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Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit | Michael Finkel
Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality--not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own. In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life--why did he leave? what did he learn?--as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
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Skruff
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Pickpick

“It was good to see you,” he says. - This line, although it doesn‘t seem too emotional when you read it alone, brought tears to my eyes. By the time you get to this quote near the end of the book you‘ll understand why I teared up. It was an emotional, thought provoking journey from start to finish. Interesting read on a type of person you‘ll likely never meet in your lifetime; a real Hermit.

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CRR
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Pickpick

Story of Christopher Knight who lived in the woods of Maine for 27 years. He survived by stealing food from area cabins though he was never violent. I understand the sentiment that he took peace of mind away from people that just wanted to enjoy their cabins in peace…but I feel for the guy and don‘t think he ever really meant any harm. Good story. Wish there was more to read.

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perfectsinner
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It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society

Bklover Great quote! 12mo
perfectsinner Agree 12mo
9 likes2 comments
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perfectsinner
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Nature, Knight clarified, is brutal. The weak do not survive, and neither do the strong. Life is a constant, merciless fight that everyone loses.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

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perfectsinner
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Starting my second kindle book today. This has been on my want to reads list for a while. I see it's also pretty short, just a bit over 200 pages... so it shouldn't take me long to finish.

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DcSunshine
Pickpick

Amazing story, couldn‘t put it down. It was a great read about a man who does the impossible - yet something we‘ve all probably thought about doing ourselves.

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AnnieMcC
Pickpick

I expected this book to focus on the survival techniques learned from living in the woods for over two decades. I found it much more fascinating and leaves me thinking about how we define mental illness. Would a rational person choose to live without any human contact for 27 years? Maybe. . . Definitely worth reading!

Suet624 it was sooo good. :) 1y
2 likes1 comment
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KristiAhlers
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Mehso-so

I have to say this book bothered me a bit and what bothered me was the pushy nature of the author. I get wanting to tell this fascinating man‘s story but not to the point you‘re infringing on him. So amazing that the man lived the way he did. #nonfictionread

SamAnne So agree. I enjoyed the story, but I think the author really overstepped boundaries and harassed the guy. 2y
KristiAhlers @SamAnne he really did which in turn kinda made me feel guilty for reading the book. I know doesn‘t make sense but I didn‘t agree with how entitled he was to tell the story. 2y
49 likes2 comments
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Suet624
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Pickpick

I read this five years ago but I‘ve often thought about it since then. When it popped up on Libby I grabbed it. My brother lived in the woods for many years - he dug a hole in the ground and lived underground for a time - so I felt a special affinity for Chris Knight. I like the book and found much of it informative and interesting, but the author clearly hounded Knight, despite being asked not to, and that was troubling.

BarbaraBB Interesting story about your brother!! 2y
DivineDiana What made your brother decide to do that, or what made him decide to stop? Fascinating! (edited) 2y
Suet624 @DivineDiana @barbarabb He used to come out of the woods during the fall/winter with leaves & dirt in his beard & people would steer very clear of him. At the time he had a temper & preferred to be away from people. His diet in the winter was beer, bread and broccoli. In the summer it was watermelon, ice cream and carrots. Wild, right? I'm not sure why he stopped. Years later, he is close to 80 years old & living a quiet life in his own home. 2y
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DivineDiana Thank you for sharing. It is a wild life to have chosen! I am glad that he has found a peaceful life. 2y
BarbaraBB Echoing all @DivineDiana says 🤍 2y
kspenmoll Sue you have so many stories in you! 💙 2y
55 likes1 stack add6 comments
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ShaniaAJ
The Stranger in the Woods | Michael Finkel
Mehso-so

I was surprised that I liked this book and was able to get into it, I had a hard time getting into it at the start.

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FelinesAndFelonies
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Panpan

I'm legitimately confused about the high ratings on BOTM for this book. While the subject, Chris Knight, is interesting, the way that Michael Finkel basically stalked & harassed him to get a story he felt entitled to is pretty disgusting. Based on the voyeuristic behavior of the author, which I can't get past, this book is a ⭐⭐ read for me. 🫤

(Picture taken while waiting for my daughter's dance recital to start, not at the movie theater. 😂)

Clare-Dragonfly Wow… this book sounds interesting but that does sound really unpleasant. Not sure I could deal with it. 2y
60 likes1 comment
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katiekat311
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Panpan

No. Just not for me. At all.
I found it wasn‘t just the “hermits” story; there were so many components NOT related to Knight that were just whole paragraphs of non-fiction, text book babble. That, I may add, were not needed and didn‘t add to the story, in my opinion. Also, I found it annoying how often Knight told Michael to leave him alone AND HE DIDN‘T. I applaud myself on not bailing, even though I was tempted. This was my #bookspin though!

