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Staff Pick of the Week: “Upstream” by Mary Oliver

Genre: Essays, Nature Writing

Read-Alikes:
Words Are My Matter by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Story of My Heart by Richard Jefferies
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

With the weather getting warmer and the sunlight lasting longer every day, we can think of no better writer than Mary Oliver to help you get reacquainted with the outdoors!

“While most of the essays in this collection have been published previously, they span the last 20 years of this National Book  Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet’s life so that the experience of reading them together is almost like reading a memoir. Rather than a seamless narrative about the major events that have shaped Oliver’s life, the book  is an extended meditation on the significant discoveries that formed her mind: the quiet woods near her childhood home in rural Ohio, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, cool solitude. In each essay, Oliver reflects on these influences and reveals how they have made her the keen observer and artist that she is today. Her focus on nature and the concept of seeing calls to mind Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Certainly, Oliver’s collection will appeal to Dillard fans and to anyone who enjoys nature writing, but readers who have found Dillard too effusive will find Oliver much more precise and, therefore, much more accessible.” Library Journal, vol 141, issue 15, p84.

If you have any questions about putting this or any book on hold, please leave a comment below or call the reference desk at 732-873-8700 opt. 3.

Thanks for reading,
George, FTPL

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