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My First Summer in Sierra Paperback – January 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Digireads.com (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420931024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420931020
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,328,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 6 customer reviews
His attention to detail and skill for fluid, gorgeous description is terrific.
Michael B. Spotts
He was comfortable in his own skin - as comfortable editing it in 1904 as he was writing it in 1869.
LJFurman
This delightful book is full of plant and wildlife observations untainted by other writers.
Linda Jo Hunter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LJFurman on July 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Three statements by Muir sum up his journal:
"It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur."
"My notes and pictures, the best of them printed in my mind as dreams."
"I scrambled home through the Indian Canyon gate, rejoicing, pitying the poor Professor and General, bound by clocks, almanacs, orders, duties, etc., and compelled to dwell with lowland care and dust and din, where Nature is covered and her voice smothered, while the poor, insignificant wanderer enjoys the freedom and glory of God's wilderness."

My First Summer In The Sierra, by John Muir, reads like On The Road, by Jack Kerouac. It is however, calm, serene, and enlightened. Kerouac, the "Beat Hipster" had Muir's joy and focus on the here and now, but focused on the characters: Neal Cassady, Alan Ginsberg, himself; their mad rushes between New York and San Francisco. Muir, the naturalist, focuses on the Sierra; the trees, flowers, brush, insects, lizards, bears, dear, dogs, humans, and on the rocks, mountains, and waterfalls that more than set the stage are players in the drama. The only mad rushes in My First Summer In The Sierra are those of the sheep into and out of streams, and Muir has little use for sheep, shepherds, or even the money shepherding can bring. While the beat hipster wrote about meditating, he lacked the naturalist's serenity, perspective, and comfort in the wilderness. Kerouac's pursuit of intoxicants and stimuli may have indicated a lack of comfort in his own skin, his own self. Muir's intoxicant was life and the Sierra. He was comfortable in his own skin - as comfortable editing it in 1904 as he was writing it in 1869.

Muir and Billy, the crazy shepherd, share a similar dim view of the tourists in Yosemite.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tay A. Ducey on November 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I hope this book will inspire future generations to immerse themselves in both enjoying and preserving the Sierra Nevada landscape and the environment as a whole. Along with classic literature, I'd like to see books like this also become a part of the required curriculum in high schools because environmental awareness and compassion begin with our youth.
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Format: Paperback
This delightful book is full of plant and wildlife observations untainted by other writers. It is wonderful to see the pristine Sierra range through the eyes of someone who was not told what to think about it. As a writer interested in bears, though, I have to say that the following quote from the book intrigued me in many ways. This is part of the story, but you will get a sense of the writing style, the innocence of discoveries and adventure the author has and shares with honesty:

For I had been told that this sort of bear, the cinnamon, always ran from his bad brother man, never showing fight unless wounded or in the defense of young. He made a telling picture standing alert in the sunny forest garden. How well he played his part, harmonizing in bulk and color and shaggy hair with the trunks of trees and lush vegetation, as natural features as any other in the landscape. After examining at leisure, noting the sharp muzzle thrust inquiringly forward, the long shaggy hair on his broad chest, the stiff erect ears nearly buried in hair, and the slow heavy way he moved his head, I thought I should like to see his gait in running, so I made a sudden rush at him, shouting and swinging my hat to frighten him, expecting to see him make haste to get away. But to my dismay he did not run or show any sign of running. On the contrary, he stood his ground ready to fight and defend himself, lowered his head, thrust it forward and looked sharply and fiercely at me. Then I suddenly began to fear that upon me would fall the work of running; but I was afraid to run, and therefore, like the bear, held my ground.
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