Friday, March 27, 2015

The Friday 56 (3)

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.  This is a fun and simple meme, just follow the rules! It's a great way to connect with bloggers and share new or favorite books with them.
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Add your name to the link up at Freda's Voice

Ok...I'll admit this week, I had to fudge this post by a couple of pages so this time, it is the Friday 60. I know most of the time, this blog focuses on YA/NA books but every once in a while, I like to look back at some of the books that made me think about things a bit differently and aren't simply an adventure or love story.

So my Friday 56 post will be from Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. Edward Abbey is not someone to look up to in many ways (he was on the FBI watchlist for many years and one of his novels, The Monkey Wrench Gang, has been cited as inspiration for many radical groups) but he did have a beautiful way of writing about the importance of keeping the natural world natural. His writing is confrontational, accusatory, and harsh but it shows great passion for the environment.

"And most significant, these hordes of non motorized tourists, hungry for a taste of the difficult, the original, the real, do not consist solely of people young and athletic but also of old folks, fat folks, pale-faced office clerks who don't know a rucksack from a haversack, and even children. The one thing they all have in common is the refusal to live always like sardines in can - they are determined to get out of their motorcars for at least a few weeks each year."

Despite how this may sound, this is one of the nicest things that Abbey said about tourists into national parks. He wanted people to experience nature outside of their cars and go out and explore the world a bit. I'll leave you with this, from the forward of Desert Solitaire. It's one of my favorite passages of all time from environmental literature.
“Do not jump into your automobile next June and rush out to the canyon country hoping to see some of that which I have attempted to evoke in these pages. In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll see something, maybe. Probably not. In the second place most of what I write about in this book is already gone or going under fast. This is not a travel guide but an elegy. A memorial. You’re holding a tombstone in your hands. A bloody rock. Don’t drop it on your foot - throw it at something big and glassy. What do you have to lose?”
I'm hoping that maybe I'll be able to inspire someone to pick up this book, acknowledge that it's going to make them mad, and read it anyways. Go out into the woods or into the desert and get lost for a little while. It changed my perspective on parks and how we approach them.

Sorry for such a serious end to the week! For some reason, this book was calling out to me from my bookshelf.

Happy Friday! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


  1. Sounds like an epic read. I'm intrigued by the author being on a watchlist... that is enticing too.
    Happy weekend!

  2. Fascinating. The narrative drew me right in.
    My 56 -