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The Circumference of Home: One Man's Yearlong Quest for a Radically Local Life Hardcover – Apr 13 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (April 13 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306817748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306817748
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,035,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not a memoir by a sentimental deep ecologist... June 2 2010
By Jennifer L. Manlowe - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Kurt Hoelting's writing is reflective, honest and never sentimental about "the wilderness" -- as if it were something separate from us urbanites. He is a hardy activist who puts his feet where his mouth is, a heart-felt, tender observer with fierce convictions. At the same time, he speaks of his experience alone, is never preachy or righteous, if anything, the reader has a way in to her own vulnerability through Hoelting's generous humility. This is not an indulgent meditation on white, liberal guilt or a man romanticizing his own back-to-nature wildness (as can sometimes be the error of the mythopoetic masculinity movement spawned by Robert Bly). Hoelting embraces all kinds of learning in each reflective moment -- and while most are deadly serious, some of these experiences are really funny. I respect his capacity as a writer to be at once fragile and courageous in this year-long adventure where he couples his eco-ethics, social commentary and mindfulness practices. His experiment to resist making any carbon footprint is outrageous, inspiring and inviting, even to the less-committed, like myself. Hoelting walked, rode, swam, ran, and resisted getting into any carbon-emitting vehicle to get around town (within 60 miles of his home). His is an amazing journey one that he invites the reader to tag along for lots of learning.
I bet Hoelting would agree with Catherine Drinker Bowen (1957) who claimed, "Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind."
This is a timely read. Don't miss it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Adventure and Hope June 4 2010
By First Baptist Church - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Often times we look at the grim news about our mother, Earth. Images of the Gulf Oil disaster flood us with painful images all in the name of quick corporate profit. It is for such a time as this, that Kurt Hoeltings inspiring book, 'Circumference of Home' arrives with a story of hope. Kurt spent a year circumnavigating his home on Whidbey Island as he takes a sabbatical from fossil fuel by travelling by foot, bike and paddle. It is a story that invites each of us to reconnect with those places we call home. It is a story of one man's attempt to lessen his carbon footprint with a spirit of adventure, that not only helps the earth, but deepens a sense of community with the human and natural world. This book encourages me to move from despair, to doing what I can to heal the earth and indeed to reconnect with this place I call home. ~ Kent Harrop
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Book to Curl Up With Sept. 24 2010
By Larry Daloz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Here's a sweet companion for those wet, gray Fall evenings. Hoelting writes compellingly (stunningly at times) of his own Pacific Northwest home, but the book is much more than just a local read. While escorting us by foot, bike and kayak around one of the most beautiful ecosystems on the planet, he also takes us into engaging discussions of everything green and a few things more--from bikes, local food, and global warming to risky technical climbing, meditations on meditation, and ornery border guards. Yet although entertaining, the book--and the author's commitment--is profoundly informing as well, making a powerful case for the possibility that as the environment inevitably deteriorates, our lives need not follow suit. Rather, it suggests that the more sustainable simplicity that Hoelting models is within reach of all of us, and that like him, we just might end up healthier and happier for the experience. I've found this a marvelous gift for several of the young people in my family and circle.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This Book Will Rock Your Worldview Sept. 7 2010
By Rick Ingrasci - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Kudos to Kurt Hoelting for having the courage to look into the eye of the gathering climate storm and find a meaningful personal response that will surely be a teachable moment for many people. What I love about Circumference of Home is that it's not a prescription for solving the climate crisis, but simply an honest attempt to discover what one is capable of in the face of the difficult choices we're all facing. Hoelting's meditative reflections on our bioregion (now officially known as the Salish Sea) are deeply moving, reminding us that "you can only save what you love" -- which requires paying attention to what really matters, Mother Earth. I highly recommend that you take this beautifully written journey toward your own ecological awakening.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Full circle back to our true home June 30 2010
By Timothy Burnett - Published on
Format: Hardcover
An important book. Kurt takes fear and transforms it into person and relevant action in his response to global climate change. His insightful mix of the personal and the universal as he traversed his local bioregion on foot, bike, and kayak (plus no small amount of local transit adventures) inspired me to reconnect with my own deepest wishes to feel rooted and connected to my home place. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in nature, bioregionalism, spirituality, and the future of our planet. There are many possible responses to the emerging crisis with our climate - this is not the only one, but it's an important one and it is clear that it is Kurt's deepest wish that it will inspire deep inquiry and debate which is the responsibility of each of us.

--Rev. Nomon Tim Burnett
Soto Zen Priest
Red Cedar Zen Community