TRUCKEE, Calif. - Award-winning local author Suzanne Roberts will give a reading from her new backpacking memoir "Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail" (University of Nebraska Press, 2012) at Hooligan's Bookshelf in Truckee on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. The reading will be followed by a question and answer session and booksigning. The event is free and open to all.
Day One, and already she was lying in her journal. It was 1993, Suzanne Roberts had just finished college. When her friend suggested they hike California's John Muir Trail, the adventure sounded like the perfect distraction from a difficult home life and thoughts about the future. But she never imagined the 28-day hike would change her life. Part memoir, part nature writing, part travelogue, "Almost Somewhere" is Roberts' account of that hike.
John Muir had written of the Sierra Nevada as a "vast range of light," and this was exactly what Roberts was looking for. But traveling with two girlfriends, one experienced and unflappable and the other inexperienced and bulimic, she quickly discovered she needed a new frame of reference. Her story of a month in the backcountry - confronting bears, snowy passes, broken equipment, injuries, and strange men - is as much about finding a woman's way into outdoor experience as it is about the natural world she so eloquently describes. Candid, funny and, finally, wise, "Almost Somewhere" is not just the whimsical coming-of-age story of a young woman ill-prepared for a month in the mountains but also the reflection of a distinctly feminine view of nature.
Michelle Schingler from ForeWord said in a recent review, "'Almost Somewhere' is, at all turns, a gratifying read. It is intimate and funny, sharp and pensive, and its readers - if not inspired to undertake their own adventures - will certainly be sad to leave Roberts at the trail's end."
In Booklist, Colleen Mondor said, "Roberts dares to combine a hiking adventure with a healthy dose of humor and female bonding in all its complicated and turbulent best ... An utterly refreshing outdoors memoir free of the seemingly manufactured drama so many similar titles contain. A delightful and quite literary diversion."
Suzanne Roberts is the author of the memoir "Almost Somewhere," as well as four collections of poetry, including "Shameless," "Nothing to You," "Three Hours to Burn a Body: Poems on Travel," and "Plotting Temporality." She was named "The Next Great Travel Writer" by National Geographic's Traveler. She lives in South Lake Tahoe and teaches at Lake Tahoe Community College and for the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Sierra Nevada College.
The Bookshelf is located at 11310 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, (near the Safeway). Call 530-582-0515. Visit www.facebook.com/suzannerobertsalmostsomewhere.