[read: I get it, you like the woods]
» Must haves: Nature. » Pairs well with: Nature. But seriously, throw in Emerson’s essays to spice it up as you read.
The time a Massachusetts man decided to go live in the woods and fulfill a lifelong dream of writing about it. Theory: great, we love nature too! Practicality: please stop talking about the woods, I get it already. I took a course specifically focused on Emerson (Thoreau’s hotheaded mentor who kinda sorta hated him a little) and Thoreau, so I’m probably a little more done with reading about the woods than the average reader.
When you start “Economy” in Walden, things are really interesting. You think to yourself, perhaps as I did, “Wow, nice job carving out the ultimate treehouse dream!” But, as it stretches on, you learn more about Thoreau and his few friends, the animals that frequent his makeshift cabin, and that winter is hard. #WinterisComing by the way in Boston, it just snowed in April. These were Thoreau’s struggles, for which I do feel. However, I was a bit done reading about the woods (if I were to read about a rabbit one more time…) by the end of Walden.
Supplementary suggestion: if you do read this book, take a trip out to Walden Pond. They have a duplicate cabin that should be just like Thoreau’s and it’s neat to look at for a bit. Bonus points if you see Walden Pond in the fall because it’s a truly beautiful location. People go swimming across it, a gorgeous big New England pond, and it feels like summer until everything hurts in the winter. It’s a good companion to the read, I made my way over there a while ago, and I think rejuvenates your interest in the woods even though Thoreau may have knocked it all out by rambling. On the bright side, you’re only reading his writing in Walden and not his personal journals (of which there are way too many, please, sir, stop) so you will probably have a greater tolerance for his woodsy references than I did. Besides, you all know how I feel about the outdoors.
8 out of 10 would recommend.