Reviews

What critics, booksellers, judges, and hiking experts have said about Karen’s books…

 

America’s Great Hiking Trails

Rizzoli, 2014
National Geographic (in German) 2014

  • New York Times Travel Bestseller
  • Lowell Thomas Gold Award in Travel Books, 2015
  • Foreword Magazine/IndieFab “Book of the Year 2014”  Gold Medal in  Adventure  and Recreation
  • SATW (East): Gold Award for Best Book
  • Barnes and Noble: “Top Book Picks 2014”
  • Yahoo: “One of the year’s best books for travel”

“Broad and deep reporting by Karen Berger combined with the skilled photography of Bart Smith make this not only a beautiful book to hold and skim, but also an extremely informative book for hikers. To produce this, Berger walked more than 10,000 miles and Smith trekked all 18,000 miles on the 11 trails. Every chapter is marked by excellence.” Judges comments, awarding gold in travel book category, Lowell Thomas Awards for Travel Journalism.

 “Not only a beautiful specimen of a book; but the passion for hiking is oozing from its pages. The writing is beautifully crafted and the images do justice to the words.” Judges comments, awarding gold in book category, Society of American Travel Writers/Eastern Chapter Awards.
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“Big books and long walks—not an obvious match. But America’s Great Hiking Trails might become a trekking essential. It covers the 11 routes in the National Scenic Trails system, from the iconic Appalachian to the lesser-known (and swampy) Florida Trail. With history, highlights, maps, and a wealth of photos of each byway, the book is a source of inspiration as well as a planning tool.” — The Wall Street Journal

“What makes a hiking trail ‘great?’ What makes it iconic? Author Karen Berger explores America’s great hiking trails in this photo-rich coffee-table book. America’s Great Hiking Trails should help readers plan the hike that works best for them. Individual chapters describe the essence of what makes each national scenic trail unique…the Appalachian Trail, which starts in Maine and ends in Georgia, is on many hikers’ bucket lists even though it is rarely more than a two- or three-hour drive from major cities; it is hardly the most dramatic of the national trails, nor is it the toughest. And yet the allure endures. Why? Berger suggests that the Appalachian Trail is more than the sum of its parts. Its lasting appeal lies with its contradictions, between ‘humans and wilderness, towns and trails, solitude and community. The book features excellent writing, with gorgeous photography by Bart Smith.” –Chicago Tribune
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One of the Year’s Best Books for Travelers. Sure, you’re content to hike your local trails week after week, but there’s always someone in the group who aspires to go bigger. America’s Great Hiking Trails compiles more than 50,000 miles of trails in one beautifully photographed tome. Eight national parks in 49 states, gorgeous photos, and lots of details about each featured trail make this book a nature lover’s bible. At a pace of four miles per hour you won’t have to gift again until 2071.” — Yahoo Travel

America’s Great Hiking Trails is perfect for anyone interested in outdoor recreation and conservation.” –- Pathways

“America’s Great Hiking Trails is a hardcover Mac Daddy of hiking books, loaded with 336 pages of drop dead gorgeous photographs and a glimpse into eleven of the country’s most iconic hiking trails. Author Karen Berger is a well-seasoned hiker and she invites us to explore, discover and delight in trails that will take you through practically any terrain the country can offer… After reading this book I dare you to tell me that at some point you didn’t imagine yourself hiking at least a small section of one of these scenic trails.” –- Snug Harbour Bay

“Best outdoor book of the year. Beautifully illustrated and meticulously detailed, this is every hiker’s dream book. It follows 11 of America’s historic long-distance trails including the Continental Divide Trail running through Montana to New Mexico. A wonderful coffee table book, Berger and Smith detail specific needs for hikers, while inspiring them with breathtaking photography and flawless storytelling. This is a perfect bucket list for hikers of all ages” — Vail Daily (Colorado)

The Pacific Crest Trail: A Hiker’s Companion

co-authored with Daniel R. Smith

“Sometimes it can be almost as much fun to pull up a chair in front of a fire and read about taking a hike… as it is to actually get out and do it… These books offer a good read with charming anecdotes and interesting tidbits on natural and human history…. This thorough book doesn’t leave a stone unturned along the entire Pacific Crest Trail.” — Sunset Magazine

“The authors know the Pacific Crest trail…and their knowledge is like an invitation to go experience it…What Berger and Smith do best lies in the portion of each chapter called “What You’ll See,” which outlines the natural and human history of each area. The other is “Hiking Information,” a useful guide that includes seasonal and gear information… But also extremely helpful are the options the book lays out for both the thru-hiker and dayhiker and the exacting tips on resupplying spots and trailheads — things that can prove make-or-break points for anyone.” — Orange County Register

