Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Reading Journal: A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson (1997)
From Georgia to Maine runs the Appalachian Trail, 2,200 miles of hiking path in various states of repair, depending which state you're in. And chronicling the variations along the trail is our intrepid walker, Bill Bryson, who tells of the natural beauty (or decay), kind people (or complete morons), wonderful conservationists (or land rapers) he encounters on his journey. For a trail that's been protected since early in the 20th Century, a staggeringly small number of people currently use it, and even fewer have done the whole thing. Bryson writes incredibly humourously about shopping for gear, learning to pack, relearning to walk - did you know that the average American walks way less than one mile a day? - and, of course, bears. An enchanting book laden with research that, admittedly, sags a little in its third quarter, but that is on the whole a Ciceran triumph, perfectly balancing the two needs, to teach and to delight.