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Landmarks (2015)

de Robert Macfarlane

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8731525,271 (4.19)43
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2015 Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2016 Landmarksis Robert Macfarlane's joyous meditation on words, landscape and the relationship between the two. Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarksis about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms, and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.… (mais)
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Over the last few years I must have bought at least 10 copies of Landmarks to send to special friends. It was originally lent to me my a friend, Laura Hartley after a discussion about where we thought we belonged. Robert Macfarlane doesn't just write about place, he writes about writers who write about place. Consequently, this book's chapters celebrate the work of wonderful writers such as Nan Shepherd, Barry Lopez, John Muir, J.A. Baker, and Roger Deakin. Their books have cascaded out of Landmarks on to my shelves and into my understanding of place.

I love the way Macfarlane tastes the nuances of language as it creates place. I just wish I could talk to him about my place and actually show him what it means to me to be in place.

I didn't start at the beginning when I read this book and often recommend to my friends that they start at the end with the enchanting Chapter 'Childish'. ( )
  simonpockley | Feb 25, 2024 |
As interesting as the collections of "endangered" place-words are, the real treasures are Macfarlane's essays that precede each glossary. The downside of these is that I have added about a dozen books to my "Want to Read" list based on their contents. ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
A book and a resource for those who are or still wish to be more connected to their landscapes, wild or cultivated, mountainous or flat, huge as the sea or a shallow as a puddle in a farmyard. Or perhaps you might relish knowing twenty different names for poo, one for every animal, not to mention for the condition of said item. Seriously, there are words for dry cracked soil, for the holes at the bottoms of hedges small animals make squeezing through (sometimes specialized names, depending on size), words for a small thorny thicket as opposed to a larger thicket composed more of young beech and alder. These words are like the bones that remain from the time when observing, knowing, calculating when to plow, when to plant, when to move the sheep mattered. MacFarlane takes the reader on a tour that will also lengthen your must read book, from the Cairngorms of Nan Shepherd to the Sierras of John Muir, your "must read" booklist will lengthen. The bibliography at the end is a wonderful resource -- with headings like: "On Close Attention" and "On Wonder." Somewhere near the start of the book MacFarlane mentions that The Oxford Junior Dictionary has dropped the word 'acorn' on the basis of what kids cares or needs to know? Between 1970 and 2010 the outdoor areas where children were permitted to play on their own has shrunk 90%. What does that mean for the future? ***** ( )
  sibylline | Mar 19, 2022 |
I think this book will gather another half star as I flick though it looking at the words lists again. I took my time with the book - reading the word lists as well as the chapters, a few each night to drift with into the night. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
I like this guy, I like how he thinks and how he describes what he sees. He is an outside kind of guy, big boots, Anorak, hiking staff you know the kind, but real smart and heartfelt. I really do like him. This book is about words for things seen outside like woods, rivers, trees and other external phenomena. It is comprehensive and exhaustive if at times exhausting.

I am very reluctant to say a negative word or imply that this is anything less that marvellous but I did find it a bit tedious. And I accept wholeheartedly that it is my failing not his. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
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Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2015 Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2016 Landmarksis Robert Macfarlane's joyous meditation on words, landscape and the relationship between the two. Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarksis about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms, and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.

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