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Publisher's Summary

By age 25, Heather Anderson had hiked what is known as the "Triple Crown" of backpacking: the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail - a combined distance of 7,900 miles with a vertical gain of more than one million feet. A few years later, she left her job, her marriage, and a dissatisfied life and walked back into those mountains.  

In her new memoir, Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home, Heather, whose trail name is "Anish", conveys not only her athleticism and wilderness adventures, but also shares her distinct message of courage - her willingness to turn away from the predictability of a more traditional life in an effort to seek out what most fulfills her. Amid the rigors of the trail - pain, fear, loneliness, and dangers - she discovers the greater rewards of community and of self, conquering her doubts and building confidence. Ultimately, she realizes that records are merely a catalyst, giving her purpose, focus, and a goal to strive toward.

©2019 Heather Anderson (P)2019 Tantor

Featured Article: The Best Hiking Audiobooks


Hiking is a time-honored way to appreciate and learn about nature while improving your physical and mental health. But even if you can't get out on the trail yourself at the moment, these hiking audiobooks will give you a greater appreciation for the sport. Hiking's broad appeal and long history have formed the basis of many compelling works of nonfiction. They run the gamut from intense stories of survival and perseverance to gentle explorations of the healing power of nature. Each of these hiking audiobooks is perfect whether you are out on a hike or sitting behind the wheel of a car.

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What listeners say about Thirst

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Great accomplishment, flat story

I've listened to many books in this adventure genre (Wild, Lost in the Woods, AWOL on Appalachian Trail, Lands of Lost Borders, To Shake the Sleeping self,...). Her accomplishments are no doubt impressive, but she is also very impressed with herself and the story lacks much depth compared to others in the genre. The story is mostly a string of sufferfest days along the PCT. Given the nature of an ultra-fast through hike she doesn't have much time to stop and talk to others along the trail. If you want to know what it's like to blitz a long trail, this is for you. If you are looking for a more comfortable pace, and a richer story you're better off with Wild by Strayed.

23 people found this helpful

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I wish someone else were narrating this

I am loving this story and really wishing there was someone else reading it. I've only listened to about 3 hours and am already tired of the speaker. Her voice is much better suited for the romance novels she usually reads. It is completely out of place and distracting in this story. I wouldn't purchase another book read by her. Too distracting.

16 people found this helpful

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Great accomplishment, mediocre story, terrible performance

I don’t want to diminish the author’s accomplishment, which was amazing. The book is in dire need of an editor. It was repetitive and overwrought. I got very tired of hearing about how thirsty she was. Also scattered in terms of what it wants to be. The narrator of this book was awful. Breathless, melodramatic, and pronounced words wrong. Really wish I hadn’t wasted an Audible credit on this.

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent writing, dreadfully over-dramatic narration

Heather’s story of self-doubt and triumph were in large part over-shadowed by other-Heather’s breathless, anxious reading.

6 people found this helpful

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This book was nearly impossible to put down.

Anish (aka Heather Anderson) told a spellbinding story of setting a speed record of hiking the PCT. She seemed to take me on her journey as she described physical and emotional struggles. Before reading this book, I could not understand why a hiker would want to hurry through the beautiful PCT. Not only did I grow to understand what motivated Anish, and possibly other elite, endurance athletes, but I cheered for her all the way.

6 people found this helpful

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Pronunciation, please

Not bad, not super enthralling. My main complaint is, if you're going to narrate an audio book (it wasn't the author), please, please, take a quick 5 minutes and Google the pronunciation of the location names in the story you're about to read. Nothing pulls you out of a story quicker than multiple glaring mispronunciations.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent....but,

Loved the story, but never quite settled into the readers voice. It kept me from complete emersion in the story.

2 people found this helpful

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great book I can't stand the reader though.

a great book about an amazing feat of physical and mental strength needed to accomplish her goals. only negative is the reader, myself and both my daughters opted to read the book instead of listening, due to the readers inflection makes every sentence sound like a question, I don't know but should be re-read by someone else.

4 people found this helpful

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Although I love thru hiking books, this one really wasn't much of that type of book. Although she does thru hike, mostly it is a long list about how the author is not hungry, hungry, thirsty, not thirsty, and sore. A whole lot of complaining for not much reward. Spoiler alert.... she finishes in record breaking time with a happy finish, but then in the epilogue goes back to whining and complaining.

1 person found this helpful

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Not my style

Sorry to say, I struggled to finish this one. The story itself is good but I've realized that reading about a person running the trail is not part of the hiking genre. Very little discussion about people met along the trail. For some reason she shoved a granola bar In her mouth upon meeting the 1st 5 people along the trail. I'm not really a big fan of writers that say things like "I walked into the bosom of the forest". A bit too artsy. As for the narrator, listen to the sample of the reading any if you think you can't get past that voice, you probably can't.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Abi Grove
  • 09-28-19

Honest, earnest and beautiful

Anish gives you everything, an inspirational woman and amazing human. If you don’t want to hike after reading this then nothing could persuade you

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  • Ms
  • 08-24-19

Pretty good

For hiking book fans, this is an interesting read. The author takes a pretty punishing approach to the Pacific Crest Trail, continuously pushing her body to its limits. Like many who write about the PCT, she finds she needs to look within during her long hike, to discover what was so frustrating about the normal life outside the trail. Several times during the reading, I just wished she could eat, sleep, enjoy and hydrate more and just generally enjoy each moment. However, her drive and achievement are very impressive to read about and she obviously loves the trail. This is a great read and a really interesting perspective.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-20

good little listen

good book to to prep yourself mentally for a hikes ups and downs, my kids also liked it