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Jaylia3

Reflections

Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

Captivating memoir of a literary naturalist

A Million Years with You: A Memoir of Life Observed - Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Seeing the world with all its varied peoples and animals through the observant eyes of literary naturalist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is both mind-altering and deeply satisfying. This memoir includes many phases of Thomas’s life, from her fascination with wildlife as a young girl, through her child-rearing years in far flung and sometimes dangerous locations, to her writing career which continues today, but for me the book really took off in chapter four where she wrote about her experiences as a college-age woman in the Kalahari Desert living among the Bushmen, about whom very little was known at the time. Since Thomas’s life has been long and varied, I enjoyed some sections of her book more than others, but her wit, candor, embrace of experience, and open-minded explorations made all of it worth reading.

 

There is a whole chapter near the end of the book on her writing process--including her personal rules, one of which I just broke with these dashes--and it’s just as absorbing as her global adventures. I haven’t yet read anything else by Thomas, but based on the quality of writing and thought in this memoir I plan to.  She’s authored books about animals, including The Social Life of Dogs and The Tribe of the Tiger, books about the Bushmen, including The Old Way and The Harmless People, and two novels set in stone age Siberia that some Amazon reviewers, disappointed with the Clan of the Cave Bear series, have loved. Not interested in retiring just yet, Thomas reports that a third stone age novel will be her next writing project.

 

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/686760730