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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

Feared and worshiped in equal measure, snakes have captured the imagination of poets, painters, and philosophers for centuries. From Ice Age cave drawings to Snakes on a Plane, this creature continues to enthrall the public. But what harm has been caused by our mytholo
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury Academic
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  27 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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I was mesmerized by the snake on the cover, I have no other reason why I picked up this short work on the subject of Snakes. It was the first from the series Object Lessons that I read, and it was quite interesting.

Erica Wright clearly is fascinated with snakes and has done research for this book. It was interesting to read since I do not think I have ever seen a snake (let alone a venomous one) outside of a shelter/zoo. I did a quick search and apparently the adder is the only venomous snake i
✨ ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you✨

I have never feared snakes
I found them pretty and interesting
I even held a snake once. my mom screamed when she saw me.
(this was at a display where a guy would let people hold his snake)
This was a great little book about the way we view snakes and the contradictory things they represent i do recommend if you're already interested i
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Part of the Objects Lessons series, a collection of short books which take a look at everyday objects, encouraging the reader to see them in a new light. Snake is part textbook, part memoir, as Erica Wright details her own experiences of the fascinating animals, paired with facts about them and their links to mythology and symbolism.

I have to admit, I’ve had a fascination with snakes since I was a kid. They’re intriguing animals, often portrayed poorly, sometimes harmless, sometimes dangerous, a
Craig Pittman
May 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
What a delightful and fascinating little book this is! It spans a mere 110 pages, but it took me a while to read it because Erica Wright packed so much into its brief length.

She covers everything from the snake in the Garden of Eden to Brittany Spears dancing with a boa constrictor. Her true subject is not snakes per se, but rather the way humans regard a snake -- as both evil and good, as a tempter and a source of wisdom, a bringer of health and of death.

I did wish she had spent a little more
Peter Baran
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I reviewed Object Lessons = Political Sign my main negative was that the author cherry picked some interesting anecdotes, it worked as a monograph but he was too much like me as a person - and so our references (and shared outlook) were too similar to be thought provoking. Erica Wright, who has penned the superficially similar in tone and outlook Snake is not a alternative music skate-punk turned self-styled political pundit. She's a poetry editor. That is just about enough diversity to giv ...more
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This series of books – the list of which will soon breach a second page in every edition, so long it's getting, no matter the font shrinking – is designed to discuss semi-academically something we routinely find around us, or don't realise is culturally significant enough to have a non-fiction book dedicated to it. They're not for the specialists regarding each and every topic, for they're designed to be for the lay browser, in a collect-the-set fashion. And for the second time only (I discount ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Even if this short book belongs to a series called “Object Lessons,” the author will probably agree with me that snakes are not a thing, but a wonder of nature with a PR problem. Still, the theme of the series makes this not a biology or ethology textbook, but a wonderful reflection of how humans view the snake as an object. There is plenty of information on these creatures, but there is also art, culture, folklore and even some poetry. Animal lovers will cringe at some paragraphs about the abus ...more
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reactions to snakes are notoriously variable from screeches of fright to having nightmares to giddy excitement. My experience has been all three. Like Erica Wright, I used to fear snakes before knowing much about them. Now I seek them out deliberately and document and photograph them, though admittedly still do jump from time to time!

Wright's book details how humans over time have felt/feel about snakes. To some they were a necessary part of life.
They've been revered and despised, charmed and
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first I'd heard of the 'Object Lessons' series and it's not something I would usually read for fun - but I have an incredible passion for snakes. In fact, I work with reptiles, so I feel that I'm very knowledgable and experienced when it comes to snakes. I wondered what a book like this could teach me, the answer? A lot!

Snakes by Erica Wright is a fascinating insight into snakes in history, art, literature and culture. It explores the theme of the snake from cave paintings, to the bi
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Snakes scare the f*** out of me! I’ve had repetitive snake bite dreams when I was a kid and it still is a nightmare to watch snake horror films.. But I requested this book about SNAKES to know more about them. Its like the saying “know more about your enemies”.

Before requesting this I never knew Object Lessons was a series and I’ve added other books to my tbr. This book particularly deals with atmosphere of snakes, their nature, what they represent right from the mythology times to the current f
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is well-researched, informative, humorous, and gave me, as someone with a lifelong fear of snakes, a few things to appreciate about the otherwise horrifying danger noodle. I liked the author's straightforward prose, and her analysis of poetic works that center snakes as creatures of beauty, rather than classical terrors. Her anecdotes about family run-ins with venomous snakes raised the hairs on my neck, as well as her deep dive into pentecostal preachers who use snakes as religious pr ...more
Ula Tardigrade
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biology, non-fiction
Interesting and well written, if sometimes a little chaotic in a stream-of-consciousness style. You will find a myriad of stories here, about mythology and religion, poetry and art, conservation and hinting. While I sometimes longed for a deeper dive into some of the topics, I have to admit that this book does its work as a "very short introduction" well. I was never particularly interested in snakes, I am rather neutral towards them (a member of the arachnophobia team, myself), but now I will g ...more
Erica Wright
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
In 2013, I attended the Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival in Claxton, Georgia. Little did I know that this road trip would start a seven year journey of snakes, culminating in this little book. I’ve never had more fun working on a project, and I’m not even embarrassed—okay, not even TOO embarrassed—about giving my own book five stars. I hope you all enjoy reading about this fascinating, misunderstood animal as much as I enjoyed writing about it.
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Snake by Erica Wright is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early September.

A book written with equal amounts of respect, awe, and fear when Wright makes references to snakes in history, traumatic personal experiences, and in pop culture. Her scattered, meandering prose would work much better as a radio/blog piece or short-form video than a full-on Object Lessons book.
Laura  Guidry
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable read that whisks you around the cultural significance of snakes. For such small creatures, they harbor such symbolism and I really loved how Erica Wright broke it down in a quick fun read that included her personal experiences with snakes.
Apr 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2021
Terrific overview of all things snake-related, from history to medicine to myth.
Snake is a fantastic inclusion in the Bloomsbury Object Lessons series. It perfectly captures the quirky and whimsical tone I have come to expect from the series. It easily covers a wide range of topics from ophidiophobia, mythology, snake cults and a myriad of other factoids and symbolism.
The snake is death and rebirth simultaneously, a crawling contradiction.

Am not sure it helped me with my snake phobia, but by the end of the novella I was definitely thinking "humans are really weird."

The Idle Woman
Apr 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I’ve read several other books in the Object Lessons series and they’re always thought-provoking, quirky and inventive. Each book takes an everyday object and examines it from various perspectives – historical, social, ecological, cultural or mythological – offering unexpected angles on things that we might have taken for granted our entire lives. But the subject of this book is less ‘everyday’ than the others, at least for those of us in the UK. Erica Wright’s throwaway comment that, ‘If you’ve ...more
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Erica Wright's essay collection Snake was recently released as part of Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series. Her latest crime novel Famous in Cedarville received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. She is the author of three previous novels including The Red Chameleon, which was one of O: The Oprah Magazine's Best Books of Summer 2014 and was called "riveting" by Publishers Weekly. ...more

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