After finishing Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard, on Monday, I needed a new morning book. My morning books are non-fiction, usually something with clearly discrete chapters (no cliff hangers, which you don’t really get in the type of non-fiction I read), something that makes me think, but isn’t too dry. Often nature/environmental books, or About Time, or The History of the World in 12 Clocks, or Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, or… you get the idea. Intelligent lite– not academic, but not fiction. (I know I can’t handle fiction in the morning– I’ll end up reading all day, cup after cup of coffee, oh wait it’s lunch, and nothing has been done.)
So this. The plan was a chapter, and instead I finished the book by noon. Haven’t done a one-sitting nonfiction in a while, has to be a very particular type of book– interesting facts, good authorial voice, ties into my current knowledge base in some way. This was so so good.
One of my fav quotes, from the end of the book:
“The political parties and leaders who are currently doing the most to deny the climate emergency today are almost always the very same ones that want to put women back in their place. The two, in their eyes, are linked. A mastery of nature lies within the male gender role, and neither woman nor nature– and certainly not Greta Thunberg– can tell him what he can and cannot do.”
She started this chapter with an overview of the difficulties King James 1 (he of the KJV) had in retrieving his wife, nautical problems blamed, eventually, on witches, and coinsiding with a massive witch trial. She then traced other witch trials, postulating the connections between environmental changes and fear of women, before moving to an overview of the two structures of thought about how we will escape the repercussions of our environmental abuse, whether by cutting back or by inventing something new/escaping the planet. I hadn’t actually heard that explained so lucidly, and I’m considering adding that chapter to my lessons on ecofeminism.
Loved the whole book though. This was from the library, considering buying myself a copy.