Curl Up by the Fireplace with These Cozy Mountain Reads
One of the perks of a vacation in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina is being able to curl up by the fireplace (or firepit), in a porch rocking chair, or perhaps in a hammock, and catch up on some great reads. For some of us, just having the luxury and freedom from other responsibilities to get lost in a good book is part of what a vacation is all about. Your Bryson City cabin rental has everything you need to feel right at home in the mountains, whether you're enjoying your book inside by the toasty fireplace, or out on the deck under the stars. Today we're highlighting some of the most popular books with mountain settings that pair perfectly with your Watershed Cabins vacation. Which one are you reading next?
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
You probably already recognize this title—chosen by Oprah in her book club and from the Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of Wild starring Reese Witherspoon.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone.
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
You may recognize the author Jon Krakauer from one of his other popular books (and movie), Into the Wild.
A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more—including Krakauer's—in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
We recommended this title previously on one of our related blogs about movies set in the Great Smoky Mountains, but we think it's always best to read the book first!
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America—majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way—and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Don't discount this classic novel set in the Swiss Alps. Though it may seem far and away, and during a different time, this novel is guaranteed to put you in the mountain mood. This is a great one to read aloud with the family, too.
Little orphan Heidi goes to live high in the Alps with her gruff grandfather and brings happiness to all who know her on the mountain. When Heidi goes to Frankfurt to work in a wealthy household, she dreams of returning to the mountains and meadows, her friend Peter, and her beloved grandfather.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
This is another mountain read with an already-famous movie based upon it.
Cold Mountain is a novel about a soldier’s perilous journey back to his beloved near the Civil War's end. Based on local history and family stories passed down by Frazier’s great-great-grandfather, Cold Mountain is the tale of a wounded Confederate soldier, Inman, who walks away from the ravages of the war & back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. His odyssey thru the devastated landscape of the soon-to-be-defeated South interweaves with Ada’s struggle to revive her father’s farm, with the help of an intrepid young drifter named Ruby. As their long-separated lives begin to converge at the close of the war, Inman & Ada confront the vastly transformed world they’ve been delivered.
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Kidnapped has become a classic of historical romance the world over and is justly famous as a novel of travel and adventure in the Scottish landscape.
Tricked by the uncle who has stolen his inheritance, young David Balfour is kidnapped and bound for America. Or at least that was the plan, until the ship runs into trouble and David is rescued by Alan Breck Stewart, fugitive Jacobite and, by his own admission, a ‘bonny fighter’. Balfour, a canny lowlander, finds an echo of some wilder and more romantic self in the wilful and courageous Highland spirit of Alan Breck. A strange and difficult friendship is born, as their adventures begin.
A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean
A retired English professor who began writing fiction at the age of 70, Maclean produced what is now recognized as one of the classic American stories of the 20th century, while Brad Pitt made this character famous on the movie screen.
Maclean grew up in the western Rocky Mountains. As a young man he worked many summers in logging camps and for the United States Forest Service. The two novellas and short story in this collection are based on his own experiences—the experiences of a young man who found that life was only a step from art in its structures and beauty. The beauty he found was in reality, and so he leaves a careful record of what it was like to work in the woods when it was still a world of horse and hand and foot, without power saws, "cats," or four-wheel drives.
Smoky Mountain Magic by Horace Kephart
Horace Kephart's fictional adventure set in the Deep Creek watershed, Cherokee Indian Reservation, and Bryson City in the summer of 1925. Written in 1929 and never before published, the original manuscript was passed down for 3 generations and recently surfaced during the park's 75th anniversary celebration.
"What better topic than a journey into a forbidden realm, complete with witches, robber barons, noble savages and a winsome lady, all wrapped in a cloak of mystery and myth?" asks reviewer Gary Carden. Kephart is featured in Ken Burn's PBS series on our national parks.
what's your favorite mountain read?
Now how about a mountain-inspired movie night?