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Called Again: Love and Triumph on the Appalachian Trail

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  699 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
In 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis became the overall record holder on the Appalachian Trail. By hiking 2,181 miles in 46 days -- an average of 47 miles per day -- she became the first female to ever set that mark. But this is not a book about records or numbers; this is a book about endurance and faith, and most of all love.
The most amazing part of this story is not found at
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published June 10th 2013 by Beaufort Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Breaking Trail by Arlene Blum走得越远,离自己越近 The Farther I Walk, The Closer I Get To Me by Hong Mei 洪梅Be Brave, Be Strong by Jill HomerCalled Again by Jennifer Pharr DavisBecoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis
Fantastic Women's Adventure Memoirs
4th out of 87 books — 31 voters
Wild by Cheryl StrayedBecoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr DavisGrandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben MontgomeryAlmost Somewhere by Suzanne RobertsWalking Home by Kelly Winters
Women's Hiking Memoirs
16th out of 33 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sep 06, 2013 Laurie rated it it was ok
I could probably slog through this, but she's just too self-absorbed - as she should be, or maybe I should say as she WOULD be. That level athlete HAS to be that completely focused. I get the point I mean I got the point after 10 pages or so. I don't need to continue. I don't want to take anything away from her endeavor - she's inspiring, no doubt, and totally awesome. I'm just not sure I care enough about her as a person to get through the book!
Mrs.Chris Wilson
Dec 30, 2013 Mrs.Chris Wilson rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book, and I did enjoy it, but didn't love it. First off, if you're looking for a hiking book this isn't that. While it does center around Jennifer's record-setting hike on the AT, it focuses on her relationships with friends, family and her spouse during that hike. And while it centers on her hike, the first 25% of the book is about her first thru hike, her first record-setting hike and then also her record-setting hike on the Long Trail (which I didn't even know she'd done ...more
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
I am a voyeur adventurer. I don't know where this comes from, but a few years ago I suddenly found myself fascinated by accounts of spelunking, climbing, and hiking adventures.

CALLED AGAIN would therefore seem like a natural fit to those interests. But this just wasn't a good choice for me.

First of all, there was little in the way of descriptions that set the background. Other than something like 'it was hot' or the 'trees were dense and consequently it was really dark under them' I didn't get
Marjorie Elwood
Oct 09, 2013 Marjorie Elwood rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Really a 2.5, this wasn't as good as her first book on the topic. Although Davis is an amazing athlete, her tale in this book is much more linear and less compelling than it was the first time she completed the Appalachian Trail. Further, she doesn't come across as very likeable and, while she is somewhat aware of the fact, I'm not sure she realizes how truly unlikeable she sounds. Her naivete still bugged me. At the end of the book, there are two pages in which she deplores the fact that the me ...more
Rebekah Trittipoe
Jun 19, 2013 Rebekah Trittipoe rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Pharr Davis eats mountaintops for breakfast--and lunch, dinner, and evening snack. Up and over those rocky crags she goes. Across gassy balds. Through shaded path and traversing boulder fields. When the shine shines and gentle breezes blow, and when the sleet drives sideways and the gales threaten to topple her off the peak, JPD climbs ever higher. She knows each one by name and they know her.

Yes, Jen is a mountain conqueror. But the presence of a mountaintop always requires a valley, o
Jan 15, 2014 Cherie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, running
C- I almost didn’t finish this. While I really enjoyed Davis’s first book about her epic adventures on the AT, this one was a bit too personal – it felt like she should have given this to her husband Brew (aka the most wonderful man in the world) as a present. Lots of gushing about her husband (and I love Wayne to pieces, but she gushes in such a way that it becomes a bit annoying after a while), a lot about her Christianity (which I skipped; if you are not a Christian, you might also find it ov ...more
Carolyn Pina
I stopped reading this book halfway through because I disliked the author. She took crazy chances and whined and complained to the point I could no longer bear her.
Aug 08, 2014 Jeanne rated it liked it
I read through this book pretty quickly, but I did not enjoy it as much as her first book. She has become obsessed with the trail and this book has her setting a speed record, twice. She becomes a diva, setting the speed record at the expense of her health and relationships with friends and family who must support her every footstep, carrying her equipment and feeding her along the way. The entire book I continued to ask myself, Why? She didn't enjoy herself at all, she was entire self absorbed, ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for AT hiking stories and a fan of Jennifer Pharr Davis. So, I really enjoyed this book. My only real complaint is that I was hoping for more technical details on the hike and long through hikes in general: logistics, equipment, packing, food, clothing, etc. I have my fingers crossed for a follow-up how-to guide.
Sep 29, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it
This was definitely a fast read. I was excited to read this and understand the writer's motivation to participate in this type of event. Unfortunately the story did get a bit monotonous as she described her 46 day adventure. Plus it was a bit disturbing to me how she pushed herself despite experiencing pain and potentially life-threatening situations. When I began the book, I was hoping to be rooting for her in her adventure, but honestly felt more bothered by her experience. This book may be be ...more
Grandpa Joe
May 21, 2014 Grandpa Joe rated it liked it
This is the story of struggle, triumph and disappointment (maybe in that order and maybe not) on the Appalachian trail. Any story centered on the Appalachian trail inevitably calls to mind, "A Walk in the Wood" by Bill Bryson, the enjoyable story of Bryson's decision to walk the length of the Appalachian trail.

