Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson


Read for CLPL Real World Reads Non-Fiction Book Club for June 2013.  

     This was a funny book about trying to "thru-hike" the Appalachian Trail (AT) from Georgia to Maine.  It slows down a little bit about halfway through the book when the author has to take a break because of other previous obligations, but picks back up toward the end.  When he tries to just section hike small bits and pieces of the trail on day-hikes by himself it is not as steady a pace or as funny as when he is sincerely hiking it with his friend in earlier portions of the book.  It was a nice summer read and was absolutely hilarious in the beginning, filled with factoids about the AT and the environment throughout, and it was also a pretty quick read.
     Some of the funniest moments are with his old friend and hiking partner Katz, who tends to whip things off the cliff when he gets frustrated with the weight of his pack, including seemingly weightless items like coffee filters just for the sheer joy of watching them flutter in the wind because he is so frustrated.  The author also has some pretty choice things to say about bears, maintaining the trails, and young hikers wearing suede boots and only wanting to party.  At times Bryson paints a pretty bleak picture of conservation efforts, including a few crazy things like a town in PA burning for decades because of a spark set to some anthracite coal.  I definitely recommend it as a good laugh and as informative at the same time!

And so it goes...
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