Book review: ‘Teaching a Stone to Talk’ by Annie Dillard

Having greatly enjoyed Annie Dillard's Pulitzer-Prize-winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I thought I'd try reading some of her essays.

Dillard has a knack for choosing off-beat essay topics which often lead to surprisingly profound observations. I wish more people wrote stuff like this.

On the whole, I enjoyed this eclectic mix of science, nature and memoir very much indeed—although I was somewhat flummoxed by a piece which juxtaposed attending a church service with polar exploration.

My favourites essays were ones about a weasel (or ‘a muscled ribbon’ as Dillard brilliantly describes it), about travelling to see a solar eclipse, about a trip to the Galápagos Islands, and one comparing Nasa’s Sojourner spacecraft with mangrove trees (which was nowhere near as flummoxing as it might sound).

An enjoyable read.

Note: I will receive a small referral fee if you buy this book via one of the above links.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.