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Best Reads for Outdoor Enthusiasts Stuck Indoors

There comes a time in every adventurer’s life when the weather proves harsh enough to interfere with outdoor activities. Instead of feeling sorry for plans lost, resign yourself to a relaxing day indoors, grab a good book, and expand your horizons. You may even glean some useful information for your next foray!

Here are a few recommendations that can be tackled in a short time – even a day, if you’re ambitious!

A Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonBill Bryson offers a humorous and inspiring account of his efforts to hike the Appalachian Trail. His stories border on hilarious and humbling, at times, and can inspire even the most novice hikers to dream of accomplishing as much. Bryson’s book offers honest and poignant views on American culture and the people he encounters without being overly cynical. It’s easy reading and will leave you with a desire to do more, see more, and be more.

The Education of Little Tree by Forrest CarterThis book has been a favorite of many nature lovers for its message about simple living and respect for Mother Earth from the viewpoint of a child being raised by his Native American grandparents in changing times, pre-Depression. Its basic message gives rise to introspection and a yearning to be outdoors. Though the author has been the source of some controversy, this fictional account can still be found on the bookshelves of those who seek to escape the ‘gears and cogs’ of popular society.

The Book of Deadly Animals by Gordon GriceAward-winning author Grice supplies stories about the world’s deadliest animals (just as the title states!) with dark-comic twists and morbid facts that will leave the reader with a healthy respect for these creatures while feeling equal parts amazed, terrified, and enchanted.

The Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckOk, ok – this tome has a reputation for being a snoozer, but Steinbeck rewards the patient reader with unforgettable characters and gripping situations that will leave you reeling. Scratch this book off your list finally if you find yourself snowed in for the weekend. Once it gets rolling, you won’t be able to put it down. A true ‘American’ author deserves a nod, and this book will make you want to ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ and carry on, no matter what kind of problems plague you.

Trapped! The Story of Floyd Collins by Robert K. Murray and Roger W. BruckerThe most famous cave accident in history highlights the craze to find a new commercial cave in 1920’s Kentucky. Well-known caver, Floyd Collins became trapped without hope of recovery in Sand Cave, resulting in the first documented ‘media circus’ of our time wherein the entire nation raptly followed the play-by-play of this sensational attempted rescue in 1925. The story of Floyd Collins has inspired numerous other media, including a musical, as well as whispers around Hollywood about possible future movie production. This suspenseful and tragic read is a must for folks who enjoyed A Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston (the book that inspired the movie “127 Hours”).

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald DurrellA naturalist’s autobiographical childhood memoir about his unconventional family’s time in Corfu, Greece in the 1930’s, this book is an easily-digested weekend read,  full of David Sedaris-like humor and light-hearted reflections about the varmints they encounter and the unusual pets they keep.

Hopefully your dampened weekend can be made more enjoyable by a good book, a cozy blanket, and a mug full of your favorite drink. Do you have any reading recommendations of your own?

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