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Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World
Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World | Patrik Svensson
35 posts | 19 read | 19 to read
Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish--the eel--and a reflection on the human conditionRemarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the "eel question" Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery.Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal. In The Book of Eels, we meet renowned historical thinkers, from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Rachel Carson, for whom the eel was a singular obsession. And we meet the scientists who spearheaded the search for the eel's point of origin, including Danish marine biologist Johannes Schmidt, who led research efforts in the early twentieth century, catching thousands upon thousands of eels, in the hopes of proving their birthing grounds in the Sargasso Sea.Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson's journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant.
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There are very few things in this world that I don't find interesting but I didn't know how mysterious eels were until reading this! 4⭐️

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It‘s an engaging historical story about eels and a good father and son relationship that was very positive for his life. It also has some commentaries about ecological problems and their consequences. It‘s a quick memorable read.

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3 ⭐️s
I feel like this started off strong with both the informational chapters and memoir chapters working well together. Unfortunately I feel that it fell apart the further I went. For someone that says he‘s non-religious, I felt the author spent quite a bit of time quoting the Bible and talking about faith. Not exactly what I signed up for…😅 It still taught me plenty about eels that I never knew before and I‘m still glad I read it.

Ann_Reads A nice review. I liked the book but agree it didn't end as strongly as it began. 2mo
AllDebooks Great review x 2mo
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AllDebooks Yikes, that's terrifying!!!! 2mo
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A nice book. Well written, interesting trivia (Aristotle, Freud…no, really, Freud), a wonderful little bit on Rachel Carson, some memoir with dad in Sweden, and a really strange animal that undergoes 3 metamorphoses, whose breeding is practically impossible to study (oh, dear Freud), can live 100 yrs, and is going extinct, but no one knows exactly why. A lot packed in, but Svensson keeps it short and readable. Enjoyed this with #naturalitsy

batsy Intriguing review! And love the image. Adding it to my list 🙂 2mo
Bookwomble Beautiful painting 2mo
AllDebooks That painting is stunning 😍 Great review x 2mo
See All 8 Comments
Graywacke @batsy @Bookwomble @AllDebooks the painting is by Kimura Buzon. The image is from the Smithsonian Institute: https://asia.si.edu/eels-in-july/ 2mo
Bookwomble @Graywacke Thanks for the link - that was an interesting read 😊 2mo
Suet624 Sounds like a busy book! 2mo
Graywacke @Suet624 Maybe. It didn‘t feel busy, but covers a lot. 2mo
Suet624 @Graywacke Yeah, that's kind of what I meant. :) 2mo
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Our final discussion thread before we leave the eels behind. What stood out for you? What were your thoughts on the final chapter regarding the threat of extinction?
Was this a worthy read in your opinion?

See All 39 Comments
Graywacke It‘s curious that he puts the extinction possibility at the end, and makes no effort to inspire the reader for possible action. He presents it as a sort of forgone conclusion. And one impact is it lets the reader off the hook. We have an excuse to not be alarmed. I enjoyed the book. 2mo
Julsmarshall I enjoyed the book. While it may have been slow in parts, it was definitely worth the read. While extinction and climate change may be a forgone conclusion, I agree @Graywacke, that I would have appreciated a suggestion of how to respond or personally acknowledge our role in some way. That may not have made for a positive ending either, but I would have appreciated a call to action in some way. 2mo
SamAnne @Graywacke yes, completely agree. I wanted more on what's been done to help them. He mentions bans on harvesting of glass eels (and then I find a tin of them here in Hawaii while on vacation!). And brought up hatcheries or farming briefly, with no other details. But I did enjoy this book and am so glad to have read it! 2mo
jlhammar Very worthy read. Yes, I loved learning about eels - completely fascinating, but what I think I loved most about this book, and what he really brought home in these final chapters, was the symbolism. The very apt title (both US and UK) echoing the New Testament. Eels and time fishing for eels with his father as something holy/sacred, the mystery, the ritual, the resurrected eel, something about which he feels compelled to evangelize. (edited) 2mo
AllDebooks @Graywacke I really enjoyed the book, too, but felt completely let down by the last chapter. The digression into the dodo and sea cow were completely irrelevant. What would have been more pertinent would have been an exploration of solutions or examples of how we can help the eel adapt. 2mo
jlhammar I really appreciated the very end. How though his father said “there must be eels here“ about the cabin, believed they were there, he never saw one, never caught one. How he hoped that Patrik would keep the cabin and continue to fish there, and that he actually sees one at the end, shortly after his father's funeral. 2mo
jenniferw88 I admit to smiling/cheering when I saw the reference to one of your #auldlangspine books! 😂😂😂 2mo
AllDebooks @jenniferw88 lol, yes, I had a little cheer to 😊 2mo
Jess861 Scary that Eel numbers have dropped so much and so quickly - although sadly, not surprising. I agree with the comment above and it would have been nice to see a bit more about extinction and Eels at the end of the book.

