Book Review: A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

This book came at a perfect time. I was going through my ankle surgery and having my cast on. I was stuck inside my home, going crazy. Before breaking my ankle, I had been out almost every day climbing or hiking, and suddenly it all stopped, and four walls were pilling on me. So I needed to get lost in something. And here was a book with a field guide to just that, loaned by a friend to help me through the recovery.

The first chapters mesmerized me. I got lost in what it is to experience the world and discover oneself. There were beautiful quotes from Edgar Allan Poe, Oppenheimer, Keats, Landon, Thoreau, and the rest in the first chapters with Solnit’s commentary. She explored getting lost from a historical and philosophical perspective in nature, in thoughts, and in cities. Then came the explorers, the artist, the music, and the personal, speaking about how to get lost in color blue, in art, in nature, everywhere. The writing was poetic and melancholic. I would say a brilliant book, except my taste or mood wasn’t tuned with the last chapters. I loved being lost in the first two chapters with the quotes and Solnit’s thoughts. I needed that historical perspective of the sense of diaspora. I wanted more of that rather than the words about the color blue or the music and drug scenes. They had their place in the book. It was me. Such a pity. It is me who always impedes things. Me, that has some idea of how things should be or what it hungers for. I didn’t let go and let myself be lost in the jungle of beautiful words. What a drag this me happens to be.

Still and all, the book gave me other things to think about than my broken ankle. It gave me perspective. This one is a keeper despite my mood and taste. A good book to get lost in.

Thank you for reading. Have a beautiful day!

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