The Most Popular Books, by the Year

Are you curious which book was most popular the year you were born?

The most popular book the year I was born was Charlotte’s Web, but it would take me more than 20 years to read it. Let me rephrase; I would be 22 before I read it. That’s better, although I was probably a slow reader those first few years.

I did not see what data used, but you will recognize many or maybe all the titles. The Giver and Catcher in the Rye are two of my favorites on the list that covers 1945 through 2019. I wonder, though, if someone born in 2019 is ready forThe Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.

Click on the link above to browse through the years. You may find your next page turner.

Thru-hiking’s Other Triple Crown

The year 2021 brought new focus to thru-hiking’s Triple Crown. Sammy Potter and Jackson Parell, a pair of Stanford college students, walked more than 7,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail in spectacular fashion–within a calendar year.

And three women, the Wander Women, all retirees in their 60s, completed the Pacific Crest Trail, achieving their Triple Crown, one thru-hike a year for three years.

Jim Rahtz’s book presents three thru-hikes for those who don’t have the many months or inclination to walk so far: Backpacking’s Triple Crown: The Junior Version.

Don’t let the “junior” in the title fool you into thinking these are casual adventures. Each is a section of the longer trails, and Rahtz argues they cover perhaps the most beautiful sections.

The John Muir Trail runs 220 miles from Happy Isle in Yosemite National Park to the summit of Mount Whitney. Many PCT walkers say it is their favorite part of the longer trail and maybe even the most difficult.

The Colorado Trail begins near Denver and ends near Durango. At 486 miles, it is the longest “junior” trail, nearly duplicating the length of Spain’s Camino de Santiago.

The Long Trail is 273 miles and winds the length of Vermont. The first 100 miles or so is also the Appalachian Trail.

Rahtz has walked all three and his stories make it clear these shorter versions are more approachable, but not to be taken lightly.

Which of the three is hardest? Most beautiful? Easiest?

Sue and I walked the John Muir Trail (with mules packing most of our stuff) in August 2021 and can’t imagine that any mountain trek could be more beautiful. But we yearn for further adventures. While Rahtz’ book makes it clear the other two could be even more difficult than the JMT, it tempts me to add a Triple Crown to our other trekking accomplishments. Are we up for the challenges? Could we carry everything we need?