Books suggestions about escape, like My Side of the Mountain
March 21, 2018 5:50 PM   Subscribe

When I feel stressed I like to think about running away to live in the woods. Instead of doing that I'd like to read books about doing that. My Side of the Mountain is probably the definition of the genre, but I'm interested in your recommendations for regular and YA books.

I've read all of Jean George's other books and all Gary Paulson's other books, but I'm having trouble expanding beyond that. I just read Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers, a new tragedy-comedy entry in the genre. I've read a few escape from Siberian POW camp/adrift on a life raft style books and while they have the survival part they don't have the escape from regular life/leave it all behind part. I'd be especially interested in books like Heroes of the Frontier that include families, so as to more closely match my own escapist fantasies.
posted by ChrisHartley to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Little House in the Big Woods et al.

We Took to the Woods and others by Louise Dickinson Rich.
posted by Melismata at 5:52 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is Thoreau’s Walden too obvious?
posted by FencingGal at 6:00 PM on March 21, 2018


Two I read as a kid: Swiss Family Robinson and Island of the Blue Dolphins

Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child has something of a survival after leaving it all behind aspect.
posted by abeja bicicleta at 6:44 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's not exactly about leaving everything behind to live in the woods, but I found this book to be profoundly soothing, and it made me feel very much in touch with the seasons. The author is a shepherd whose family has been herding sheep in an unforgiving climate since the 15th century.
posted by Lycaste at 7:04 PM on March 21, 2018


We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea
Swallowdale
those are my two favorite Arthur Ransome books, but any of them will work - the childrens’ worlds run alongside the workaday world of adults and sometimes intersect with it, but there is a rich and private culture that they carefully preserve from it.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:07 PM on March 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


Bradford Angier
We Took to the Woods
Woodswoman
The Good Life
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
The Man Who Walked Through Time, Colin Fletcher
posted by theora55 at 7:29 PM on March 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


I love these types of books! My very favorite is Arctic Homestead. I’ve read it so many times.
posted by Sassyfras at 7:31 PM on March 21, 2018




Arctic Daughter is a memoir of a young woman (daughter of an explorer) and her fiance who leave their ordinary lives to make their way alone in the backcountry of Alaska.
posted by theatro at 8:15 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


It’s an illustrated children’s book but I love, love, love Andrew Henry’s Meadow.
posted by bondcliff at 8:18 PM on March 21, 2018


While not a huge fan of Jon Krakauer, his Into the Wild describes one young man's flight from society and his escape into the woods. It doesn't end well. I think it's a useful reminder of why we form communities in the first place and the consequences of "freeing" ourselves from them.
posted by SPrintF at 3:49 AM on March 22, 2018


A Place in the Woods by Helen Hoover. It's the account of how the author and her husband chucked their jobs and the city life of Chicago in the mid-1950s and moved to an isolated cabin in the woods of northern Minnesota. They had no idea what they were getting into, which meant a lot of work with an accompanying steep learning curve, but they joyfully lived there for the next sixteen years. The author's description of their wild animal neighbors and her artist husband's illustrations are the best parts of the book.
posted by Lunaloon at 4:56 AM on March 22, 2018


Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver might work for you.
posted by minervous at 6:05 AM on March 22, 2018


You might enjoy Michael Finkel’s ‘The Stranger in the Woods’, based on his 2014 GQ article “The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit”.
posted by KatlaDragon at 7:54 AM on March 22, 2018


Tove Jansson's The Summer Book has a great escapist feel to me, though it's not really about dropping out so much as celebrating a time set apart from the day-to-day.

Also, if you haven't read Wild, it really is a good as all the fuss makes out.
posted by DSime at 11:27 AM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Two I read as a kid: Swiss Family Robinson and Island of the Blue Dolphins

If, like me, you read Swiss Family Robinson as a kid but haven't revisited it since then, you may not realize how utterly bonkers it is. Ursula Vernon hadn't read it before and livetweeted it when she did. Collected into Moments here:
@UrsulaV Livetweets The Swiss Family Robinson, pt. 1
@UrsulaV Livetweets The Swiss Family Robinson, pt. 2
@UrsulaV Livetweets The Swiss Family Robinson, pt. 3
@UrsulaV Livetweets The Swiss Family Robinson, pt. 4
@UrsulaV Livetweets The Swiss Family Robinson, pt. 5
@UrsulaV Livetweets The Swiss Family Robinson, pt. 6
@UrsulaV Livetweets The Swiss Family Robinson, pt. 7
posted by Lexica at 1:35 PM on March 22, 2018


It's not a living-in-the-woods story, but it is YA and definitely involves leaving home and finding adventure. The His Dark Materials series. There are three books. The Golden Compass is the first. Ignore the movie. The book is beautiful.
posted by pdxhiker at 1:55 PM on March 22, 2018


Adam Nicholson's Sea Room.
posted by paduasoy at 7:14 AM on March 23, 2018


« Older Should I go to grad school?   |   What do you call this type of glass? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.