Book Review: this one wild and precious life by Sarah Wilson
1. What the book is about
This book is an honest, confronting and motivating reflection on the state of the world right now and the massive challenges we are currently facing with regards to the climate emergency, pandemics, capitalism, excessive consumption and loneliness. Author Sarah Wilson explores how we ended up here and contemplates why it’s taking us so long to wake up and do something about these crises. She shares her own experiences of feeling frightened, anxious and overwhelmed by the hugeness of the problems we are facing, then provides the strategies that she has come to realise are useful and necessary for moving forward and creating positive change. Sarah has done an incredible amount of research in writing and delivering this book, which serves as a guide to anyone who is seeking hope and inspiration to take action and heal the wounds that humans have inflicted on Mother Nature.
2. What I liked about this book
I absolutely loved this book. This is the first book I’ve read for a while where I felt compelled to take out a new note book so I could write down quotes and reflections for myself to look back on and use as a prompt for future action. It got me thinking, questioning and talking about what I can do to reduce my personal impact on the environment and how I can be a better citizen who contributes to my community in a meaningful and life-enhancing way. I loved the personal stories that Sarah shares to illustrate her learnings coupled with scientific research as well as poetry and literature that leave a beautiful imprint on your soul. I love how this book made me feel: inspired and empowered to take small but significant steps on a regular basis to make changes, such as reading the The Guardian ( I have avoided reading and watching the news for much of my adult life because it makes me feel sad and helpless), getting comfortable with being at my edge (because that’s where we find meaning in the precarious preciousness of life), getting “full-fat spiritual” by supporting influencers such as Greta Thunberg who share difficult messages in careful and soulful ways, getting activitist and signing petitions to lobby for political change, and asking the “beautiful questions” that take us to a kinder, more considered place and call on us to seek what is possible in this moment.
3. Who should read this book?
This is a book for anyone who is feeling the itch to wake up, get active and create change that will benefit our children and our environment. If you’ve been looking for ways to manage the overwhelm that arises whenever you start thinking about what steps you need to take to contribute in a helpful way to the climate crisis, then this book is for you. If you feel anxious about the world your children will be living in and have been seeking strategies that you can implement to optimise their future, then this book is for you. If you love reading writing that incorporates science, poetry, humour and contemplation, then you will love reading this book.
4. Other work by Sarah Wilson
Sarah Wilson is a prolific writer and has published a number of cookbooks. Many of you will know her as the founder of “I Quit Sugar”. Sarah has also written a book about managing anxiety, “first, we make the beast beautiful”, which I have reviewed previously – you can read my review here. Sarah posts regularly on her blog and has also been interviewed on numerous podcasts. I highly recommend you check out her comprehensive Climate Action resource list at www.sarahwilson.com