KDL Recommends > Staff Picks > November 2013

KDL Recommends

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The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

ISBN: 1565126068

Title: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Author: Elisabeth Tova Bailey

KDL Description:


“This little book was actually quite interesting. I learned a WHOLE lot about snails—who knew?! But the narrative is really a contemplation of life, in a microcosm. The author’s illness (she was basically bedridden for most of 20 years) placed her in a position of observation by default. She literally could not do much more than watch the snail as it went about its daily routines. The writing itself is lovely and descriptive. I never would have picked this up on my own—thank goodness for book-club friends’ recommendations!”—Marlys at KDL’s Wyoming branch

Amazon Description:

In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris—a common woodland snail.

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confined place in the world.

Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal. 

Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.