Even if Camping Sounds Like a Nightmare To You, You Should Read “Wild”

I run a Book Club and this month’s book is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I’m not going to lie to you, I initially had mixed feelings about reading this book. Yes, it’s now a movie starring the perfection in a human that is Reese Witherspoon, but I also thought it would be a book about the nitty gritty details of a woman’s hiking trip.

Considering that I proudly boast to anyone who will listen that you’ll NEVER get me to go camping, this sounded like a nightmare to me.

To be honest, I even thought about rigging the Book Club voting so that we would instead read The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, but I’m a woman of integrity and my Book Club is a democracy, so I didn’t do that.

I’m glad I didn’t, because it turns out Wild is actually an amazing book.

Yes, it primarily details Strayed’s journey across the Pacific Crest Trail, but it’s about wayyyy more than just hiking boots and the rock formations she sees along the way. It’s about Strayed’s attempt to regain her footing (pun sort of intended) after her mom dies and her marriage ends. But not in a “oh I’m finding myself and loving myself again” cheesy way. In a real, inspiring, funny, enjoyable to read way.

My mom described Wild as a book that’s “all about camping but not about camping at all” and to me that’s the perfect way to summarize it. Yes, Strayed’s talking about what life was like during her hike, but the book is also about so much more. Plus, when she does get into the details of the trek, she does so in a way that’s actually fun to read, even if the idea of peeing in the woods makes your skin crawl.

Read this book if you’re looking for something that’s light enough that you won’t go to bed feeling depressed, but not so fluffy that you’ll feel like you’re losing brain cells as you flip the pages. Oh and if you hated Eat, Pray, Love? Yeah, so did I, but I still loved Wild. Just had to throw that out there…

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