Book Review: ‘My First Summer In the Sierra’ by John Muir

If you don’t know who John Muir is, you might not be American.

Wikipedia describes Muir as a “naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.” He was more than that however and in fact, he was instrumental in starting what became the National Parks system, which also led to state parks as well.

John Muir wrote a lot, especially about his experiences discovering new and uncharted wilderness. Being completely blown away, mesmerized and inspired by the Sierra Mountains and the Yosemite area, he wrote about that experience in this book.

The best way to describe his words is picturesque. It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words but Muir, having been immersed in the real wilderness of that region, gave us something more intimate than a simple picture and much more than a thousand words to describe the awe in his heart.

Referring to this book as “beautifully written” would be an understatement. Between his words and his sketches, Muir paints an epic landscape and gives us some of the most thoughtfully descriptive writing ever put to paper.

I haven’t read anywhere near enough of Muir’s work. This book has inspired me to delve deeper into his hefty catalog.

This book is a good place to start if you truly want to wrap yourself in Muir’s majestic words.

Rating: 10/10
Pairs well with: Other writings by John Muir