December reads (2013)

The last book review of the year!  I read 7 books this month, and finished my 2013 reading challenge of reading 60 books.  Woo!

Walden on Wheels – Ken Ilgunas

This is a travel book about a man that worked in Alaska, then bought a van and lived in it whilst going to college.  It’s a seriously good read, and is a blend of philosophy, travel and adventure.  I really recommend it!

If you lived here, I’d know your name – Heather Lende

This book is a biography of living in Alaska.  The author is a journalist for her local paper, and writes the obituaries.  The book is a mix of thoughts on the people she meets, little adventures and day-to-day life.  I found it a bit long-winded in places, but Alaska is a fascinating place, and if you’re interested in life there then you should read this.

How to live a low-carbon life – Chris Goodall

I read this because it was recommended in another book I read.  It’s basically a manual, so unless you have a specific interest in low-carbon living, I don’t recommend it.  It’s hard-going!

The Good life – Helen and Scott Nearing

Helen and Scott Nearing bought a farm in Vermont in the 1930s and led the sustainability movement.  They were the inspiration behind the TV series of the same name (although that’s set in an urban house in the UK!).  Absolutely fascinating read – they literally did everything themselves, so you’ll learn lots when reading the book.  It’s part biography, part manual.  It’s full of useful information.  I now know how to build a cheap stone house!

Divergent – Veronica Roth

Umm, this is rubbish.  I read it because it’s “like The Hunger Games”.  No, it’s not.  The Hunger Games is a lot better!  Still, I know it’s very popular so I’m in the minority with this view.  Basically, the book follows the story of a girl living in a future Chicago.  Society has been restructured following civil war, and people are divided into factions depending on their key personality trait.  But wait!  There is treachery afoot!  Will our lead character succeed in leading a revolution?  Well, I’ll never know because it’s a trilogy and I’m not reading the other two books.

Is that bike diesel, mate? – Paul Carter

I love Paul Carter.  If you’ve never read any books, you really should.  This book is about his tour around Australia on a bio-diesel bike.  It was the first tour of its kind in Australia.  Spoiler alert, but the bike is crap and lots of funny things happen.  Paul Carter is a hilarious author and this book is an amusing read.

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail – David Miller

Great book!  This book is a travel book of David Miller’s experience walking the Appalachian Trail.  I’ve read a few books on both the Appalachian Trail and it’s west coast twin the Pacific Coast Trail.  This one is especially good because it’s well-written and interesting.  If you like walking biographies or are thinking of doing part (or all!) of the Appalachian Trail, I recommend reading this first.

Have you read any good books recently?