W

Welcome to today’s post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. For each day, I’ll be sharing the opening paragraphs to a book that starts with that letter and is sitting on my shelves or my Kindle.

W is for Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town.

A sign announced that this was no ordinary footpath but the celebrated Appalachian Trail. running more than 2,100 miles along America's eastern seaboard, through the serene and beckoning Appalachian Mountains, the AT is the granddaddy of long hikes. From Georgia to Maine, it wanders across fourteen states, through plump, comely hills whose very names — Blue Ridge, Smokies, Cumberlands, Green Mountains, White Mountains — seem an invitation to amble. Who could say the words "Great Smoky Mountains" or "Shenandoah Valley" and not feel an urge, as the naturalist John Muir once put it, to "throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence"?

And here it was, quite unexpectedly, meandering in a dangerously beguiling fashion through the pleasant New England community in which I had just settled. It seemed such an extraordinary notion — that I could set off from home and walk 1,800 miles through woods to Georgia, or turn the other way and clamber over the rough and stony White Mountains to the fabled prow of Mount Katahdin, floating in forest 450 miles to the north in a wilderness few have seen. A little voice in my head said: "Sounds neat! Let's do it!"

So, what do you think? Have you read the book or seen the movie? Should I read it soon or give it a pass?