The Story of My Boyhood and Youth
The Story of My Boyhood and Youth vividly recreates the formative years of America's premier conservationist and nature writer. John Muir details the "fun and pain" of his boyhood in Scotland, his awakening love for nature, his immigration to America, and the hardships of farm life that put him "to the plough at the age of twelve, when my head reached but a little above th...more
Rivers twisted by, heated all day by the scorching late summer sun. Sometimes, the water laid long and wide across the country, other times, it became forced to pour, chortling, vigorously over mossy boulders. Walking through a patch of Balsam Firs...more
The Story of My Boyhood and Youth was one of the last books John Muir wrote. It was a recollection of his youth back to 5 or 6 years old in...more
John Muir is familiar to me as an old-time conservationist and old man wandering in the woods. But this is what he wrote about his childhood growing up in Scotland and Wisconsin during the pioneer days. I really enjoyed it. It had a touch of the "Little House on the Prairie" with all the interesting descriptions of everyday life. His father was a real jerk and made him dig a well by chipping through stone for 17 hours a day with poison gas, among other things. But the coolest thing that I didn'...more
Not less exciting and memorable was Audubon's wonde...more
I read Muir's The Yosemite last year and found that book and him utterly amazing. Decided to read some more of his works, and this seemed like the logical place to start.
His origins may not have been that unusual for his time, but where he went from there in his late youth and early manhood seem entirely unexpected.
His early life and his narrative fall into three parts: his early youth in Scotland, his emigration to America and adole...more
Muir's father immigrated from Scotland to Wisconsin, when John was just 11 years old. While the book provides a feel of frontier life, my guess is that there are better alternatives. Much of this book tells of the birds and animals that Muir delighted in learning about around his far...more
I never knew John Muir had such mechanical genius. Had he not become a naturalist, he might have been another Edison.
This book makes it abundantly clear that Muir was a lover of nature--and particularly birds--at an early age. Some might tire of the lengthy descriptions of birds, but even if your not an ornithologist you should stick it out and enjoy the little sentimental anecdotes of frontier life found throughout this book.
Toward the end of the Muir...more
Anyway, I read this in about two days, and thought it was a struggle to stay interested at times (botany and ornithology not being some of my favourite subjects) there were enough interesting facts and experiences in this book to keep me intereseted. For example, I didn't know before about the pigeon culls - which, wow, very gruesome.
At times the writing style was hard to follow, paragraphs seemed to change...more
Love the story of the loon and the cat. His dad was one mean SOB. The last couple of chapters, where he talks about his inventions and his education, are the most interesting for me.
I have his book on his first visit to the Sierras on order now.
Scotland was educational and entertaining.