Top Ten Books From My Shelf

During the past three and a half years, I have read hundreds of books; when I finish one that I want to recommend, I post a review.

I have read fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, classics, and books by indie authors.

It was tough to leave out some I love, but here are my Top Ten, in no particular order. Click on the links to see the original reviews. A link to a list of all reviews is at the end of this post.

Okay for Now, Gary D. Schmidt. Junior high schooler Doug Swieteck’s voice touched my heart and made me laugh. This is no formula book; it is filled with twists as the boy seeks refuge from bullies.

Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness, Stephen Hinshaw. The author discovers why his father was silent so much and absent from home often.

Rocket Boys, Homer Hickam. Adapted to a great movie, October Sky. The book is even better.

Chasing Zorba: A Journey of Self Discovery in a VW Bus, Jerry Steimel. Jerry is one of my favorite indie authors with this compelling story.

Free Country, George Mahood. George and his buddy set out, wearing just Union Jack boxer shorts, from Land’s End, with a goal: ride bicycles the length of Britain. They begin with no bikes. No money or credit cards. “What?” you ask. It is a true story. George Mahood is one of England’s best contemporary authors.

The Trail Provides: A Boy’s Memoir of Thru-Hiking the PCT, David Smart. I have read a tall stack of books about treks on the Pacific Crest Trail. This is my favorite.

Henry David Thoreau: A Life, Laura Dassow Walls. This one is a gift to those who appreciate Thoreau’s contributions.

Way Out There: Adventures of a Wilderness Trekker, J. Robert Harris. Many of us think hiking a long-distance trail is an adventure. J. Robert Harris’ travels redefine adventure.

Walden on Wheels, Ken Ilgunas. The author graduates college and begins a life that may make you think, “I wish I could do that.”

On the Shortness of Life, Seneca. A classic. Brilliant. I expect some of you have read this one–several times.

I appreciate very much your taking the time to stop by. I would love to hear what you think about any or all of these books, or your own favorites.

A list of all book reviews on Books and My Backpack.

Books: Find Your Next Page Turner

Here are links to book reviews I have published:

The Last Season, Eric Blehm

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72, Hunter S. Thompson

Chasing History, Carl Bernstein

Walking Home, Rick Rogers

13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher

Monkeys on the Road, Mary Hollendoner

Toxic Positivity, Whitney Goodman

The Pacific Alone, Dave Shively

Alex Rider, Anthony Horowitz

Journeys North, Barney Scout Mann

Backpacking’s Triple Crown, Jim Rahtz

Hitting the Road Without a Map, Fred Rutter

Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail, Inga Aksamit

Okay for Now, GaryD. Schmidt

Rail Trail Hall of Fame

Thunderstruck, Erik Larson

Bicycle Odyssey, Carla Fountain

Another Kind of Madness, Stephen Hinshaw

Making Friends With Anxiety, Sarah Rayner

Chasing Himalayan Dreams, Susan Jagannath

Rocket Boys, Homer Hickam

Oregon Hiking Guides, William L. Sullivan

Chasing Zorba: A Journey of Self-Discovery in a VW Bus, Jerry Steimel

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Bruce Wilson

Over the Top and Back Again: Hiking X the Alps, Brandon Wilson

Two West Highland Way books

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson

Free Country, George Mahood

Walking Thru, Michael Tyler

My Journey Around Mont Blanc, Dan Karmi

Ready Player Two, Ernest Cline

The Boy Between, Josiah Hartley and Amanda Prowse

The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence

An Adventurer’s Son, Roman Dial

Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, Jessica Bruder

Gillybean in China, Gill Puckridge

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

Escape From the Ordinary, Julie Bradley

The Trail Provides: A Boy’s Memoir of Thru-Hiking the PCT, David Smart

Narcissus and Goldmund, Hermann Hesse

Henry David Thoreau: A Life, Laura Dassow Walls

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World, Hans Rosling

How to Practice, Dalai Lama

Opiod, Indiana, Brian Allen Carr

Land of Lost Borders, Kate Harris

Trespassing Across America, Ken Ilgunas

Walden, Henry David Thoreau

The Accidental President, A.J. Baime

The Salt Path, Raynor Winn

Way Out There, J. Robert Harris

Beyond Religion, Dalai Lama

Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

Big Little Man, Alex Tizon

Walden on Wheels, Ken Ilgunas

Beyond the Pale, Ken Grossman

On the Shortness of Life, Seneca

The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner

How Not to Get Married, George Mahood

If Cats Disappeared from the World, Genki Kawamura

Sedona Hiking Guide, Greg Stevenson

The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz