Wednesday, the 3rd of June, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!
Today, my pick is non-fiction, a memoir of life away from the world, surrounded by nature–Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Walden or Life in the Woods was first published in 1854, and is a reflection of the author’s experiences living in the woods for a period of ‘two years, two months, and two days’ (I wonder whether he chose it so, or it became so by coincidence) in a cabin near Walden Pond on property owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was his mentor. The work is described as ‘part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance’. Thoreau spends this time living self-sufficiently (growing his own food as well), immersing himself in nature, and reflecting from this space on life and society–a variety of aspects from reading to solitude and visitors to the seasons and nature itself–really, on simple living.
I’m not really sure this pick entirely qualifies for Shelf Control but I am including it since it is on my TBR. I actually read part of this book many years ago (at least 7) when I came across and issued this from the library at university. Then for one reason or another, though I started and was enjoying the book, I ran out of time and the book had to be returned. I wanted to continue, but didn’t end up buying the book; rather I downloaded a public domain copy but I am yet to read it. Now of course, I will start from the beginning since its been so long.
I have noticed in other reviews of the book (Goodreads) that this starts off well, filling the reader with enthusiasm (probably the impression I remember it having on me) but then turns somewhat dull along the way. Even if this may be the case, I do still want to give this one a read all the way through. Even though very different, it kind of reminds me of R.L. Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, where Stevenson not only writes about his actual travels and places he visits, but also reflects on various issues including religion, and which was in fact published a couple of decades after this one.
Have you read Walden? or Do you plan to? How did you like it if you did? Looking forward to your thoughts!