Saturday, March 28, 2015

what I have been reading

I have just finished reading this book that was also recently made into a movie...

"wild" by Cheryl Strayed.

A couple of years ago, when the book first came out, I read some reviews that mentioned the author's use of drugs being discussed in the book, and I got the impression that it was a story that I would not enjoy reading.

Since then, this book has gotten rave reviews, been selected as an Oprah's Book Club pick, and was also a New York Times best seller...and now it's been made into a movie.

Okay, I got the message and read the book. It is a good book!

This story is the author's account of hiking more than a thousand miles, alone, on the Pacific Crest Trail (which is like the Appalachian Trail but goes through California, Oregon, and Washington).

She chose to do this as sort of a way to step back from her life awhile...after a divorce, losing her mother, hooking up with a drug using new boyfriend, and fighting against becoming a drug abuser herself.

Ms Strayed tells a good tale as she describes how she made the decision to do the hike and how she was under-prepared in terms of being physically ready, but over-prepared with the gear and equipment she set out with at the beginning.

Throughout the book the author describes the challenges of the hike and dangers she encountered...from snakes, bears,  people,snow and ice. But also she talks about the beauty of the scenery and of the night sky, the generosity and concern from people she met, and her determination to keep going.
She alternates this with stories of her life...the break up of her marriage, bad choices of men, and being consumed with grief after seeing her mother fight a loosing battle with cancer.

Some parts are funny, some are sad, and there are also nerve wracking parts that make you want to read through them real fast until she is out of when she was at risk of sliding off a mountain because the trail was iced over with hard packed snow.

This book is very inspirational, you can't help admiring Ms Strayed for her courage and sheer force of will.

I would recommend this book and I am looking forward to seeing the movie, too!

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