Just thought I should post a quick February reading catch up, so anyone who is participating in the Gaia reading challenge can post links in the comments if they would like.
It was a bit of a slow reading month for me with only three books read and only one that can be counted as part of the Gaia/nature reading challenge; BeWildered by Laura Waters. Essentially BeWildered is Waters account of her experience walking the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand, a 3000 km trail that runs the length of both the north and south island. I have to confess that I found Laura’s constant reflection on failed relationships and possible new relationships with other male walkers on the trail kind of irritating and of no interest to me, but other than that it was an okay read. I guess the last seventy pages were the best but overall I would have preferred greater detail on the trail itself and her encounters with the natural world. She does reflect on her anxiety inducing existence back in society, the freedom and empowerment walking the trail gives her, but overall the book just didn’t seem to hit the mark for me. I notice most readers on goodreads give the book five or four stars, so maybe the problem is just with me. This passage did resonate:
Somehow we’ve never seen ourselves as part of nature, more a species separate, a species above, as though the rules for a balanced ecosystem don’t apply to us. Instead we seek to control nature, to exploit and manipulate it for our own purposes, overlooking any havoc we might wreak along the way. Daily, across the world, we strip vast tracts of land of their trees, we raid the oceans fo their fish, we pump toxic chemicals into the air and our drinking water, we throw so much rubish into the waterways that there are garbage patches of suspended plastics in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans that are bigger than Texas. In the evolutionary blink of an eye we have altered the earth as surely as a plague of rabbits clearing a field of crops. (p246) – Laura Waters BeWILDered
I did read my first Discworld novel for the year: Equal Rites. I read this for the Total Recall discworld reading challenge hosted by Annemieke at A Dance with Books. This is the third novel in the Discworld series and the first novel in the witches story arc. I have to confess I find the early Discworld novels a little rough around the edges and the series gets better as it goes along. There are some worthy passages though:
“I saved a man’s life once,” said Granny. “Special medicine, twice a day. Boiled water with a bit of berry juice in it. Told him I’d bought it from the dwarves. That’s the biggest part of doct’rin, really. Most people’ll get over most things if they put their minds to it, you just have to give them an interest.” – Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites
“He had the kind of real deep tan that rich people spent ages trying to achieve with expensive holidays and bits of tinfoil, when really all you need to do to obtain one is work your arse off in the open air everyday.” – Terry Pratchett Equal Rites
If you have read for the Gaia nature/environment challenge feel free to leave a link in the comments, I would love to see what others are reading.