Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

I finally was organized enough to make it to the library book club. This month we read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. In it, Bryson chronicles his adventures on the Appalachian Trail.

Overall, I found this enjoyable. There were many very funny, light hearted moments like when his hiking companion suggests that instead of using backpacks for the second part of their trip, they use newspaper delivery bags. He says have you ever seen a newspaper delivery boy with a hernia?!

There’s a lot of interesting information about the history of the trail, environmental damage such as chestnuts dying off due invasive species and the communities near the trail.

He goes to one coal mining community that had to be evacuated because the coal underground started burning. Highways crack because of the fire. Apparently coal fires can burn for years.

There was also some neat facts about nearby Mount Washington (NH) – it gets 246 inches of snow every year, snowpeaks of 20 feet. According to Bryson, one storm in 1969 dumped 98 inches (8 feet) on the summit in three days.

In the end, Bryson doesn’t hike the entire trail. I did find that a little disappointing and felt the end was anticlimactic with Bryson and his friend bailing before they finished hiking the Maine portion.

Overall, an interesting at times hysterical read.

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