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The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (edition 2010)

by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

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5715517,406 (4.13)133
Member:-Cee-
Title:The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating
Authors:Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Info:Algonquin Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Kindle, Memoir, Snails

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The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

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English (52)  German (3)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
A tiny gem of a book. Like the snail shell itself, it is small, unassuming, and easy to overlook. But once you take the time to notice it, you can't believe how simply lovely and well constructed it is. Recommended for every reader. ( )
  dele2451 | Aug 18, 2015 |
While confined to her bed by an illness, the author of this book, Elisabeth Bailey, becomes fascinated by a wild snail that resides in a pot of flowers on her bedside table. Since Elisabeth has little strength to do anything, she has the time to truly observe the snail’s every move. The book is a beautiful narrative of her observations of the snail interspersed with reflections on her illness, scientific data about snails, and snail poetry.

Snails are such fascinating little creatures, and this book made me appreciate that like no science book ever could. I was left with a great sense of the wonder of nature and a longing to be more attuned to the world around me. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Das Leben findet überall statt, und in allen Formen. Und oft vergessen wir es wie wunderbar es ist, zu leben, und einfache Sachen zu machen: sprechen, sehen, laufen, oder auch einfach sitzen und denken.
Ein Zitat aus dem Buch (v. Edward O. Wilson):
Der erste, entscheidende Schritt, um das eigene Überleben zu sichern, ist bei allen Organismen die Wahl des Lebensraums. Findet man den richtigen Ort, ist alles andere einfacher. ( )
  flydodofly | Jul 18, 2015 |
The title caught my eye and when I read the reviews, I decided I might like this. The story is about a woman who is nearly completely incapacitated with a very serious illness. A friend brings her a potted violet and picks up a snail to put in the pot. The patient watches the snail and learns about it. It doesn't sound like much of a story, but it is really fascinating and I learned a lot about snails. ( )
  Auj | Jul 13, 2015 |
Clear, beautiful, easy to understand nature writing. Gave me a new appreciation of the humble gastropod. A friend brings the bedridden author a pot of violets with a snail under one leaf and the author spends one year studying her miniature companion, observing and reading all she could on her little friend. After the creature is moved to a terrarium with a habitat similar to its woodsy home, the author can watch the snail's habits and life cycle. I learned its anatomy, that it cannot hear, how it can protect itself in several ways, how it eats--with rows of file-like "teeth" called radulae, how it mates and gives birth to its offspring. It is intelligent and has a certain amount of memory. It hibernates in the winter and if conditions are unfavorable it can go into a type of dormancy called estivation where it attaches itself to a safe place and seals up its opening with mucus. As she begins to slowly recover, the author finally releases the original snail and the last of its offspring into the wild.

As she wrote to her doctor: "I could never have guessed what would get me through the past year--a woodland snail and its offspring. I honestly don't think I would have made it otherwise. Watching another creature go about its life ... somehow gave me, the watcher, purpose too. If life mattered to the snail and the snail mattered to me, it meant something in my life mattered, so I kept on ..." ( )
  janerawoof | Jun 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
A small pet is often an excellent companion.
-- Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing, 1912
The natural world is the refuge of the spirit... richer even than human imagination.
--Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984
Dedication
To biophilia
First words
In early spring, a friend went for a walk in the woods, and glancing down at the path, saw a snail. Picking it up, she held it gingerly in the palm of her hand and carried it back toward the studio where I was convalescing.
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Book description
While an illness keeps her bedridden, Elisabeth Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence in a terrarium alongside her bed. She enters the rhythm of life of this mysterious creature, and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world. In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, she shares the inspiring and intimate story of her close encounter with Neohelix albolabris - acommon woodland snail. Intrigued by the snail's world - from its strange anatomy to its mysterious courtship activities - she becomes a fascinated and amused observer of the snail's curious life. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is an affirmation of the healing power of nature, revealing how much of the world we miss in our busy daily lives, and how truly magical it is. A remarkable journey of survival and resilience, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating shows how a small part of the natural world can illuminate our own human existence and deepen our appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.
Haiku summary
Most unlikely friend,
Humble snail, shows me the way.
Glide here. Stick there. Wait.

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In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a "Neohelix albolabris" --a common woodland snail.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

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