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High Uintas Bookshelf

A High Uintas Bookshelf

In this column we’ll list 2-4 interesting articles, books or the like that have caught our attention. They aren’t necessarily recent or recently read-- sort of a random compilation. Within a year, hopefully, we’ll have an established and detailed reading list. It won’t be complete without your additions. Please send suggestions and a descriptive sentence or two.

This month’s review is by longtime HUPC member Brenda Schussman of Eden, Utah.

The Outermost House. Henry Beston. Henry Holt and Company. 1992. First published by Doubleday in l928.

This is Beston’s record of the year that he lived on the outer beach of Cape Cod. Beston chose to live in this remote coastal landscape for an entire year for the same reasons many of us visit wild places and return to them again and again. For, as Beston says, “The longer I stayed, the more eager was I to know this coast and to share its mysterious and elemental life.”

Now a classic of American nature writing, in the tradition of Thoreau and anticipating Edward Abbey, The Outermost House reminds us of the importance of connecting our lives to natural cycles. Throughout his year at Cape Code, Beston searches for what he calls “the mystery and beauty of the world.” He draws us into the daily drama of everything he observes, whether it’s a spiraling flight of shorebirds, the rhythmic tidal changes, star-filled evenings, or the way the sand attaches to the grass after wind storms. Rachel Carson said that this was the only book that influenced her writing. Today, it can still influence readers by encouraging them to open all of their senses to discover the daily and yearly cycles of our natural world.

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