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on December 2, 2014
I think memoirs may be kind of my thing right now -- travel memoirs, specifically. After reading an excellent memoir (Love with a Chance of Drowning) I was craving more of the same, so I finally picked up Wild. I had been meaning to read it for some time, but continued putting it off until I finally picked it up last week.

This book hooked me from the very beginning and even though Cheryl Strayed and I share little to none of the same life experiences, I felt connected to her and her journey throughout the book and like I was there with her. I would personally be terrified to hike the PCT, or any long trail for that matter, by myself and there were certainly times throughout the book in which I thought to myself "what is this woman thinking?" But as time goes on, I felt the trail became somewhat of a companion for Cheryl. It was almost like a friend who was a great listener, just there as Cheryl makes her way through the trail and begins coming to terms with her life, her mother's death, and her relationship. She was alone, but for some reason it never really felt that way in the book.

I found this book to be very empowering. When you set out to do something completely alone, it's impossible not to grow from it in some way. Especially when you realize you are capable of so many amazing things on your own. It was fascinating reading about Cheryl's reflections on her life and also witnessing pivotal moments in her journey in which you could actually experience her growing and healing. I still think what she did was absolutely crazy, but it was also amazing.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys travel, the outdoors or just wants a good read that will make you think and contemplate your own life. I'm excited to see the movie next month.
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on January 26, 2017
This is the story of Cheryl's physical, mental, and emotional journey on the PCT after losing nearly everything in her life. I was honored to walk with her through the pages of this beautifully written, painfully honest book.
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on December 29, 2014
Loved this book. Hiking is good for the soul. This one reveals what it's like when someone doesn't prepare completely and consider all possible situations, packs too heavy and backpacks without training well in advance. The adventure is well worth the read since the point of writing the book was to show how one can come to a sense of peace even while exercising great courage and determination. Not just anyone could have endured the trip and remained determined to get to the destination no matter the obstacles. I loved the writing and didn't want the book to end. I've been a backpacker on many short hikes 4-12 miles in length but this book makes me want to consider a substantially longer trip.
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on February 27, 2014
No one ever says, "Maybe the movie will be better." But I'm saying that! There was a lot of filler words, lots of describing the scenery which seemed all the same. Book could have been half of what it was. Lots of info that didn't seem necessary to a 'self discovery journey.' I honestly have no idea why this book has as many stars as it does. Can people not disagree with Oprah? Save your money and pray the movie is better.
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on December 11, 2014
Five stars because it's effect on me and my future was so unexpected. I read the book because of the article in Hollywood Reporter about Reese Witherspoon starring in a movie of the book she had optioned to produce. My favorite stories are adventures. I figured this one would be perfect, a woman alone on a trail meanaced by foxes, cayotes, rattlesnakes, bears,and worse, Men! Cheryl peppers her trek through trees, mountains and rivers with glimpses, reveries and rages about her past. Coincidentally, I had lost my mother about that same time and her angst, grief and guilt were so familiar to me as were some of her encounters with sexist men and her dalliances with various lovers. Even her lack of appreciation for and final breaking away from a young husband who loved her too much when she didn't, feel loveable, wasn't ready to accept love and was too bitter from being abandoned by her father to trust any man were similar to my own experiences. Rather than the escape that I seek from adventure stories, this book was a catharsis for I have been wallowing in my own grief adopting my mother's oppressive clutter. Cheryl's story has shown me that where one woman has conquered a mountain, half a dozen actually, another woman -Me!- can conquer a mountain of disorganization. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl Strayed! I have already started throwing stuff away.
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on March 31, 2016
Watched the movie. LOVED it! That made me want to read the book. The book was awesome! Then I watched the movie again. Now I want to read the book again. And my hubby actually read the book too, and he loved it. If you liked the movie, the book is 200% better. There is SOOOOOO much of the book left out of the movie, for obvious reasons. Who would want to watch a 6-hour movie? But it was really good to read about all the details left out of the movie. There is so much explained in the book that was not explained in the movie.

Here is my recommendation: watch the movie first. Then, when you read the book, you will have all those visual details in your mind as you read. When compared to the book, some of the details in the movie were switched around a bit to fit time constraints. Lots of the wonderful people she encountered were left out of the movie. The problems she needed to work through were discussed so thoroughly in the book. This helps you understand WHY she HAD to hike the PCT. After reading the book, I totally understood how her experiences on the PCT helped heal her.

It made me wonder: Could I have done that?!!! I thought it was a very exciting story!

To Cheryl: YOU GO, GIRL!!!
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on April 30, 2014
What I hoped would be an exciting tale of adventure and redemption turned out to be a tedious but determined task of my own just to finish this book. An endless stream of incomplete thoughts interrupted by a peppering of landscape descriptions, character contacts and a glorification of selfish behavior, left me frustrated and less than satisfied. I applaud the 1,100 mile journey and the courage it took to not only finish the physical journey, but also to face the emotional journey, although I was left uncertain that there had been definitive closure at the end. I am pleased that Cheryl's life has turned out so well in spite of her seemingly glorified and purposeful self-destructive behavior and willful acts that put her regularly in dangerously compromising situations. I would not recommend this book to young girls or anyone merely desiring a romping adventure.
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on July 8, 2014
I am in awe of the author's physical feat of completing this trek, but that's it. Otherwise, self-indulgent, redundant, tedious. The episode that many reviewers seemed to have trouble with , involving the horse, was indeed very upsetting but probably the best written and most compelling part of the book. I usually like Oprah's suggestions and I love memoir in general, but this was just awful. I think I am giving it two stars to legitimize the time I put into finishing it (because I'd bought and paid for it!). And maybe also because I learned a little about what it takes to do a hike like the PCT. I ended up mostly listening to this book (I got the Whispersync edition so I could read and/or listen) so I could finish it while doing chores or driving so as not to compound the waste of time. I'd saved it for a vacation read so it was doubly disappointing. I dread this becoming a movie - of course I wouldn't see it but I probably won't be able to avoid the trailers!
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on November 9, 2017
I'm no hiking enthusiast, but I loved this story nonetheless. Strayed writes elegantly about the emotional hardships she endured while coming into herself as a woman, and sets them beautifully against the physical struggles (and triumphs!) on the trail. Her prose is heartfelt and deep, without lacking in humor and irony.

The used book came in good condition, as advertised.
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on January 14, 2017
I cannot even begin to express what this book means to me. It touched me on such a personal level due to the fact that I lost my own mom before I read the book and saw the movie. I enjoyed the book so much more than the movie. Not to say the movie was bad but there were many more details that I think helped facilitate painting a picture of Cheryl and her personal journey, in the book. Being an outdoors woman myself, I can certainly relate to Cheryl's need to prove herself TO herself and take a journey to explore and find who she really is. It is interesting how time out in nature can cause one to reflect and face some things in ones life. I recommend this book every chance I can get. It is best described as an onion, there are many layers to it and sometimes you have to peel away layers to see how deep something really is......
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