Thursday, September 3, 2015

Two Good Books & A Friend

Hello again...time for me to share two of my recent reads.  First is one that was recommended  by Marcia a few months back, The Curve of Time, by M. Wylie Blanchet.

This was a wonderful story of a Canadian woman who was widowed and takes her five children each summer to Vancouver, living on a 25-foot boat.  During the winter, she home-schools them in a lovely cabin on the mainland, but each summer is an education that only the wilds can offer.  This is a journey of these children and their mother, facing the delights and dangers of nature, and the joys of family unity; learning more than life can teach us if we do not embrace all that it has to offer.  It's a beautiful story and I enjoyed the book very much.  I also in searching online for a photo of the book cover, discovered a family history of Muriel Wylie Blanchet, with some photos and background information that is very interesting.  You can find that HERE.

The second one I want to share is Wesley the Owl, the Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl, by Stacey O'Brien.  This one was recommended by an avid birder who is also a fellow blogger.

I adored this book so much, and learned so much about barn owls, and about the relationship a person can have with a wild creature.  Wesley did so many surprising things, making you realize that we so often underestimate our fellow creatures!  His relationship with Stacey was a priceless bond.  She cared for him, and he cared for her.  This is not a long book, and I highly recommend immersing yourself in this incredible story.  It will touch your heart so completely!

Looking online for a photo of the book cover, I stumbled on something I wasn't aware of...Wesley and Stacey have You Tube videos!  Here is one I want to share:

There is also a facebook page!

Happy Reading to you all!  Look forward to seeing where your reading adventures have been taking all of you....and with that thought, may I tell you about a new reading friend, Stewart Monckton in Australia.  He has an extensive reading list on his blog under "Pages" ( link to his blog HERE) and he has kindly allowed me to reprint some of his book reviews from time to time.  Here is the first one I'd like to share:

Feral - George Monbiot  - 4.5 /5

This is a really rather good book – not perfect, but one that makes you stop and think ‘do I agree with what I have just read?’
In reality this is almost two books rather than one – the first is about developing a great connection between people and the land on which they live. This is ‘re-wilding people’.  The second is about taking a less interventionist approach to wildlife management, by allowing nature a freer hand to build new ecosystems.
The first is a reasonably well-trodden path  - and is based on the assumption that people and the land do better when they are connected.  Connection.  Interest. Care. Passion. And in the end, survival.  This all seems to make sense.
The second theme of the book – actually re-wilding landscape – is probably a little more contentious.  Especially as one of the key things that the author suggests in terms of re-wilding is the re-introduction of large predators – such as wolves – to some ecosystems.  While any such introduction would clearly rely on human intervention in its early stages, the idea is to re-establish the kind of ecological processes that have been removed from many ecosystems by humans. 
There is little doubt that conventional conservation management is not always successful – with large areas (the book really takes most examples from the UK) being maintained in some sort of agriculture dominated state – the classic example here being most UK uplands which are often just sheep, deer or grouse maintained habitats, which lack the diversity they once had.
I think there needs to a well informed debate about who land is managed into the future – and this book is as good a place as any to start thinking about what this debate could mean or should include.

Highly recommended.

Marie Carmean


  1. I don't think "Feral" is for me but the other two look like great reads.

  2. I think the first book sounds like a great fun adventure...but I have to add, that I find it very sad how father's are being written completely out of literature and children's media.

    1. The book was written in the 1930s by a widow and published after her death in the 60s....I don't think it has anything to do with the modern trend of "leaving the fathers out" which I do agree is a problem.

  3. These books sound very interesting to me, as I live in the wilderness! Thank you for the great reviews. I will put all of these on my book list. I have been so busy this summer that I have not had time to read, but I am almost done with a wonderful book and will post the review soon. - Karen

  4. Thanks to each of you for your comments! Karen, I look forward to you posting a new review!

  5. Marie, I'm glad you liked the Curve of Time. It was an amazing description of surviving the adversity of widowhood with young children yet to raise.


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