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Friday, November 4, 2011

Wilderness Books: Stay Inside and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.

It's fall, a season of many rituals.  For some folks, the fall hunting seasons are important annual events:  getting together with family and friends and heading out into the wilderness.

For those of us unable to get out into the wild or looking for a good read in front of the fire after a day in the woods, Philip Connors at The Guardian assembled a list of his top ten wilderness books.  Here's the link.  His list includes A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.  The reader comments to the story have more good suggestions of books where wilderness is the theme or adds a critical element to the story, including one of my favorites of all time:  Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux.  

To a list of recommended wilderness books I'd add A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean as well as The Outlander by Gil Adamson.

The Outlander is particularly interesting.  Set in 1903, it is about a 19-year old woman who marries and lives an isolated life with her husband on the frontier.  Her marriage and husband do not turn out as she expected.  Depressed after she loses a baby, she learns that her husband is unfaithful.  Irrevocable actions are taken and the young woman becomes a widow "by her own hand."  She flees into the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies.  Her husband's two brothers pursue her, seeking to bring her back to face justice.  Her race through the mountains, efforts to survive in the wild, and the characters she meets, all make for an exciting story that is beautifully written by Ms. Adamson.  

What books would you recommend in which the wilderness is a key character?

Up-date:  For more book suggestions, check out the 2012 winners of the National Outdoor Book Awards.

1 comment:

  1. Additional titles suggested by friends: 1) The Joe Pickett Series by C.J. Box. 2) The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. 3) Four Seasons North by Billie Wright.