Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Last Updated: Friday, 12 September 2014

wildisVotThe Big Read returned in 2014 after taking a year off... and it was WILD (literally)! Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed was the selected book for 2014. This book takes the reader along on a physical and emotional journey that is equal parts outdoor adventure tale and a personal memoir of grief and healing. It was a particularly timely choice as the book was being made into a major motion picture which will be released in the fall of 2014. Book discussions took place at libraries, bookstores and coffeeshops throughout the Miami Valley, with a fun outdoor wrap-up event called The Big Read Hits The Trail at Hills & Dales MetroPark.

What is The Big Read?

The Big Read is all about communities reading the same book, then getting together to talk about it. The six-week reading event is sponsored by local libraries and books&co. A committee from these organizations selects a list of possible titles each year. They not only look for a great read but one that could spark discussion. Each fall, a vote on those titles at area libraries, books&co and on this website. See the list of former nominees and winning Big Read selections.

Join your friends, neighbors, book and nature lovers to read and talk about this compelling book!

Big Read Photos


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threeAt twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. Book Description from Amazon.com

Recognition for Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

thumb-16Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Inaugural Selection

thumb-16Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" pick

thumb-16Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2012

thumb-16Goodreads Choice for Best Memoir & Autobiography

thumb-16Indie Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction

thumb-16Oregon Book Award

thumb-16Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award

thumb-16Midwest Booksellers Choice Award among


Reviews for Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

"A rich, riveting true story." - Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly

"One of the most original, heartbreaking and beautiful American memoirs in years... Wild is brutal and touching in equal measures." - Michael Schaub, NPR Books

"Strayed's journey was as transcendent as it was turbulent." - Marjorie Kehe, Christian Science Monitor

"[A] vivid, touching and ultimately inspiring account of a life unraveling, and of the journey that put it back together..." - Michael J. Ybarra, Wall Street Journal

"A candid, inspiring narrative of the author's brutal physical and psychological journey through a wilderness of despair to a renewed sense of self." - Kirkus Reviews

"While readers looking for adventure or a naturalist's perspective may be distracted by the emotional odyssey at the core of the story, Wild vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers. Others may find her unsympathetic -- just one victim of her own questionable choices. But Strayed doesn't want sympathy, and her confident prose stands on its own, deftly pulling both threads into a story that inhabits a unique riparian zone between wilderness tale and personal-redemption memoir." - Jon Foro, Amazon.com

Author Biography

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2012), Tiny Beautiful Things (2012) and the novel Torch (2006). Born in 1968 in Spangler, Pennsylvania, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota and MFA from Syracuse University. She is married to filmmaker Brian Lindstrom and they live in Portland, Oregon, with their two children.

Strayed's writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Missouri Review, The Sun, Tin House and The Rumpus, where she writes the popular "Dear Sugar" advice column. A feature-length film version of Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, is schedule to be released in the fall of 2014

"It's deeply rewarding to me when I learn that something I wrote moved or inspired or entertained someone; and it's crushing to hear that my writing bored or annoyed or enraged another. But an author has to stand back from both the praise and the criticism once a book is out in the world. The story I chose to write in Wild, for no other reason than I felt driven to, belongs to those who read it, not me. And yet I'll never forget what it once was, long before I could even imagine how gloriously it would someday be swept away from me."

- Cheryl Strayed