A Year in the Woods: Twelve Small Journeys into Nature

Category: Book
Translated By: Crook, Becky L.
By (author): Ekelund, Torbjørn
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / General
  NATURE / Essays
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Greystone Books
Published: May 2023
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in
Our Price:
$ 24.95
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

From the acclaimed author of In Praise of Paths comes a humorous and modest Walden for modern times.

As nature becomes ever more precious, we all want to spend more time appreciating it. But time is often hard to come by. And how do we appreciate nature without disruption? In this sensitively-written book, Torbjørn Ekelund, an acclaimed Norwegian nature writer, shares a creative and non-intrusive method for immersing oneself in nature. And the result is nothing short of transformative.

Evoking Henry David Thoreau and the four-season structure of Walden, Ekelundwrites about communing with nature by repeating a small, simple ritual and engaging in quiet reflection. At the start of the book, he hatches a plan: to leave the city after work one day per month, camp near the same tiny pond in the forest, and return to work the next day. He keeps this up for a year.

His ritual is far from rigorous and it is never perfect. One evening, he grows so cold in his tent that he hikes out before daybreak. But as Ekelund inevitably greets the same trees and boulders each month, he appreciates the banality of their sameness alongside their quiet beauty. He wonders how long they have stood silently in this place-and reflects on his own short existence among them.

A Year in the Woods asks us to reconsider our relationship with the natural world. Are we anxious wanderers or mindful observers? Do we honor the seasons or let them pass us by? At once beautifully written, accessible, and engaging, A Year in the Woods is the perfect book for anyone who longs for a deeper connection with their environment, but is realistic about time and ambition.

Review Quote*

"Calm and charming...[this] book leaves the reader with the pleasant sense of meeting a new and civilized friend who tells good stories"-The Vancouver Sun

"A lovely little book."
-Toronto Star

"A wonderful reminder of the importance of meandering without a goal and that as nature moves by all we seek is equilibrium. Sit by the campfire and smell the wood and the smoke and let Torbjørn show you how."
-Marc Hamer, author of Seed to Dust and How to Catch a Mole

"A topical and beguiling book. Admirably humble and honest."
-Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator

"Quiet and contemplative... [A] gentle, enlightening read."
-The Winnipeg Free Press

"This determination to live his life deliberately, to pay attention to the natural world, is inspiring, as is his philosophy that meaning can come from small gestures."
-Star Tribune

"With all the turbulence and chaos of recent times, so many of us are yearning for our own small journeys into nature. The world needs more of this, and more stories such as A Year in the Woods."
-Alastair Humphreys, author of Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes

"A funny and relatable story of a city man trying to find some life balance. Ekelund is a new, much-needed model of the Norwegian explorer, perfect for our times."
-Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

Biographical Note

Torbjørn Ekelund is a writer, author of In Praise of Paths, and co-founder of Harvest, an online magazine documenting wilderness adventures, environmental issues, and our relationship with nature. He lives in Oslo, Norway.