Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review: Wild

Wow! It's been 2 years since I last wrote a book review (or read a book??). I don't think I mentioned it on the blog before, but I joined a blogger book club in January.

Blogger Book Club 2015

There is a theme for each month, and everyone chooses their own book to read. If you're a blogger and wish to join in, just click the above picture for more info and the monthly themes.

January's theme was A Motivational Book.

I had a hard time deciding on a book since I'm not usually one to read motivational, self-help type books. After getting a few recommendations, I ultimately decided on Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Thinking back, it probably doesn't really fit the motivational theme. I'd say it fits inspirational more, but that's even a little stretch.

I promise I'll do better at fitting the themes in the following months. :-)

I finished this book one morning before work. It had been so long since I read a book; I had a difficult time moving on and getting ready for work. I wanted to stay longer on the Pacific Crest Trail.

I could really relate to Cheryl. Maybe because I also grew up in Minnesota and lost my mom as a teenager. My life didn't go spinning out of control with the loss of my mom, so I didn't necessarily relate to her sense of loss that drove her to the PCT, but I could sympathize with a lot of her back story.

Here is my review on GoodReads.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book! Cheryl did a great job describing the PCT, her adventures on it, and what led her to it.

It was interesting to learn about her, and the experiences she had that led her to the PCT. The mistakes she'd made. The hurt she'd felt. Glimpses into her family and pre-PCT life.

I loved meeting the people (most of them) that she met along her journey. I loved hearing their stories, and the break in solitude and monotony that they provided her.

Above all, I felt like I was out there with her. I could see the desert and trees and the snow. I felt scared when she did. And even when she didn't. I often anticipated the worst during certain situations, and felt relief when my worst fears didn't come to fruition.

It did make me think about how I'd respond if I saw a bear or a rattlesnake. Would I be as brave as Cheryl? Would I be able to survive on little money? On being so alone? I couldn't help but wonder what I would think about if I were doing a long distance hike all by myself.

After spending 1100 miles with Cheryl on the trail, I didn't want it to end. All along, I knew eventually she would reach her destination, but when she did, I wanted more. I wasn't quite ready to say good-bye. To Cheryl or to the trail.
View all my reviews

I'd hoped to watch the movie after reading the book, so I could compare the two. I didn't realize it was still in theaters. Oops. I'll wait for it to come to video.

I'm definitely more excited to see the movie now that I've read the book! I can't help but wonder which characters will make it into the movie and if any of the experiences will be told differently. Maybe I'll write a follow-up post after watching the movie.

Have you read this book or seen the movie? What did you think?
February's theme is A Love Story. Any recommendations?

Check out these other Motivational books that people read in January.

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  1. Awesome!! I've been meaning to read this book! Glad you gave it such high reviews!!!

  2. This has been on my list for awhile... glad to hear you enjoyed! :)

    ~ Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

    1. I was a surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this one. :)

  3. I did not know this was a book until I saw a movie preview. I want to read this book too. I love hiking but there is no way I would do this alone!

    1. Sometimes I get nervous trail running by myself; I can't imagine 1100 miles solo.

  4. You're the 2nd book clubber to review this book - must be a good one. This is the kind of motivational book I can get behind.

  5. I just finished Wild this month too but chose to review a different book for the linkup. I loved it-it made me want to go hiking!

    1. Yes! Maybe not quite as ambitious as the PCT, but definitely renewed my desire to hike Grand Canyon Rim to Rim (to Rim??)

  6. I read this one a few years ago, but it has stuck with me. I haven't seen the movie.

    1. Having read the book, I'm really looking forward to the movie!

  7. Wow, what a great review! Based on what you wrote I really want to read this book now. I enjoy reading real-life stories, because it shows you that everybody has hardships to endure, and that all lives have ups and downs. Finding out how people get through it is truly inspirational to me. Thanks for introducing this book!

    1. You're welcome! A few people had recommended this one to me, and I'm glad that I decided to read it. It's so interesting to read the stories like this, about real people.