Why did I read it? When first published, several people recommended this book to me, and it was recommended more than once by some. I imagine those recommendations came because of my like of the natural world, and of language. I have no idea why, but I put it on my 'wish list' and then my 'to be read</i>' pile, but never actually started it; these decisions I now regret.
What's it about? With the Oxford Children's Dictionary removing words relating to nature, e.g. acorn, in favour of technological terms, Robert Macfarlane explores the United Kingdom in search of those words to describe, and connect us to the natural world. Connection. That is the key to this book. In a time, and place which seems to breed disconnection, this book seeks to reunite us with a deep love for landscape, and language.
What did I like? Every single word, and most especially the glossaries. Rich in words and landscape, there is so much to enjoy, and explore in this book. I listened to the audio book, which is rather nicely done. I did query a few of the Gaelic pronunciations - being a learner of the language, not a native speaker, I may not completely comprehend the dialectal nuances. I am very pleased I opted to purchase the Kindle edition, too, so I can explore those glossaries at my leisure.
Oh, the joy I found in this book: learning new words for phenomenon I had no idea might even exist; remembering 'childish' the way children use language to describe their surroundings; and discovering new Gaelic words I wanted to include in my (ever-expanding) vocabulary.
The narrator, Roy McMillan|, did a splendid job. I'm afraid I have no idea of the name of other gentleman whose voice was used to read out various words, but his voice gave luscious contrast to Mr McMillan's smooth tones.
What didn't I like? I could find no fault with this book. I find fault with myself for not reading it sooner.
Would I recommend it? Yes! Yes! Yes! Not necessarily the audio version though - not because it is not well read, but because once you've read the book, I'm pretty sure you'll want to keep it to hand to pore over the word glossaries, and then add to your own.