Come December, everyone makes their Top Ten or Best Of the Year lists, and usually just in time for book lovers to choose their Christmas gifts. Not so my list for the AJC, which will come out one day later. So even though time is short, I’m noting some of those titles here, and adding a few I read along the way.
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, Elisabeth Tova Bailey—The author, while bedridden with a mysterious illness, found the ultimate “Slow Living” lessons in the life of a wild snail a friend brought her one day.
Each evening the snail awoke and with astonishing poise moved gracefully to the rim of the pot and peered over, surveying, once again, the strange country that lay ahead. Pondering its circumstance with a regal air, as if from the turret of a castle, it waved its tentacles first this way and then that, as though responding to a distant melody.
… One evening I put some of the withered blossoms in the dish beneath the pot of violets. The snail was awake. It made its way down the side of the pot and investigated the offering with great interest and then began to eat one of the blossoms. A petal started to disappear at a barely discernible rate. I listened carefully. I could hear it eating. The sound was of someone very small munching celery continuously. I watched, transfixed, as over the course of an hour the snail meticulously ate an entire purple petal for dinner…The tiny, intimate sound of the snail’s eating gave me a distinct feeling of companionship and shared space.