Friday, October 2, 2015

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

My post-college, pre-children life was as an environmental educator -- working at camps, nature centers, and such. The kinds of people I worked with were kind of stereotypical for that field :) and many of them had a life goal of hiking the "AT". Myself, I had no such aspirations -- I knew that if I were to attempt something like that (besides the incredible cost of time and money) I would be too focused on the hiking itself, going going going -- and not able to enjoy the actual experience. In those days hiking the AT was a topic of many discussions and conversations.

Now, many years later, reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, I am reminded of those days and wonder if any of those coworkers with lofty goals ever succeeded.

The book A Walk in the Woods is the author's recounting of his walking of the Appalachian Trail. His attempt, that is. Or attempts? At any rate, he's a regular guy, hiking along with another regular guy (not as in shape as himself) with the goal of completing the hike from Georgia to Maine. He talks about equipment, the hiking itself, the people, his new experiences, the weather, etc.

The book is very well written -- interesting to say the least (laugh-out-loud funny at many times!!) and is enjoyable to read. The first half of the book/first half of the hike -- was exciting and interesting. The second half (****spoiler****** he does in day segments and a last push, but does not complete the trail) is not quite so compelling a read. But at that point you're into the book and want to finish it anyhow. It's filled with political and historical commentary and even though some may disagree with some of his points or stands on topics, it's still an interesting read.

SO -- would I recommend the book? Yes, certainly. There is a bit of swearing (overlook that maybe?) which will keep me from recommending it to my kids, but it is a very interesting read.

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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