'A Walk in the Woods' by Bill Bryson Leslie, a middle-school teacher who listens to WETA in Washington, D.C., said she had no time for grown-up books until she pulled Bryson's hiking memoir off the shelf.
NPR logo 'A Walk in the Woods' by Bill Bryson

'A Walk in the Woods' by Bill Bryson

"This was one of those books received as a gift that just went right to the ol' shelf. As a middle school English teacher, most of my reading material lies in the land of YA fiction (I must admit, I LOVE the likes of Eragon, Inkheart, and of course, Harry Potter). I simply had 'no time' for grown-up books.

"This summer, I decided to return to the adult world by reading, horror of horrors, a nonfiction piece. I perused the ol' shelf, knowing my husband reads nothing but nonfiction and that surely something would strike me as interesting. Bryson's book caught my eye.

"What an enjoyable read it turned out to be! Humor mixed with insightful information about the Appalachian Trail left me laughing and pondering at the same time! [Bryson's hiking companion] Katz has become an iconic character for me, and I even use excerpts from the book in my class to show my students how informational writing does not have to be boring. I am an avid "re-reader," and this book will be one of those I lovingly return to throughout the years whenever I need a good laugh."

-- From Leslie, who listens to WETA in Washington, D.C.

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