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  1. #1

    :banana FINALLY !!! A new book about HIKING the Appalachian Trail is here!

    I've read countless books on hiking and always on the lookout for fresh hiking reading material. The usual suspects, you know. I actually got tired of reading the same old, same old recommended "stale" hiking books from years gone by.

    I found this newer book on sale this week The Appalachian Trail Dirt Under My Boots and everywhere else from a previous post below. This guy is definitely an up and coming Bill Bryson replacement in the world of writing. He added humor and wit combined with an excellent easy to read writing style. I chuckled at many things and finished this book in five hours since I could not put it down. An adventure that only a true hiker would embrace. In fact, this book has even more information in it about the trail and hiking. The reviews on Goodreads was pretty good too.

    Especially reading about "Foul-mouth" a cursing woman he met on the trail, who had no idea he gave her that trail name and for good reason. So, if your tired of reading what everybody else is reading, I'd suggest this book. I can see it becoming a good seller. Forget the the others and open your mind to even more GREAT reading!
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    John B's Avatar
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    Mr. KeepOnHIkin', might you be the "up and coming Bill Bryson replacement"? Might you be writing about yourself in the third person? Might you have chuckled at yourself and couldn't put down the book you wrote?
    Just seems like a crazy coincidence that both you and the author are from Tampa.
    Last edited by John B; 11-24-2019 at 07:21.

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    It sure looks like an advertisement...

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    The perfect punctuation is a giveaway
    Simple is good.

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    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    I disagree with the OP. This book is just another hiker journal of an AT hike. I found it poorly edited and boring.
    More walking, less talking.

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    Also, it's his first and only post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Mr. KeepOnHIkin', might you be the "up and coming Bill Bryson replacement"? Might you be writing about yourself in the third person? Might you have chuckled at yourself and couldn't put down the book you wrote?
    Just seems like a crazy coincidence that both you and the author are from Tampa.
    Seems like the second post about this book. The first had a sample and ended up with a lot of criticism.

  8. #8

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    And this dancing banana AGAIN

  9. #9

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    Questionable advertising as your first post isn't a great idea. Other people can also make a quick "first post" when reviewing your book on goodreads or amazon.

  10. #10

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    Well, I did just finish reading Ben Montgomery's 2014 book, Grandma Gatewood's Walk. She was one tough woman. I'd say she was also the first ultralight hiker. I thought it was a very good read.
    (And, no, I'm not Ben Montgomery.)

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    :banana we need a sticky note for would be thru hike authors

    Quote Originally Posted by orthofingers View Post
    Well, I did just finish reading Ben Montgomery's 2014 book, Grandma Gatewood's Walk. She was one tough woman. I'd say she was also the first ultralight hiker. I thought it was a very good read.
    (And, no, I'm not Ben Montgomery.)
    It might be helpful to have a sticky note on WB for would-be thruhiker (or section hiking) authors, which could start with a (short) list of the really good books that have been written, many of which like Montgomery's weren't self authored. It would advise them:

    1. That it's great for you to journal and spend time to organize your writings, images and videos during and after hiking, as this author did;
    2. That you should assume that beyond your family and friends, a few people may want to read these writings (and family and friends may not be honest about their opinions...).
    3. That self advertising these writings on WB may not be well-received, but this has nothing to do with your good intent to record your thoughts for future review. You also likely made friends on the trail who would enjoy (skimming) your remembrances, go ahead and send them your self published book, which will likely be well-received.
    4. That this also applies to Vlogs with extensive, wandering video selfies of your thoughts as you walk the same trail that so many others have covered.

    I think Buz captured these thoughts well in his preface, when he accurately summarized that "most of what you'll learn, will come from actually being on the trail". The banana man understands this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaikases View Post
    Seems like the second post about this book. The first had a sample and ended up with a lot of criticism.
    I believe you're thinking of "hard ranger"[SIC] -- another quasi-literate effort that was supposed to be amusing but instead was only pathetic.

    For those who self-publish books on Amazon and elsewhere, I would suggest hiring a neighborhood high school student -- one who gets at least a C in English and maybe is even on the school newspaper or yearbook staff -- to edit and proof before publishing. Mr. Luttman's prose reads like... well.... like it was written by a former high school security guard.

