Outdoor Book Review

Five books to take on your next trip to the great outdoors

If you’re readers like us, you probably want to take a book with you when you go hiking or on other overnight adventures. Here are five books largely set in the outdoors. They are all completely different and will enlighten and thrill you by turns. Some are new, others are older classics.

A Walk in the Woods By Bill Bryson, 2002, Doubleday Canada

A Walk in the Woods

By Bill Bryson, 2002, Doubleday Canada

This classic book follows the journey of the author as he endeavours to hike the Appalachian Trail, a 2193 mile trek across 14 states from Georgia to Maine. Known for his travel books, Bryson, a reluctant adventurer, sees humour in a variety of situations and his writing is highly entertaining.

The Overstory: A Novel By Richard Powers, 2019, WW Norton

The Overstory: A Novel

By Richard Powers, 2019, WW Norton

Who would have thought trees could be so interesting! This is a fascinating book combining fictional stories with a host of factual information about trees. Each chapter highlights a different tale that in the end, connect to each other. From activism to timber wars, this Pulitzer Prize-winning story will stay with you long after you close the back cover.

American Dirt By Jeanine Cummins, 2020, Flatiron Books

American Dirt

By Jeanine Cummins, 2020, Flatiron Books

A complex story set in Mexico about Lydia and her son Luca who are the run from a drug cartel. From a middle class existence to becoming migrants trying to get to America, these characters will give you a new understanding of the challenges and struggles faced by emigrants. Written in a literary-thriller style, this book is hard to put down.

North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood By Cea Sunrise Person, 2015, HarperCollins

North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood

By Cea Sunrise Person, 2015, HarperCollins

This fascinating book explores the history of a family who embraced the counter-culture movement of the 1960s and rejected social norms. Growing up in the Canadian wilderness and living hand-to-mouth, young Cea longs for a more typical life. As she grows up and realizes how eccentric her upbringing was, she emerges strong and resilient.

Where the Forest Meets the Stars By Wendy Vanderah, 2019, Amazon Publishing

Where the Forest Meets the Stars

By Glendy Vanderah, 2019, Amazon Publishing

Set in the forests of rural Illinois, this book tackles issues of loss and love. Joanna is a bird biologist studying nesting birds and recovering from breast cancer. A mysterious young girl comes into her life claiming to be from the stars. ‘Ursa’ says she has been sent to earth until she witnesses five miracles. This is a fun read that will make you think about difficult choices and what really counts as a miracle.

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