Friday Memes and John Muir

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Billy over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. This week's question was suggested by the brilliant Elizabeth over at Silver's Reviews:

When you read a book that isn't for review, do you still feel the need to write a review of it?

It depends on what kind of book it is. If it's a guilty pleasure read that I'm only dipping into because I want to shut off for a while, then usually no. If it's a book such as the one that I am using for the memes below, then I might consider a review because it's sort of linked and also a book that I might want to recommend. Because int he end it all comes down to that. If it's a book I want to recommend to others, I will write a review for it.

The Mountains of CaliforniaToday I'm featuring a book I found in a slightly strange way. I had never heard of it or the author before until I read about it in a different book, A Sudden Light by Garth Stein. The main character was in love with this book and I decided I simply had to read it. That book was The Mountains of California by John Muir.
John Muir’s ebullient spirit and love of nature infuse these accounts of visiting Yosemite Valley, Kings Canyon, sequoia groves, and Mount Whitney. Blending keen observations of flora, geography, and geology, the natural forces that shape the landscape, and the changing seasons, Muir paints a timeless portrait of the wilderness he called “the Range of Light, the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains I have ever seen.” Also included are visits to two famous Cascades peaks, Mount Shasta and Mount St. Helens.
Book Beginnings is hosted by Gilion over at Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda over at Freda's Voice.

'Go where you may within the bounds of California, mountains are ever in sight, charming and glorifying every landscape. Yet so simple and massive is the topography of the State in general views, that the main central portion displays only one valley, and two chains of mountains which seem almost perfectly regular in trend and height: the Coast Range on the west side,t he Sierra Nevada on the east.' p.1
I do like the tone which Muir strikes, this mix between love and respect for mountains. I'm hoping the book isn't all too technical because there's a reason I dropped Geography before the end of high school.

'In the morning everything is joyous and bright, the delicious purple of the dawn changes softly to daffodil yellow and white; while the sunbeams pouring through the passes between the peaks give a margin of gold to each of them. Then the spires of the firs in the hollows of the middle region catch the glow, and your camp grove is filled with light. The birds begin to stir, seeking sunny branches on the edge oft the meadow for sun-baths after the cold night, and looking for their breakfasts, every one of them as fresh as a lily and as charmingly arrayed. Innumerable insects begin to dance, the deer withdraw from the open glades and ridge-tops to their leafy hiding-places in the chaparral, the flowers open and straighten their petals as the dew vanishes, every pulse beats high, every life-cell rejoices, the very rocks seem to tingle with life, and God is felt brooding over everything great and small.' p.56
I know this was only supposed to be a line or two but how can you cut a description like this short? It's absolutely beautiful and I now know why Garth and his characters loved this book so much. You can just feel Muir's love for California's nature shining through in these passages and, I never thought I'd say this, I'm now slightly desperate to visit California.

So, that's me done for today. Have you ever visited California?


  1. Beautiful quote. I haven't been to California. Yet.

  2. You can feel Muir's love for the landscape just shining through that quote. Beautiful! My Friday memes this week come from What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris which has been on my TBR mountain for years. Happy reading!

  3. I've never read Muir, but I love all of the detail that goes into those descriptions.

  4. I agree with Kathy, can feel Muir's love of the mountains through his words.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  5. I love how descriptive Muir's writing is. I can see the landscape he describes and really feel how he feels about it. I like your guideline for when to review non-review books. I generally review unless it's a book that I really have nothing to say about.

  6. Beautiful descriptions, and I felt right at home there, since I live in a valley in California surrounded by those very mountains. For a while, I even lived in the foothills, only minutes away from them.

    I have also found books to love from an author's mention (via the characters) in another book.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  7. Lovely description makes me want to go to CA. I have been in the past but it has been awhile. Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Friday!

  8. I've never been to California but I have read a lot of Muir and he always seems to touch my soul. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who'll feel the need to read a book just because a beloved character has :)

  9. So wonderfully descriptive. Never been to California but my older sister lived there and loved it.
    I do review most of the books I read that aren't for review. Maybe not as quickly as ones on a schedule though.
    Here's my 56 -

  10. I review everything I read.
    I haven't read, A Sudden Light, but want to. I am much like you and if I see a book named in a book, I generally read it. The Mountains of California reminds me a lot of John Steinbeck's books. I love him so have a feeling I might like this too.
    Happy weekend!

  11. Thank goodness for John Muir or Yosemite would not have been saved for all to enjoy and marvel. I hadn't heard that Garth Stein had out another book. I will look for it.
    My Friday Quotes

  12. That is a lovely description. I love it when books mention other books. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  13. Wouldn't it be lovely to wake up to the morning Muir described? Yes, I've been to California more than once, and although there's a lot of traffic in urban areas, there is still plenty of natural beauty to enjoy.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

  14. Agree with you on the reviewing -- although why do I find it so hard to review a book I like so much? :P


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