Most of us are spending more time at home and less time adventuring than we'd like right now.  Find some inspiration for your next adventure by joining our Armchair Adventure Book Club!  These are stories of adventure, courage, perserverance, and self-discovery. 

April 9 - Becoming Odyssa with Jennifer Pharr Davis
April 16 - The Unlikely Thru-Hiker with Derick Lugo
April 23 - Untamed with Will Harlan
April 30 - Gorge with Kara Richardson Whitley
May 7 - Positive Forward Motion (film) with Chris Gallaway
May 14 - Stand Up That Mountain with Jay Erskine Leutze
May 21 - Grandma Gatewood's Walk with Ben Montgomery
May 28 - Pursuit of Endurance with Jennifer Pharr Davis

Jennifer Pharr Davis will be hosting this book club live with the week's featured author on Thursdays at 12pm eastern during April and May.  You can join in the chats each week for free at

If you'd like to read along with these incredible stories, you can purchase the books individually or as a bundle in our online store.  All books are signed by the author, and the bundle is available at a special price!  Read more about the included books below:

Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis
     After graduating from college, Jennifer isn't sure what she wants to do with her life.  Though inexperienced and unprepared, she feels drawn to the Appalachian Trail and sets out along the long-distance footpath that stretches 2.175 miles from Georgia to Maine.
     The next five months are the most physically and emotionally challenging of her life - coping with blisters and aching shoulders, hiking through endless torrents of rain and a blizzard, facing unwanted company and encountering tragedy.  The trail becomes a modern day Odyssey that tests Jennifer's faith in God, humanity, and herself.  But even at her lowest points, it provides enduring friendships, unexpected laughter, and the gift of self-discovery.
     With every step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of the trail.  As she travels along the ridges of the ancient mountain chain, she realizes that she isn't walking through nature - she is part of nature.  And she learns that the Appalachian Trail is more than a 2,175 mile hike; it is a journey that will change a person forever.

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker by Derick Lugo
     Derick Lugo had never been hiking.  He certainly couldn't imagine going more than a day without manicuring his goatee.  But with a job cut short and no immediate plans, this fixture of the New York comedy scene began to think about what he might do for with months of free time.  He had heard of the Appalachian Trail, but he had never seriously considered attempting to hike all 2,192 miles of it.  Suddenly he found himself asking, Could he do it?
     The Unlikely Thru-Hiker is the story of a young black man setting off from the city with an extremely overweight pack and a willfully can-do attitude.  What follows are lessons on preparation, humility, race relations, and nature's wild unpredictability.  Through it all, Lugo refuses to let any challenge squash his inner Pollyanna, persevering with humor, tenacity, and an unshakeable commitment to grooming that sees him from Georgia to Maine.

Untamed by Will Harlan
     Carol Ruckdeschel is the wildest woman in America.  She eats road kill, wrestles alligators, rides horses bareback, and lives in a ramshackle cabin that she built herself in an island wilderness.  She's had three husbands and many lovers, one of whom she shot and killed in self-defense.  A combination of Henry David Thoreau and Jane Goodall, Carol is self-taught scientist who has become a tireless defender of sea turtles on Cumberland Island, a national park off the coast of Georgia.
     Cumberland is the country's largest and most biologically diverse barrier island - over forty square miles of pristine wilderness celebrated for its windswept dunes and feral horses.  Steel magnate Thomas Carnegie owned much of Cumberland, and his widow Lucy made it a Gilded Age playground.  But in recent years, Carnegie heirs and the National Park Service have clashed with Carol over the island's future.  What happens when a dirt-poor naturalist with only a high-school diploma tries to stop one of the wealthiest families in America?  Untamed is the story of an American original standing her ground and fighting for what she believes in, no matter the cost.

Gorge by Kara Richardson Whitley
     She had done it once before. That's why, when she failed in a second attempt, it brought her so low.  Struggling with a food addiction and looking for ways to cope with feelings of failure and shame, Kara ballooned to more than 300 pounds.  Deep in her personal gorge, Kara realized the only way out was up.  She resolved to climb that mountain again - and this time she would reach the summit without waiting for her plus-size status to disappear.
     Gorge: My Journey Up Kiimanjaro At 300 Pounds is the raw story of Kara's ascent from the depths of self-doubt to the top of the world.  Her difficult and inspiring trek speaks to every woman who has struggled with her self-image or felt that food was controlling her life.  Honest and unforgettable, Kara's journey is one of intense passion, endurance, and self-acceptance.  In Gorge, Kara shows that big women can do big things.

Stand Up That Mountain by Jay Erskine Leutze
     In the tradition of A Civil Action - the true story of an outdoorsman living along in Western North Carolina who teams up with his neighborhood and environmental lawyers to save a treasured mountain peak from the mining company. 
     One day Jay Leutze got a call from a young woman, Ashley, and her Aunt Ollie.  Ashley and Ollie said they had evidence that Clark Stone Company was violating the Mining Act of 1971 up on Belview Mountain, one of the most remote and wildest places in the eastern United States.  They wanted Jay, a non-practicing attorney, to sue the company to put a stop to their mining operation.  He jumped at the challenge.  Upon meeting Ashley and Ollie, Leutze knew he was embarking on a course that would change his life.  Fourteen-year-old Ashley assured him she had accumulated a stack of evidence "as big as that mountain," detailing the mine owner's misdeeds.  Leutze quickly became convinced that this was a case he could win.  He formed a plaintiff group and sued the state of North Carolina for violations of its own mining laws.  He and Ashley's family were eventually joined by several national conservation groups seeking to save Belview Mountain and protect the Appalachian Trail in one of its most scenic and fragile stretches.  This is a great underdog David vs Goliath story with lots of good guys you love, and bad guys you love to hate.  Not only did the case against the Clark Stone Company set groundbreaking legal precedent, the good guys won a complete victory.  How they did it is as compelling a story as the best literary fiction. 

Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery
     Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars.  The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail.  And in September 1955, having survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes, and run-in with gangsters from Harlem, she stood atop Maine's Mount Katahdin.  There she sang the first verse of "America, the Beautiful" and proclaimed, "I said I'll do it, and I've done it."
     Grandma Gatewood, as the reporters called her, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, as well as the first person - man or woman - to walk it twice and three times.  Gatewood became a hiking celebrity and appeared on TV and in the pages of Sports Illustrated.  The public attention she brought to the little-known footpath was unprecedented.  Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to boldeterd maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.
Author Ben Montgomery was given unprecedented access to Gatewood's own diaries, trail journals, and correspondence, and interviewed surviving family members and those she met along her hike, all to answer the question so many asked: Why did she do it?  The story of Grandma Gatewood will inspire readers of all ages by illustrating the full power of human spirit and determination.  Even those who know of Gatewood don't know the full story - a story of triumph from pain, rebellion from brutality, hope from suffering.

Pursuit of Endurance by Jennifer Pharr Davis
     Jennifer Pharr Davis, a record holder on the Appalachian Trail, reveals the secrets behind superendurance as she chronicles the lives and habits of the world's best long distance hikers and ultrarunners.  This adventure exposé examines the roots of human endurance and the history of the Long Distance Trail Records referred to as Fastest Known Times (FKTs).  With a storyteller's ear for fascinating detail and description, Davis sets out to uncover the commonalities between these extreme athletes and instead discovers the strikingly different backgrounds, approaches, and motivations that push these champions to travel fifty miles a day for weeks and months at a time.  The result of her research is a compelling composite of inspirational stories and easy-to-grasp tips and action items that will encourage individuals to navigate through failure, self-doubt, deep physical pain, and emotional loss with newfound grit by taking one more step.  And then another.