November Book of the Month: Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road...

In this frank and witty memoir, Ken Ilgunas lays bare the existential terror of graduating from the University of Buffalo with $32,000 of student debt. Ilgunas set himself an ambitious mission: get out of debt as quickly as possible. Inspired by the frugality and philosophy of Henry David Thoreau, Ilgunas undertook a 3-year transcontinental journey, working in Alaska as a tour guide, garbage picker, and night cook to pay off his student loans before hitchhiking home to New York. Debt-free, Ilgunas then enrolled in a master’s program at Duke University, determined not to borrow against his future again. He used the last of his savings to buy himself a used Econoline van and outfitted it as his new dorm. The van, stationed in a campus parking lot, would be more than an adventure—it would be his very own “Walden on Wheels.” Freezing winters, near-discovery by campus police, and the constant challenge of living in a confined space would test Ilgunas’s limits and resolve in the two years that fol lowed. What had begun as a simple mission would become an enlightening and life-changing social experiment. Walden on Wheels offers a spirited and pointed perspective on the dilemma faced by those who seek an education but who also want to, as Thoreau wrote, “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”

Author: Ken Ilgunas

320 pages

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  • Stephan T.

    I'm a writer and counselor living part time on the Umpqua River and spending substantial time in Eugene. Would like to join meetups that occur during the latter part of the winter months. I just heard about the Socrates Cafe last night from a friend in San Francisco who expressed excitement about the format and dialectical process. Looking forward to meeting folks in Eugene.

    --Stephan Torre

    December 5

  • Krysta A.

    Hello- I have never been to your group or a book club. BUT, wondering if I may join you? I'm in a total life rut and could use something new! I have no local friends but could use to make some and I do enjoy reading!

    November 20

    • Susanna

      Yes, please join us! We look forward to meeting you.

      November 20

  • Susanna

    Hello All! I hope you are keeping warm.... Please come to this gathering with some book and venue ideas for 2015. We will select our 12 books for the year, and if you have other places you enjoy spending time in, we can rotate around our meeting space. See you all soon.

    November 11

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