2. "Into the Wild," by Jon Krakauer
Whereas Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family were forced by circumstance to endure an unrelenting winter, Christopher McCandless – for unknown reasons – chose his fate. After graduating from Emory University in 1990, the young man gave away his savings, cut ties with friends and family, and eventually hitchhiked to Alaska. With little more than 10 pounds of rice on his back, he set off into the remote, freezing wilderness. His body was found four months later. In bestselling Into the Wild Jon Krakauer details McCandless's journey while attempting to explain why he abandoned society.