FelinesAndFelonies I couldn't agree more! Like, boundaries much? It's like Finkel felt entitled to tell Knight's story despite his repeated requests to be left alone. It felt gross. 🤢 2y
Suet624 Definitely a downside to the story was the author himself. I appreciated the book otherwise. 2y
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DieAReader
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Pickpick

#JoysofJune #Challenge2021

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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suvata
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Mine is the book titled above.
What was yours?

suvata @Megabooks oooo a good one — it‘s on my TBR 3y
wanderinglynn But of which bookcase? I have 5 bookcases. 😆 3y
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suvata @wanderinglynn 😂 then you can pick whatever one you want 3y
kspenmoll @wanderinglynn 😂😂 so true! 3y
Kloves2read Sue Grafton Collection; H, I and J 3y
36 likes6 comments
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TheNeverendingTBR
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#12coloursofdecember
#merryreaders
#wintergames2020
@StayCurious

Day 15 - Evergreen 🌱

I read this book a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed it, it tells the story of a man who spent something like 27 years in the woods outside Maine away from society. He was responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries (how he was obtaining his food etc.)

Fascinating read. ✅

CuriousG I *loved* this book! 4y
TheNeverendingTBR @CuriousG Me too, it was such a page-turner 😌 4y
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Cindyelizavaz
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Pickpick

Interesting read. As human we tend to need the getaway from our daily hustle and bustle. Chris Knight took it to a whole new level. I wonder if I could do the same. I am content to staying home all the time without the need or want to leave the confines of my home to head out. But again, I have enough human connection vs none at all. Hugging is my universal language. I do find the author's obsession about Chris a tad bit alarming.

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Mistermandolin
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Pickpick

Unputdownable account of a man who walked away. Sometimes solitude seems so appealing. This book shows it‘s not nearly as straightforward as that but brings rewards nonetheless.

TheNeverendingTBR Brilliant book! 💫💫💫 4y
MynameisSnow Hmm question, what mood did this book have to it, or put you in rather? somber, fascinated, light-hearted etc. Or does it flow more like an adventure/journey memoir? (edited) 4y
Mistermandolin @MynameisSnow It made me sad, mostly. Because as I read it I realised that solitude usually comes at someone else‘s expense, and Knight‘s solitude came at the expense of those he robbed and burgled. They suffered psychologically and materially so that he could live as he did. Finkel‘s skill was in showing that without being overly judgemental. It wasn‘t really a memoir. More a kind of philosophical reflection. (edited) 4y
MynameisSnow Gotcha thank you, I didn‘t know the backstory on it. Sounds interesting 4y
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akfreeborn
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Pickpick

This is not the book if you want to know why someone would disappear into the woods for 27 years when he was 20 years old. It remains unclear but what makes this book so compelling is the how and what our society does with someone who really seems to want to be removed from humanity when what he has done to survive is a crime. I thought Finkel did a great job in telling this real tale that perhaps could only have happened in Maine‘s woods.

Reviewsbylola I wasn‘t interested in this book at all but read it because it was a BOTM selection the year i was doing #botmchallenge. I ended up not wanting to put it down. I loved it! 4y
SamAnne I would not have picked it up if it hadn‘t been a book club read. I couldn‘t stop listening. And we had a great club discussion on our discomfort over the actions of the writer and boundaries he may have crossed in the telling. 4y
akfreeborn @SamAnne I was conflicted about the writer‘s role in the story as well. It is a complicated issue, saw it in Bad Blood and even Henrietta Lacks but I‘m still glad for what was discovered and reported. 4y
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Chelsunderthesea91
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I love the outdoors, but I could never be a hermit.
#bookchallenge2020 #goodreads

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Princess-Kingofkings
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We are always thinking of Chris Knight when we walk in the woods. This is the power of a story. 🥾

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quietlycuriouskate
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Mehso-so

What an odd book! It tells as much about Finkel as about Knight. After arrest, Knight longs for solitary confinement but Finkel repeatedly foists himself upon him. He romanticises him, too. Knight's life is remarkable but how can he be said to have turned away from Western culture when he watches TV, plays video games and exists on a diet of junk food, all of which he obtains by burglary? Solitude, great: the rest of it isn't any kind of decent.

Princess-Kingofkings We recently read this as a family. It was odd but so is real life. 4y
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Princess-Kingofkings
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I can truly imagine light illuminating this picture from behind just add it would stained glass. Thanks @Crazeedi for adding to my window project. ✝️

curiouserandcurioser @Princess-Kingofkings we just got out crosses, so coloring is on the agenda tomorrow after online church♥️ so excited to be part of your beautiful project! 4y
Texreader I love this one!! 4y
Princess-Kingofkings @curiouserandcurioser ooh, thank you ~ I need to color my own. 4y
Crazeedi Cant wait to see them all together! 4y
27 likes4 comments
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SamAnne
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The perfect audio book for my morning dog walk in the park near my house. Would not have picked this one up had it not been chosen for a book club. And so apropos for Covid Times. Much reflection on solitude vs social interaction I. This story of a man who lived alone in the Maine woods for 27 years with no interaction with people, surviving by stealing food and necessities from cabins. Enjoying it much more than expected.

