Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery

Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

by Ben Montgomery

The Library Book Club meeting for this book was held March 21, 2019, at 6:30 pm in the entry foyer.

A limited number of book club reading copies were available for checkout from the circulation desk about a month prior to the meeting.

Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. And in September 1955, having survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes, and a run-in with gangsters from Harlem, she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin. There she sang the first verse of “America, the Beautiful” and proclaimed, “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.”

Grandma Gatewood, as the reporters called her, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, as well as the first person—man or woman—to walk it twice and three times. Gatewood became a hiking celebrity and appeared on TV and in the pages of Sports Illustrated. The public attention she brought to the little-known footpath was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Cathy rated it ★★★★ and said “I have a new hero.”

Bekka rated it ★★★★★.

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Amim

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Amim

The Enchanted April

by Elizabeth Von Amim

The Library Book Club meeting for this book will be April 19, 2018, at 6:30 in the entry foyer.

A limited number of book club reading copies will be available for checkout from the circulation desk about a month prior to the meeting.

A recipe for happiness: four women, one medieval Italian castle, plenty of wisteria, and solitude as needed.

The women at the center of The Enchanted April are alike only in their dissatisfaction with their everyday lives. They find each other—and the castle of their dreams—through a classified ad in a London newspaper one rainy February afternoon. The ladies expect a pleasant holiday, but they don’t anticipate that the month they spend in Portofino will reintroduce them to their true natures and reacquaint them with joy. Now, if the same transformation can be worked on their husbands and lovers, the enchantment will be complete.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Patty rated it ★★★.

My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir

My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir

My First Summer in the Sierra

by John Muir

In the summer of 1869, John Muir, a young Scottish immigrant, joined a crew of shepherds in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The diary he kept while tending sheep formed the heart of this book and eventually lured thousands of Americans to visit Yosemite country.

First published in 1911, My First Summer in the Sierra incorporates the lyrical accounts and sketches he produced during his four-month stay in the Yosemite River Valley and the High Sierra. His record tracks that memorable experience, describing in picturesque terms the majestic vistas, flora and fauna, and other breathtaking natural wonders of the area.

Today Muir is recognized as one of the most important and influential naturalists and nature writers in America. This book, the most popular of the author’s works, will delight environmentalists and nature lovers with its exuberant observations.

Old Yellowstone Days by Paul Schullery

Old Yellowstone Days by Paul Schullery

Old Yellowstone Days

by Paul Schullery

Over thirty years after its original publication, former Yellowstone National Park archivist Paul Schullery’s collection of travelers’ accounts of their visits to the first national park still resonates with the tremendous impact the Park has had—and continues to have—as a wilderness and recreation destination. From John Muir’s exultation of the beauty of “Wonderland” to Rudyard Kipling’s hilarious invective of the American tourist, Old Yellowstone Days includes selections which form the best picture of what Yellowstone must have been like before the intrusion of the automobile.

Updated with a new introduction by Schullery, new illustrations, and a new foreword by Yellowstone National Park Historian Lee Whittlesey, this volume, which takes its title from an article by Owen Wister, also includes the impressions of William O. Owen, Charles Dudley Warner, Theodore Roosevelt, John Burroughs, Mrs. George Cowan, George Anderson, Emerson Hough, and Frederic Remington.

Teewinot: A Year in the Teton Range by Jack Turner

Teewinot: A Year in the Teton Range by Jack Turner

Teewinot: A Year in the Teton Range

by Jack Turner

Jack Turner grew up with an image of the Tetons engraved in his mind. As a young man, he climbed the peaks of this singular range with basic climbing gear friends. Later in life, he led treks in India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Tibet, and Peru, but he always returned to the mountains of his youth. He continues to climb the Tetons as a guide for Exum Mountain Guides, the oldest and most prestigious guide service in America. Teewinot is his ode to forty years in the mountains that he loves.

Like Thoreau and Muir, Turner has contemplated the essential nature of a landscape. Teewinot is a book about a mountain range, its austere temper, its seasons, its flora and fauna, a few of its climbs, its weather, and the glory of the wildness. It is also about a small group of guides and rangers, nomads who inhabit the range each summer and know the mountains as intimately as they will ever be known. It is also a remarkable account of what it is like to live and work in a national park. Teewinot has something for everyone: spellbinding accounts of classic climbs, awe at the beauty of nature, and passion for some of the environmental issues facing America today. In this series of recollections, one of America’s most beautiful national parks comes alive with beauty, mystery, and power.

The beauty, mystery, and power of the Grand Tetons come alive in Jack Turner’s memoir of a year on America’s most beautiful mountain range.

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Desert Solitaire

by Edward Abbey

When Desert Solitaire was first published in 1968, it became the focus of a nationwide cult. Rude and sensitive. Thought-provoking and mystical. Angry and loving. Both Abbey and this book are all of these and more. Here, the legendary author of The Monkey Wrench Gang, Abbey’s Road and many other critically acclaimed books vividly captures the essence of his life during three seasons as a park ranger in southeastern Utah. This is a rare view of a quest to experience nature in its purest form—the silence, the struggle, the overwhelming beauty. But this is also the gripping, anguished cry of a man of character who challenges the growing exploitation of the wilderness by oil and mining interests, as well as by the tourist industry.

Abbey’s observations and challenges remain as relevant now as the day he wrote them. Today, Desert Solitaire asks if any of our incalculable natural treasures can be saved before the bulldozers strike again.

Hey Ranger!: True Tales of Humor & Misadventure from America’s National Parks by Jim Burnett

Hey Ranger!: True Tales of Humor & Misadventure from America’s National Parks by Jim Burnett

Hey Ranger!: True Tales of Humor & Misadventure from America's National Parks

by Jim Burnett

In his thirty years with the National Park Service, Jim Burnett has seen it all: boat ramp mishaps that have sent cars into the water; skunks in the outhouse and bears at the dumpster; visitors looking for the bridge over the Grand Canyon.

Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith

Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith

Letters from Yellowstone

by Diane Smith
In the spring of 1898, A. E. (Alexandria) Bartram—a spirited young woman with a love for botany—is invited to join a field study in Yellowstone National Park. The study’s leader, a mild-mannered professor from Montana, assumes she is a man, and is less than pleased to discover the truth. Once the scientists overcome the shock of having a woman on their team, they forge ahead on a summer of adventure, forming an enlightening web of relationships as they move from Mammoth Hot Springs to a camp high in the backcountry. But as they make their way collecting amid Yellowstone’s beauty the group is splintered by differing views on science, nature, and economics. In the tradition of A. S. Byatt’s Angels and Insects and Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever, this delightful novel captures an ever-fascinating era and one woman’s attempt to take charge of her life.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Cathy rated it ★★★★.

Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy

Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy

Nights of Rain and Stars

by Maeve Binchy

In a Greek taverna, high over the small village of Aghia Anna, four people meet for the first time: Fiona, an Irish nurse; Thomas, a Californian academic; Elsa, a German television presenter; and David, a shy English boy. Along with Andreas, the old man who runs the taverna, they become close to each other after witnessing a tragedy when a pleasure steamer catches fire in the harbour. Nights of Rain and Stars is the story of one summer when Fiona, Thomas, Elsa and David all have to face the particular life crisis which first made them leave their homes and end up in Greece. With the help of Vonni, a middle-aged Irish woman who lives in the village and is now a near-native, they each find a solution—although not necessarily the one they anticipated…

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