Monday, May 9

A Long Long Long Walk

While I was in London, UK I wandered in and out of delicious antiquarian bookstores by the dozen.  The best street for old books, creepy floored bookstores, dusty shelves and true collectors and ravagers of the written word is Charing Cross Road, at least if people keep shopping at these independent stores.  As I toured the shelves and softly stepped on the floors I kept seeing books by Bill Bryson, in the travel section, and loads of them.  Well, I am now in Winnipeg and I finally picked up on of these non-antiquarian books and will be reading many, many more of them.

A Walk In The Woods

Upon moving to New Hampshire, USA after living in the UK for twenty years, Bill Bryson and his family begin to settle into their New England environment.  Bryson learns of a walking trail that traverses thirteen states from Georgia in the south to Maine in the north, the Appalachian Trail (AT).  The U.S. National Park Service believes the trail is just over 2,000 miles but is not sure, thus begins the hilarity that is Bryson's AT experience.  Intermingling an incredible ability to present a series of interesting facts, with witty quips, and laugh-out-loud stories of he and his walking partner Stephen Katz, Bryson just made me want to keep reading more.  I did.  Finished the book in three days along with 7 meetings.  Was thinking about the adventures along the AT during a good portion of these meetings, sign of a good book.  With the fear of wild animals, scrambles that cause their bodies to ache, strange meetings with backcountry people, historical lessons about small desolate towns, the destruction of the eastern forests, deaths on the trail, hypothermia, descriptions of art, geological history lessons, and water always falling at the wrong times, it is evident that Bryson is an accomplished and entertaining author.  In the process of walking AT Bryson finds himself in a liminal world, between the silent soft forest and the rushing loudness of concrete progress.  Caught, he tries to continue his quest towards the end of the book only to find what was once found and lost is best left laid down.

From Bill Bryson's website

Bill and his family have returned to living in the UK and he has begun to support the CPRE, helping to save rural England.  I shall be reading more Bill Bryson soon.         

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