Pub. Date: March 29, 2016
Source: finished copy via publisher (Thank you, Penguin!)
Summary: Several years ago when Keri Smith, bestselling author of Wreck This Journal, discovered cryptic handwritten notations in a worn copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, her interest was piqued. Little did she know at the time that those simple markings would become the basis of a years-long, life-changing exploration into a mysterious group known only as The Wander Society, as well as the subject of this book.
Within these pages, you’ll find the results of Smith’s research: A guide to the Wander Society, a secretive group that holds up the act of wandering, or unplanned exploring, as a way of life. You’ll learn about the group’s mysterious origins, meet fellow wanderers through time, discover how wandering feeds the creative mind, and learn how to best practice the art of wandering, should you choose to accept the mission.
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Secret Societies
We’re all familiar with Wreck this Journal, right? The book that deliberately asks – demands – that you destroy it. I couldn’t be more thrilled to say that Keri Smith is BACK and with a book that’s so ridiculously interesting and just plain cool.
A few years ago (as the author explains in the beginning of the book) Keri happened across a copy of Walt Whitman’s House of Leaves that had decidedly odd handwritten notes in the margins. Allowing her curiosity to get the best of her, Keri enlisted the aid of a friend and the pair set out to discover just what the strange symbols and notations were about. Their research uncovered a group known as The Wander Society and boasted some pretty elite members: Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and Gertrude Stein are just the beginning of a rather long VIP list.
What’s interesting is that once their eyes were open to the Society’s existence, Keri and her friend began noticing symbols, stickers, even newsletters in their everyday life!
The Wander Society isn’t just a novel – it’s a DIY manual, a Who’s Who, an investigation into a secret club, and I think it’s beyond neat. Throughout its pages there are photographs (including the actual handwritten notes Keri discovered,) thoughts on how technology plays into the act of wandering, ideas for things to carry with you while venturing out, meditation techniques, resting hacks (napping in the woods can be difficult!) and do-it-yourself projects. Scribbled along the bottom of the pages are Keri’s own notes and observations as she sinks deeper and deeper into this mysterious society.
Part philosophical memoir, part investigative journalism, The Wander Society is a book unlike any I’ve ever read. In less than 200 pages it packs a hearty punch and truly left me inspired to go out and do some wandering of my own!
The awesome people at Penguin have allowed me to do a giveaway, not just for a copy of the book, but Walt Whitman stickers as well! (for an idea of what the stickers look like, head to last week’s weekly wrap-up!)
All YOU need to do is fill out this form! EASY PEASY!
The winner will be announced Sunday, April 3. Good luck!