Spalding bookshop’s choice for a good read

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Bookmark of Spalding has selected A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson as its book of the week.

Back in America after 20 years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine.

The trail offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.

For a start there’s the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz’s overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters.

But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson’s acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America’s last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods has become a modern classic of travel literature. It is now a major motion picture starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte showing at South Holland Centre in Spalding on February 17 and 18.

A Walk in the Woods retails for £8.99 but there is a 20 per cent discount voucher in the Spalding Guardian of January 28.