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The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861 (New York Review Books Classics)

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Henry David Thoreau’s Journal was his life’s work: the daily practice of writing that accompanied his daily walks, the workshop where he developed his books and essays, and a project in its own right—one of the most intensive explorations ever made of the everyday environment, the revolving seasons, and the changing self. It is a treasure trove of some of the finest prose Henry David Thoreau’s Journal was his life’s work: the daily practice of writing that accompanied his daily walks, the workshop where he developed his books and essays, and a project in its own right—one of the most intensive explorations ever made of the everyday environment, the revolving seasons, and the changing self. It is a treasure trove of some of the finest prose in English and, for those acquainted with it, its prismatic pages exercise a hypnotic fascination. Yet at roughly seven thousand pages, or two million words, it remains Thoreau’s least-known work.  This reader’s edition, the largest one-volume edition of Thoreau’s Journal ever published, is the first to capture the scope, rhythms, and variety of the work as a whole. Ranging freely over the world at large, the Journal is no less devoted to the life within. As Thoreau says, “It is in vain to write on the seasons unless you have the seasons in you.”


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Henry David Thoreau’s Journal was his life’s work: the daily practice of writing that accompanied his daily walks, the workshop where he developed his books and essays, and a project in its own right—one of the most intensive explorations ever made of the everyday environment, the revolving seasons, and the changing self. It is a treasure trove of some of the finest prose Henry David Thoreau’s Journal was his life’s work: the daily practice of writing that accompanied his daily walks, the workshop where he developed his books and essays, and a project in its own right—one of the most intensive explorations ever made of the everyday environment, the revolving seasons, and the changing self. It is a treasure trove of some of the finest prose in English and, for those acquainted with it, its prismatic pages exercise a hypnotic fascination. Yet at roughly seven thousand pages, or two million words, it remains Thoreau’s least-known work.  This reader’s edition, the largest one-volume edition of Thoreau’s Journal ever published, is the first to capture the scope, rhythms, and variety of the work as a whole. Ranging freely over the world at large, the Journal is no less devoted to the life within. As Thoreau says, “It is in vain to write on the seasons unless you have the seasons in you.”

30 review for The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861 (New York Review Books Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stefania Dzhanamova

