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  • kjoannerixon

Braiding Sweetgrass

I found BRAIDING SWEETGRASS difficult to get through, and only in part because the global pandemic has melted my brain. I think Kimmerer's storytelling style is influenced by oral storytelling, in which the reader's wandering attention is compensated for by the giving of rich detail about every single thing mentioned. I bought a paperback copy of this book but eventually checked out the e-audiobook from the library, and found that listening was much easier than reading.

This is not really a complaint, merely an observation. A book that's been this much of an underground hit doesn't need me to tell you how essential it is. I will say that it's been berry season in Washington state, and I've found myself applying the teachings of this book as I gather blackberries and huckleberries. There's something instinctive about thanking the berry vines for their gifts, and about leaving enough for whoever else wants some--it's just politeness, after all.

There's at least one chapter here of particular relevance to my weird interest in the practical science of terraforming, which I plan to go back and re-read. I think this is a book that will reward re-reading--it is dense, but in a good way. It holds a lot of thoughts, on a lot of different topics. It feels almost like a handbook. Or a religious text.


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