Saturday, June 28, 2008

book love

A post over on SK's new(ish) site not waving but drowning has me thinking about the way some books read in childhood can really shape who you become. SK mentions a book I have not read, Phantom Tollbooth. Mine, without a doubt, would have to be My Side of the Mountain.

Subtitled "The classic story of wilderness survival," how could I go wrong? This is a story about a young boy who makes good on a promise to run away from home. He sets off to live alone on a tract of land in the Catskills (I think) that belongs to his uncle. He hollows out an enormous rotton tree to live in, he makes fishhooks from twigs, he captures a falcon and trains it. And the book includes diagrams of *everything*!

I loved this book so much. Next to my stepfather's boy scout handbook, this book sparked incredible fantasies of living alone in the wilderness. Before I even understood that there WAS a grid, I wanted to live OFF it. Not that I'm living off the grid now that I'm an adult and capable, but the longing to be alone in nature is still strong and images of the wilderness still comfort me and inform some of my most spiritual feelings.

Thanks for getting me thinking about this SK. And good luck with your recovery! Keep me updated on the progress as mango shrinks down to nothing!


Blogger witchtrivets said...

I also read this as a child and it had a huge influence. But I could not remember the name of it. So thanks for that. What a wonderful story. It is still appealing to me.

7:56 AM  

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