About This Life

Barry Lopez

an excellent collection of largely personal essays, the topics run from traveling to memories to animal studies. the introduction alone is worth a read by itself — an explanation of sorts of Lopez’s background, as context for the essays that follow.

there were a few parts that i wasn’t so into, but “A Short Passage in Northern Hokkaido” is a beautiful essay about Japan’s northern island, its “frontier”; in “Flight” Lopez rides cargo planes for days on end to see what sorts of things are shipped around the world; “Apologia” finds him on a long car ride, stopping to pull roadkill off the asphalt; and the final section “An Opening Quartet” is a fine collection of essays based in his past. highly recommended.