Over the last few years I have shared several different posts on both Facebook & Twitter pointing folks towards Keith Foskett (aka: “Fozzie’s”) books. A few years ago, I even shared a personal review of one of his books here on my blog. Over the years, Keith has kept himself busy, whether writing a new book, updating his blog, doing interviews, or simply spending time on the trail. And while I can’t say that I know Keith personally, we have had several conversations about different things over the years, and then after reading all 4 of his books and reading his blog, I feel like I do know him, just a little bit… From what I gather, he seems like a guy I would enjoy hiking with someday (if I could keep up with him) or share a beer with. Hopefully one day I will run across him on the trail (or in a pub)!
Keith was raised in England, and spent much of his life there, but being a “dromomaniac (an addiction to wandering and exploring)”, he has hiked in many places of the world. As he puts it in his new book, from the “rolling South Downs near my home, to the wild and unforgiving landscape of the New Mexican desert” Keith has laid down some serious mileage. Whether it was on the El Camino de Santiago, the PCT, the AT, or simply the rolling hills of his homeland, Keith has spent a great deal of time on the trail. This is where he finds himself, and is where he is happy at. I gotta say, I’m kind of jealous… 🙂
Like many outdoor adventurer’s though, Keith wanted to share his trail stories. So, he sat down and wrote about his adventures. In time, he eventually got his first book about his first El Camino de Santiago hike, “The Journey In Between” written and published. Since then, he has also went on to publish his story about his Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike in his book “The Last Englishman” (which was actually the first of his books that I read), and then another book documenting his Appalachian Trail thru-hike, “Balancing on Blue.”
Most recently though, he has published a different kind of book… “Travelled Far” consists of 12 short stories about different hikes, of different lengths. Each of these stories are essentially summaries of these hikes, whether it is a long hike on the Camino, or shorter hikes around his home town. These short story books can be fun reads because it is so easy to simply pick it up, read a story, then set it back down. When I pick it up again later, I get to experience a whole new journey… no worrying about where I left off and what exactly was going on! Saying that, being that the pages in this book is only numbered to 124, I read it in an evening… lol!
I will admit, I generally enjoy reading books that are a bit more drawn out as there is more time to get drawn deeper into the story, however, as I mentioned above, these short stories are great reads too. What I really enjoy about Keith’s books, and the reason I continue to read each new book he publishes, is that I love the things that he writes about (hiking and personal journeys), and I love his writing style (simple, easy to ready and witty). He is obviously passionate about both his hikes, and his writing, but his books are very easy to read. He focuses on something, and tells that story. In my opinion, this allows him to write great short stories, as well as longer stories, and is why I enjoyed both writing styles from Keith.
Beyond this, he does a great job of describing things, but keeping it simple (unlike myself!) His stories are easy to dive into, and then imagine actually being right next to him as he is hiking. He also does a great job at making the story flow from one page to the next… over one mountain and up the next. Besides telling his own story though, he is able to weave in some interesting information surrounding his journey, whether it is historical information about the area, navigational information, or just funny off-the-wall bit’s. He is able to share an adventure, and teach us a thing or two at the same time! And on top of all this, he is inspiring… When I close one of his books, I have a deep desire to head straight out and start hiking… (although, to be fair, I also feel that way a lot of the time that I am not hiking… but you know what I mean! Bottom line, I find that he is a good story-teller!
So, if you haven’t checked out any of his books, or haven’t checked them all out yet, I encourage you to do so. (They are all linked above, and can also be purchased on Amazon – and it looks like his newest, “Travelled Far” is available for free as a Kindle download… not sure how long that will last though). I have really enjoyed reading them, and think that maybe you will too! As well, it looks like he will be releasing another new book about how he hiked away depression by hiking across Scotland, called “High and Low.” Sounds just like what the Dr. ordered… Anyway, I will be eagerly awaiting that book too! So, until then, thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: Keith was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of his newest book, “Travelled Far” to me free of charge. I am not affiliated with Keith’s companies in any way, nor am I being compensated in any way to share my thoughts about his books. I thoroughly enjoy his content, and feel that it is worth sharing with others. Take that for what it’s worth!