Women in the Wild: 9 Stories of Survival and Adventure

August 14 2019

It’s the summer of strong women (or maybe even the decade). With the astounding work of women like Ilhan Omar and Alexandria O’Casio-Cortez, the undeniable prowess of the U.S. Women’s soccer team, and the Tony Award–winning musical Hadestown giving writer and director Rachel Chavkin much-deserved recognition, we’re constantly inspired. In that spirit, we couldn’t help but harken to some of our favorite stories—both fiction and memoir—about strong women going against the powers that be. Whether it’s finding your love in the middle of the ocean after a hurricane, or deciding in your old age to trek to the ocean for the first time, these stories demonstrate strength and will keep you turning the page.



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MENTIONED IN:

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Wild
by Cheryl Strayed

If you don’t call this a modern womanhood classic, then you might need to change up your definitions. In this heartbreaking and heartwarming memoir, Cheryl Strayed checks out of her life (a divorce, a scattered family, addiction, etc.) and hikes the Pacific Crest Trail (2,653 miles). Alone. Doing battle against the voices saying she can’t, and the wilderness breaking her down, Cheryl’s story is uplifting for any time in your life.

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Wild
Cheryl Strayed

A solo thousand mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State taken by an inexperienced hiker is a revelation. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

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MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 30, 2020

A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 25, 2020

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By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 24, 2020

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2020

Close
Annihilation
by Jeff VanderMeer

Last year, you may have seen the vivid, terrifying film starring Natalie Portman, but you really haven’t stepped into Jeff Vandermeer’s world until you’ve read ANNIHILATION. Written as a first-person account, we go in-depth into the psychological speculation on each of the five women sent to map out the deadly and mysterious zone known as “the Shimmer.” This is the smartest scary book you might read this summer

Read the full review of ANNIHILATION.

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Annihilation
Jeff VanderMeer

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MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 30, 2020

A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 25, 2020

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By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 24, 2020

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2020

Close
My Last Continent
by Midge Raymond

If you live in a place where you can’t escape the heat outside, then this romantic thriller set in Antarctica is just the thing to cool down your summer. Deb Gardener has long valued the partnership and romance she shares with Keller Sullivan during their annual trips to study Emperor and Adelie penguins. When Keller doesn’t show up and Deb finds out he is in danger, she must step into the role of rescuer and find strength within herself.

Read the full review of MY LAST CONTINENT.

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My Last Continent
Midge Raymond

An unforgettable love story that pulls readers deep into one of the most remote places on the planet. Deb and Keller are researchers with a complicated history who spend a few weeks each year studying penguins in the Antarctic. When Deb discovers Keller is trapped aboard a sinking cruise liner, her role changes from researcher to rescuer as she sets out to save him.

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MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 30, 2020

A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 25, 2020

5 Workplace Thrillers to Make You Miss Your Office (or Not!)

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 24, 2020

20 Life-Changing Books We’re Gifting to Everyone We Love This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2020

Close
Etta and Otto and Russell and James
by Emma Hooper

Sometimes, when you feel like you’re in a rut, you just have to put on your boots and walk out of it. Eighty-three-year-old Etta does just that when she decides she wants to see the ocean before she dies. She sets off from rural Saskatchewan on a two thousand-mile hike, leaving her husband and longtime admirer behind with big decisions of what to do with their pasts and their hearts.

Read the full review of ETTA AND OTTO AND RUSSELL AND JAMES.

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Etta and Otto and Russell and James
Emma Hooper

This quiet novel moves from the hot and dry present of a quiet Canadian farm to a dusty, burnt past of hunger, war, and passion; from trying to remember to trying to forget. It is an astounding literary debut of unlikely heroes, lifelong promises, and last great adventures.

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MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 30, 2020

A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 25, 2020

5 Workplace Thrillers to Make You Miss Your Office (or Not!)

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 24, 2020

20 Life-Changing Books We’re Gifting to Everyone We Love This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2020

Close
Force of Nature
by Jane Harper

Already used up your summer vacation and bored with office life? FORCE OF NATURE will spin your reality into thrills, as it takes you on a corporate retreat laced with a suspected murder. Five women leave for the wilderness and only four return. What happened to the missing woman? Can anyone sort through the web of personal and professional suspicion to save her?

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Force of Nature
Jane Harper

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MENTIONED IN:

Women in the Wild: 9 Stories of Survival and Adventure

By Zoey Cole | August 14, 2019

Close
Adrift: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea
by Tami Oldham Ashcraft

Still hung up on the ending of TITANIC? Think there was room on the door for Jack? ADRIFT spins you a new tale, as lovers Richard and Tami set sail from Tahiti to San Diego. Along the way, Richard sends Tami belowdecks when they encounter a storm, but when the waves calm, Richard is nowhere to be found. Tami is left to find him and find home, a heroine in her own right.

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Adrift: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea
Tami Oldham Ashcraft

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MENTIONED IN:

Women in the Wild: 9 Stories of Survival and Adventure

By Zoey Cole | August 14, 2019

Close
Girl in the Woods
by Aspen Matis

On a more somber, and even more inspiring note, we have GIRL IN THE WOODS. This true story is about Aspen Matis, who was raped on her second night of college, and then, in a brave move of self-reliance, chose to hike the Pacific Crest Trail to find her own strength, and learn to trust again.

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Girl in the Woods
Aspen Matis

After a devastating trauma her second night at college, Aspen Matis knows she must take drastic action in order to move forward with her life. She decides to hike 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail (the same trail Cheryl Strayed followed in WILD). The physical demands of the trail allowed for deep reflection and for Matis to discover her own “trail magic”—the inner strength to heal and be herself.

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MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 30, 2020

A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 25, 2020

5 Workplace Thrillers to Make You Miss Your Office (or Not!)

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 24, 2020

20 Life-Changing Books We’re Gifting to Everyone We Love This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2020

Close
Vessel
by Lisa A. Nichols

VESSEL is a novel about a woman alone in space for ten years with no memory of what happened to her NASA crew. This is Catherine Wells’s story; in VESSEL, she returns to her life on earth, trying to put back together the pieces of herself she can remember, and answer what happened to her in space, and what is happening to her now.

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Vessel
Lisa A. Nichols

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MENTIONED IN:

Women in the Wild: 9 Stories of Survival and Adventure

By Zoey Cole | August 14, 2019

One Small Step: 7 Otherworldly Books About the Moon and Space

By Erin Madison | July 19, 2019

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