Top Picks: Outdoor Literature

mountains

“I now walk into the wild.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

It’s summer, and everyone is busy enjoying the outdoors with friends and family. Nice weather brings swimming, hiking, camping, and picnics, and a greater appreciation for nature. With so much time outside, you may feel inspired to read some Outdoor Literature. The Cheshire Public Library has you covered!

Outdoor Literature encompasses several different subgenres of literature, including exploration literature, adventure literature, mountain literature, and nature writing. Here’s a small sample of the books we carry to get you started.

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Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Originally published in 1854, Walden, or Life in the Woods, is a vivid account of the time that Henry D. Thoreau lived alone in a secluded cabin at Walden Pond. It is one of the most influential and compelling books in American literature.

Roughing It by Mark Twain

Roughing It follows the travels of a young Mark Twain through the Wild West during the years 1861–1867. U.S. astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell read Roughing It aloud to pass the time aboard NASA’s Gemini VII in 1965.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

 

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Epic: stories of survival from the world’s highest peaks edited by Clint Willis

Epic is a collection of fifteen memorable accounts of legend-making expeditions to the world’s most famous peaks, often in the world’s worst possible conditions. Editor Clint Willis has gathered the most exciting climbing literature of the modern age into one cliff-hanging volume.

American Earth: environmental writing since Thoreau, edited by Bill McKibben; foreword by Al Gore

American Earth is an anthology of seminal American environmental writing from the past two centuries. It considers the influence on the ways in which people view the natural world and includes pieces by such figures as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and John James Audubon.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe–and built her back up again.

If you care to delve deeper into the subject of Outdoor Literature, check out National Geographic’s list, Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time.

 

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