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Giveaway: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

July 7, 2012

I brought the book, Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, on one of our earlier camping trips this summer. I was already in love with the author, Cheryl Strayed, from her Dear Sugar advice column on The Rumpus.

I can’t remember much from that camping trip (besides the John Denver sing-a-long and the kids dredging themselves through the muddy pond and how we cooked so many packages of bacon it was like everyone had a clown-car stomach for how much they could shoehorn into their bitty bodies) because I was completely engrossed in Wild.

I read the last 150 pages of Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (including the steamy Ashland, Oregon scene – how does she make a one night stand seem tender and beautiful?) in my green tent while Col slept like the angel that sleeping children always are, next to me. And then I stayed up way too late thinking about how much I liked Cheryl Strayed. Not just because she can write like a mofo, but because she is brave and honest and funny and tough and raw.

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed’s mother died of cancer when Strayed was in her early 20’s (her father left when she was 6). After the devastating loss of her mother, dropping out of college, getting divorced, moving repeatedly, sleeping around and doing a bit too much heroin, at 26 years old, Cheryl Strayed decided to hike The Pacific Crest Trail from Southern California to the Southern tip of Washington.

She didn’t take this 1100 mile hike because she was a naure-loving backpacker; she had never backpacked a day in her life. But she was broken and sad and losing herself and searching for a way back home. On the trail her luck is sometimes charmed, sometimes cursed; she meets new trail friends and then is utterly alone for many consecutive days. But ultimately, she learns to care for her broken self, to hold her own hand through the wilderness of the unknown.

If my endorsement isn’t enough, Oprah picked Wild for her book club and and it’s currently number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

*The trailer for Wild.

*Dear Sugar advice here (the obliterated place) and here (how you get unstuck)

Alfred A. Knopf publishing co. gave me 2 hardbound copies of Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail to share with you.

Leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway. If you’re one of those people whom wordpress won’t allow to comment, you can e-mail me and I’ll add you. I’ll pick 2 people on July 16th.


{ps: still whispering here, but the rain has been prolific and fabulous}


#2 Disney G “Oh, I was just talking with someone about this book! I would absolutely love to read it. We are going camping soon, so it would be a perfect read. :-)”

#46 LISA “I would love to win a copy of Wild. I went to the Smoky Mountains for the first time last week, and have been romanticizing the Apalachian Trail since. I would love to get lost in her story.”

E-mail me your addresses and I will send books out when I’m back from Alaska.

65 Comments leave one →
  1. Erin permalink
    July 9, 2012 8:36 am

    I live in Canada, so no worries if I’m not eligible for your draw. :) Just wanted to say I really enjoy your posts!!

  2. Disney G. permalink
    July 9, 2012 8:41 am

    Oh, I was just talking with someone about this book! I would absolutely love to read it. We are going camping soon, so it would be a perfect read. :-)

  3. Kathy permalink
    July 9, 2012 8:42 am

    So glad the rains have come for you and your garden. You are such an inspiration to me!

  4. Alda permalink
    July 9, 2012 8:45 am

    I’d love to read this – I went through a phase where I only read books about walking: Walk Across America, Alone on the Great Wall, Feet of Clay by Ffyona Campbell, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Something is awesome about writers who walk far.

  5. July 9, 2012 9:02 am

    i’ve heard so many people raving about this book and frankly, if it kept you from realizing how much bacon y’all consumed in a morning, i must read it. also, the bit about her writing like a mofo? screams must read.

  6. Anonymous permalink
    July 9, 2012 9:04 am

    Am going to suggest this to my book club. Am engrossed in Young Men and Fire by Norman Mclean (A River Runs Through It) and fascinated with fire science and this beautiful land we live in. Riley took History of Goldmining through Summer Academy and we are learning a lot about how Durango and Silverton were setttled. Very fun!

  7. seranel permalink
    July 9, 2012 9:14 am

    Ooh, sounds like a good one! I’m currently loving Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. Her descriptions are scrumptious!

  8. Christy permalink
    July 9, 2012 9:16 am

    {Whispering here as well. What is this wonderful liquid falling from the sky?}
    Oh, the obliterated place. Crying in my coffee.

  9. Jill permalink
    July 9, 2012 9:17 am

    this sounds like a fabulous book. Even if I don’t win I’ll be searching for it at my library. Thanks :)

  10. July 9, 2012 9:20 am

    Hooray rain! I’d love to read Wild.

  11. Barbara permalink
    July 9, 2012 9:27 am

    WOW! This books sounds AMAZING! I love reading your blog and keeping up on all your adventures :)

  12. Lisa permalink
    July 9, 2012 9:33 am

    your words! your words! they make my heart feel so good. you are so real, and honest, and friggin’ awesome! i, too, live in canada – so, no worries if i’m too far north to be entered into the giveaway – but good grief – i would do cartwheels if i won! this life story must be all kinds of amazing. i recently watched the movie ‘the way’ with martin sheen. so much spirit building happens on a good looooooong walk. (btw – found you through my good friend twwly ages ago – and every time i visit here, i am always knocked upside the head with lots of goodness!) thank you! xx

  13. July 9, 2012 10:38 am

    Ooooohh this has been on my list since you mentioned it awhile back. I’d love a copy!

