Upstream is a beautiful essay collection. Most of the essays are nature related. Some are literature focused, with essays about Emerson, Poe, and Whitman. By the end of the book, it felt a little memoir-ish, but in a good way. You get tiny snapshots into Mary Oliver’s life within many of the essays. I liked that. It made it more personal, though her writing is lovely and I think I’d like just pure (no personal details) nature writing from her.
The entire collection is good, but particularly enjoyed the nature ones. Reading about foxes, dogs, owls, gulls, etc was wonderful. I did enjoy the literature focused ones, too, and it makes me want to read Emerson and Thoreau. These essays made me hungry for more of nature, both as a reader and a person in the world. I went for a walk to the library today with my son and felt like I had more of an appreciation of the beauty all around me. I also found the Poe essay to be quite interesting. A great collection. This is the only non-fiction I’ve read this year and I’m glad to have strayed from my fiction reading.
(I received an egalley of Upstream from NetGalley for an honest review.)