“Designed for everyone from the weekender to the through-hiker, this guide to the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail aims to help the user safely navigate the most famous trail in the West. The authors, with some 12,000 Pacific Crest Trail miles between them, share their knowledge on the trail’s strengths (with interpretive sections on flora, fauna, and local history) and how to avoid its less enjoyable aspects (crowds and bears).” — Book News, Inc. Portland, OR

“Their book suggests numerous day hikes and weekend trips on the trail. It also provides pages and pages of wonderful information about the history of each area, about what you’ll see in the way of animals and plants, and about environmental issues.” — Statesman-Journal, Salem, Oregon

“An excellent reference for anyone wishing to enjoy this national scenic trail to its fullest.” — Robert Ballou, Executive Director, PCT Association

Rated “exceptional.” — Today’s Books Public News Service

Along the Pacific Crest Trail

co-authored with Daniel R.  Smith

“Stunning. Terrific. It’s the holiday season’s must-buy book for anyone with the remotest interest in hiking or backpacking. Authors Karen Berger and Daniel Smith’s text… conveys in fine style the sense of hiking for five months and 2,650 miles. It’s a perfect match of text and photographs.” — Tacoma Herald

“Gorgeous… What I love about this mountain trek from Mexico to Canada is the ability of author Karen Berger to state the obvious (“the trick, of course, is not to fall”) and frankly huff and puff toward some of the most “stupendously beautiful” scenery ever to hit the eyeballs of John Muir. Her account, with breath-taking color photos by Bart Smith and you-are-there journal entries by Daniel Smith, is the perfect antidote to that pokey slacker Bill Bryson, who whines his way through “A Walk in the Woods” but gives a patchy account (by comparison) of the Appalachian Trail on his side of the continent.” — Pat Holt, former San Francisco Chronicle reviewer, in “Holt Uncensored”

“What’s not to like?… Boasts more than 100 mouth-watering photos, snappy, real-life-grit-and-sweat-narrative, and production quality that’ll do your coffee table proud.” — Backpacker Magazine

Hiking & Backpacking: A Trailside Guide

“Beautifully illustrated soup-to-nuts adventure guide…. ideal for summer.” — Women’s Sports and Fitness

“Cramming a surprising variety of trail-wise tips into its 200 pages. Hundreds of tips on rest-stepping, seam sealing, bear bagging, and winter camping, just to name a few… the pleasing graphic presentation and numerous sidebars on backcountry tips make it extremely accessible and fun to look at, and lift it head-and-shoulders above (other books).” — Backpacker

“Easy to tote practical guidebook… tells all on how to select and assemble a tent, foot care on the trail, and how to be an environmentally friendly camper.” — Orange County Register

“Attractive and well-designed; filled with solid information and tips… Commonsense stuff throughout.” — LA Times

“Karen Berger’s Hiking and Backpackng: A Complete Guide is the best guide I have seen to the mechanics of the past-time. In 200 or so concise, easy-to-read pages, Berger covers everything from boots to back-country navigation, from hints on quick, easy, and inexpensive trail meals to sensible advice on hiking with your loved one or your kids. Berger takes a calm, unintimidating approach to hiking… she remembers what it feels like to have stiff new boots, blisters, and an ill-fitting pack…. Women are likely to appreciate her sensitivity to a range of issues and practical questions often ignored by male guidebook writers.” — Quincy Patriot Ledger (Massachusetts)

“A companion book to the Trailside PBS-TV series offers comprehensive information about hiking throughout the U.S., covering equipment and food, hiking skills, choosing a campsite, traveling with kids, and hiking long distances.” — Ingram

Where the Waters Divide: A 3,000 Mile Trek Along America’s Continental Divide

co-authored with Daniel R. Smith

“Their story is compelling… Two extraordinary people who talked about getting married, buying a house — and maybe hiking the Continental Divide. They took along a good sense of observation and more important still, a sense of humor.” — Wall Street Journal

“The book does more than recount an amazing journey. It integrates critical political issues such as western water policy , fire suppression policy on public lands, the Endangered Species Act, and the role of grazing on federal land, all with a fine sense of history, making for delightful, invigorating reading.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“The authors took the time to talk to people of many professions along the way…. The book offers spectacular sights and geology, grizzlies and personal stories, history, and the wonder that is part of this magnificent stretch of land.” — Everett Herald (Washington)

“Not only their enviable adventures on the trail but the information they took time to gather about the history and concerns of the people in the area they hiked through give this beautifully written book added dimension and scope.” — Bookman News.

