Looking for some literary inspiration to spur you on your next adventure, or simply looking for an inspiring gift for your adventure loving friends? From lively journeys over land to tales of high-stakes survival on the sea, we have a checklist of inspiring tales written by women that will get your heart pumping and mind racing.
Waymaking: An Anthology of Women’s Adventure Writing, Poetry and Art by Helen Mort, Claire Carter, Heather Dawe Camilla Barnard, Melissa Harrison. This beautiful book recently took out the Mountain Literature Award at the recent Banff Mountain Book Awards. It is a collection of prose, poetry and artwork by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure and landscape.
Wild by Nature by Sarah Marquis. In 2010, Sarah Marquis embarked on a perilous journey: alone and on foot, she walked ten thousand miles across the Gobi Desert, from Siberia, through Thailand, to the Australian outback. Through an inspirational journey, Wild by Nature explores what it is to adventure as a woman in the most dangerous of circumstances, and what it is to be truly alone in the wild.
In Pursuit of Endurance by Jennifer Pharr Davis. Jennifer Pharr Davis, a record holder of the FKT (fastest known time) on the Appalachian Trail, reveals the secrets and habits behind endurance as she chronicles her incredible accomplishments in the world of endurance hiking, backpacking, and trail running.
Thirst 2600 Miles to Home by Heather “Anish” Anderson. By age 25, Heather Anderson had hiked what is known as the “Triple Crown” of backpacking: the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail—a combined distance of 7,900 miles with a vertical gain of more than one million feet. A few years later, she left her job, her marriage, and a dissatisfied life and walked back into those mountains.
Dirty World by Anna Maxymiw. When Anna Maxymiw accepts a summer job as a housekeeper at a fishing lodge in Northern Ontario, she has little idea what to expect. At twenty-three, she has decided to step away from her master’s degree and city life to board a floatplane bound for the remote boreal forest.
Magnetic North by Jenna Butler. Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard takes the reader from the endangered Canadian boreal forest to the environmentally threatened Svalbard archipelago off the coast of Norway, connecting continents and tracing the impacts of climate change on northern lands. With a feminist gaze, Jenna Butler questions explorer narratives and the mythic draw of the polar North. Blending travelogue and poetic meditation on place, Magnetic North will draw readers’ minds to the beauty and power of landscapes under threat, and ask them why some stories in recorded history are privileged at the expense of those left to speak from beneath the surface.
Walking to the end of the World by Beth Jusino. In April 2015, Beth and Eric Jusino, laden with backpacks and nerves, walked out of a cathedral in the historic village of Le Puy, France, down a cobblestone street, and turned west. Seventy-nine days, a thousand miles, two countries, two mountain ranges, and three pairs of shoes later, they reached the Atlantic Ocean.
“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you” – Louis L’Amour