Settled in the Wild:

Notes from the Edge of Town

by

Susan H.  SHETTERLY

240 pages

Publication:  26 January, 2010 -  Algonquin Books

This book counts for

My Dewey Decimal Challenge

and for

The 2011 Non-Fiction Challenge

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

This was such a refreshing book, about rootedness, about the place of nature in our lives, about our re-creation at the contact of nature, our re-education through woods, birds, and animals of all kinds. I enjoyed this book even more than Dillard’s, I find the author here leads you even deeper in contemplation.

I have to add that this book made me ache like no other: at about every page, I wanted just to drop the book, the blog, internet, and every thing, and just go and live out there. So far I have to be happy with my hiking on week-ends, 3 hours or more when possible, and my living in the middle of the woods a few days a year. I did live in the deep countryside for the first 10 years of my life, and am ready to go back, whenever the opportunity presents itself.

I am grateful for our nice backyard where we can observe the birds coming to the feeders or take their bath, the squirrels rushing along their highway (the heavy electric lines), or the skunks following their daily path along the fence, every night at about the same hour.

I love books, and I believe the book of nature is one to keep open to remain human. If you feel the call of the wild, go check if  this book is at your library.

EXCERPT

Over time, what we know acquires weight and permanence and we become,
instead of watchers, witnesses,
heavy with the gravity of what is revealed to us
and what we have chosen to carry of it.

p.149

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

Whether we live in cities, suburbs, or villages, we are encroaching on nature, and it in one way or another perseveres. Naturalist Susan Shetterly looks at how animals, humans, and plants share the land—observing her own neighborhood in rural Maine. She tells tales of the locals (humans, yes, but also snowshoe hares, raccoons, bobcats, turtles, salmon, ravens, hummingbirds, cormorants, sandpipers, and spring peepers). She expertly shows us how they all make their way in an ever-changing habitat.

In writing about a displaced garter snake, witnessing the paving of a beloved dirt road, trapping a cricket with her young son, rescuing a fledgling raven, or the town’s joy at the return of the alewife migration, Shetterly issues warnings even as she pays tribute to the resilience that abounds.

Like the works of Annie Dillard and Aldo Leopold, Settled in the Wild takes a magnifying glass to the wildness that surrounds us. With keen perception and wit, Shetterly offers us an education in nature, one that should inspire us to preserve it. [Goodreads]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan Hand Shetterly, a former wild bird rehabilitator, has written about wildlife and wildlands for over twenty years. She is the author of the essay collection The New Year’s Owl and several children’s books. She was a contributing writer to the Maine Times and her pieces have appeared in Birder’s World, Audubon Magazine, Yankee, and Down East. ” [Goodreads]

REVIEWS BY OTHERS

“Voices like Susan Hand Shetterly’s are soothing . . . Shetterly puts a hand on your forearm and says, come walk along the Maine coast. Let’s consider other species, eels and hummingbirds.” — Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times )

“Shetterly shares her journey of hope, loss and discovery. Along the way, she is transformed by the calls of birds and the ‘delicate pins-and-needles sounds’ of ice crystals, by the aroma of rich soil, by the challenges and gifts of an unforgiving nature.” –Dallas Morning News (Dallas Morning News )

“Shetterly provides a unique window into a world of wonder.” –Boston Globe (Boston Globe )

This is a delightful book about living in the woods, enjoying what’s outside your window and finding pleasure in taking the time to notice the little things right in front of us.” –Columbus Dispatch (Columbus Dispatch ) [Goodreads]

 

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
ANY OTHER GREAT BOOK ON THE PLACE OF NATURE IN OUR LIVES?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE

About these ads