Weekly Meeting: Wild


Today I am discussing Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.


  • This is my real-life book club selection for May.  Our theme is travel books.

What You Should Know:

  • This is a memoir
  • There is a movie adaptation
  • There is a lot about the effect her mother’s death had on her life.


Strayed is quite forthright in her description of her own transgressions, and while she’s remorseful, she never seems ashamed. Is this a sign of strength or a character flaw?

Having made my own share of mistakes, not nearly as big as Strayed, I see a lack of shame as a sign of strength.  I see it as a sign of maturity to recognize that you are not perfect, that we all make mistakes, and sharing those mistakes brings people together.  The entire point of her writing this book was to share the experience and how it helped her move forward.  To not be honest about what brought her to the trail would have been the character flaw.

What role do books and reading play in this often solitary journey?

Books play a huge role, they are often what keep Strayed focused and processing her life and her journey on the trail.  For me books are something that anchor me to a time, place, event, or feeling.  There are times when I want to read something specific because it will bring me back to what I felt the first time.  For Strayed, it seemed similar.  She knew she should be reading the guide book, but she kept reading poetry she loved and other things she brought.  What is different for me is that I would bring books in hopes of finding one that would anchor my memory for this adventure.

Wild Quote

Who Will Like:

  • Those who like stories about people challenging themselves to do something difficult.
  • Those who like stories about people overcoming their own mistakes and messes.
  • Those who like travel stories

Media Tie In:

I saw the movie about a year ago when I was in California.  I saw it with my sister-in-law Bethany, who I suspect will someday do a walk like this.  It is pretty much a true adaptation, without much deviation from the book.  I will talk about it more on Friday.

Other Books Read This Week:

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