    In 1837, David Henry Thoreau was twenty years old. (He would soon begin to call himself Henry David but he never changed his name legally or officially, and throughout his life many people in Concord continued to call him “David Henry,” Thoreau stubbornly correcting them.) His journal started out as a notebook among others, for quotations, mini-essays, and poetry. He often tore out pages to use as drafts for his books, lectures, and essays, and for other reasons. This Journal is not literally wh In 1837, David Henry Thoreau was twenty years old. (He would soon begin to call himself Henry David but he never changed his name legally or officially, and throughout his life many people in Concord continued to call him “David Henry,” Thoreau stubbornly correcting them.) His journal started out as a notebook among others, for quotations, mini-essays, and poetry. He often tore out pages to use as drafts for his books, lectures, and essays, and for other reasons. This Journal is not literally what Thoreau wrote each day: he often wrote up entries days later, from notes, and as the footnotes show, he would also go back much later and make further additions and connections. Instead, the Journal is a record of what he and Nature did on a given day, and how those doings affected each other. Thoreau made lasting discoveries about the interactions of different systems: how the seasons affect water levels, how animals propagate seeds, how one growth of forest trees succeeds the previous one, how the lake affects the shore or the river the riverbanks, and, most importantly, how the life he led shaped Henry David Thoreau and vice versa. Thoreau never married, is not known to have had any lovers, and was naturally prickly, defensive, and off-putting. As he himself wrote, the society of young women was the most unprofitable he had ever tried. "They are so light and flighty that you can never be sure whether they are there or not there.” At the same time, however, Thoreau wrote with surprising perceptiveness and empathy about others – poor Irish laborers, escaped slaves he helped send north to Canada, fellow villagers – and his writing speaks to readers with remarkable intimacy. Here we find the private musings of the odd, solitary man of Concord. “Hornets, hyenas, and baboons are not so great a curse to a country as men of a similar character,” decided he one early-autumn day. But he also knew he had narrowed his life to the town of Concord. He knew the paths and byways and shortcuts and railroad rights-of-way and the rivers along which he rowed and skated and swam. He knew the line dividing his private goals from “the mean and narrow-minded men” he scorned. He was arrogant, supercilious, and observant, but often doubted himself. One day, “To owl’s nest. The young owls are gone.” The other some thoughts about frivolity, society, and personal shallowness. On the last day of one September, a musing about the color of leaves: “The white ash has got its autumnal mulberry hue.” Yet then something more. “It is with leaves as with fruits and woods, and animals and men; when they are mature their different characters appear.” Winter prompted him to think about journalizing. He moved about the house and wrote then his Journal is that part of him which would otherwise spill and run to waste. He also talked a lot about the weather — that which shaped the Concord world, the affairs of farmers and vagrants, the turn of seasons, the color of everything. Faces troubled him. “In the evening went to a party. It is a bad place to go to, —thirty or forty persons, mostly young women, in a small room, warm and noisy.” He barely looked people in the faces, he concluded, and then moved on to a much more pleasant encounter with an old farmer in the woods, farmer and journal writer eating crackers and cheese together. From parties and public encounters and most other “machinery of modern society,” from what the Journal records as autumn melancholy, Thoreau fled to the woods, to solitude. “Objects are concealed from our view not so much because they are out of the course of our visual ray as because there is no intention of the mind and eye toward them.” So his Journal became a prism through which he looked at the phenomena of Nature that are concealed from us because we do not know "...how far and widely, or how near and narrowly, we are to look." He made two kinds of reports in his Journal — the incidents and observations of to-day and the reviewed, more poetic details added later. After decades of keeping the Journal, still musing on what he experienced, what he recorded, and what the record became, he wrote, “The men and things of to-day are wont to lie fairer and truer in tomorrow’s memory.” According to him, he often gave the truest and most interesting account of an adventure after years had passed, for then only the most important facts survived in his memory. This Journal is not the memory of Thoreau; it is his memory treasury, his most private thoughts, and his record of making and writing the Journal. The purpose of Thoreau’s Journal was not simply to gather as many details and facts as possible but to provide his connecting, analogizing intelligence with more to connect — more to, as he said, “turn into poetry.” “I now begin to pluck wild apples,” reads one September entry. This was his harvest. The Journal is also an important source of biographical information and an example of unbelievably beautiful nature writing. “The colors are now: light blue above . . . landscape russet and greenish, spotted with fawn-colored plowed lands, with green pine and gray or reddish oak woods intermixed, and dark-blue or slate-color water here and there.” The Journal was the source of all Thoreau's works and the defining undertaking of his adult life. Read this one for sure. You won't look at the trees and the bushes, at the skies and the soil with the same eyes ever again. You will be spellbound.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Graychin

    It can only be the massive bulk of the thing in unexpurgated form that keeps the Journal from its rightful place on the top shelf of American literature. NYRB's abbreviated edition may do something to help more readers find it. Thoreau in the Journal (especially by his mid-thirties, when he’d grown up a bit) is better than he is anywhere else: fresher, less naive and less preachy, more reflective and self-questioning. Whatever he turns his eyes to, his powers of observation astonish. So does his It can only be the massive bulk of the thing in unexpurgated form that keeps the Journal from its rightful place on the top shelf of American literature. NYRB's abbreviated edition may do something to help more readers find it. Thoreau in the Journal (especially by his mid-thirties, when he’d grown up a bit) is better than he is anywhere else: fresher, less naive and less preachy, more reflective and self-questioning. Whatever he turns his eyes to, his powers of observation astonish. So does his prose. He discards the flighty Transcendentalism of his earlier years, sitting on Emerson’s knee, for a philosophy in which seasons, geologic movements, and aerial migrations (the outward world in all its conflict and calm, barenness and superfluity) find an almost biological relation to the movements and moods of the human mind, and of society. Rather than being an observer of nature from outside, a mere connoisseur of its picturesque forms, he discovers himself – by study and intuition – as a part of it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Okay, this is cheating on my part, but it is good some version of the Journal is out there (so go get it, dear ones). What I have, and have had since purchase in the early 1970's, is the Dover two volume complete journals of Thoreau, every little observed gnat or weed, every small exclamation of awe or beauty, every depressed rumination over friendship. It was in his journals that our Henry worked out what would become his essays and his books; where he polishes phrases and notes the bloom time Okay, this is cheating on my part, but it is good some version of the Journal is out there (so go get it, dear ones). What I have, and have had since purchase in the early 1970's, is the Dover two volume complete journals of Thoreau, every little observed gnat or weed, every small exclamation of awe or beauty, every depressed rumination over friendship. It was in his journals that our Henry worked out what would become his essays and his books; where he polishes phrases and notes the bloom time of every plant in Concord. If you can locate this complete version, and if you are in love with HD (chastely)...seize it. The set cost me 50 dollars back in the day, and was worth every hard earned penny.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Like a rough draft of Walden with lots more weather and plant observations. He recorded on July 6, 1845: “I wish to meet the facts of life—the vital facts, which are the phenomena or actuality the gods meant to show us—face to face, and so I came down here.” Also reveals more of his ornery character: “Most New England biographies and journals—John Adams’s not excepted—affect me like the opening of tombs.” Good for a few pages a day, as a companion to contemplation.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Louis

