I finished reading Desert Solitaire A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey a couple of weeks back. Chad found this book at a thrift store a while ago and bought it because we had recently watched Damnation and learned a little about who Abbey was.
This book had been sitting on the shelf for close to a year when I decided to pick it up. I didn’t know much about it but I became interested right away. Maybe it’s because his season in the wilderness takes place in my home state (Utah), maybe it’s because he’s in the desert, or maybe it’s because I couldn’t put it down when I started to read it. Abbey writes so well and so poetically. I learned about the desert in many ways. I learned actual facts about plants and the habitat. I also learned why the desert is loveable in its own way. It’s taken me a while to love where I live, to see the beauty where I live. I think this year I’ve started to really see beauty all around me, the red rocks, the sunsets, the desert plants. The desert has never been ugly to me but maybe undesirable at times, probably because it’s so HOT. Now I see it differently, I see all of my surroundings differently. Not just because of this book but I guess it’s taken me a while for that part of me to mature, just like it’s taken me a long time to like tomatoes.
This book has helped shape a new perspective of the desert and how we live in it. I liked the whole book, but I really enjoyed the chapter about his journey through Glen Canyon before it was damned – so sad. I embrace the desert now, I embrace the heat (mostly), I embrace the rocks and mountains, the plants, and all of the animals that survive so perfectly here.
Anyway, I don’t know what else to say about this book other than, I think it will remain a favorite and I recommend it for a summer read since it takes place during a fond summer of the author’s life. I plan to read more of his books, specifically The Monkey Wrench Gang since I just bought it recently. I feel like this book has opened me up to a new genre and new thoughts. I usually like to read classics but am open to most genres, but thankfully I branched out this time and didn’t pick a classic. Happy reading, and happy summer!