    And about those stellar reviews on Good Reads. Most of the legit reviews are like this one:

    There have been numbers of books written about hiking the Appalachian Trail and most are not very good. This one included. This muddled book needs a good editor as it suffers from incomplete sentences and thoughts, repetition, and poor grammar. I found nothing compelling in the story. It is written as a daily journal and gets to be tedious. I am sorry that the author had to cut his hike short due to a family emergency, but this is good for the reader so they do not have to suffer through 1200 more miles

    It seems that the majority of the 5-star reviews on Good Reads are done by first-timer reviewers and read as if the author himself wrote them. For example, "Paul" writes:
    "This guy is an up and coming Bill Bryson replacement in the world of writing. He added humor and wit combined with an excellent easy to read writing style. I chuckled at many things and finished this book in five hours since I could not put it down. An adventure that only a true hiker would embrace. Especially reading about "Foul-mouth" a cursing woman he met on the trail..."

    Now isn't that just remarkably similar to what 'KeepOnHikin' wrote in his first post? Almost like he's making up reviews to shill his book and then copy/paste under another name in another forum, but surely he wouldn't be that unethical, ne?

    Still, I'm glad he had so much fun hiking all the way from Georgia to Virginia that he was drawn to write about grand adventure.
    Last edited by John B; 11-25-2019 at 07:22.

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    Why does this remind me of the Hard Ranger thread?
    - Trail name: Thumper

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    Quote Originally Posted by chef4 View Post
    It might be helpful to have a sticky note on WB for would-be thruhiker (or section hiking) authors, which could start with a (short) list of the really good books that have been written, many of which like Montgomery's weren't self authored. It would advise them:

    1. That it's great for you to journal and spend time to organize your writings, images and videos during and after hiking, as this author did;
    2. That you should assume that beyond your family and friends, a few people may want to read these writings (and family and friends may not be honest about their opinions...).
    3. That self advertising these writings on WB may not be well-received, but this has nothing to do with your good intent to record your thoughts for future review. You also likely made friends on the trail who would enjoy (skimming) your remembrances, go ahead and send them your self published book, which will likely be well-received.
    4. That this also applies to Vlogs with extensive, wandering video selfies of your thoughts as you walk the same trail that so many others have covered.

    I think Buz captured these thoughts well in his preface, when he accurately summarized that "most of what you'll learn, will come from actually being on the trail". The banana man understands this.
    Perfectly said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I believe you're thinking of "hard ranger"[SIC] -- another quasi-literate effort that was supposed to be amusing but instead was only pathetic.

    For those who self-publish books on Amazon and elsewhere, I would suggest hiring a neighborhood high school student -- one who gets at least a C in English and maybe is even on the school newspaper or yearbook staff -- to edit and proof before publishing. Mr. Luttman's prose reads like... well.... like it was written by a former high school security guard.

    And about those stellar reviews on Good Reads. Most of the legit reviews are like this one:

    There have been numbers of books written about hiking the Appalachian Trail and most are not very good. This one included. This muddled book needs a good editor as it suffers from incomplete sentences and thoughts, repetition, and poor grammar. I found nothing compelling in the story. It is written as a daily journal and gets to be tedious. I am sorry that the author had to cut his hike short due to a family emergency, but this is good for the reader so they do not have to suffer through 1200 more miles

    It seems that the majority of the 5-star reviews on Good Reads are done by first-timer reviewers and read as if the author himself wrote them. For example, "Paul" writes:
    "This guy is an up and coming Bill Bryson replacement in the world of writing. He added humor and wit combined with an excellent easy to read writing style. I chuckled at many things and finished this book in five hours since I could not put it down. An adventure that only a true hiker would embrace. Especially reading about "Foul-mouth" a cursing woman he met on the trail..."

    Now isn't that just remarkably similar to what 'KeepOnHikin' wrote in his first post? Almost like he's making up reviews to shill his book and then copy/paste under another name in another forum, but surely he wouldn't be that unethical, ne?

    Still, I'm glad he had so much fun hiking all the way from Georgia to Virginia that he was drawn to write about grand adventure.
    Ouch. I had no idea that he cut out with 1200 miles left to go. He did not even make it halfway to the end?

    Well, he has enough ego for fifty through hikes it seems, even if he lacks the ability to complete even one.

    Ok, that was snide, but I'm tired of this kind of drive by spam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethesis View Post
    Ouch. I had no idea that he cut out with 1200 miles left to go. He did not even make it halfway to the end?

    Well, he has enough ego for fifty through hikes it seems, even if he lacks the ability to complete even one.

