3 out of 4 stars
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Walks of Life, by Doug Wheat, is an educational and informative book about getting out and enjoying nature. The author reminisces about the days when teachers were creators, instead of followers and could teach their students in the "university of the universe," as he likes to refer to the natural world. As a mother of home schooled children, I can definitely appreciate his views about real world teaching.
I could really feel Wheat's love and respect for nature through his emotional and poetic descriptions of the wild environments he has experienced. I appreciated the author's thoroughness on the wide variety of topics covered including geography, history, science, wildlife, weather, modes of transport, supplies and hazards. He also included maps, photos, stories, poetry, quotes and charts. This book really has everything and more for the keen nature enthusiast.
However, I did find multiple editing errors and felt that many of the sentences used were extremely long. By the time I had finished reading a lot of sentences, I had to go back and read the start of the sentence again. There were many sentences that included long lists that I felt could also have been shorter. Although Wheat was a science teacher and appears to believe in evolution, he also referred to god and other religious things throughout the book, although not excessively.
I learned some new words that I needed to look up at times and there were a few mild swear words used. I enjoyed discovering some new and interesting information throughout the book. My favourite fact was, "The water portion of our blood, the plasma, contains the same dissolved salts and elements—in the same proportions as ocean water does, evidence that when our distant ancestors left the sea, they didn’t really leave it behind. They brought it onto land inside them. The earth’s oceans flow in our arteries and veins."
I'm rating this book 3 out of 4 stars, as I felt the book could have been a bit shorter to help keep the reader's attention. It also needs some more editing, although the errors weren't overly distracting. Walks of Life would be a valuable field manual and an entertaining read for both the beginner adventurer and the expert alike. For the reader who prefers the indoors, there is much to learn from Wheat's book about many facets of our human lives and of our beautiful wild world.
Walks of Life
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