Taking a walk. Such a simple yet profound way to experience the world while at the same time allowing our minds to ruminate within a unique kind of solitude. I am currently rereading Teju Cole’s brilliant novel Open City and marveling again at all he is able to convey as his protagonist takes long walks through New York City as a way to assuage his busy yet lonely life. This led me to think of other wonderful “walking” books like Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney, quite different in tone, but another inventive novel that explores the life of an aging woman whose memories are piqued as she traverses the environs of Manhattan one New Year’s Eve. The novel is based upon the remarkable real life of Margaret Fishback and carries the reader through the decades of the 1930’s to the present in a delightful and inspiring way. One last walking book to mention for adults and adolescents alike is What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee. A teenage boy who has recently experienced a deep loss is left alone while his mother must work night shifts. He finds solace and surprising connections through his late night rambles.
For a deeper dive into books about wallking here are a few other noteworthy companions: