Wild About Wild by Cheryl Strayed
In the middle of a divorce, having recently lost her mother to cancer, and with slim if any prospects for a career or good relationship, Cheryl Strayed decides to pull herself up by her boot straps and get her life together. (You can see why Oprah made Wild one of her book picks.) Some choose counseling, some choose ice cream; Strayed’s method…hike the Pacific Crest Trail. She waitresses and saves her tips, buying her supplies in increments, researching her trip, and packing her resupply boxes. The story of her trip, of coming to terms with her past and making herself whole for her future, is Wild.
Looking at the author photo on the book jacket, Strayed doesn’t look anything like her story, and her picture certainly doesn’t betray her hardships. Her writing is honest, without trying to shock you or make you laugh at her expense. This hike is a huge physical and mental challenge in the best of circumstances. One is left admiring Strayed’s courage to carry her heavy pack and stick with the trail, despite her lack of experience, money and the toll each day’s hike takes.
Several of my colleagues at the Library have read Wild, and we’ve all loved it, despite the variety in the genres we usually read. You don’t need to be a hiker, or in the midst of personal turmoil to love this book. Don’t “kick it to the curb;” add it to your to read list today!