Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family's Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table

Dylan Tomine, foreword by Thomas McGuane. Patagonia (www.patagonia.com/books), $29.95 (264p) ISBN 1938340000
Outdoor writer and conservation advocate Tomine expresses peace, gratitude, and satisfaction with life and Mother Nature in an homage reminiscent of Noel Perrin's ruminations on the pleasures of the simple life. Writing from Bainbridge Island, Seattle, Tomine escorts readers through a year of city-assisted living; while foraging, fish, and harvesting their own foods, he and his family also enjoy the pleasures of modern life, such as assorted electronic gadgetry. The relaxed pace and contemplative nature of his discussion leads to questions, for instance about the advantages and disadvantages of sharing knowledge about local food foraging hot spots. While Tomine's memoir is decidedly food-focused (particularly on food specific to the Pacific Northwest), he also shares thoughts on matters large and small, whether the many uses of plastic buckets or the trade-offs that must be made in choosing a budget-friendly sustainable lifestyle. That their lifestyle creates quality time for the family is evident from a conversation with his daughter and sweet moments in the woods with his son. Tomine clearly feels that he has made the right choice, and readers may find themselves questioning how they can gain more of that free time. Agent: Valerie Borchardt, Georges Borchardt, Inc. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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