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I told myself that one thing I wanted to read more of this year was essays. So far, I've read none. This sounds like a good collection if I ever get around to my essay reading!



Oh if I had read your posts while away from home I could have sent you one of my Stieg Larsson’s, “The Girl Who Played with Fire.” I am waiting on the American translation of “The Girl Who Kicked Over the Hornet’s Nest” due for release 5.25.2010 although I have had the U.K. book since the end of October 2009. I have a friend in Godmanchester, England, who will send me a book or two that I want. The same goes for the book “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” Mark sent to me in the earlier part of 2009.



Kathleen--The Lopate book is a really excellent collection of essays. I think I could easily pick one a week for the rest of the year and not be bored. Plus he gives brief introductions for each author.
Edd--I think I must be one of the last people to read the Larsson books! I now have the first two in paper and just need a moment to squeeze them in. A coworker is reading the first one now and says she can't put it down. I'm a little afraid I will start reading them and neglect my other books! And it's always nice to have someone overseas to send along books not yet published here!


I loved Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and also The Writing Life. I think you'd like them too.

Margaret Powling

Anyone wishing to read essays might consider the writings of Richard Church (if they can get his books!) who was writing in the 1940s and 1950s. He also wrote novels and poetry, but it's his essays which I like best.


Just before Christmas I was looking for nature diaries and saw Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. However I chose Roger Deakin Notes from Walnut Tree Farm at that time and am reading this throughout this year. I think Annie Dillard must be my next choice.
happy easter Danielle!


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is lovely. And I just finished reading her American Childhood yesterday- it does take some mulling over to really appreciate her words, I think. I have The Writing Life, too, eager to read that one as well!

Dorothy W.

I really love "Seeing" as well. I've taught it a few times, and while it wasn't necessarily a favorite of the students, I liked it a lot! I haven't read much else that Dillard has written, though. I'm a little uncertain about nature writing, as it strikes me as potentially dull, so I've stayed away. But I'm probably very wrong. I should read the Pilgrim book, and I'd also like to read her novel The Maytrees. I may start there, eventually.


BooksPlease--I thought I had a copy of The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, so I will have to go skim my shelves for it. I have a feeling I would enjoy it as well.
Margaret--Thanks for the suggestion--I will see if my library has his work--not sure if anything would be online, but occasionally I'm surprised by what I find. And I'm always on the lookout for a good essayist.
Catharina--I hope you had a nice Easter as well--mine was very quiet but nice! I will have to look up Roger Deakin as I am enjoying the nature essays I've been reading.
Jeane--I actually read the essay twice to make sure I was understanding what she was saying, and it might not be a bad thing to ponder her work some more--she does seem pretty formidable! I do have her An American Childhood and am now interested to see what her autobiography is like.
Dorothy--This would be fun to read in a classroom setting to see what others responses are as well as get a little guidance from the professor! I can see where it might be challenging, though I liked it a lot, too. I have never been very interested in nature writing, but I have really enjoyed all the essays I've read that are nature oriented--particularly Rachel Carson--I wouldn't mind looking for a book on nature at some point, though I'm already such a slow NF reader, I wonder how I would manage science or nature works. I came very close to reading her Maytrees last year (or whenever it came out), but it was a library book that I ended up not getting to. Somehow it does seem more accessible (easier) than her other works.


Dillard writes so beautifully. I've read one or two of her books and enjoyed them a great deal. I haven't read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek though. Part of my mind thinks I am saving it for a special occasion of some sort.


Stefanie--I like her writing style, too. This is my first taste of her work, but it won't be her last. I really like reading essays as I can tell in only a few pages whether I want to keep reading an author or not. I must get my hands on Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, too!


Annie Dillard is one of my favorite authors. Her nature writing is never dull -- she carries you along with her own total stunned enthusiasm and sense of humor. I strongly recommend Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (or any of her other stuff, really.)


Jenny--I'm finding that I really like nature writing--at least the nature essays I've been reading, which sort of surprises me (I think I had some not too good preconceived ideas that it might be boring). You can tell she writes about what she loves and what she's moved by. I do plan on getting a copy of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek--I only have her autobiography.


I like your interpretation of Dillard's writing as I am currently taking an AP course and we are reading Dillard. I agree with you that Dillard is suggesting that if we look at the small things in life such as a penny anything greater would be tremendously rewarding. But one thing that confused me about Dillard is that why does she transcribe that we most pay more attention to the small things that nature offers to us by using the analogy of a penny that is man-made to seek the over looked things in nature?


Paco--Dillard is wonderful, isn't she? Cool that you are reading her for an AP course. It's been quite a while since I read this essay, but just as a quick thought I wonder if she simply thought of what she had done as a child--finding this penny which she thought such a wonderful prize, but the moment it was out of sight it was also out of mind. Maybe it was just an easy way to draw readers into her writing since most of us have probably shared that experience of finding loose change--something really pretty insignificant but still a sort of treasure in its own way--but there are other treasures to see if we just look around us. Not sure--just a thought. I'm not sure if she had an idea behind her example, or if it was just simply something random. Definitely a good essay to discuss and hopefully others in your class had some good insights into the essay.

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