Vanguard Spotlight Book of the Month: June 2017

Monthly Reads from ASU-Beebe Students, Faculty and Staff.

Faculty/Staff/Student Favorites

Each month Abington Library will feature a favorite book from a faculty, staff member, or student. They will give a brief synopsis of their chosen book.

Featured ASU-Beebe Staff Member: Tamara Purnell

About Tamara

Tamara Purnell is a Student Employment Specialist at ASU-Beebe.

About the Book

Being an avid reader, I am always checking out a book from our library.  I love a good thriller, however this time I decided to choose something different, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.  A memoir that not only takes you on her adventure through the wilderness, but also her personal journey of loss and heartache, to find at the end she was transformed, strengthened, and healed.

As a young woman in her early twenties, Cheryl lost her mother to cancer.  Soon after, she found herself heading down a path of drugs and extramarital affairs.  Unable to keep her family together and with a failed marriage, her life had changed.  Something inside her died with her mother’s last breath.  Then one day while in line at an outdoor supply store, she spotted the book, Pacific Crest Trail Volume I: California. As she read the cover, something about it interested her. Later, she returned and bought the book.  She made an impulsive decision to hike the PCT. 

After months of saving, planning, and packing, she set out on her journey.  She began the 1,100 mile hike in the Mojave Desert and would end up at the Bridge of Gods on the Oregon-Washington border.  With no hiking experience, she made her way through rain forests, deserts, and mountains. She came across snakes, bears, and other wildlife.  Through it all she was able to put the past behind her and came out with a renewed sense of self.  This story takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.  It is thought provoking while also humorous at times.

Today, Cheryl is married with two children and lives in Oregon.  She is a bestselling author and essayist with some of her work featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Vogue.  Wild was the first selection for Oprah’s book club 2.0 and in 2014 was made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon.  Although, the book does contain some profanity, I think it was a great read and would definitely recommend it.

Review by:  Tamara Purnell, Student Employment Specialist – Human Resources

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