"...the search for the universal within the infinitesimally small..."
Haskell chooses a small parcel of land, his "mandala", in the old-growth forest o"...the search for the universal within the infinitesimally small..."
Haskell chooses a small parcel of land, his "mandala", in the old-growth forest of central Tennessee. Every few days, he goes to his mandala to observe, take notes, look closer with his hand lens, and listen. This book incorporates the field notes of what he sees, hears, and smells, but also the meditations, and the information behind these observations over one full year. With the eye of a biologist, but also the musings of a philosopher, we observe - through his eyes - the comings and goings of the insects, the mammals, the ferns, the soil of this parcel of land.
Slow and beautiful writing. Simple, yet filled with meaning. Informative but also mindful, encapsulating the past, the future, but also what is occurring in this present moment.
A joy to read. Considering a mandala of my own in the nearby woods... ...more
Gosh, this book was fabulous. Linden has such an engaging style - like you are just having a casual conversation. Each chapter is an essay that focuseGosh, this book was fabulous. Linden has such an engaging style - like you are just having a casual conversation. Each chapter is an essay that focuses on a location or people group that he has encountered during his long career as a foreign correspondent and journalist. After reading each chapter, I did my own research and further reading... he has a way of really piquing the reader's interest to learn more.
Came back to this book nearly four years after the initial reading, and after a long trip where I spent a lot of time witRe-read thoughts /5/16/2015:
Came back to this book nearly four years after the initial reading, and after a long trip where I spent a lot of time with some wild trees. I still found it beautiful and touching and wonderful. I also found some sections that challenged me (and that I didn't particularly remember from the first time around.) and that I didn't quite agree with as wholeheartedly as I did when I first read it - but I think that is a good thing! I still recommend this essay fully to anyone and everyone interested in nature and human existence.
This book is profoundly beautiful. I bought my own copy of this in paperback after reading a library copy. That alone should tell you how much this book moved me - I don't like to hold on to books, but this one is an exception. This book will travel with me and I will read it over and over.
While the entire essay is not more than 100 pages (in the 30th anniversary reprint edition), there are three sections: the first contrasts Fowles and his father and their views on nature, order, and chaos. The second part is a treatise on nature as art and science, but also a criticism on how nature is seen and "encapsulated" by humans. This was my favorite part of the book because it had so much substance. Nature philosophy and transcendence. The book ends with a walk around the English moors and meditations.
A small book, but so heavy in content. Initially I read the book cover to cover, and now I want to re-read and take it in chunks. It needs to be pondered. That's why I bought my own physical copy - which doesn't happen much anymore. It is just that good.
Fabulous book and great research. I liked the format with the biographical and historical information interspersed with the authors research in librarFabulous book and great research. I liked the format with the biographical and historical information interspersed with the authors research in libraries and archives, and shopping trips to adventure outfitters. How had I never heard of the Fawcett mystery until now? It seems like a story ripe for Hollywood or various adventure stories, so it is a wonder that it took this long to have some quality research on the topic (or have I just been ignorant of this?)
Interesting aside - as I was reading this, my husband is reading Candice Millard's *River of Doubt* about Roosevelt's travels in Amazon. It was intriguing to hear the Grann citing that book, and for my husband and I to discuss the two expeditions and how they differed. I look forward to reading that book soon to continue my own little obsession with rainforest adventure stories...
This book describes a very different Amazon than the one I encountered on my trip to Peru in 2007 - of course, I was not in the deepest darkest part of the forest, but we were "roughing it" by a lot of standards... I guess that is because over the last century there have been significant strides in public health and sanitation, disease prevention, and research on tropical climes... even in the author's travels in 2006 and 2007, he describes a very different Brazilian rainforest than Fawcett encountered 80 years prior. This alone causes some concern that things can change so significantly in the relatively short span of years......more