    It's really bizarre how perceptions can catapult you back in time. I remember sniffing a bottle of perfume I forgot about and finding myself 17 again, on the dance floor of some random party, surrounded by childhood friends. The same feeling comes when seeing this book. Not that it's been a long time since I've read it - couple of months - but it has strong sensations clinging to it. It's no surprise to my friends I have a tough time finding work that fits me as a person. I don't know why - I app It's really bizarre how perceptions can catapult you back in time. I remember sniffing a bottle of perfume I forgot about and finding myself 17 again, on the dance floor of some random party, surrounded by childhood friends. The same feeling comes when seeing this book. Not that it's been a long time since I've read it - couple of months - but it has strong sensations clinging to it. It's no surprise to my friends I have a tough time finding work that fits me as a person. I don't know why - I apply widely (though focused) and diligently, but somehow or other I found myself in a temp job again at the end of last year. The sentiment of uselessness (feeling expendable) and pointlessness (dead-end street) haunted me wherever I go (as it still does). When I went walking around noon during lunch break, I consistently took this book with me to fill my mind with musings, to break the mind-killing monotony of my work and to feel hopeful again, to feel like I have a bright future ahead of me. This might sound like a romanticized view (and I wish it were) but it's the truth. This is an abbreviated version of Thoreau's journal (although I didn't know that till later) and it is my intention of reading it in its entirety one day. Although a large chunk of it is filled with descriptions of natural phenomena and animal/plant life, it is Thoreau's detours into philosophy and his child-like wonder at the world surrounding him that dug into me and touched my soul. Thoreau was a loner, thinker and visionary, and that didn't score him many points with his acquaintances, but his marvellous, spirited reviews of all things - even the most mundane - make this a life-affirming read for me. Some examples of why I hold him in such high regard: “When I consider that the nobler animal have been exterminated here - the cougar, the panther, lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, dear, the beaver, the turkey and so forth and so forth, I cannot but feel as if I lived in a tamed and, as it were, emasculated country... Is it not a maimed and imperfect nature I am conversing with? As if I were to study a tribe of Indians that had lost all it's warriors...I take infinite pains to know all the phenomena of the spring, for instance, thinking that I have here the entire poem, and then, to my chagrin, I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, and mutilated it in many places. I should not like to think that some demigod had come before me and picked out some of the best of the stars. I wish to know an entire heaven and an entire earth.” How I feel about philosophy (and most things in life): why would you want to read second-hand books when you can get right down to the origins? So many people write books on books on books of philosophers, why not just get to the core and read the original and decide for yourself what to think? We are already told daily what to think by the media, politics, 'experts', and it's time we decided for ourselves what's the truth. So yes, just like Thoreau, I try to suck the marrow out of life, to dig deeply, to feel intensely, to explore widely, as I feel is the only right way to live my life. And this quote holds so much more! Important historical facts culled out of history books (I am thinking slavery and discrimination for instance, or the real founding of America, on the backs of the murdered indigenous population), selective truths (or downright lies) spread by politics... Thoreau was onto something here. “The stars are God's dreams, thoughts remembered in the silence of his night.” Such beauty in one line. The night for me, when everything and everyone falls quiet, is the only time when you can truly come to your senses and let the silence hold up a mirror.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Estep Nagy

