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Saturday, December 03, 2005

British Walking Series: Coast to Coast Path

I bought this after perusing the original Wainwright book. It's fairly recent (2004), has color photos that made Lisa want to do the trip, and has lodging information, which was missing from Wainwright's book (and which wouldn't have been useful either, since his was written in 1974). The first 50 pages of this book pay for the cost of the book just by itself. There's a short biography of Alfred Wainright, which seems to prove Malcolm Gladwell's point that it takes an extremely unhappy person to do great works. There's multiple pre-laid-out itineraries set out by lodging type, pace, and recommendations for places where we might want to stay for more than a day.

While the original Wainwright book is worth getting because it's such an awesome book, this one is worth only getting if you're actually planning to do the trip soon. However, I suspect that this is the one that will prove more useful on the trail itself.


Amy said...

In which book does Gladwell talk about the idea of needing to be extremely unhappy to do great things? I've been meaning to get around to reading his books for a while; hearing this, I might put him higher in the queue. I've noticed that in a lot of respects, the less unhappy I am, the less motivated I am... in high school I was terribly unhappy, and a big overachiever. Now I'm pretty happy and mostly pretty complacent. I'd really like to think this isn't an inescapable correlation.

Piaw Na said...

It wasn't in a book. He was at Google giving a talk about it. Sorry I didn't make it clear.

Amy said...

Ah well.. at least I got to hear Stephen Levy and his coauthor speak. Misery as a motivator to greateness comes up a lot with reference to people like Poe and Turing, so it's not a new theme to me... I should email Gladwell and tell him he should write a book about it :-)

Piaw Na said...

I think Poe was bipolar. Turing was gay (and I believe his supervisor knew about it and didn't like it) during an age when homosexuality wasn't very tolerated (and I'd say that it probably isn't very tolerated even in this day and age). There are great men who weren't miserable, though they've had the same tragic losses that everyone else has had. Richard Feynman and Albert Einstein come to mind.