Mirandareads This story is so fascinating to me. 4y
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AJackets
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Pickpick

Book 4: The Stranger In The Woods (the extraordinary story of the last true Hermit)

This is a very intriguing Bio/Memoir about Christopher Knight. You may have never heard of him.
One day in '86 Christopher got out of his car and walked into the woods with nothing and decided to stay there for 27 years. Social Distance much?

This is a page turning bio/memoir to read right now if you are isolating.

tl;dr - Odd people are the most interesting.

SamAnne Just started today on audio while I was walking in the woods! I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought. 4y
TheNeverendingTBR Excellent read! 👌🔝 4y
8 likes2 comments
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Princess-Kingofkings
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Today's book mail from https://www.discoverbooks.com/ for $5.41. 🏆

ShelleyBooksie I felt this story had so much potential but just didn't give me enough 4y
Princess-Kingofkings I've heard similar comments. @ShelleyBooksie 4y
29 likes2 comments
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Princess-Kingofkings
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Group V needs a couple more participants. Do you have a biography/memoir that you have wanted to read? Now's your chance. @Wife Interested??? @Crazeedi @Stacypatrice

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080444aead2ca0ff2-litsy8

Sleepswithbooks @Princess-Kingofkings - I‘m signed up in group E already but thank you for thinking of me 🤗 4y
Princess-Kingofkings @Stacypatrice lol, I didn't see that 🤪 4y
ImperfectCJ I'm tempted...a little worried I won't read fast enough and will hold things up, though. 4y
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Princess-Kingofkings We'll give you grace. It's my first time so I don't know what to expect. 4y
ImperfectCJ Oops...looks like I missed Group V! I'll see if another group looks appealing. 😁 4y
Wife So thrilled that our group is complete!🌹If I‘m not mistaken, I think 3 of us are #MittenLittens I‘ll work on getting potential book choices midweek. @Sward7 @TheBookHippie 4y
TheBookHippie @Wife yay!!!! I‘ll do the same!! 4y
Princess-Kingofkings @Wife @Sward7 @TheBookHippie I was pretty excited to see that 3 of us are #MittenLittens as well. 4y
Sward7 I‘m part of #litsyLove - but what is #MittenLittens? 4y
Princess-Kingofkings Michigan is often referred to as the Mitten State because the shape resembles a hand. If you want to show folks where you live, you use these palm of your hand to indicate Michigan and then point to your location. @Sward7 4y
Sward7 I guess all your Mitten selections are gonna be traveling to the west coast ;-) I'm just finishing up #lmpbc round 7 in group E (epistolary) and love all four picks. Round 6 was my first time.
4y
Crazeedi I'm guessing you got 4 participants Nichole? I just now saw this. If you have everyone i think I'm skipping this round, but I'd like to know when the next one happens. Thanks 4y
Princess-Kingofkings @Crazeedi looks like we have a full crew ~ I'd love to do this with you another time. 4y
Crazeedi @Princess-Kingofkings definitely!! 4y
22 likes14 comments
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Princess-Kingofkings
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Trying something new ~ great idea @Wife

Wife Yay! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 4y
23 likes1 comment
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Racrandall
Pickpick

Thought provoking read! thoroughly enjoyed it and as a introvert I can understand the life that Christopher chose to live along with the challenges, I found it fascinating that he did not have a conversation with another person for 27 years!

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Vee-Ron
The Stranger in the Woods | Michael Finkel
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Pickpick

This book drew me into the solitary world of its subject and had me re-think my own relationship to being alone. It was a type of a salve to the ever present social media world.
I can‘t say I understood the guys choices, or have any desire to live as he did, but I am more ok with a little alone time.
Well written, moves along quickly but, as in life no real resolution for the hermit.

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KimmyM
Pickpick

4 / 5 ⭐ A fascinating read! I'm usually not one for #nonfiction but I was intrigued by this book amd found it a very fastpaced read.

BehindthePages Non fiction is hard for me to finish. Maybe this one will keep my attention :) 5y
KimmyM @Letora It is for me too! But this is a shortish book with quick chapters, which helped me get through it quickly! 5y
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Sweettartlaura
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Pickpick

Could you go 27 years without talking to people? Sleeping inside? Taking a hot shower? Chris Knight did that... in the harsh Maine woods.
This was a compelling tale of a real-life folktale, interspersed with some of the history of hermits.
It was even more interesting than I hoped - pick this up 📚

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Caroline2
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Mehso-so

So this guy goes and lives in the woods for decades but he‘s not ‘living off the land‘ he steals from all the local residents. He‘s caught & goes to jail...the writer admits to being constantly told to go away and that he‘s causing “serious damage” to the family yet continues to pursue the guy any way?? This was a weird read!!!!! #nfnov

arubabookwoman Exactly my reaction whenI read that book! 5y
rsteve388 6 pts 5y
Caroline2 @arubabookwoman it was nothing like I expected it to be. 😳 5y
77 likes3 comments
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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

Such a fascinating read that I felt connected to more than I thought I would.