“Romance and curiosity inspired the authors to stride out on the ultimate hike in the U.S. from Mexico to Canada. The long trek took in deserts, mesas, hills, mountains, and plenty of lightning along the spine. Not a trail guide, nor a simple travelogue, it investigates issues, history, and human impacts along the way and tells the good, the bad, and the ugly.” — Scripps Howard News Service.

“An armchair traveler’s delight. They not only discuss their plucky adventure, they also discuss controversial issues such as clear cutting, grazing fees, endangered species, and water resources management. Politicians and bureaucrats would be well-advised to contemplate their commonsense thoughts about our land and resources. — Trenton Times (New Jersey)

“There are any number of amazing and courageous journeys taken… This is the diary of one of them… told with great charm, some irony, and more than a little wit.” — The Travel Book Review

“The Divide comes alive in this book through the trials, tribulations, and, in the end, personal triumphs of Berger and Smith as they discover the soul of the land they traversed. A remarkable tale of a remarkable journey. — Milwaukee Journal

“A grand adventure and a thoughtful examination of the myth and reality of the modern West.” — The Flint Journal (Michigan)

“An engaging account of one couple’s 3,000-mile journey along America’s wild and lovely spinal cord.” — Knight-Ridder Newspapers

“The (journey) astounds with the sheer magnitude of their accomplishment.” — Montana Magazine

“They should know better than to start out on a hike like this. But we can be glad they did, and that they have written about their experiences so impressively.” — New Mexico Magazine

“Chock full of great stories about the mountains and the people who have flourished in their shadow for hundreds of years. — Hartford Courant

“Think of the best sight-seeing trip you’ve ever taken. Doubtless, there was memorable scenery. The companionship was probably another crucial part of the experience. And it’s a good bet you learned a thing or to as well. Where the Waters Divide can’t give you the experience of seeing the mountains, but its servings of history and science sure make you want to go. — Concord Monitor, New Hampshire

“The authors write of their 1990 journey along the Continental Divide… This 3,000-mile journey along an ill-defined route that can be described as primitive at best in some places, is as much a story of the American West as it is of the author’s monumental hike.” — Syndicated review to New Hampshire independent newspapers

Hiking the Triple Crown

“Hiking the Triple Crown is a must-read for anyone planning a long-distance hike and an excellent resource for section hikers as well.” — Robert Ballou, (former) Executive Direction, PCT Association

“A hiker’s hiker, Karen Berger wastes neither words nor the reader’s time: She tells you what you need to know to enjoy our great trails.” — Dave Startzell, (former) Executive Director, Appalachian Trail Conference

“We have the accumulated wisdom of Karen Berger, a highly respected backpacker, journalist, and author… plenty of advice on how to avoid the pitfalls of long-distance hiking and a ton of invaluable anecdotal evidence it’d take you years to learn on the trail.” — TGO (The Great Outdoors, England)

Scuba Diving: A Trailside Guide

“Colorful, in-depth look at world of Scuba. You’ll learn the right apparatus for your particular type of diving, the proper techniques for entry, descent, buoyancy, breathing, moving underwater, navigation, ascent and exit, deciding when and where to dive, vital information on dive tables, equipment checks, first aid and overcoming fatigue, using the buddy system and assisting an ailing comrade; and tips on advanced diving, which can involve shipwrecks, caverns, kelp beds, night-time expeditions, and underwater photography… Well organized and sprightly.” — Seattle Times

“All the information divers need to get started… Author Karen Berger begins with an engaging account of her first underwater experience on a tropical reef off eastern Africa in 1991 and then runs through a brief history of the sport before getting down to the basics of scuba.” — PADI Diving Society

Everyday Wisdom: 1,001 Expert Tips for Hikers

“Well organized and entertaining. Berger gives practical advice to help hikers survive and enjoy their outdoor experiences, addressing pre-trip planning, food, cooking, weather, health, first aid, and water. Her love of camping and the wilderness is obvious throughout, making for a fun as well as vastly informative book” — Library Journal

“Offers amateurs and experienced backpackers alike practical problem-solving advice that can lead to more enjoyable adventures in the backcountry… Everyday Wisdom is filled with the sort of information that every outdoors enthusiast can use.” — Amazon.com

 

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