Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place” as Want to Read:
A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  28 reviews
To artist-writer-naturalist Hannah Hinchman, the blank pages of a journal are a call to awaken the soul, to celebrate being alive in the world, to get to know both the wilderness of our inmost selves and the "unpredictable and potent" natural world. In the richly illustrated pages of this book, she unfolds a myriad of wonders — the pattern of a bee abdomen, varieties of ic ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 17th 1999 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1997)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Trail Through Leaves, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Trail Through Leaves

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  232 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another lovely, lyrical look at journal keeping from Hinchman, who avoids "the deadlock of introspective obsession" (Alexandra Johnson) by observing and drawing her surroundings and keeping her writing style concrete, nearly brusque.
Laser Cat
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For anyone interested in art journaling, this book is a must have! Instead of being filled with exercises (although she does offer few suggestions) this book is filled with ideas that encompass the very heart and soul of journaling, to becoming more open and aware of viewing the world around us. The book is filled with beautiful drawings and insightful ideas from the artist who has spent most of her life sketching and writing. Read this book, you won't regret it!
Angela Boord
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, science-writing
This book is an old friend. I bought it many years ago and dip in and out of it periodically for inspiration. This is probably the fourth time I have read it cover to cover. Not a how-to book, and unintimidating even with its beautiful illustrations, this book is more of a reflection on how keeping an illuminated journal over the course of many years has helped to ground the author and given her a sense of place. I think I appreciate this book even more now that I am about the same age as the au ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature
I most loved the early section of the book, lots of good insights on "why journal" as a commonbook practice.
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm so grateful to my friend Jan for recommending this book. Hannah Hinchman is a terrific teacher, using examples, giving exercises, reflecting on her experiences. As I read this book I felt inspired and also as though I'd met my soul sister. Her way of being in the world is one I want to emulate!
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Astonishingly beautiful. Far more than an instructional book on journal-keeping. A poem to art and science.
Valorie Hallinan
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding book. Both the art and the writing are singular. I mention this book liberally in my post at Books Can Save a Life: ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Peaceful and inspiring read.
Kasey Jueds
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So many things to love about this beautiful book. For one, the illustrations, which are so alive and which pay attention to what's large and small and everything in between. Also, the personal nature of this book, which, though it's about how it keep a journal, is also about Hannah Hinchman's life and the recording/creation of that life through her own writing and drawing. I've been wanting to learn to draw and want to read this again as I start that process. There are some very practical tips, ...more
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, biography
This book has gorgeous illustrations and I would love to meet the author as she sounds like a very interesting character. I am not at all sure of her purpose for the book which is the reason that I gave it four stars instead of five. It seems at times a teaching text, at times a poetic look on life, an introspection, and a detailed map of nature encountered. However, it doesn't seem to be one all the way through and the last page confused me. It did not seem to be sketches that summed anything u ...more
Apr 22, 2013 added it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2013-read
A beautiful and inspiring book that shows the reader by example how to rec0rd how you perceive the natural world around you. With pencil, watercolors, and pen and ink--Hinchman talks about ways to explore how you see the world. I cannot emphasize how incredible this book is, and in fact just bought a used copy of it.

Check it out to see how a person who loves nature and art and teaches how to explore our amazing world around us.
This was an absolutely lovely book. As I began reading it, I felt like I had found someone who looks at the world in a way very similar to the way I do. Through that connection I felt intrigued by her simple yet detailed style of sketching, complemented by observations and other notes. I’ll be using some of her advice as I venture out into the world with my nature journal.
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a very beautiful and fun book about journaling about nature. It is about equal parts discussion of Hinchman's experiences, excerpts from her illustrated journals, and suggested exercises or ideas for expanding and deepening one's own journaling practice. Even if you're not interested in journaling, you might like this just to look at Hinchman's drawings.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a great inspiration to start your own art journal, though her wonderful examples are so nice that it can seem intimidating to try my own, knowing that my drawing and penmanship are not the best. It seems like a book to putter through, rather than read all at once.
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Not done yet. I am so happy that our library was opened after much fund-raising by locals and a group called Josephine Community Libraries Inc., a non-profit. I am so enjoying this book, suited to the place I am at in life, drawing many forms, little maps of where I am that goes beyonds words.
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Awesome and inspiring. A definite recommendation for anyone who likes to keep journals. It has great photos of the author's journals, as well as exercises and ideas for prompting you in your own journal keeping. very good.
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Inspirational journaling.
Contains beautiful simplicity.
Wonderful illustrations.
The joys of observing daily rituals, of the passage of time.
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book. It gave me many new ideas to use with my nature journal.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: creativity
Drawing where you are
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
Easily prompts discussion about what a journal can become. I've used portions of this book in teaching classes about memoir and personal essays.
Danielle Valles
Lovely imagery and drawings
Andrea McDowell
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Gorgeous book. It's going to hurt to take this one back to the library.

Nov 17, 2010 marked it as to-read
3 books sketch journals
Rift Vegan
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
My third reading of this book. This is everything a nature/art journal should be. The art is gorgeous, the prompts are invigorating, the text is thought provoking.
Jim Krotzman
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked it even though I'm not an artist. I learned a new way to keep a journal. I'm going to keep this book as a reference. Many good models abound.
Apr 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, art
Really nice nature sketch book sketches. Full of ideas about looking, considering, observing and documenting. Hannah Hinchman has kept journals her entire life. Inspiring for sketchbook keepers.
rated it really liked it
May 12, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Feb 24, 2017
Sylvia Walker
rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • United States of Pie: Regional Favorites from East to West and North to South
  • The Art of Holly Hobbie
  • Louder Than Words
  • The High Sierra of California
  • Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects
  • Mouse House
  • Making Doll House Miniatures with Polymer Clay
  • Gustave Baumann: Nearer to Art
  • Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual
  • Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller, and Countrywoman
  • The Uncommon Reader
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
  • Angel Landing
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear
  • The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)
  • Gift from the Sea
  • How to Be an Artist
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
13 likes · 1 comments