    Great though Walden is, for me Thoreau's journals are better. When you compare his writing in these to that in Walden you see that he had, in small but important ways, in Walden edited himself for publication, a gesture that doesn't make Walden worse but it does limit one's angle of vision on the man himself. And while Thoreau the writer is wonderful, canonical, etc, nevertheless for me Thoreau the man is absolutely electric. Following him through the seasons, settling into his rhythm of observa Great though Walden is, for me Thoreau's journals are better. When you compare his writing in these to that in Walden you see that he had, in small but important ways, in Walden edited himself for publication, a gesture that doesn't make Walden worse but it does limit one's angle of vision on the man himself. And while Thoreau the writer is wonderful, canonical, etc, nevertheless for me Thoreau the man is absolutely electric. Following him through the seasons, settling into his rhythm of observation, speculation, polemic, is not only an unending pleasure but also an example of how to live best and truthfully when one finds oneself in fierce opposition to the prevailing society, as Thoreau did in mid-nineteenth-century Concord and America. This is another book where I'm going to have to buy a new one because my usual copy is so marked up. Essential.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James Henderson

    This is a book to read and reread, relishing the thoughts of Henry David Thoreau on life, nature and humanity. He was a complex but simple man, well-read but for all his reading his imagination was on fire with thoughts that were his own and seeds for the ages. He was a journalist in the original sense of the word as one who creates a journal, and his was based on the facts of his life as he lived mainly in Concord and briefly at Walden Pond. "How simple is the natural connection of events. We co This is a book to read and reread, relishing the thoughts of Henry David Thoreau on life, nature and humanity. He was a complex but simple man, well-read but for all his reading his imagination was on fire with thoughts that were his own and seeds for the ages. He was a journalist in the original sense of the word as one who creates a journal, and his was based on the facts of his life as he lived mainly in Concord and briefly at Walden Pond. "How simple is the natural connection of events. We complain greatly of the want of flow and sequence in books, but if the journalist only move himself from Boston to New York, and speak as before, there is link enough. Is not my life riveted together? Has it not sequence? Do not my breathings follow each other naturally?"(Journal, March 20, 1842) Just as time was "but the stream I go a-fishing in", and his head "is an organ for burrowing," his bean-field produced beans that "have results which are not harvested by me.". We are still reaping these results and, while there are few huts set out beside ponds, there are many people who think about the meaning of a life that is lived with the benefits of Thoreau's seeds of simplicity and thoughtfulness. "This rain which is now watering my beans and keeping me in the house waters me too. I needed it as much. And what if most are not hoed! Those who send the rain, whom I chiefly respect, will pardon me." (Journal, July 6, 1845)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Technically did not read every entry, as I have been following along with the seasons (and intend to continue), but man WOW do I crave nature.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bo

    I've been reading this book for a year - reading each day's entries on the concurrent date. What a great experience, noticing what Thoreau noticed and then comparing it to what I was noticing. Plus all the asides about how to live and the importance of paying attention etc. A big thanks to Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist and more, who suggested this sort of practice a year ago. Such a great exercise in ritual and observation and setting intentions. I've been reading this book for a year - reading each day's entries on the concurrent date. What a great experience, noticing what Thoreau noticed and then comparing it to what I was noticing. Plus all the asides about how to live and the importance of paying attention etc. A big thanks to Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist and more, who suggested this sort of practice a year ago. Such a great exercise in ritual and observation and setting intentions.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ty

    The Journal is huge. To be accessible to most, an abridgment is necessary. This abridgment, one of the most recent, succeeds in bringing the deep spirituality, keen observation and passionate but simple prose of Henry David Thoreau's private writing together in a still large but manageable volume. To review the writing of Thoreau himself is a different affair than review a particular collection of same. Though at times the man does allow himself to be carried away by the smallest of details, ramb The Journal is huge. To be accessible to most, an abridgment is necessary. This abridgment, one of the most recent, succeeds in bringing the deep spirituality, keen observation and passionate but simple prose of Henry David Thoreau's private writing together in a still large but manageable volume. To review the writing of Thoreau himself is a different affair than review a particular collection of same. Though at times the man does allow himself to be carried away by the smallest of details, rambling at times in such a way as to dull the reader's senses to an extent, we do not hold it against him, as we might many other writers. For with Thoreau, even passages that get away from themselves and sink a bit under their own detail are nonetheless indicative of the passion and sincerity of the man. Pomposity from Thoreau is virtually non-existent. Thoreau's occasional thick passages, (that border at times on the clinical), are forgiven him because of the spirit with which they are composed, and because so many poetic, profound, relatable and useful passages abound with the denser ones. In short, to acquaint oneself with the man through his writings is very much worth it in several of his works. I'll not hold it against that he sometimes goes down the road, especially in his own journal. To read Thoreau is to read nature itself, and to find within it a kinship with the man himself. More than once the Journal inspired me to go take a walk. I dare say I have become more observant of natural phenomenon since reading this than I was before. Thoreau preaches mostly by example, and to me that is the most effective way to spread a message and share a worldview...a world view that has comforted thousands of people since Thoreau himself left the earth, all too soon. That being said, the editor of this edition does make some odd decisions. He admits in the preface material that any such abridgment will be subjective. The editor confesses a preference for passages about ice and snow over those about sunset. (There is in fact a clear "winter-heavy" nature to the overall abridgment I think.) I grant the editor his subjectivity, but there didn't seem to be a clear distinction between times he would cut off a passage by placing, "(etc. for 8 pages)" at the end of it, and the times he permits the text to roll on an on. There were a few passages that I thought could have withstood some more editing, and a few that were edited from which I would have liked to have read more. I have the option to go seek them out in other places, of course, but my criticism lies within the confines of this volume. However, aside from a few questionable omissions and some equally questionable decisions to leave other things in, the editor is true to the text, and manages to stay out of the reader's way. His stated goal to retain and present the character of both The Journal and its author by way of a broader abridgement I would say is in large part achieved.

