If I can describe wild in a couple of words, I would say its a diary of a long distance hiker. In wild, cheryl Strayed narrates her hike on the PCT from the day she started preparing for it till she reaches her destination.
Cheryl Strayed's mother died of cancer when she was 21. She never got over it and couldn't just move on. She was then on a mission to destroy herself starting from commiting adultry to heroine. She then decided that she had to stop that and start somewhere. And so came the decision to hike the PCT. And to hike it alone. She was poorly prepared for it although hiking the PCT takes several months! But going through the hardships of the hike made her stronger and got her to accept her mother's death.
But her past life and the reason she hiked the PCT are just glimpses in the book and it is mainly a memoire of her journey on the PCT. She describes the hardships she encountered there, the people she met, how she went through each day and survived it. Wild is a good description of long distantance hikes, the prepations for it and how it is done; starting from using the water purifier to sending yourself boxes at every stop to supply yourself.
The hike was tough and challenging. I admire her for not quitting in the middle as a lot of people do that. And I admire her more for doing it alone. She even stayed alone when she could have accompanied other hikers (but she needed the solitude)
The hardships she went through on the hike, the struggle to stay alive each day is what made her accept what she's done to her life and to other people. It made her feel strong enough to move one. To accept life and become prepared for it.
Through out wild She is brutally and hilariously honest in everything she says! She tells about her one night stands and everything that came to her mind then.
Reading wild makes me want to go on a long distance hike!
The book is light and enjoyable. It's a good read if you are looking for something fun. I gave it three starts as there is no message in it, there is nothing that provokes your thinking, it doesn't serve a bigger purpose. Nothing philosophical in it. It's a good book but it's not literature. And that's why I gave it a three starts and not a four.
At first I was hesitant to buy this book as I have read several self help books like Today Matters, Awaken the Giant Within, etc. And I just didnt want to buy another one as after a couple of books the information in them starts getting repetitive and the truth is if you actually do what is in one book it will be more than enough. The only problem is that we read a lot and do not persist in doing what we learned form the book...or at least thats the case for me.
But I bough this book anyway as it seemed different and the reviews on it were good. It was worth it.
In the book, the author talks about habits and how to create new ones and stick to them. He doesn't tell you do this and that to be more productive, rather he tells you how to craete habits and then start doing them naturally without effort or thinking...whatever that habit is. He provides scientific evidence that when an act becomes a habit, your brain does less work to do it!
He says for a certain action to become a habit, there are three things:
1. A cue that triggers the action
2. Repetition: You have to repeat the action everytime the cue happens
3. Reward: A reward at the end
And so to change the bad habits that you have, you will not ignore the cue that drove you to that old habit but rather you will act diffrently. In other words, you will satisfy your craving in another way as ignoring it will only solve the problem temporarily and after a while you will go back to your old habits again.
And so you will keep the cue and the reward but change the routine in the middle....but first you need to see what you were really craving. Was it really that chocolate bar you were craving or were you bored at work and wanted a distraction? If it was boredom, then go and socialize instead. Like this you didn't ignore the cue (boredom) or the reward (getting out of boredom) but you simple replaced the bad habit(chocolate) with a good one (socializing).
But he then states that usually people create habits and stick to them until a crisis or pressure comes. At that moment, people usually go back to their old habits mainly because they do not believe in the new system or the new habit. And that adds the fourth element of creating a habit which is belief - belief in the habit and in something bigger - like God. Believing that there is a God or that there is a higher power that will take you through this hard times is essential to keep you going on and not falling back. This will be specially usefull in bad habits like drinking.
He then states that people usually try to change everything at once and thus do that for a little while and then get overwhelmed and return back to all their old habits.
And so to stick to a habit and change your life, you need to select a key stone habit. A key stone habit is a habit that when you change it, all other habits will automatically change. For example, if you write a daily food journal - just writing what you eat, you have not decided to eat less or anything else - just writing what you eat down will eventually make you watch what you eat and change it. Consequently, by just focusing on this one habit you encourged other habits. However, you will not be overwhelmed by a sudden lot of change.
He then talks about grit - which is to keep walking towards your goal for years inspite of challenges and obstacles, and regardless of how long it takes you to achieve it. He says that will power and self discipline are the most important factors for success - not IQ or anything else. That will power is a habit too. That it is a muscle that can be excercised, that when you have will power you start to change how you think. That you have to practice focusing on goals, writing plans and identifying simple cues and obvious rewards. For example, you should write a plan on how one would act in a specific situation. Specifically what you would do when things go wrong or get tough.
