Rebecca's Reviews > 21st-Century Yokel

21st-Century Yokel by Tom  Cox
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really liked it
bookshelves: anglophiles-delight, essays, memoirs, nature, newbury-library, travel-books, laugh-out-loud, pets

This is miles better than Cox’s earlier memoirs about his cats. Never fear, there are still mentions of his many feline companions, but there’s so much more to this hybrid book: the landscape and wildlife of the British places he knows best (Nottinghamshire, Norfolk and Devon), local folklore and superstitions, the distancing effect of technology, his family history, and so on.

Looking back now, I have a hard time summing up what these long essays are actually about, because they are suitably rambling in a way that mirrors Cox’s approach to his exploration of the countryside: There’s not really a plan, just a loose itinerary that may or may not change completely before the end. But there are a lot of laughs along the way, many of them provided by his delightfully nutty father, Mick, whose speech is all in capital letters and whose catchphrase is “WATCH OUT FOR FOOKWITS AND LOONIES.”

The variety of the book speaks to Cox’s wide-ranging curiosity about life, an enthusiasm that doubles as gratitude for all that he has access to. “I believe it is my duty to get to know my immediate natural world thoroughly, to not be complacent about it, as it’s the least I can do as a gesture of thanks to it for being kind enough to allow me to live within it.” It may not be fashionable to be passionate about nature (Jonathan Franzen writes a lot about this, too), but it should be encouraged as a way of combating short-sighted thinking: “This view – seeing a love of nature as Bad Weird – seems to be at the root of so many of the ecologically damaging decisions made, big and small, by humans.”
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Reading Progress

April 8, 2019 – Started Reading
April 9, 2019 – Shelved
April 9, 2019 – Shelved as: anglophiles-delight
April 9, 2019 – Shelved as: essays
April 9, 2019 – Shelved as: memoirs
April 9, 2019 – Shelved as: nature
April 9, 2019 – Shelved as: newbury-library
April 9, 2019 – Shelved as: travel-books
April 9, 2019 – Shelved as: laugh-out-loud
April 9, 2019 – Shelved as: pets
April 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

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