Play Book Tag discussion

11 views
July 2016: Biography Memoir > The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating - Bailey - 4.5 stars

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3062 comments The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating - Elisabeth Tova Bailey
4.5 stars

My feelings about snails are situational. In my garden they are pests. In a classroom, they are pets; interesting, low maintenance creatures that are easily observed and studied. Also, at the end of the day, with the room empty of children, snails are quiet, very quiet, and serenely calming to a teacher’s jangled nerves. That is why I could easily understand how a snail could become a fascinating companion to a bedridden invalid.

Like Laura Hillenbrand, Elisabeth Bailey is an author afflicted with a form of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. When she was most debilitated by her disease, a friend brought her a wild violet plant and one small woodland snail. The snail becomes the focus of her attention, a lifeline when she is most despairing. This book combines her intense observations of one snail with her reflections on her own illness. She does her homework. Her snail is not Seabiscuit, but she talks to the experts and reads up on the natural history of snails through the centuries. She is not alone in her affection for snails. Her chapters are full of excerpts of poetry and prose devoted to the lowly snail.

I read this book while water dropping aircraft overflew my house and a 38,000 acre fire was raging within view of my backyard. The book not only held my attention, it reduced my anxiety and probably lowered my blood pressure. It was pleasant, soothing, and interesting. Just like a snail.


message 2: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6673 comments I found this book to be very pleasant and soothing as well. It encouraged me to reintroduce snails into my classroom.

I found the facts she presented about the snails extremely interesting.


message 3: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3062 comments On her website she talks a bit about the writing of the book. Asking herself, 'Can I really write a whole chapter about slime?'. It sounds ridiculous, but it was really interesting. I also kept thinking of Alma's intense study of mosses in The Signature of All Things.


message 4: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6673 comments Jgrace wrote: "On her website she talks a bit about the writing of the book. Asking herself, 'Can I really write a whole chapter about slime?'. It sounds ridiculous, but it was really interesting. I also kept thi..."

I tried to add moss to my terrarium/ snail house , but either I didn't water it enough or had it in the wrong space. :(


message 5: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3062 comments I've had very bad luck with moss and ferns in terrariums. My snails were always temporary pets. One week, possibly two, and they were back in the garden. I did the same with tarantulas. :)


message 6: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6673 comments Jgrace wrote: "I've had very bad luck with moss and ferns in terrariums. My snails were always temporary pets. One week, possibly two, and they were back in the garden. I did the same with tarantulas. :)"

We had a massive amount of baby snails at one point this year.


back to top