Fuel the adventures of the mind

My brain does not turn off. I’m not sure why, and my wife will tell you that once I get an idea in my head I drive everyone around me crazy until the next idea develops.

When I cannot get out and put boots to dirt or navigate a kayak downstream, I am thinking about doing it. The only thing that keeps my brain occupied is a good adventure book, and more specifically, Audible.

Whether it’s a drive to the office or across the country, Audible has provided the escape I need from the urban yuppie day to day drag and teleports me to a time or place that I would rather be. Below are some of my favorite audible books that anyone looking to scratch the itch of adventure when responsibility is keeping them chained to the desk. Who knows maybe one day I’ll have a book on the list.

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller

I am going to start by saying that I cannot say enough about how good this book really is. The story is about a guy in his mid 40’s, married with children. He decides to put life on pause and do a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail.

I have read or listened to a large amount of through hiking books but this one has been the best by far. He has a great blend of informative and entertaining dialogs that keep you engaged from start to finish.

The narrator, Christopher Lane, is one of the best in the business and I have listened to books just because he performed the narration. A true master of his craft.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I am going to stop you mid “but I saw the movie” thought in your head. The movie, like most but especially this movie, does not do it any justice at all. Laura Masterfully tells the story of Louis Zamperini an Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran whose story of survival is surreal.

Whether you’re looking for a true inspirational story, a story of adventure, of the power of faith, or military history, this is it. This is also the book that both inspires me to write a book of my own and cripples by confidence to do so because I don’t think I produce something this perfect.

Into thin air by Jon Krakauer

The events that unfolded during the 1996 Mount Everest expedition led to the deaths of eight climbers and decades of controversy. The story originally told by Jon in Outside Magazine drew criticism so heavy it lead to him writing a book to better explain the full story without the limitations of a magazine length article.

This book reminded me of my own position as an outdoor freelancer and the importance of being a good communicator during the stories I write. It is also very well written and teleports you to the mountain during this emotionally charged trek to the top of the world.

West with the Night by Beryl Markham

Born Beryl Clutterbuck in the middle of England, she and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl. She made money by scouting elephants from a tiny plane as a bush pilot in Africa. She would spend most of the rest of her life in East Africa as an adventurer, a racehorse trainer, and an aviatrix―she became the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America, the first woman to fly solo east to west across the Atlantic. Hers was indisputably a life full of adventure and beauty.

This book was written in a different time and could easily hold its own against a Hemingway or any other classic adventure book that comes to mind.

Three Books by Bill “Skywalker” Walker

Bill Walker aka Skywalker, is a tall quirky Georgian that decided to Hike the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Annapurna Circuit. In between these hikes he wrote a book about each of his journeys.

Bill is a one man band. He did the hikes, wrote the books, and narrated each of them himself. The narrations are a little choppy and his accent makes it rough at times, but the stories are fun and his interaction with the other hikers on the trail is entertaining. If you want to sit back and lose yourself for a while, and get a taste of some of the most famous thru hikes in the world, Bill Walker’s books are for you.

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