Back to top


October is a great month for walking, and walking helps you stay outdoors, active, and healthy!

We're proud to celebrate Walk-tober in the City of Madison and hope you'll get out and get walking with us. You can even walk to your library!

In addition to our recommended reading below, find lots of great guides to help you explore Madison or Wisconsin:

Books for Adults

Cover of In Praise of Walking: A Ne

Walking upright on two feet is a uniquely human skill. It enabled us to walk out of Africa and to spread as far as Alaska and Australia. Every day, we put one foot in front of the other-yet how many of us know how we do that, or appreciate the advantages it gives us? In this book, neuroscientist Shane O'Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits walking confers on our bodies and brains. 

Cover of Walking Home Ground: in th

When longtime author Robert Root moves to a small town in southeast Wisconsin, he gets to know his new home by walking the same terrain traveled by three Wisconsin luminaries who were deeply rooted in place--John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and August Derleth.

Cover of 60 Hikes within 60 miles:

The best way to experience Madison is by hiking it. Get outdoors with local author and hiking expert Kevin Revolinski, with the full-color edition of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Madison. A perfect blend of popular trails and hidden gems, the selected trails transport you to scenic overlooks, wildlife hot spots, and historical settings that renew your spirit and recharge your body.

Cover of A Walking Life: Reclaiming

An incisive, utterly engaging exploration of walking: how it is fundamental to our being human, how we've designed it out of our lives, and how it is essential that we reembrace it.

Cover of Wisconsin 1 Step at a Time

Bradley Carlson's muscular dystrophy causes brutal leg cramps that leave him crumpled on the floor. He can't climb stairs and curbs, and sometimes he can't even move. But none of that stopped him from putting his best foot forward and walking through his home state of Wisconsin. 

Cover of When We Were Young

From the author of Something to Live For, a nostalgic, heart-warming story of two long-lost friends who embark on a 184-mile walk of the Thames Path in order to find their way back to the truth, and to their friendship.

Cover of To Walk Alone in the Crowd

Winner of the 2020 Medici Prize for Foreign Novel. From the award-winning author of the Man Booker Prize finalist Like a Fading Shadow, Antonio Muñoz Molina presents a flâneur-novel tracing the path of a nameless wanderer as he walks the length of Manhattan, and his mind."

Books for Kids

Cover of The Listening Walk

A little girl and her father take a quiet walk and identify the sounds around them.

Cover of Madlenka

Madlenka, whose New York City neighbors include the French baker, the Indian news vendor, the Italian ice-cream man, the South American grocer, and the Chinese shopkeeper, goes around the block to show her friends her loose tooth and finds that it is like taking a trip around the world.

Cover of Carmela Full of Wishes
de la Peña
Christian Robinson

Carmela, finally old enough to run errands with her brother, tries to think of the perfect birthday wish, while his wish seems to be that she stayed home.

Cover of Ask Me
Suzy Lee

A father and daughter explore their neighborhood, talking and asking questions as they go.

Cover of City Shapes
Bryan Collier

A young girl walks through the bustling city, while a pigeon flies above, both spotting hidden shapes at every turn.

Cover of Windows
E. B. Goodale

Walking his dog at dusk, one boy catches glimpses of the lives around him in this lovely ode to autumn evenings, exploring your neighborhood, and coming home.

Cover of Nana in the City

A young boy is frightened by how busy and noisy the city is when he goes there to visit his Nana, but she makes him a fancy red cape that keeps him from being scared as she shows him how wonderful a place it is.

Cover of What Color Is the Wind?​

A blind child asks each he encounters--a dog, wolf, elephant, mountain, bird, stream, tree--about the color of the wind. Each responds differently, with a shape, color, smell, texture, or idea. Each page displays a visual and tactile palette of cut-outs, textures, colors.

Cover of Hike

A father and child head out on a hike, keeping a cherished family tradition alive.

Cover of Zoe and the Fawn
Julie Flett

Zoe and her dad see a little spotted sk'ʺYk'ʺ₎̓il't (fawn) curled up under an aspen tree. "Where is the sk'ʺYk'ʺ₎̓il't (fawn)'s mother?" Zoe asks her dad. Join Zoe on her quest for the deer, as she encounters animals and learns their syilx (Okanagan) names along the way.

Cover of My Three Best Friends and
Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Zulay is a blind girl who longs to be able to run in the race on field and track day at her school.

Cover of Strollercoaster

This joyous romp through the neighborhood celebrates the bond between a father and a child, illustrated by an award-winning artist team. Buckle up as a toddler's tantrum is cleverly averted when a loving dad transforms an everyday neighborhood stroll into an extraordinary adventure, reminding us that all you need to chase away a bad mood is love and a little bit of imagination.

Cover of Mrs. Peanuckle's Hiking Al

Get ready to go on a hiking adventure and learn your ABCs with Mrs. Peanuckle!
A is for Air
B is for Bears, Birds, and Bunnies
C is for Compass
Mrs. Peanuckle takes on the outdoors and shares all her favorite animals, plants, and more in her latest tour of the ABCs! From A to Z, Mrs. Peanuckle introduces toddlers to 26 different natural-world experiences. With playful text, bright illustrations, and sturdy pages, Mrs. Peanuckle’s alphabet book engages toddlers and takes them on an alphabet adventure through the natural world!

Cover of Outdoor School: Hiking and
Jennifer Pharr Davis and Haley Blevins

Rewild your life! With metal corners and 448 full-color, highly illustrated pages, OUTDOOR SCHOOL: HIKING AND CAMPING is an indispensable tool for young explorers and nature lovers.