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1. WILD: From Lost to Found on the
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1. WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed (Alfred A. Knopf)

There are dumber things you could do, I guess. When Cheryl Strayed was 26, and her life was spinning out of control, she set out to hike 1,100 miles of the rugged Pacific Crest Trail, from California through Oregon to Washington -- an attractive young woman in the wilderness, alone. With a preposterously overloaded backpack. And hiking boots a size too small. The story of Strayed's journey, and the events that brought her to it (her mother's death from cancer, a divorce, drug use) are recalled in this extraordinary memoir, fairly bursting with joy, loss, lust, hardship and hard-earned wisdom. -- TOM BEER(Credit: Newsday/Rebecca Cooney)

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12 best books of 2012

Newsday's reviewers select the 12 best books of 2012.