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Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  232 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
In twenty elegant essays flow Moore's life as a professor of philosophy, down the natural channels of her native streams and rivers of the Pacific Northwest watershed. "Moore's collection sparkles as brightly as one of her sun-dappled streams". -- Kirkus Reviews
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Lyons Press (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 12, 2008 Jenwah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kathleen is a philosophy professor here at Oregon State and I sat in on one of her classes. I've also met her husband, so it was great to picture them doing all of these things. I'm also familiar with many of those rivers. Even without all that, I think this book was great. Very moving. Short essays that piece together life lessons from nature. I like the way she thinks.
Leigh Hancock
Dec 29, 2009 Leigh Hancock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book, of short, perfectly crafted essays that meandered between questions of classical philosophy (Moore is the philosophy chair at Oregon State), naturalist observation and parenting. They're all lovely, but one of my favorites is "the John day River," where Moore watches her son and husband go over a class five falls and get stuck in a whirlpool, all the while wondering if Emerson was right when he said that "Every sweet has its sour" and after years of marital bliss she is about t ...more
Mar 20, 2014 Tucker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why is this book not famous? I stumbled across it in a used bookstore, and anyway I am educated now.

"All along the McKenzie River Trail, there must be things we do not see, because they have no names. If we knew a word for the dark spaces between pebbles on the river bottom, if we had a name for the nests of dried grass deposited by floods high in riverside trees, if there were a word apiece for the smell of pines in the sunshine and in the shadows, we would walk a different trail."
- Kathleen D
John Pedersen
I love books that combine observation (usually of nature), rumination and exploration. I ran across this book in the shared book shelf of the Hike Inn, and scooped it up immediately. I found some of these essays to be rambling and unfocused, but the best of them did a great job of combining the author's loving observations of nature with her careful ruminations on her own life, past and present. I'm not going to go and get a copy of this one for myself, but it's well worth a read if you happen a ...more
Scott Carles
Jul 18, 2008 Scott Carles rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the outdoors, water lovers, thinkers

Kathleen Moore takes the reader with her to 20 different rivers, creeks and streams. Each river is the title for an essay. Most of the essays follow the pattern of personal narrative interspersed with philosophical, geological, piscatorial, ethical, etc. discussions. The segues from narrative to informational usually work quite well. Most of her essays end with a “teaching moment,” or “moral,” although typically not so blatant as to be noticed as such.

As a philosopher (she’s chair of the philoso

The premise of this small book is wonderful... naturalist and philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore used rivers as a theme tying together essays on river-boating and camping and fly-fishing, often with her grown children and husband. Sometimes the pieces describe the experience of the river itself, following birds and water and thoughts, and sometimes the river is simply where she was when she recognizes certain truths (such as the sweet sorrow of a grown daughter falling in love and walking away into ...more
Feb 26, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mark by: Lisa
Found this review I wrote back in late June/early July.

Poignant, spiritual and often lyrical observations of the natural world. This short book is a fast read as it is split up into 20 named sections with even shorter sections making those up. Ruminations on the natural world, home, family, security, and even some of the eternal questions.

Reading this book made me wish I could have been a parent like her and her husband and have given my children such an exposure to the natural world, or that I
Jun 29, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My attention was drawn to this book for many reasons, first of all was the cover, the title, the fact that the author is a philosophy professor at OSU in Corvallis, OR (my son is a philosophy professor at Western and my older daughter graduated from OSU in Corvallis). The essays contained are beautifully written in that you could actually picture exactly what she was describing on/in/near the river she was writing about...causing you to relax and take in exactly what she had to say about each on ...more
Jan 03, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature, travel
Book of essays reflecting on nature....or life while in nature. Small book that I carried around when going on hikes. Like short stories, the essays are easy to pull out and read one at a time when you have just the right amount of time. This book of essays reinforced my enjoyment of nature writing. Enjoyable essays without trying to make a point or get across any particular message. Thinking about the book now because I just revisited one of the essays that stuck with me.
"In these twenty elegant essays, a philosopher and amateur naturalist meanders along the rivers and streams of the american West-and muses on love, loss, aging, motherhood, happiness, the art of poking around, and other important matters."