  14. Christine D. permalink
    July 9, 2012 10:40 am

    This book sounds fantastic and right up my alley!! We just came back from a short camping/hiking trip with our 2 year old and there’s just nothing better than being in nature to refresh the spirit!!!

  15. July 9, 2012 11:00 am

    Wow! What an endorsement!
    “brave and honest and funny and tough and raw”- I like those adjectives a lot.

  16. Staci permalink
    July 9, 2012 11:27 am

    Sounds like the kind of vicarious excitement I would devour in a too-late-night reading session. Sign me up!
    (We must’ve made a little sun/rain trade after all! We’ve had glorious not too hot sunshine and I’m thrilled to hear you all are getting some much needed precip!)

  17. July 9, 2012 11:28 am

    i would love to win a copy sounds like an amazing book

  18. coleen permalink
    July 9, 2012 11:49 am

    Sounds like a great read…..count me in.

  19. katherine permalink
    July 9, 2012 12:38 pm

    Sounds like something I’d love to read. I just finished The Dirty Life and it was phenomenal.

  20. Jessica permalink
    July 9, 2012 12:46 pm

    Thanks for another book recommendation! I’d love to win it, but will read it one way or another for sure.
    I enjoy getting into a good book on a trip. To me, it makes the memories even sweeter, almost like two adventures in one.

  21. mamanongrata permalink
    July 9, 2012 1:14 pm

    Let’s see if WordPress lets me be one of those people who’s allowed to comment today. Would love a copy of the book.

  22. July 9, 2012 1:24 pm

    Sounds great. I’m in.

  23. July 9, 2012 2:46 pm

    Sounds like a great book! Thank you for offering the giveaway and the book recommendation. Happy summer ;)

  24. July 9, 2012 4:31 pm

    After reading her interview with Oprah recently this book when straight to the top of my “must read” list. Winning a copy would be fabulous. Awesome giveaway, Rachel. Thanks!

  25. July 9, 2012 5:17 pm

    If you say it’s good then it must be. We just discussed “The Dirty Life” with my book club…fantastic and thanks! I’ve spent a bit of time myself on the PCT…this sounds like an incredible read. Thanks!

  26. Ellen permalink
    July 9, 2012 5:38 pm

    It was a wonderful book and you have characterized it perfectly!

  27. July 9, 2012 6:27 pm

    I would love to read this!

  28. July 9, 2012 6:37 pm

    Oh this books sounds amazing kind of like a Pam Houston kind of book.

  29. Sara permalink
    July 9, 2012 6:39 pm

    this book sound so good! If i don’t win I’m adding my name to the waitlist at the library!

  30. July 9, 2012 7:05 pm

    Her name seems perfect. I keep thinking you are describing here, but no, just writing her full name. Sign me up, please!, and thanks for putting another book on my list. Nothing is better than books to look forward to, except maybe thunderstorms. They are good, too.

  31. carrie permalink
    July 9, 2012 7:29 pm

    Speaking of engrossing books, I have been neglecting my children to finish UNBROKEN
    which was really great. Just before that, Lauren Groff’s short story collection DELICATE EDIBLE BIRDS, which I really liked, although you should really read her great first novel, THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON, which is even better.

    And before that, a book every woman in Colorado should read, NOTHING DAUNTED.

    (I’m not from Colorado, but I’ve been there and understand why you love it!)

    So I would love to add WILD to my summer reading list! Thanks!

  32. Sara permalink
    July 9, 2012 7:29 pm

    I’ve had this book on my to read list for a while. Hope the rain keeps up!

  33. July 9, 2012 8:01 pm

    I heard her interviewed on the Diane Ream (I know that is not how you spell it) show on NPR (briefly, between small children’s demands for explanations of things that I am uncomfortable explaining). It sounded awesome, and I need a book, and I like to read your writing, so it sounds great.

  34. July 9, 2012 8:26 pm

    I’m at the tail end of finishing a book series that I’ve been at for 4 years… I could use a new story to help the transition go smoothly. What am I going to do when this current series is done! It will be like they’re all dead to me! DEAD!! Ugh…. Yes. This would be the solution. The rebound, if you will. Sign me up. Fingers crossed.

  35. Laura permalink
    July 9, 2012 8:43 pm

    This book sounds fabulous! I’ll hold out on buying it til the 16th. Maybe I’ll win a copy!;)

  36. permalink
    July 9, 2012 9:48 pm

    I have been wanting to read this–she sounds like a very inspirational person! Thanks for the giveaway chance,

  37. Melissa permalink
    July 9, 2012 10:12 pm

    dang, I just looked for this book today at the library but had the title wrong. love the rain photo of you , too, but don’t worry, i won’t tell anyone. i happen to be married to a pretty superstitious guy (:

  38. July 9, 2012 10:21 pm

    i am so happy to know she wrote a book! ha! i live in the boonies sometimes. i knew of dear sugar and have been completely smitten by every single one of the letters i’ve read. yay for this book!!!!! i am getting so excited just knowing it is in my future, somehow. i don’t know if i can wait to know if i win it or not……ha!