  11. 5 out of 5

    thinkingape

    “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and to be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.” —-Walden by Henry Thoreau “I easily read the moral of my dreams. Yesterday I was influenced with the rottenness of human relations. They appeared full of death and decay, and offended the nostrils. In the light I dreamed of delving amid the graves of the dead, and soiled my finger with their rank mould.It was sanitarily, morally, and physically true. ”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    I am a huge fan of Thoreau and was delighted to see his journals collected in a book. He writes beautifully and his thoughts about life and society are often brilliant and thought-provoking, though there was a bit too much about nature for my taste (detailed descriptions of plants, animals, seasons, temperature, weather, ponds).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Corky

    A good guide for hiking, inspires better observation and description. Wonderful variety. Not plot bound, which I like.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    A long, mind-salving, soul-grabbing, read for these difficult times. A reminder to keep our eyes open and focused on the world that matters most.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    This one is a must for Thoreau fans, though the nearly 700 pages, culled from 7000 pages, is still hard going at times, when his journal becomes a detailed scientific inquiry of botany, weather and wildlife. It becomes easier to see how Thoreau's Journal was edited. After discovering a fish he didn't know in a nearby pond he draws it and gives a written explanation of it, then the editor states (in italics): There follows 57 pages of drawings and measurements of examples of this fish over a peri This one is a must for Thoreau fans, though the nearly 700 pages, culled from 7000 pages, is still hard going at times, when his journal becomes a detailed scientific inquiry of botany, weather and wildlife. It becomes easier to see how Thoreau's Journal was edited. After discovering a fish he didn't know in a nearby pond he draws it and gives a written explanation of it, then the editor states (in italics): There follows 57 pages of drawings and measurements of examples of this fish over a period. Mmm, easy to see where to cut in that instance. But hooked as I am I would probably have read the 57 pages just in case there was some gem hidden in there somewhere. I was interested to learn from Thoreau that even back in his day people went in for 'artificial exercise'. He rants: "I see dumb-bells in the minister's study and some of their dumbness gets into his sermons. Some travellers carry them around the world in their carpetbags. Can he be said to travel who requires still this exercise? A party of school-children had a picnic the other day and they carried bags of beans from their gymnasium to exercise with there. I cannot be interested in these extremely artificial amusements". His encyclopaedic knowledge of all sorts of 'stuff' means that there are an array of wonderful tidbits in the book, such as the following: "porcelain vessels of Chinese manufacture have been repeatedly found in the catacombs of Thebes, in Egypt, some as old as the Pharaonic period, and the inscriptions on them have been read with ease by Chinese scholars". What a different view of history and travel that provides, but whether it proved true or not it gets me thinking about all manner of things. His death at 44 mirrors so many of his period and what a loss he was.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Thoreau has a beautiful way to write about the nature around him, which I loved. But, the book goes on and on in the same way, season after season, year after year, writing the same kinds of observations. It just got repetitive and boring after a while. Had a hard time reading it to the end. I most likely will pick it up again, tho, to just read a page or two of his observations. I am a painter, and a nature lover, and I often found myself thinking that he paints his landscapes with words, which Thoreau has a beautiful way to write about the nature around him, which I loved. But, the book goes on and on in the same way, season after season, year after year, writing the same kinds of observations. It just got repetitive and boring after a while. Had a hard time reading it to the end. I most likely will pick it up again, tho, to just read a page or two of his observations. I am a painter, and a nature lover, and I often found myself thinking that he paints his landscapes with words, which can be beautiful. Just too much in one long book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Roo O'brien

