Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Beginnings: Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I am trying to follow all Book Beginning participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.



Barefoot, I've walked this path by night for nearly twenty years, most of my life it seems, the earth pressing up against the arch of my foot.

-- Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer (OSU Press), winner of the John Burroughs Medal Award for Natural History Writing.

Gathering Moss is a series of personal essays by scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer, who spent years studying mosses all over the world. Drawing as much on her Native American heritage and experiences as a mother as on science, Kimmerer explains how mosses live and uses the history and interconnectedness of moss as a metaphor for living in the world.

I want to use more moss in my own garden, so am reading this for practical advice as well as inspiration.  So far, it reminds me a lot of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, but without so many bugs.

Five Faves: Non-Fiction Francophile Books

There are times when a full-sized book list is just too much; when the Top 100, a Big Read, or all the Prize winners seem like too daunting an effort. That's when a short little list of books grouped by theme may be just the ticket.

Inspired by Nancy Pearl's "Companion Reads" chapter in Book Lust – themed clusters of books on subjects as diverse as Bigfoot and Vietnam – I decided to start occasionally posting lists of five books grouped by topic or theme. I call these posts my Five Faves.

Feel free to grab the button and play along.  Use today's theme or come up with your own.  If you post about it, please link back to here and leave the link to your post in a comment.  If you want to participate but don't have a blog or don't feel like posting, please share your list in a comment.


For this, my inaugural Five Fave post, I have five of my favorite nonfiction books about France. This is a mix of classic food writing, contemporary advice, history, and memoir by non-natives who enjoy France.

What are your favorite nonfiction books celebrating France or all things French? I keep a French Connections list and am always looking for additions!

Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris by A.J. Liebling

Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl by Debra Ollivier (reviewed here)

The Food of France by Waverley Root (reviewed here)

My Life in France by Julia Child (reviewed here)

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Happy Halloween!

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