  39. July 9, 2012 10:24 pm

    also. when did she reveal herself?? just a few months ago i swear i was doing google searches trying to find out who she really is. i’m so happy to see her face!!!

  40. scvallelonga permalink
    July 9, 2012 10:45 pm

    The last time I read a book you recommended, I loved it! So I’ll definitely give this one a try

    P.S. I’ve been loving the thunderstorms lately, they sound 3 times as loud here as anywhere else I’ve ever lived. And since we’ve actually gotten rain with them I don’t worry as much about the lightning :)

  41. July 10, 2012 12:13 am

    I would love to read this book. Like i love your blog!

  42. July 10, 2012 9:53 am

    holy crap. after gulping down those two links and crying my face off, i love her, although now my heart and stomach are killing me. uh…so…thanks? no really. thank you, she is so inspiring and her words are really good medicine. no wonder you don’t remember anything else about that camping trip!

    also, how cool are you that publishers contact you and offer books to give away? pretty cool.

  43. Jodi permalink
    July 10, 2012 10:51 am

    This sounds great and I would love to read it! Thanks for sharing, it’s always so inspirational.

  44. lemontreelane permalink
    July 10, 2012 11:47 am

    Great giveaway! I’d love to read that book!

  45. July 10, 2012 3:19 pm

    sounds inspiring. please include me in your generous giveaway offer. OM

  46. LISA permalink
    July 10, 2012 3:59 pm

    I would love to win a copy of Wild. I went to the Smoky Mountains for the first time last week, and have been romanticizing the Apalachian Trail since. I would love to get lost in her story.

  47. hilary permalink
    July 10, 2012 4:49 pm

    I am on the long waiting list at the library and would love to read it!

  48. 1vivigirl permalink
    July 10, 2012 10:38 pm

    we’re whispering about the glorious rain here in Austin today also.
    WILD sounds great… my husband was just trying to convince me to move to Ashland last week.

  49. Cinda permalink
    July 11, 2012 8:56 am

    I would love to read WILD. You always have the best book recommendations.
    Count me in on the give away.

  50. Melissa permalink
    July 11, 2012 10:30 am

    That book sounds great, I’ll definitely read it one way or another. Wish I could enter a giveaway for some rain!

  51. July 11, 2012 6:02 pm

    I love John Denver sing-a-longs. And this book sounds amazing.

  52. Amy Mayfield permalink
    July 12, 2012 12:36 am

    I’m number 70 bazillion on the Corvallis library’s waiting list for this book, so I’d be thrilled to get to read it sooner! Thanks!

  53. July 12, 2012 7:40 am

    me me me me! this sounds wonderful! am slogging through Mark Helprin’s Winter Tale and his writing always blows me away even when the content is not quite right for the moment. Have fun in alaska, my dear! Tell Col that his crayon cupcake survived my bad cooking skills and is waiting for him when he returns!

  54. Hailey permalink
    July 12, 2012 8:25 am

    YES! Count me in. Thanks so much.

  55. Sabrina Ezzell permalink
    July 12, 2012 9:54 am

    Hi Rachel,
    Please enter my name for the book. I work with folks dealing with addiction and would appreciate her perspective.

  56. July 12, 2012 8:04 pm

    How very lovely … I spent a reasonable amount of time outside as a child and even in my urban years during my 20s, but it’s really only in these last 7 years farming that the outdoors have gotten into my bones. They’re in my kid’s bones too. This is certainly a different kind of connecting than it seems like is in Wild, but gosh, I’d love to read this.

  57. Liz permalink
    July 13, 2012 4:41 am

    Sounds like a fun read!

  58. July 13, 2012 7:11 am

    I would love to read this book! I enjoy keeping up with your post and all your the adventures. I did make your Energy Balls and enjoyed them. Have a fun and safe trip to Alaska and good luck to everyone entering the giveaway.

  59. July 13, 2012 10:38 am

    ooooh— ME! safe travels, rach!

  60. Michelle permalink
    July 13, 2012 5:09 pm

    I have been wanting to get my hands on a copy of this book. Thanks!

  61. Oceano's Mountain Mamma permalink
    July 15, 2012 4:03 am

    The choice is yours to be loved. Words found in journey and cherished by an open heart.

  62. July 15, 2012 11:40 am

    Last summer I read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods and through it, fell in love with the Appalachian trail. I am a California baby and I would love to learn about the Pacific Crest Trail through the voice/eyes of a woman. My husband and I have done lots of backpacking in California, all before we had kids, but we haven’t hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (yet).

  63. Clarissa Thompson permalink
    July 16, 2012 5:33 am

    Your mini-review of her book is lovely, as is your writing about everything. We had buckets and buckets of rain, here in Maine, a few weeks back. Now I am whispering for it, too, as it’s hot, humid, muggy, and above 90 most of the time. Yet, the children still want to snuggle.


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