Tag Archives: Book reviews

Book Review: “The Old Ways” by Robert Macfarlane

Book Review by Reidun D. Nuquist

Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Penguin Books, New York, 2012). 433 pp., $18.00 paperback.

This elegantly written book by Robert Macfarlane is about “how people understand themselves using landscape.” Or put another way, how “we are shaped by the landscape through which we move.”

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Why Walk? – essay by Robert Manning

Why walk, indeed? History can be read as a millennia- long struggle to free ourselves from the need to walk. Freedom from walking has always been highly coveted, coming first to the rich and powerful; slaves carried their masters, knights rode horses, the rich owned carriages, and the upper and now middle classes drive cars. Today, only the less fortunate are forced to walk. Most people prefer to sit and ride rather than walk, or so it’s been.

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Book review: “Walking Distance” by Robert and Martha Manning

Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, by Robert and Martha Manning, Oregon State University Press, 2013

The message of this beautiful, intelligent, and highly readable book is: long distance walking is within the walking distance of ordinary folks.  Walking Distance makes the unique and primeval pleasures of long distance walking seem accessible to the average healthy person.  Which it is!

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Book Review: Huts of the Swiss Alpine Club

The Huts of the Swiss Alpine Club

by Marco Volken and Remo Kundert

AS Verlag, 2013.

 WOW.…a comprehensive view of the world’s premier hut-to-hut hiking systems! This is a luscious feast for trip planners, armchair trekkers, architecture mavens, and dreamers and designers of future hut systems in America and elsewhere!

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Book review: “Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America”

In an attempt to prevent foreclosure on the family farm, Helga Estby and her daughter Clara, ages 36 and 18, walked from Spokane, WA to New York City in 1896. They walked over 3,500 miles in 7 months and 18 days. Taking into account stops “aggregating about two months” to work and to recover from injuries and illness, they may have averaged about 20 miles a day, though they often walked considerably faster. Their satchels weighed about 8 pounds and did not include a tent or blankets, but did include lanterns for night walking. By today’s standards, their thin leather ladies shoes and foul weather clothing were shockingly inadequate.

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