who she is after having raised her children to adulthood. A wonderful discovering yourself book for those of us who aren’t 17.
- Marching through Georgia: My Walk along Sherman’s Route by Jerry Ellis: Filled with ghost, adventure and history, what more could a novel have? Oh yeah, and lots humor! Another book that will make you want to shrug off your responsibilities and hit the trails.
- Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods by Julia Butterfly Hill: A book that’ll make you want to shrug off your responsibilities and go live in a tree.
- The Bridges Of Madison County: ‘Cause really, what’s a beach read list without a romance? Even if it does include adultery and doesn’t end the way you want it too.
- Hiking Virginia by Bill and Mary Burnham: To help you plan all those hikes you’re going to want to take after reading the other books on this list.
What’s your favorite summer read?