By Alan Cook
Reviewed by Ingrid Taylor--Small Press Review
Whether you're a confirmed couch potato or a staunch computer spud,
Walking the World is going to give you the urge to get up and move.
I was not looking forward to doing this review--after all, what
interest would a book on walking hold for me, the calendar girl
for middle-age spread? Well, grab some walking shoes and I'll tell you…
Not only is Walking the World an inspiring book about obtaining
optimum health while keeping your body and mind happy, but it's
a whole-world word atlas and almanac, a journal of sorts and a
history book, too. Alan Cook has infused the tale of his walking
life with humor and good sense, making it a fast-paced and exciting read.
For example, "The Puritans left England and came to America because
they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Since the
first Puritans arrived on American shores in the 1660's, they have
spent their time persecuting the rest of us. On the other hand,
the English have been celebrating ever since, and I suspect it's
too late to ask them to take the Puritans back."
Having been to Europe myself on several occasions, Cook told stories that
brought back wonderful memories of the countries and places I'd
seen—and the places that are still on my "to do" list. In France,
for instance, he "did get robbed by a Paris taxi driver. He took
all our French Francs and wanted more. I finally gave him some dollars
and swore at him, even though I don't usually swear in front of my mother."
His walking encompasses every state in the U.S. and there are several
mountains I've personally hiked that he describes in vivid and vibrant
detail. Cook reminds us that "Walkers are exposed to all sorts of
educational opportunities. While walking the coast of California I
became somewhat of an authority on beachwear."
By Chapter 6, I'd asked my husband to come with me to the Nature Center,
so we could take advantage of the walking trails at our city's outdoor
wildlife area. Tomorrow--maybe the zoo.
Now that you're motivated and educated to check out this wonderful
book—there's still another treat in store--Cook is a writer of many
talents, poetry being one of his strong suits. He prefaces most
chapters with some wonderfully funny (and sometimes, not-so-funny) poems.
Walking the World: Memories and Adventures is a well-written and
thrilling lifetime adventure that educates and inspires. I'd love
to tell you more, but my feet are fidgeting to get outside and walk!
Table of Contents