    Ok, that was snide, but I'm tired of this kind of drive by spam.
    What makes a good book? Good storytelling. Some thruhikers have done reasonably well with their books - Earl Shaffer, Ed Garvey, David Miller, Zach Davis, et al. Even so, they appeal to a limited audience. But the two best selling books about long hikes came from two people who never finished even half a thru-hike - Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed. Why? They are writers/storytellers first and both had successful prior writing experience. To paraphrase Robert McKee, author of "Story" - given the choice between reading the profound told poorly vs. the trivial told well, people will always choose the better storytelling. When it comes to books, it's not about the quality of the hike, it's about the quality of the story.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 11-28-2019 at 09:24.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    What makes a good book? Good storytelling. Some thruhikers have done reasonably well with their books - Earl Shaffer, Ed Garvey, David Miller, Zach Davis, et al. Even so, they appeal to a limited audience. But the two best selling books about long hikes came from two people who never finished even half a thru-hike - Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed. Why? They are writers/storytellers first and both had successful prior writing experience. To paraphrase Robert McKee, author of "Story" - given the choice between reading the profound told poorly vs. the trivial told well, people will always choose the better storytelling. When it comes to books, it's not about the quality of the hike, it's about the quality of the story.
    Jennifer Pharr Davis......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethesis View Post
    Ouch. I had no idea that he cut out with 1200 miles left to go. He did not even make it halfway to the end?

    Well, he has enough ego for fifty through hikes it seems, even if he lacks the ability to complete even one.

    Ok, that was snide, but I'm tired of this kind of drive by spam.
    Huh. Realized I’d picked it up a long time ago and deleted it off my phone.

    Here are some samples:

    ””So, let’s start with what I started out carrying for an adventure of a lifetime. ACR ResQlink GPS: 406 mgz Backpack: Kelty Pawnee 3300 orange, 65 liters with blue raincover Baseball hat: Gray/ blue cotton with the A.T logo and zippered side, forest green with white A.T. logo Bear bag: Ascend 20 liters, waterproof Bear spray: UDAP bear spray, twelve ounces, better safe, than sorry Boots: Keen Targhees, size 12, leather Buff: Appalachian Trail Buff with the A.T. logos and various portioned maps on it. Great for use a headband, rag, neck and/ or to cover the ears when cold out. Cellphone: A cellphone is definitely needed for the hike. Mostly for taking pictures, a cellphone with at least eighteen megapixels is excellent. A cellphone is also a must for contacting friends, family, rides, hostels, weather reports and if the need arose, emergencies. A hiker can only””

    “I cannot say exactly how many trips I made to REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated) in Jacksonville, Bill Jackson’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and too many others to name. If I had known, I would have purchased stock in those companies being traded in the stock exchange. I do know that the time and effort to drive to each store location, at times, would be upward to over more than an hour.”

    “night. One pack of oatmeal was on my menu for dinner. As hungry as I was, I was also too tired to eat. Anyway, now I had to learn about conserving food with what limited food rations a hiker takes to survive on until the next resupply trail town. On our way to the creek, many hikers exchanged with us the customary hellos and, “How ya’ doing?”

    really it is pretty shallow and insipid.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    What makes a good book? Good storytelling. Some thruhikers have done reasonably well with their books - Earl Shaffer, Ed Garvey, David Miller, Zach Davis, et al. Even so, they appeal to a limited audience. But the two best selling books about long hikes came from two people who never finished even half a thru-hike - Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed. Why? They are writers/storytellers first and both had successful prior writing experience. To paraphrase Robert McKee, author of "Story" - given the choice between reading the profound told poorly vs. the trivial told well, people will always choose the better storytelling. When it comes to books, it's not about the quality of the hike, it's about the quality of the story.
    no disagreement on what it takes for mass market sales.

    But this book? Not so gripping. More samples.


    “Upon arriving at Lance Creek, all six tent sites were being used already and many more tents were set up all over the place just like at Justus Creek. We figured the trail sure is a popular place to be with all of these hikers.”
    “Another hiker came in saying they were collecting money as he was going to make a beer run. I tended to stay away from drinking a lot of trail beer as the idea of not being 100% up to par, with a hang-over or high blood alcohol level the following day, while hiking the trail, did not sound like a good idea. The young female hiker next to my bunk got up and told the guy, “Where I’m ****ing from we don’t drink ****ing beer, we drink ****ing liquor!” I laughed and asked if she had a trail name which she did not. In the usual fashion, we began exchanging hiker questions with the usual and repetitive, “When did you start?” “Where did you start?” etc., she asked how long we were staying at the hostel.”

    “was now over. I did not have any idea when, or if, I would ever return. Family ALWAYS comes first, no matter what. Freebird, the following morning, left to go back home as work still beckoned for his return. I had to go to the local Walmart to get clothing that would now fit me. In two months on the trail, I lost a grand total of forty pounds and now boasted a 34 inch waist from hiking. I weighed 194 pounds, and my stomach was as flat as Florida from where I came from. I am happy that I met many other hikers who I consider great friends. In the months that followed, I took care of family as time continued on. It is said that, if a thru-hiker makes it to Damascus, more than likely that hiker will finish their thru-hike.”

    well. I do agree family first.

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