    To be dipped into, each visit like a meditation- often beautiful, not always easy, slowing the mind down to the pace of another world and Thoreau’s obsessions. Easier to read outside... Casually misogynistic in places and often rude - today, he would be diagnosed with Asperger’s - he was as we all are a product of his time and his support for abolition and intense love of nature easily redeems him.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cary Boswell

    Beautiful nature writing, but Thoreau was a strange dude. He didn't like society or social events. He was very much a loner and at home in the natural world. He left a great legacy of naturalist information. He walked every day, regardless of the weather. Died much too young of tuberculosis at age 44. Beautiful nature writing, but Thoreau was a strange dude. He didn't like society or social events. He was very much a loner and at home in the natural world. He left a great legacy of naturalist information. He walked every day, regardless of the weather. Died much too young of tuberculosis at age 44.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert Walkley

    One of my favorite books. I like Thoreau's writing in the journals better than in his books. This book gives a great sample of what the journals are all about. Highly recommended. And you can set your own pace! One of my favorite books. I like Thoreau's writing in the journals better than in his books. This book gives a great sample of what the journals are all about. Highly recommended. And you can set your own pace!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Carpenter

    I was researching his relationship to creeks and rivers and I couldn't really find what I was looking for. I was researching his relationship to creeks and rivers and I couldn't really find what I was looking for.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Doris Raines

    THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING BOOK.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    My Bible.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jack Castillo

    Two years in the making and I finally finished it. I started reading Thoreau in 2015 after reading Maria Popova's blog "Brain Pickings." Popova is very much into Thoreau, if you haven't checked out Brain Pickings I would highly recommend it. I'm not sure I would recommend Thoreau to anyone, it really depends on where you are in your life on weather or not you will get anything out of him. There were no magical moments for me but at the same time I did learn to take more time in observing my surr Two years in the making and I finally finished it. I started reading Thoreau in 2015 after reading Maria Popova's blog "Brain Pickings." Popova is very much into Thoreau, if you haven't checked out Brain Pickings I would highly recommend it. I'm not sure I would recommend Thoreau to anyone, it really depends on where you are in your life on weather or not you will get anything out of him. There were no magical moments for me but at the same time I did learn to take more time in observing my surroundings; if anything Thoreau was very good at observing. Most of the Journal deals with his observing nature and the different seasons of the year. I don't know if Thoreau is known as a great philosopher or not. To me he is not. I would read the book mostly in the mornings and not every morning, hence the two year completion. I did some research on him while reading the journal and I walk away with the impression that he was a lonely man, probably not very well liked, an odd ball if you will.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Saket Suryesh

    Disarmingly honest, a great viewpoint and poetic in rendering. What a memoir, so well written, so good..must read. No pretence, no self-righteous high moral ground, no dirty linens being washed here..vow!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Hoffman

    I prefer the journals to most of the other writings . I love their immediacy and the writing is still amazing.I'm re-reading Thoreau's journals again. Sometimes I no sooner finish then I start again. I prefer the journals to most of the other writings . I love their immediacy and the writing is still amazing.I'm re-reading Thoreau's journals again. Sometimes I no sooner finish then I start again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Doubledf99.99

    For one who enjoys the great outdoors, walking, and hiking, its a great companion, also helped me to get started into keeping a journal. Its like a continual never ending read, always checking something in it..

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shashi

    Every author should have this book on the bedside table. Not only because it has the day to day life etched on to the working table but also because it opens oneself to give importance to things that are common place but have a huge potential of becoming uncommon, only if we focus.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Millie

    I was determined to finish this in 2019 😂 Scraped in with 6 hours to go! You might say Thoreau was my partner throughout 2019, given that he lingered with me for so long. I much prefer his journals to his published works. He was an excellent journalist.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    great collection. my copy is currently roaming the country on a great adventure.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bear

    I LOVED Thoreau's journals when I was younger. I think I read all 14 volumes. If not all, then I certainly came close. I LOVED Thoreau's journals when I was younger. I think I read all 14 volumes. If not all, then I certainly came close.

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