Following Knight's thoughts as he insolated himself from the outside world made me wonder if I could do the same. Not that I would, but the choices he made and his desire to stay hidden away was very intriguing.

Great way to start out this month. 💚

#NFNov @rsteve388 @Clwojick

rsteve388 6 pts! 5y
34 likes1 comment
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Addison_Reads
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#NFNov @rsteve388 @Clwojick

#TIL about the book in the photo, Very Special People. While listening to the tagged book, The Stranger in the Woods, I learned that Christopher Knight stayed isolated from the world, alone in the woods for over 20 years. During that time he read a lot to occupy his time, and the book in the photo was one of his favorites because he too felt like a "freak." I now want to find this book and read it.

ljuliel I read this book a REALLY long time ago. I still had brown hair and real knees back then. It was really interesting ! 5y
Addison_Reads @rsteve388 @Clwojick This one was from a few days ago, but it never got marked with points. Should be 4pts I think? 3 for #TIL and 1 for the post. Thank you both for doing this! 👍 5y
31 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Addison_Reads
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Starting this one today while working. This will be my first, of many I hope, for #NFNov @rsteve388 @Clwojick

rsteve388 1 pt 5y
31 likes1 comment
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Jgotham
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Literally out in the woods..reading stranger in the woods. This book has been pretty fascinating so far. To learn the kind of someone who is just..different. And there doesn‘t have to be anything wrong with you to just decide you prefer your own company. A lot of fun so far.

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Jgotham
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A bit on the nose-but I‘m helping with a search and rescue mission and in my down time I‘ve started this. It‘s been really good so far!

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Maude
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Pickpick

I listened to this fascinating audiobook while organizing my bookshelves today. The 'hermit' was a man named Christopher Knight, he was an avid reader and had some very quotable moments in the book. I liked Finkel's writing style and will look for more of his work.

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CaitlinByTheBook
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Pickpick

I finished this #bookclub book tonight and absolutely loved it! I bought it a few years ago and never got around to reading it until now. I didn‘t want to put it down. This story is fascinating. If you enjoy nature, solitude and/or nonfiction books, I highly recommend it! 💚

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Redjewel_7734
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Pickpick

We all think about & romanticize the idea of the hermit, of wanting to renounce society & its trappings, etc. But what does that really look like? & what would it take to do that? This is the story of someone who did, and it both is & isn‘t as appealing as it sounds. I found much to admire in the hermit of North Pond, Maine, but I wouldn‘t call him likable or someone I‘d want to emulate. He‘s complicated & this telling of his story is fascinating.

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amiekreger
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This is turning out to be a very quick read. So fascinating.

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amiekreger
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This could be next on my list.

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OrangeMooseReads
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I pulled the tagged book off the shelf for my next read. I took a quick picture of it and then headed upstairs to bed. Guess what I forgot to grab the book. I don‘t want to go back downstairs. Instead I‘ll be starting the pictured book tonight. #latenightbrain #upnext #readingbeforebed

Crazeedi I've heard this is very good 5y
51 likes1 comment
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Eggs
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nelehelen I‘ve had this on my TBR since it came out. I def need to read this!! 5y
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚🌳 5y
76 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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MallenNC
The Stranger in the Woods | Michael Finkel
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This book is about a man who walked away from “civilization” and into the #forest in Maine, where he lived for two decades. Very interesting. #LetsTravelJuly

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Sounds good!! 🌲🌲 5y
OriginalCyn620 I could never do that but can certainly understand why others would want to. 🌳 (edited) 5y
Chasingmermaids You‘d honestly be surprised how many people actually live like this here. You always hear from at least one situation like this or in what used to camps in bad repair. 5y
34 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Becker
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Hold came in from the library today, just in time for the weekend.🌲

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Aleks1275
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Mehso-so

I didn't got my attention to much...4 stars ...

Suet624 Oh, I loved this book!!! 5y
5 likes1 comment
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Tex2Flo
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@Cinfhen @KarenUK #lilithjuly #thestory
This was one of the most unexpected stories I had had heard about recent times. That there could be a hermit living in the woods in this technological age was fascinating.

emz711 Tbr! Thanks 5y
KarenUK Great pick 👍😊🌲🌲🌲 5y
Cinfhen Sorry I missed this post!! It was such a fascinating read!!! 5y
27 likes3 comments