Desert Notes/River Notes
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Desert Notes/River Notes

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Here, for the first time in one volume, are two of Lopez's masterpieces, "River Notes and "Desert Notes. From the thundering power of the river's swift current, to the stillness of clear freshwater pools; to desert springs, birds and wind, and rattlesnakes . . . and the terrible intrusion of man, Lopez allows us to share moments of intense personal experience as man tries...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 1st 1990 by Quill (HarperCollins)
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For me this little book written when Lopez was very young (his first, I think), talks to and lifts my spirit like none other.

When I first read Desert Notes and especially this excerpt (below), I was surprised by my tears. And I don't cry easily.

A quote from Desert Notes: "This is how to do it. Wait for everything to get undressed and go to sleep. Forget to explain to yourself why you are here. Listen attentively. This is the sound of the loudest dreaming, the dreams of boulders. Continue to lis...more
Feb 23, 2013 S rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: favorites
Unlike the contemplative writers who tell us flatly how to practice contemplation, and what we learn from it, Lopez tells you stories about ravens and crows, coyotes and rattlesnakes; he sends you alone to drive into the heart of the desert, where you spend the day lying in the sandy basin of a hot springs, the weight of the water pulling at your hair; another time he sends you to the river shore, to stand alone -- for days -- watching. Constellations, herons; digging with your hands into the sa...more
Originally reviewed September 2004:

As I was getting ready to write the journal entry for this book, my gaze fell on the 'recently released' book of the moment - The Feng Shui Junkie

Well, the way I understand it is that the forces of nature are out there - in nature, not in symbolic objects strategically placed in one's living environment - and this is what Barry Lopez is writing about in this two-part book. Sense nature, live it, as he did.
Desert Notes is written in the scattered, meandering sort of way that only someone who has spent a lot of time in the desert would understand. Naturally, i loved it. I don't know if everyone would really enjoy this, but to me, it was amazing. Likewise for river notes, the whole book has the feel of fog dripping off of Douglas Fir.
A nature book like no other. This is the only author who has been able to sincerely capture my love for the desert. The best way to read this is on a rock high on a cliff overlooking a desertscape. But in your bed at night also works.
I was hoping for something as moving as Field Notes, and except for a few of the stories, didn't really deliver. There were a few, though, that make this worth reading. Especially the one about the Great Blue Heron, which was beautiful
Tim Ballard
This is the best book on the desert I have ever read, and that is it. Mysterious, dreamy and full of magic just like the desert itself. Genius in my opinion.
Tracy Murphy
This is the book i take with me on river trips. Since most of my river trips are in the desert it seems right somehow.
Barry Lopez always gets 5 stars, no matter what he is writing is always devastating and beautiful.
beautiful. if you read desert solitaire and liked it, you should check this out.
Never finished it, but was a very imaginative book.
Jan Lowe
spare, evocative, enigmatic stories of the desert
This is simply one of my favorite books of all time.
read it, read it! This is a terrific book!
Patrick Brady
love this book
Nathan Martineau
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Barry Holstun López is an American author, essayist, and fiction writer whose work is known for its environmental and social concerns.

López has been described as "the nation's premier nature writer" by the San Francisco Chronicle. In his non-fiction, he frequently examines the relationship between human culture and physical landscape, while in his fiction he addresses issues of intimacy, ethics an...more
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