Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

Over the years I have read many of Bill Bryson’s books.  He is the reason I have added the “Travel Book” genre to the list of my favorites.  There is a section in this book that tells a story of one night on the Appalachian Trail when Mr. Bryson thought there was a bear outside of his tent.  The scene is soooo funny that the first time I read it, it literally made me pee my pants.  He has a very humorous way of observing the absurdities of life around us.  On my second reading (this time) of this book, I looked beyond the humor and found a lyrical writer.  Some of his descriptions of the nature around him transported me to his surroundings and I could visualize the panorama through his words.  He also tells snippets of history that thoroughly interesting and entertaining. 

 4 Stars (Rated – PG for infrequent “frat-boy” talk)

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