The movie adaptation of A Walk in the Woods is on solid footing with Bill Bryson's chronicle of the struggles, discomforts, and deprivations he endured -- and gratifications he derived -- as he explored the Appalachian Trail in the spring and summer of 1996. The book conveys the trepidations he experienced -- the perils encountered, and imagined.
Ever since I got into travel writing, I've been told to read the works of Joseph Conrad, Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Bruce Chatwin, Paul Theroux, William Dalrymple, Bill Bryson, and other white men. While I learned a lot from their stories, I was also repeatedly left with questions about misogyny and racial insensitivity.
Bill Bryson has created "A Really Short History of Nearly Everything," and he's done me -- and you, and every curious kid burdened by a dull textbook or a brain-dead science teacher -- a huge favor.
The whole and entire point of HeadButler.com is to identify books you won't hear about in every Conde Nast magazine and online gift guide.