Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paddling/Hiking/Adventure Books

(Photo from Google Images)

Love to read? Love to paddle or hike? You may love these books..... you could be like the woman in the photo and do both.

A couple of the ladies in our local group have asked me to list my favorite adventure books for women/by women....
If you read like I do, that's a heckuva list and continuously growing....

 Reading about outdoor adventures takes you away, lowers your stress level, slows your heartbeat, excites your senses and fills the gap for when we cannot find our way outdoors. The last few years I have found myself gravitating  towards reading only true, inspiring outdoor adventure books and thankfully, there are plenty out there to choose from. Most of the books on my list are by women, some are not. I will be adding to the list from time to time, this is just a starter list....

I hope you like them and please, let me know if you decide to read them or have read them, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Also, a great resource for avid readers  is the Women's Adventure Magazine's Facebook book club. All true stories, all written and experienced by women. Excellent group with great book recommendations. Wow, we've evolved to online book clubs instead of in person ones...funny isn't it?

Some of  my picks are paddling specific, some are hiking, I am especially enamored with anything about women's paddling and  the Appalachian Trail....rated good, great or fantastic.  Most will get a "great" rating.

My simple rating system:

Good=worth reading
Great=worth reading and very memorable
Fantastic= it has to be quite stellar, the kind of book you never forget, the kind that reaches deep into your soul and makes you sob, and the next page can make you shout with joy and your heartbeat run fast and hard....sometimes inspiring new ideas and life-changing decisions....those will get the fantastic rating, but they are far and few between.

1. The Cruelest Journey by Kira Salak  Good 

2. Fearless, One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent by Joe Glickman  Great

3. be brave, be strong A Journey Across the Great Divide by Jill Homer  Great

4. Becoming Odyssa Jennifer Pharr Davis (from Asheville, NC)  Pseudo-Fantastic

5. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed Great-Fantastic

6. In Beauty May She Walk, Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail at age 60 by Leslie Mass  Great

7. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv Fantastic 

8. Trailside Guide: Hiking and Backpacking by Karen Berger Great

9. Spirited Waters: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage by Jennifer Peterson Hahn Great

10. The Barefoot Sisters Southbound (Adventures on the Appalachian Trail) Lucy letcher, Susan Letcher Great

11. On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean by Scott B. Williams  Good 

12. Solar Storms by Linda Hogan Fantastic (this is the only one listed that is fiction but it is historically based fiction and totally worth reading, and relevant to our fight today for clean and accessible water) 

13. Sea Kayaker's Deep Trouble: True Stories and Their Lessons from Sea Kayaker magazine by Matt Broze, George Gronseth Great

14.  Paddle: A Long Way Around Ireland Jasper Winn GREAT (Added 11/12/13)

Some of these titles may be available as an e-book and/or on your Kindle from the library for free at:

Happy Reading! 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Jo, just one thing.
    With the image posted here you caption it as "Google images"
    I hope you did not just find on Google and then re-posted it here because in most cases that is not OK. Images available on Google that are not Creative Commons usually need permission from the author to be published. Just saying, I would not want you get in trouble with Copyright infringement ...

  3. Kayak Trip plus reading? Yeah. I think it's awesome.