New Year Brings Reward From a Reader


One of the most rewarding experiences that comes with writing is hearing from readers. The new year began with a note from one reader, with a subject line, “Australian in Texas.”

“I just finished Camino Sunrise: Walking With My Shadows, after getting it for Christmas. I’d previously read Trippin’ Through My 60s and thoroughly enjoyed it, so my partner got me your earlier book. I really related to many aspects of your book, and have always found a lot of comfort in the unique type of friendship that comes from long hikes and camping trips…I look forward to reading about your next adventure.”

Last year was another good year for both books as far as new readers go. From 10 countries! I am so thankful to know that people choose to read my stories about five European backpacking treks.

I credit my wife and walking partner Sue for getting me out on the trails and for her work on both books. The titles, covers, artwork, and photographs are hers. Most importantly, her editing has improved them beyond measure.

You may be wondering what the photo has to do with this post. The other day, as I sat at my desk while writing about our latest trek, I looked out the window and this guy was looking over my shoulder. Just five feet away.

No, I did not bring the buck back from California’s John Muir Trail.

You can find Camino Sunrise and Trippin’ Through My 60s on Amazon or click on the titles.

Three Books Top My Best List for 2022

I discovered a wealth of great reading last year and I reviewed the books I recommended on this website, Books and My Backpack (See List of Book Reviews in the menu).

Three stand out. If adventure is what you seek, North to Alaska is for you. Trevor Lund, a young Englishman, writes about his 16,276-mile bicycle journey from the southern tip of South America to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. Going the opposite direction in a van, Mary Hollendoner weaves a compelling story of her family’s van journey through Central and South America in Monkeys on the Road.

Lund and Hollendoner endure challenges that would send most of us home and they bring home experiences that transformed their lives.

If you are weary of people who put happy faces on even the most difficult times, you will be drawn to my third choice, Toxic Positivity, by Whitney Goodman. This book more than lived up to the hype it attracted.

Click on the titles to read my review about each book.

What were your favorite books of 2022?