Jennifer Pharr Davis herself said (as I recall) that Bryson is an author who is also a recreational hiker. Pharr, by contrast, is more of a professional hiker who likes to write. Bryson pr
Apr 08, 2014 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure-sport
enjoyed this read...... makes me want to be outside in the woods....
John N
Jul 16, 2015 John N rated it it was ok
A very quick read, the author's writing style is to the point. Perhaps her other books provide greater detail on the numerous aspects of her hike, the crew, etc. but it was a bit too vague for me and did not leave me wanting to know more. I was left with the impression that this book was written for the purpose of clarifying why she wanted to break the record and I think she succeeded. Records are meant to be established and broken and I was saddened to read that she received so much negative pr ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing
Pharr-Davis has often hiked the Appalachian Trail, one of several hundred thru-hikers, as those that take on the 2,181 mile trail from Georgia to Maine. You will find my reviews on many books that cover the AT and I have written my own novel loosely based on a month's experiences I had on my own trek, so yes, I consider myself well-versed in AT lore and while perhaps not as expert as some I have a well-rounded idea of what it takes to hike the whole trail. It takes everything you have, physicall ...more
Sarah Ewald
Jun 16, 2014 Sarah Ewald rated it really liked it
A real gem of a book about Jennifer and her record-making hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail. I am in awe of her ability to hike 10 or more hours per day (at 3-4 miles per hour) averaging 47 miles per day, and to keep it up for 46 days. She was supported by her husband, Brew, who met her at road-points her with supplies, snacks and encouragement, and by a cadre of hiking friends who gave emotional support as well. She writes her story with a wry sense of humor that made me feel as though I was ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
This is one of those books that is difficult to rate because my opinion of the book somewhat takes away feat chronicled in the book. Achieving a record for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trial is awesome, but the book? Not so much.

I read A Walk Across America when I was in graduate school and thoroughly enjoyed Peter Jenkins account of his hike. Since then I have read several other "I took a long walk" accounts, but none of them have quite measured up. I'm not sure if the follow up stories spend t
Jan 04, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
I learned of Called Again when Jennifer Pharr Davis came through my hometown on a book tour. My first association with the book was really with the author, and it was perhaps this reason paired with having read the entire book aloud, that made me enjoy and appreciate the narrative. The language is more informal than I would usually enjoy in my reading, but since I had heard Jennifer speak, I imagined her speaking the story, as if at a campfire or in a classroom. I'd recommend if you want to get ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Hillary rated it really liked it
Enjoyable and inspiring to read Pharr's journey beyond "Becoming Odyssa" and her perspective of her overall AT record setting trial. No, this is not specifically a hiking book and while some reviews criticize the more personal nature, I love that it is authentic and not apologetic. A remarkable athlete and person, Pharr hikes the way she hikes, and writes the way she writes - honestly and directly from her personal pov - crediting both those who are a part of her journey and herself. Endurance i ...more
Jul 06, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
this was a fast read, but lacked depth, especially leading up to the record setting hike.
Mandy Cloninger
Jul 29, 2015 Mandy Cloninger rated it really liked it
A little Mumford and Sons, a little faith, a lot of love, nature, PUDs and the AT! Inspiring feat and authentic storytelling. My favorite quote from Jennifer in the whole book is: "I may not be having fun, but I feel a sense of joy and purpose. When things are this difficult, it causes you to change and grow. And I am learning a lot out here. Sometimes I am too tired to process it all. But even though this hike isn't easy, it is fulfilling - and increasingly rewarding. I guess in the end, it is ...more
Aug 04, 2013 Marie rated it really liked it
Well worth reading. Jennifer shares her experience of attempting to set a record (with success)thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. She loves God (and felt called to the trail by Him), she loves the A.T. and she loves her husband (newly-wedded). I enjoyed reading what her record-making experience was like and about the lessons she learned. Her story displays a beautiful marriage. A great choice for non-Christian and Christian hiker friends alike.

