Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mountains of the Mind by Robert Macfarlane

While I will perhaps revisit this decision, when I finish my reading for the year, this is likely to be my favourite book of the year. The author is remarkably articulate and writes with a sense of wonder and calmness which has made me eager to read his much acclaimed "The Wild Places" as well. His felicity is matched by his love for the mountains as he provides a somewhat abbreviated history of mountaineering as well.

I will leave you with some excerpts from the book to let you understand why I think this book is such a lovely read.

....

"At bottom, mountains, like all wilderness, challenge our complacent conviction - so easy to lapse into - that the world has been made by humans for humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not easily respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia."

....

"The true blessing of the mountains is not that they provide a challenge or contest, something to be overcome and dominated (although this is not how most people have approached them). It is that they offer something gentler and infinitely more powerful: they make us ready to credit marvels...Mountains return to us the priceless capacity for wonder which can so insensibly be leached away by modern existence, and they urge us to apply that wonder to our everyday lives."

Great read


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