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A Year in the Maine Woods (1994)

by Bernd Heinrich

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497748,509 (4.09)16
Escapist fantasies usually involve the open road, but Bernd Heinrich's dream was to focus on the riches of one small place--a few green acres along Alder Brook just east of the Presidential Mountains. The year begins as he settles into a cabin with no running water and no electricity, built of hand-cut logs he dragged out of the woods with a team of oxen. There, alone except for his pet raven, Jack, he rediscovers the meaning of peace and quiet and harmony with nature--of days spent not filling out forms, but tracking deer, or listening to the sound of a moth's wings.Throughout this year when "the subtle matters and the spectacular distracts," Heinrich brings us back to the drama in small things, when life is lived consciously. His story is that of a man rediscovering what it means to be alive.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I don't know why I found this book to be such a slog. I've enjoyed three other of Heinrich's books. But this one I was just happy to finish. ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
As the title says, a year in the Maine woods...excellent narrative with plenty of science and memoir as well ( )
  Grace.Van.Moer | Mar 6, 2018 |
A naturalist lives for a year in a cabin he made himself in the Maine woods. I couldn't put it down. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jan 30, 2015 |
For the last few weeks, I sat at a desk in front of a computer for eight hours each day. It wasn't much different than any other few weeks of the year. Late at night I lay in bed and read this book until my eyes began to flutter shut. I guess it was my hope that during the eight hours I was asleep I could roam the woods in my dreams and, like Heinrich Bernd, stalk kinglets in the dead of winter and climb trees to watch the ravens come in for their evening roost. Some people might be tempted to label Bernd as a curmudgeon, or at the very least, an eccentric. Certainly, his regular requests of local farmers and butchers for dead calves and spoiled meat to feed the ravens he's observing lead to some pointed questions that attempt to get at just what this guy is up to and why. Bernd doesn't avoid people; in fact, he quite regularly has visitors up to his cabin in the woods. But he does spend a lot of time alone. He chops wood. He builds a foundation for his cabin. And he looks at and listens to the natural world around him. What he finds are some pretty amazing things. It's not a particularly easy life that Bernd portrays in his journaling, but it reads much richer than this comfortable and monochromatic urban existence that I'm living at the moment. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 5, 2014 |
I’ve been a fan of Bernd Heinrich for several years now. I’ve read a lot of his work and have enjoyed everything I’ve had the good fortune to get my hands on. A Year in the Maine Woods was no exception; it is a lovely, relaxing, informative book. Reading it lead to an overwhelming sense of well-being mixed with an urgent longing to go out into the forest and explore on my own.

For the rest of this review, you can click on that, if you want to --> http://brokenbaseballservices.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/a-book-review-a-year-in-t... ( )
  andrewreads | Jul 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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For the Adamses--Floyd, Leona, Jim, Bill, and Vernon--who made the Maine difference.
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The route from Burlington, Vermont, to my cabin is about 200 miles long.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Escapist fantasies usually involve the open road, but Bernd Heinrich's dream was to focus on the riches of one small place--a few green acres along Alder Brook just east of the Presidential Mountains. The year begins as he settles into a cabin with no running water and no electricity, built of hand-cut logs he dragged out of the woods with a team of oxen. There, alone except for his pet raven, Jack, he rediscovers the meaning of peace and quiet and harmony with nature--of days spent not filling out forms, but tracking deer, or listening to the sound of a moth's wings.Throughout this year when "the subtle matters and the spectacular distracts," Heinrich brings us back to the drama in small things, when life is lived consciously. His story is that of a man rediscovering what it means to be alive.

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