A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson ~ Nonfiction Book Review

book21.jpgI picked up this book as a means of research because I wanted to learn more about hiking the Appalachian Trail . I’ve been mulling over the same book idea for over a year, but just couldn’t seem to put it to paper. I’ve hiked parts of the AT, but only those found in the northeast. How could I possibly write about a 2100+ mile trail that begins in Georgia and ends in Maine without seeming like a total fraud? Or worse, an inexperienced idiot? I set out to solve this problem the same way I always do – by reading.

I picked up this book by Bill Bryson before I knew that it was being made into a movie. It seemed like an ideal starting point to learn more about hiking the AT without losing myself in a dry, technical trail guide. My hope was that this firsthand account would provide me with with both information and color – and it did!

This book mixes Bryon’s account of hiking the trail with the history of the AT, the surrounding wilderness, and anything else Bryson thought would be useful (or fill pages). The end result is an awesome educational tool (for me) that is surprisingly funny! I enjoyed this book much more than I anticipated I would enjoy reading about two middleaged men walking in the woods. It was, in my opinion, a delightful surprise that held my attention and made me itching to lace up my hiking boots and hit the trail. Five stars.

8 thoughts on “A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson ~ Nonfiction Book Review

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  1. This is one of my favourite books. It was given to me as a gift almost 10 years ago … long before I became a hiker myself.
    I LOVED this book and Bill Bryson’s writing style. I’ve re-read it at least 3-4 times. Not only does he tell a great story, but his background research is really interesting and he talks passionately about our wild spaces.
    I too would strongly recommend this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this book too. I am also writing my own book about Big Creek, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s not as funny as A Walk in the Woods. I describe my book as “A Walk in the Woods” with substance. I con’t expect it to be as successful as Bryson’s books, but will be happy just to recoup my costs of publishing it.


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