Adventure Books to read this Winter
As winter nights draw in, what better way to get stoked than to curl up in front of a log fire with a new adventure book. I love reading books about travelling, they inspire and encourage me to get out into the world and follow my own dreams. Here are 5 adventure books to read this winter.
Wild, made popular by the film adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon, is the story of Cheryl Strayed who, after a chain reaction of events and a heroin addiction to boot, packed her life and picked up a backpack to embark on a 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. A story of overcoming life’s challenges both mental and physical, Wild is inspiring no matter your gender.
“For two days, Katz barely spoke to me. On the second night, at nine o’clock, an unlikely noise came from his tent the punctured-air click of a beverage can being opened and he said in a pugnacious tone, ‘Do you know what that was, Bryson? Cream soda. You know what else? I’m drinking it right now. And I’m not giving you any. And you know what else? It’s delicious.” Bill Bryson.
Bill Bryson and his mate Katz are not the sorts of people who generally go for walks in the woods. In fact, they come across as the sort of people you would want to avoid while hiking the Appalachian Trail. But their constant moaning and bickering make for a wonderful story. Walking the 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail full of bears, moose, cougars, rattlesnakes, and all other types of the afflictions is not for the faint-hearted, but this bloody funny book will make you want to do so regardless.
It could be argued Into Thin Air is the more the influential book. But Into the Wild is so arrestingly written it’s easy to see why it has become a by-word for adventure. Into the Wild follows the final days of our hero, Chris McCandless, and dares readers to dream of a life free of the constraints of the modern world.
A certified classic. Three decades later and Cactus Ed is the undoubted Iggy Pop of the environmental world. Abbey’s books recount two seasons spent as a ranger in Arches National Park. And how he actively dislikes the US National Park Service. And roads, oh how he hates roads.
“I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with a non-human world and yet somehow survives still intact, individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock.” Edward Abbey.
National Geographic included The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen in their 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time and it’s obvious why. Along Peter’s journey across the Himalaya, he sees wild blue sheep but not the elusive snow leopard. The book is, instead, a moving tribute to the spiritual aspect of a mountain adventure, celebrating the beauty of a dramatic landscape and the experience beyond the realities of day-to-day survival in this harsh mountain environment.