Friday, October 1, 2010

Walden - Life in the woods.

I finally finished Walden. It took me awhile. With the 19th century addiction to ginormous sentences and 2 page paragraphs, it wasn't a super easy read.  I was afraid I'd miss something if I read too fast.

Walden is essentially an essay on a social experiment. Thoreau, disenchanted with the materialism of the day, decided to remove himself from 'mainstream' society and live a simpler, more contemplative life in a handbuilt cabin in the woods by Walden Pond... and journal it. Those journals became the magnum opus for Thoreau - Walden.

Not a preachy book about overspending and shallow pursuits... wait.. yes, it sort of is! But so beautifully done that it doesn't feel like it... it feels less like you are being preached to than cheered on. Which makes it seem somewhat attainable even in this century to take some his lessons and advice to heart on simple living and make it work even today. 

But Thoreau was also a lay naturalist, geologist, zoologist, botanist and his quaint and appealing descriptions of the wood and the pond are what makes this an indelible classic!! Almost makes me want to go camping!

One thing I'm not sure I ever worked out was Thoreau's theology - or lack there of. While making plenty of references to God, I got the impression he wasn't over-enthused with Religion. 

There were so many quotes in this book that would make perfect wall stencils!! I have to write a paper on this work and there are so many wonderful concepts to touch on, I'll never figure out how to keep it at 3 pages!! :)

Combining this review with Follow Friday at Parajunkee's View :) Thanks for hosting!


  1. Hello, came through from Follow Friday and the blog hop. I'm a new follower so I'll be following along as your blog about the books you're reading.

    Have a great weekend and Happy reading!

    The Book Scoop

  2. Love Walden. I read it long, long ago. About time for a reread.

    I'm a new follower!

  3. Just hopping by to say hello! I am following and can’t wait to read more from your blog. Here is my blog

  4. Glad to have found you via FF. I'm your newest Follower!

    I love reading any time, too, but there's definitely something special about reading during the cooler Fall days. It's still over 100 here in Arizona, but SOMEDAY we'll get some nice reading weather :)

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Stopping by on FF. New follower. Looking forward to reading your reviews. Hope you stop by and visit me too.

  6. I just started reading Thoreau recently for a nature writing class I'm in. He and Emerson were transcendentalists, so they were religious but they thought nature kind of transcended religion and that you could find your soul through nature. I'm not very good at explaining it but it's worth looking up if you liked Walden.