At the end of the book, when she was being touted a
May 28, 2013 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: thru-hike
I am a sucker for hiking memoirs; they are my favorite type of reads. Because of this I would like to say I am a good judge of this genre—either I am totally immersed or wish I had chosen another book. Well, the only thing faster than Jennifer’s trail breaking record is how fast I read this book.

Jennifer tells a great story of not only her travels and experiences of the trail, but the obstacles, agony and triumphs. She tells of the good, bad and the ugly—mostly of herself. Her honestly doesn’t
Angela Risner
Jul 12, 2013 Angela Risner rated it really liked it
Jennifer Pharr Davis writes about her record-setting completion of the Appalachian Trail in Called Again.

I often wonder how or why people take on such feats, although this particular endeavor is much more mainstream than say the recent tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon or using your teeth to pull a truck.

For Jennifer, the trail has been there for her when she has faced some personal setbacks. Being on the trail allows her to reconnect with nature and do a reset of her mental focus. She de
Apr 30, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio-autobio, memoir
When I started reading this book I thought it was just a memoir. I didn't realize the author actually set the record for hiking the entire Appalachian trail in 46 days. That's 2,800+ miles, okay? So I am impressed just by that.

Even more, I was impressed by how humbly the journey was recounted. No one hikes that far without help, but Davis gives so much attention to her husband, friends, and fellow hikers in the text that it's almost like she's not taking credit for day after day of hiking more t
Brett Anderson
May 27, 2013 Brett Anderson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked 2,181 miles in 46 days 11 hours and 20 minutes (averaging 46.93 miles per day) but this is not a book about numbers. The numbers and stats of this journey seem shocking and distant when you hear them alone in the cursory coverage of a news article.

Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph paints the fuller picture of her expedition, her motivations, and her lessons from the trail. This book truly is the story of love and the triumph Jennifer, her husband Brew, and thei
Elaine Brown
Sep 01, 2014 Elaine Brown rated it really liked it
Memoir by a woman who broke the overall (men and women's) record on the Appalachian Trail by completing it in 46 days. (Most people take 4-6 months to complete the trail.) It was the supported record which means she did not carry a big backpack with all her supplies in it, instead her husband met her at different spots to re-supply her with food and drink and bring her tent, etc. Interesting book and a true portrait of endurance and consistency through really hard conditions.
Scott Bodien
Feb 04, 2014 Scott Bodien rated it liked it
after her first AT recollection, I wondered what else could be gained from reading about the second, or just whether it was worth my time. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, especially the cast of characters that join her during her difficult quest. Often I will run for many hours in a day, but to think of getting up day and after, with just a few hours of sleep, and hiking that far. Wow. Congratulations to Jen, I look forward to drinking moonshine with her again soon.
Vickie Pantle
Jan 11, 2016 Vickie Pantle rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A story of perseverance

A well written book which takes you on the author's journey to set the AT trail record. It definitely captures love at work through great difficulties and challenges. As a reader, I was transported into a world and experience, that I am unlikely participate in, first hand. I suspect those who are avid hikers or who push themselves to physical limits might really relate to the experience told in these pages.
Jen Heininger
Sep 28, 2014 Jen Heininger rated it really liked it
This was another quick read (maybe, in part because I was stuck at the Apple store for three hours yesterday!).... it was very interesting to read just on the tails of reading "Wild." Two COMPLETELY different individuals. Loved hearing about the trail and what Jennifer thought thru mentally while completing it. While I would not categorize this as a Christian book... she is definitely a Christian and peppers her beliefs in throughout her journey which I really liked.
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Jennifer Pharr Davis grew up in the North Carolina Mountains, where she developed a love for hiking at a young age. At age twenty-one, Jennifer hiked the entire Appalachian Trail as a solo female and fell in love with long-distance backpacking.

Since then, Jennifer has hiked more than 8,000 miles of trails in North America, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Vermont’s Long Trail, and the Colorado T
More about Jennifer Pharr Davis...

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“I wasn't worried about not succeeding; I was worried about not trying.” 2 likes
“Well, I like to move through the woods. I don’t care how I do it. Maybe just think of me as a mover.” 0 likes
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