“The Appalachian Trail : How to Prepare for & Hike It” by Jan D. Curran is an amazing resource for anyone wanting to hike the AT or just wanting to know what it is like to hike the AT. As the title suggests it is more informational than a hiking story. There are lists of which books to read to learn the history of the area, gear suggestions, and my favorite part a list of all of the post offices no more than a few miles off the trail. The one thing I might warn you is the gear information is a little dated however many of the brands that are recommended are still top of many backpackers gear lists just not the models. I highly recommend this as a must read for any aspiring thru-hiker.