On Foot

It's how you get there that matters.

 


 

Wanderlust: A History of Walking

 

The mind, the body, and the world align when you walk, Rebecca Solnit suggests, in this lively history of pedestrianism. From philosophers aimlessly wandering the landscape to an examination of  people who drive everywhere (even down the block), Solnit chronicles walking’s place in our culture throughout the past and into its (possibly threatened) future.

 

 

 

 

 


A Time of Gifts

By Patrick Leigh Fermor

 

A Time of Gifts elegantly chronicles the first segment of the 18-year-old Fermor’s 1933-‘34 walk from London to Constantinople -- beginning in England and concluding at the shores of the Danube. Hitler had arrived in power but the convulsions of the century's most destructive war had not yet begun.  This coming-of-age memoir and classic travel book is also a study of Europe before its headlong descent into chaos and violence.

 

 

 

 


 

The Lost Art of Walking

By Geoff Nicholson

 

Nicholson unpacks humankind's most basic activity tp reveal the incredible worlds within it.  The varieties of experience brought under his careful gaze are legion: a Wonder Woman impersonator striding to work; "competitive pedestrians"; and the intersection between nudism and hiking.  What animates and draws together these diverse portraits is  Nicholson’s evident and  pure love for the act of walking itself.

 

 

 

 


 

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

By Bill Bryson

 

Bryson and his overweight, former drug addict buddy Katz decide to hike the more than 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail one summer and find some crazy characters and situations along the way. Buried in the hilarity, though, is a history of the trail and the environmental damage it’s suffered.

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Places in Between

By Rory Stewart

 

Afghanistan in 2002 isn’t the first place you’d think to go for a long stroll, but the award-winning  journalist Rory Stewart decided on just such a traverse the war-torn country, witnessing ancient communities torn apart and encountering teen soldiers as well as Taliban commanders. The result is an engrossing, sometimes harrowing literary tour de force, in which Stewart's prodigious feat proves not to be an end in itself, but the means by which he can unfold some of the regions true mysteries.

 

 

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.