A collection of books where the main character goes on a long walk.
SCIENCE FICTION COLE
Open City / Teju Cole – Feeling adrift after ending a relationship, Julius, a young Nigerian doctor living in New York, takes long walks through the city while listening to the stories of fellow immigrants until a shattering truth is revealed.
Etta and Otto and Russell and James / Emma Hooper – Embarking on a walking journey from rural Canada to the East coast so that she can see the ocean for the first time in her life, an octogenarian woman has experiences that blur her perspectives between illusion, memory, and reality.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry / Rachel Joyce – Jolted out of emotional numbness by a letter from an old friend who wants to say goodbye before she dies, Harold Fry embarks on a 600-mile hiking journey to his friend’s side without supplies, an endeavor that stirs up memories of his unhappy marital and parenting experiences. Also available as an audiobook on CD, and an ebook on Overdrive/Libby.
Something Wild & Wonderful / Anita Kelly – When he meets outgoing hiker Ben Caravalho on the Pacific Crest Trail, Alexei Lebedev falls in love on the biggest adventure of his life. But when their plans for the future are tuned upside down, he hopes they can hold on to something this wild and wonderful.
The Long Walk / Stephen King – In a futuristic America ruled by ultraconservatives, one hundred of the nation’s hardiest boys must endure a five-hundred-mile marathon race known as the Long Walk, a lethal contest of determination and endurance in which each tortured step becomes a harrowing struggle for survival, in order to win fame and fortune.
Amazing Grace Adams / Fran Littlewood – Grace Adams, a once-amazing woman who is now forty-five, stalled, perimenopausal and losing it, leaves her car in the middle of traffic and sets out to win back her estranged teen daughter on her sixteenth birthday. Also available in Large Print and as an ebook and audiobook in Overdrive/Libby.
SCIENCE FICTION MAGARY
The Hike / Drew Magary – Becoming lost on a surreal wilderness path during a business trip in rural Pennsylvania, a suburban family man is confronted by otherworldly predators and overwhelming flashbacks of terrifying moments of his life before finding unexpected magical help. Also available as an ebook in Overdrive/Libby.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk / Kathleen Rooney – Embarking on a walk across Manhattan on New Year’s Eve in 1984, eighty-five-year-old Lillian Boxfish recalls her long and eventful life, which included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America, whose career was cut short by marriage and loss. Also available as an audiobook on CD.
Two Steps Forward / Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist – An artist reeling from her husband’s sudden death and an engineer recovering from a messy divorce embark on the centuries-old Camino de Santiago pilgrim route from France to Spain, tackling unanticipated challenges and their own difficulties with trusting strangers along the way. Followed by sequel Two Steps Onward. Also available as an audiobook on CD and an audiobook on Overdrive/Libby.
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail / Bill Bryson – A wry account of the author’s adventurous trek along the Appalachian Trail past its natural pleasures, human eccentrics, and offbeat comforts. Also available in Large Print, as an audiobook on CD, as an ebook and audiobook on Overdrive/Libby, and as an audiobook on hoopla.
Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles across Spain / Andrew McCarthy – This intimate, candid, and hopeful travel memoir chronicles the actor and his eldest son Sam’s 500-mile trek across Spain’s Camino de Santiago during which they created a more meaningful connection through honest conversations as they get to know each other as adults.
Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail / Ben Montgomery – Drawing from Gatewood’s diaries, journals, and correspondence, this book documents the life of the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail alone in 1955 as well as her efforts to bring public attention to the once little-known footpath. Also available as an ebook and audiobook on hoopla.
Wanderlust: A History of Walking / Rebecca Solnit – A cultural history of walking explores the ancient practice, from ancient Greece to the present, delving into Wordsworth, Gary Snyder, Rousseau, Jane Austen, and other cultural and literary icons to show how this basic activity has been imagined throughout history.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail / Cheryl Strayed – A powerful memoir that traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her to undertake a dangerous thousand-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal. Also available as an audiobook on CD and an ebook on Overdrive/Libby.