He also talks about crisis and how people are more open to change during crisis and that this will be a good opportunity to change social habits.
As for the ingredients for social habits:
2. Peer pressure
3. Must be self prepelling. People have to be participants and not followers
He talks a lot more about social habits but that is just a summary
To sum up he says that to create new habits and to change you have to:
1. Decide to work hard. As it a lot of hard work and will not come easily.
2. Identify cue and reward
3. One has to have self control and be self conscious
That habits are what you choose them to be. That they are the unthinking choices that we make everyday. By making them visible we can change them.
Also, he backs up all this by providing examples and scientific evidence.
I bought this book because it's a classic and because of its reviews but until now I can't see why it took those high rates!
First of all, the book is boring. Really boring. In it, Billy Pilgrim gets unstuck in time and keeps moving back and forth between time periods. So he would be in a time period and you would be living with him his life then, but suddenly he would move to another time period. That should be interesting or at least make you eager to get back to the first time period to know the rest of the story. But the incidents of each time period are so boring and in-captivating that you really don't care to know what happened afterwards!
Second, the book is supposed to be the best book against war because it shows how Billy Pilgrim was inadequate to go to war but went there nevertheless and thus you see how war is unjust and wrong. And yes, Billy Pilgrim is inadequate to be a soldier but he is not inadequate in a way that makes you sympathize with him but rather you are repulsed by him. Most of the time, you want to scream at him and say man up or something of that sort.
I advise you to save the credit for a better book!
This is not a story of a happy marriage but rather a real life story of fear, disappointments and seeking love.
The author is very honest and tells her real life story by narrating her family history, doubts and her different relationships. Even though my life and family history are totally different from hers, she still made me relate and empathize with her.
She tells us about what she learned from each relationship and how each one changed her and made her perceive things differently. She doesn't tell us how to become happy in marriage but rather the route she took to overcome her fears, doubts and disappointments and finally be able to deal with relationships in a healthy way.
OK so the author describes the settings well and makes you live with the character. But where is the story? What is the point of it? I have no idea. And it really had a weird ending. An ending that had no meaning and served no purpose - or maybe I just didn't get it. But I didn't feel that the author was trying to send a message here.
To sum up, I wasn't bored listening to it. I would even say I enjoyed it. However, there is no story and no purpose. You just feel something is missing.
The first couple of hours were boring to me that I had to double check that the amazing reviews I read were actually for this book. But after listening and going deeper into the chapters, I understood from where these reviews came.
The story is amazing and yes as the title says it’s a story of survival, resilience and redemption. But for me, it was more as it encompasses the human life with its various stages; the ambition to achieve, the hardships of life, the struggles we endure, the moving on, the letting go and hopefully finally making it. What’s great about it is that it’s a true story and thus reflects the imperfect world and the imperfect us. Even the main character (Louis Zamperini) who is a model and an inspiring great person had his down periods and at a point almost gave up.
The story also made me see war through a different lens. We all know that war is hard, difficult and devastating. But what these men had to go though is unbelievable! How they survived it, I have no idea. Hillenbrand also makes an amazing job researching the war and the people, narrating all the details and conveying it in way that one feels that they are living it with them. This could drain you out at times as the hardships they went through are unbearable.
The ending is specially touching and makes me reflect on my own life, what I have made to others specially my family.
Finally, I would love to read more nonfiction books written that way as it’s informative and interesting at the same time.
I didn't read the print version. The narrator did an amazing job though and I mean a really amazing job! The add on on reading the print version is that the story has a lot of phrases that I would have loved to stop at and think of which audio books does not provide.
The ending and the author's note at the end.
Yup, it's a really good book with an excellent narrator.
This is a must read classic. It's enjoyable and intellectual at the same time. It's amazing how Bradbury foresaw the future and society or maybe human nature just never changes - he does say something about this at the end!This is a story about realizing and comprehending life and fighting for what you want when it seems that you are alone. It also goes through the struggle, dilemma and confusion that we all go through when we dare think differently or approach something and almost no one supports us. I gave the story and not a five because the events taking place were not detailed or deep enough. Still, it's a must read :)
I am half way through the book but this is by far the best audio book that I have listened to. It is interesting and thought provoking at the same time. Every sentence in it is a quote in itself. And I just can't wait to listen o the rest of it.
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