On the Trail of John Muir," by Cherry Good, is easy to pick up and put down as your schedule allows. I'll be linking this post later this month to Holley's book review meme over at Roses and Other Gardening Joys.
Since I'm on a bit of a John Muir kick, I was looking for a book that would give me facts about exactly where he traveled and lived. I wanted a book to provide a sense of the geography of Muir's life, and the scope of his journeys. This book is a good start.
In seven chapters, it takes the reader from Dunbar, Scotland; to Wisconsin; Ontario, Canada; Florida; California; Alaska; Arizona; and many destinations along the way.
What I like about the book:
- The maps help to illustrate significant places along Muir's travels and life journey;
- An excellent chronology at the end of the book lists highlights of his life, from 1838-1914;
- Each chapter offers anecdotes and descriptions of people, places, and events significant to Muir;
- A few photos and illustrations show his modest dwelling places and many of the beautiful scenes he admired; and
- The author's experiences of those places are woven effectively with Muir's writings and reactions.
It's a light book, at 131 pages, including the index. This isn't really a critique, because the book fits neatly in a backpack or a bag for easy travel. But it's sparse in scale, and leaves you wanting more. That's not surprising either, since there's so much to learn about this fascinating man.
Even Muir, himself, wrote: "It seems strange that a paper that reads smoothly and may be finished in 10 minutes should require months to write." While it would be difficult to read and retain the spirit of this book in 10 minutes, you should be able to read most individual chapters in that amount of time.
I'd recommend the book to anyone interested in John Muir's travels, explorations, and settlements.
For more excellent book suggestions, check out Holley's book review meme, hosted on the 20th of each month.
And just a quick reminder that the "Lessons Learned" and "Seasonal Celebrations" memes are live until March 20, when we'll wrap up for the season! Thanks for joining in!