I loved this book, and read it very slowly to savor it. Each essay is a glittering jewel, poignant reflections on nature, her family, love, aging, loss and the art of poking around. I'm keeping it to read over again, and again.
Aug 12, 2008 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful thoughtful essays on nature and how we move through it, chaptered by various Pacific Northwest rivers and sprinkled with gentle humor. Dean was writer-in-residence for the Island Institute when I lived in Sitka, Alaska, and we took a class on seaweed identification together - a rather nice way to get to know somebody - then I talked her into giving a talk at the Unitarian meeting.
Mar 30, 2015 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could rate this book 4.5 stars. This was a quiet and yet profound meditation on rivers. Her musings about nature, family, life, and philosophy continue to flow in my head. Like a walking journey along a river, I think you could explore this book again and again, and always discover something new.
Mar 29, 2009 Patty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, readin09
Very soft, rreflective meditation type comments on life. I learned some new facts about nature and enjoyd her discription of camping or rafting trips that she and her family had taken over the years. Very inspirational. A reminder to slow down and observe.
Doug Beagrie
Jan 30, 2014 Doug Beagrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read and it will be re-read again and again.It is a small book of eleven short stories of amazing nature writing that reveals the hold of nature on the authors being and of her life and family.
Sep 23, 2012 M rated it really liked it
Recommended to M by: Susie Bartz
Wonderful, evocative descriptions of the smells, sights and sounds of rivers, creeks and other bodies of water. She weaves in musings on life, growing up and death. I would wish for one more essay to sum up her philosophy of the rivers of life.
Dan Eisenreich
Sep 10, 2014 Dan Eisenreich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read. This is one of the authors older books where she keeps to the topic (reflections on nature). In her newer books she inserts way too much of her political and socials beliefs into the book (so they are no longer reflections on nature as much as they are rants on political ideology).
Nov 25, 2015 Amie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a compassionate, thoughtful read! Kathleen Dean Moore is a great storyteller, who reflects on stories that have occurred paired with observations of the natural world. I highly recommend this book as a future read for anyone who loves sitting in nature!
There are some beautiful essays in this book. They seemed to mirror some of my own experiences in the natural world. I would love to meet this author because I think we would have so much to talk about together!
Jul 26, 2008 BlueLikeTheSky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love the sound of moving water
Recommended to BlueLikeTheSky by: sara
This is a book I plan to return to this summer, since I didn't get to do any riverwalking of my own this year.
Jan 13, 2011 LINDA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature
Loved, loved, loved this book. So much of it spoke so deeply to me that I found myself dog-earing page after page!
Jan 22, 2014 Jules rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mentor
Moore's prose reads like poetry. I love her blend of philosophy and nature. She dwells in both the spaces of light and dark. I go back to this book regularly.
May 09, 2008 Sandra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
Book Club Selection
Chuck Whiteneck
Series of short story - essays with lots of description and few points.
Sep 10, 2007 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written essays on nature as sacred.
Aug 06, 2012 mthieli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite writers. She is able to put to words the ways that I feel about rivers. This might be the book that I have reread the most.
Tamie Harkins
Good essays, good writing. Philosophy, rivers, life. But I didn't feel like there was tons of in-depth original observations, which is what I like in essays!
Eva Thompson
Simply a beautiful book, by one of my favorite authors of all time. In fact, I think I'll read it again.
Staci rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2013
Michael Laurie
Michael Laurie rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2017
Geri Larkin
Geri Larkin rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2011
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Environmental philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore writes about moral, spiritual, and cultural relationships to the natural world. In 2000 she founded the Spring Creek Project at Oregon State, which brings together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the clarity of philosophy, and the emotive power of the written word to re-imagine humankind’s relation to the natural world. In addition ...more
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