2Book Topeka: Explore Outdoors

It’s time for another round of 2Book Topeka! Our fall theme is the beautiful outdoors, and we’re reading about two very different journeys on the Appalachian Trail. Brand new copies of A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson and Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, by Ben Montgomery are on display in the NE corner of the atrium. Bookmobiles are also taking these titles out into our community.

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk is already getting a lot of buzz, and many copies are out in the hands of readers!

Author Visit & Book Discussions
  • We’ll host author Ben Montgomery on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2-3:30 p.m. in Marvin Auditorium AB. There will be a Q&A session and a book signing following the discussion.
  • Mon, Sept 23 | 7-8pm | Learning Center – Take part in the 2Book Topeka Book Club and discuss Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. Discussion facilitated by Miranda Ericsson.
  • Mon, Oct 21 | 7-8pm | Learning Center – Take part in the 2Book Topeka Book Club and discuss A Walk in the Woods. Discussion facilitated by Kim Sain.

Find more info and peek ahead at our spring titles on the 2Book Topeka landing page.

The Sell/Engage Readers

These titles are fun to pitch to readers, even if you haven’t had time to read yet! Here are some quick selling points/elevator speeches that you can use to build some excitement.

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery

Montgomery chronicles Emma Gatewood’s walk along the Appalachian Trail–more than 2000 miles. At 67, Gatewood left her home one day in 1955 with only a change of clothes and $200. She told her family she was going on a walk. Using Gatewood’s own diaries, trail journals and correspondence, and interviews with surviving family members, Montgomery inspires readers with Gatewood’s spirit, determination and triumph over pain.

  • An inspiring story of an older woman who defies expectations, again and again. If she can do this, what could we accomplish?
  • Emma Gatewood suffered long years of horrific abuse at the hands of a spouse. This is a part of the inspirational nature of the book, but could also serve as a trigger warning. The abuse is not detailed in the book, but Gatewood’s injuries are described–at one point her top and bottom teeth were knocked out, for example.
  • Grandma Gatewood also walked the Oregon Trail, and went through Kansas! The book quotes statements that she made in Junction City and Wichita.

A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is an entertaining guide to the Appalachian Trail in “A Walk in the Woods.” With humor Bryson describes his inadequate preparation for the hike, his struggles and his missteps along the journey. Bryson also highlights the history and ecology of the trail, and some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks and bears he meets along the way.

  • The book was adapted into a very popular movie with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.
  • Bryson is well known for his humor and brevity. A Walk in the Woods is funny!
  • Bryson wrote one of my favorite biographies of Shakespeare, and it’s only 199 pages.
  • This book is truly a wealth of interesting information about the longest walking-only trail in the world.
Pitch a Read-alike

We have so many great books about exploring the outdoors, and the Appalachian Trail! Show folks our travel neighborhood if exploring the world through books appeals. Here is a list to get you started.

Want to make a list with titles about the outdoors, strong women, funny men, or whatever else sparks your interest? We’d love that. Add “TSCPL 2Book Topeka Outdoors” to the list description, and I’ll promote these via social media.

Thank you for engaging our community of readers! Questions or suggestions? Post below.

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