recent reading, ongoing thinking

9 thoughts on “recent reading, ongoing thinking”

  1. Loved this post. When I got to the bottom, I thought you were writing, “If you get to the bottom of this, let me know” …as in tell me what the solution is!


  2. I love those Robert Macfarlane books – nice to hear of someone else reading him! It’s fascinating material, makes me actually interested in Britain and British heritage (unusual for me), plus he can really write. But, given your comments about being a mother of two and ‘tethered by family’ – I have always noticed how Macfarlane apparently has a wife and kids, but they never appear in the books, and he’s always off on these wild sojourns on his own or in the company of other blokes! Ha. Bet there’s a similar tale to be told of a few of those wandering male NZ writers, too.

    Have you read the American Buddhist writer Barbara Gates? She comes to mind as someone who’s written about urban life and the wildness within. Lots about human relationships, too.


    1. Oh yay, thanks Caren, no I hadn’t heard of Barbara Gates. I will definitely look her up – that looks fantastic. GOOD POINT about McFarlane and his absent family….how typical!


  3. Keep plodding on – you are an accomplished, entertaining and novel writer! You already have an audience. You will have readers.

    Recommendations? Quite an academic work but perhaps might give some hardcore substance to your thoughts on nature and identity – his references might be a good jumping point, too. Nigel Clark, ‘Cultural Studies for Shaky Isles’, in, Cultural Studies in Aotearoa New Zealand: identity, space and place, eds C Bell and S Matthewman, OUP, Melbourne 2004.

    I can also recommend Annie Proulx’s Bird Cloud – her non-fiction account of moving to a very remote part of the USA and living isolated in nature. Sometimes a bit like a whining Grand Designs but with eagles and mountains and trees and lots of weather.


    1. Thanks so much, Shelley – great suggestions!

      ‘A whining grand designs’ – ha ha, that cracked me up. I love Grand Designs and I like Annie Proulx so sounds like a compelling combination.


  4. I think I am on a similar reading trajectory to you re the nature based stuff. I love roger deakin though i cant get into macfarlane i can’t quite work out why. not enough humour maybe? i heartily recommend Rachel Peden if you’ve not already read her, old but timeless and though not urban there is something about her noticings and attention to small things of nature that are quite universal.
    Wild by jay griffiths? I shall request that from the library forthwith. Thanks x


  5. Thanks, Max – I had not heard of Rachel Peden and will look her up. Sounds great! Macfarlane is a bit more earnest than some of the other writers, you’re right. Thanks so much for taking the time to reccommend an author to me. 🙂 Helen


  6. so interesting!! i too am oddly being drawn to the nature of my city, always have been though, but its different somehow now. That makes no sense AT ALL and i am just enjoying reading what you write as it’s interesting to me right now!
    hows that for eloquent!
    🙂 will have a think on books- i know someone who writes here about what he calls ” psychogeography” taking walks in this city, but it might be a bit off your mark…though he does explore the wild areas…shawn micallef…


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