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jonathan

Beaverton, OR, United States

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  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Rob McQuay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (561)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (524)

    The Appalachian Trail 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 entertaing 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).

    colleen says: "What a treat"
    "A Light Read for a Lazy Afternoon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Bryson's account of his journey on the Appalachian Trail is light on the hiking and heavy on the history. "Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail" is a fitting title for a book that will introduce people to the AT and also to interesting bits of uncommon American history. This book is well-placed in the travel writing section of a bookstore rather than in the nature or hiking section. I found it to be both lightly entertaining and sometimes funny. Definitely a pleasant, light read. In terms of recommending it to a friend, I would be likely to shrug and say: "Sure, go for it. It's not bad."


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Walk in the Woods?

    Bryson's recounting of his visit to Centralia was arresting. The story of a long-evacuated American town still wreathed in the smoke of a decades-long underground coal fire was remarkable.


    What three words best describe Rob McQuay’s performance?

    It was okay.


    Any additional comments?

    I rate this book overall as a 3. It's a bit like pop music. Catchy and entertaining, but not too deep. If you're looking for a light read on a lazy afternoon, Bryson's A Walk in the Woods would be a decent pick.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3114)
    Performance
    (2737)
    Story
    (2741)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "Best Book I've Come Across in a Long Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I enjoyed this book so much I couldn't wait for my drives to and from work every day to listen to it! Not only could I relate to Cheryl's life and struggles, but I was entranced by the fantastic story of her backcountry hike on the PCT. It was one of those books that as it got closer to the end I became sad knowing that the story was going to be over far too soon. I immediately picked up Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods in the hope that I could find something similar to Strayed's book. However, Bryson's recounting of his trip on the Appalachian Trail couldn't come even close to the emotional experience of Wild. Cheryl's story of her hike on the Pacific Crest Trail is one of the best books I've read in many years. I'm only sorry I never ran into her while I lived in Portland, OR :-)


    What does Bernadette Dunne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I found Bernadette's narration to be first rate. Her voice kept me listening intently to every word she read, as though I were listening to Cheryl Strayed herself telling me her story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I laughed out loud the instant Cheryl said that she hadn't tried packing her backpack before she got to the hotel in Sierra City. I knew immediately that her pack was going to be over-full and immensely heavy. It was a hilarious and incredulous moment that would speak to anyone familiar with carrying a full pack on a hike.However, the retelling of the last days of her mother's life was the most significant moment in the book for me. In many places I felt as if she were telling my own story as I sat next to my father's deathbed several years ago. There's an unflinching honesty that rises through the pages of this book. I highly recommend it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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