The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane – ‘a landscape of the feet and mind’
Book number five in the 26-books-in 52-weeks challenge has to be a non-fiction book. It was harder than I first thought it would be to choose just one book in this category. But when you think about it, it’s a wide field.
I have favourite cookbooks and gardening manuals. I also remain fond of my dictionaries, my thesaurus and my world atlas and still favour them over any online versions. I have a much-referred-to field guide for identifying British wild birds. All of these are elderly volumes but still much in use.
Apart from the above reference/instructional works, I also have several books on history, psychology, linguistics, and education. Some of these I’ve held onto since my long ago university days and some are more up to date.
I’m also keen on guide books and travel guides and have amassed quite a collection over the years. The US, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe – all feature and serve as reminders of places visited.
But my most recent reading in the non-fiction section has been from the creative non-fiction shelf. This genre includes memoir and personal, reflective writing, and my favourite so far has to be The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane.
Walking has a way of freeing and inspiring the mind, letting it roam, ponder, and understand. In this book Macfarlane shares the thoughts and insights on life that were prompted as he walked many ancient tracks, trails and paths. It’s a simple concept but beautifully done and I can recommend both the book and the value of taking these, or similar, walks yourself.
Back Cover Blurb:
Following the tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast ancient network of routes criss-crossing the British Isles and beyond, Robert Macfarlane discovers a lost world – a landscape of the feet and the mind, of pilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts; above all of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations.
The Old Ways is published by Penguin and is available as a hardback, paperback, eBook and audio book.