Overall I enjoyed this book and learned quite a bit about how little we know about Eels. Although there is a lot of filler in the book I feel that I came out of this read more knowledgeable about Eels.
ElizaMarie I loved this book. I thought I was behind and so I rushed to finish this one. But it makes me think about my place in the world. My “footprint.“ And just how we consume blindly and, at times, do not think about the consequences of our consumption (it might be presumptuous to say we/our, maybe more I/my). I worry about the extinction of any/all species. - I do like the father/son aspect of bonding, but I ⬇ ⬇ ⬇ 2mo
ElizaMarie I feel this might have been better as two different books. I don't know. It felt like filler at some parts, profound at others, um... confusing at others. I don't know what I am trying to say, but that's a sign of a good book, having things to talk about, questions to ask, and discussions to be made. Thank yall for picking it up and allowing me to join in on this discussion. 2mo
Chrissyreadit I‘m worried about how much we are losing and the lack of responsibility that have caused climate change and decimated a variety of animals. 2mo
wanderinglynn I liked parts of the book. Some parts I skimmed through. I do feel I learned a lot about eels. Although I felt the ending was evasive—he discusses, in a bit too much detail, extinction of 2 other species and yet doesn‘t follow through on what extinction of the eel might mean or how it might be prevented. 2mo
Aimeesue @jlhammar Yes! I thought the ending was so well done. I don't think that we have much chance of saving the eels as a species, although I wish that were not the case. We don't know enough about them, can't find them, and are not cooperative enough as nations to band together to save them. I thought the dodo + Stellar's sea cows were absolutely on point - we're aware of their annihilation and tsk at those who killed them off, but can't get beyond ⬇️ 2mo
Hooked_on_books I really enjoyed this book. I had seen it around my libraries, rather heavily promoted, and had no intention of reading it, so I‘m glad our buddy read pushed me to do so! I learned a lot and feel I‘m better for having picked this one up. @jlhammar excellent point about the title! 2mo
Hooked_on_books @ElizaMarie I‘ve seen this trend a lot over the past few years in various books, especially true crime, wherein the author inserts themselves and their memoir as part of the book. I‘m not sure how I feel about it, as it often does feel like filler or a natural extension of navel-gazing social media life. I thought this was done a bit better than others, as the content is germane, but I‘m still not sold on the trend. 2mo
Aimeesue ⬆️ourselves and our daily concerns to save them. I completely understand the wish that Svensson had included some solutions, but realistically, do any exist? You can take step to protect a species with a limited range, like buffaloes at Yellowstone, but how do you protect a species that travels worldwide in the dark depths of the seas? I truly, TRULY hope science comes up with some answers, but I think time is running out. Reminded me a lot of ⬇️ (edited) 2mo
Aimeesue Doulas Adams' book 2mo
jlhammar @Aimeesue Yes, such great points! That Douglas Adams book is definitely going on my TBR. Sounds excellent. 2mo
Aimeesue @jlhammar It's excellent, but sad. I vividly remember the Chinese river dolphins. I just looked them up and they were declared extinct in 2006. BUT a 10 year fishing ban for the Yangtze River went into effect in 2021, so maybe there's hope for other species there. (edited) 2mo
BookwormAHN I enjoyed the book but I would of liked a slightly more hopeful ending or at least some ways to help. 2mo
CaitZ Overall I enjoyed the book and learned so much about eels. I never thought they could be so interesting. The last chapter was hard for me as I was also with my Dad when he died. It brought back some painful memories. 2mo
ElizaMarie @Hooked_on_books ooo I see what you are saying . I mean I get that they use it as way to personalize the narrator, which is understandable, but I agree it‘s was done better than I‘ve seen with other books/authors 2mo
Ann_Reads Overall, I like the way the book was composed with alternating chapters about science and the author's experiences with his dad relating to eels. I never really thought much about eels before, except photos of them in nature shows kinda gave me the creeps (sorry) so I learned a lot from this book. I was surprised how many scientists had tried and failed to tackle perplexing questions about eels. The chapter on Freud was weird and fascinating. Eek! 2mo
Larkken @Hooked_on_books yess! It‘s often kind of off-putting. A particularly bad example was a Patterson book about Nefertiti and Tutankhamen. Just ugh for me 2mo
Larkken I liked learning about the eels, but like y‘all above ⬆️ I found the bits of autobiography threw me off a bit. Some parts fit more than others, like how the author and his dad used to fish for them. My favorite part was learning about the Sargasso Sea, and I think I remember seeing a news story that at least partially confirmed that this is the nesting spot for all eels. Amazing! 2mo
AllDebooks @CaitZ I'm sorry this triggered painful memories of your Dad. X 2mo
AllDebooks @Ann_Reads I'm sorry, I didn't tag you in these discussions, I thought you were sitting this one out. My bad 🙈 2mo
Ann_Reads @AllDebooks Don't worry about it. I read the book in December, when I could borrow it through my library system, so I didn't participate in the weekly discussions as much as I usually would. Anyway, I did enjoy the book overall. 🙂 2mo
AllDebooks @Ann_Reads glad you enjoyed it 😊 2mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm I agree with @Hooked_on_books about not really enjoying the self-insert bits. I think our previous read “Braiding Sweetgrass” did this beautifully, this one was somewhat jarring most of the time. I was also put off by the final chapter. I don‘t really expect him to have a solution to help the eel, but I felt like he went on a sideways tangent instead of making a coherent point. I did like the bit about seeing the eel after his father‘s funeral. 2mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Overall, it was worth the read, but I think it‘s my least favorite of our buddy reads so far. The “faith” bits chafed a bit for me, but that‘s due to my own personal hang-ups. 😅 I at least will look at an eel with much more understanding from now on. 2mo
AllDebooks @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm valid points about the self-insert. I think these would have been better served as an introduction or epilogue piece. I do feel the last chapter was a let down. Imo, it would have been a much better book with a focus on the threat of eel extinction, alone. The final chapter exploring solutions, current research and conservation projects. 2mo
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Look what I found walking around Kapaa Kauai! Uh, no I did not purchase a tin of baby eels to nosh on. Product of Spain. I visit lots of fish markets and have never seen these. @AllDebooks #naturalitsy

Pageturner1 🤔not sure what i think about this. those are eels in a can? 2mo
SamAnne @Pageturner1 yes, tiny, little baby eels. In a can. 😳😳😳 2mo
Pageturner1 @SamAnne Hmm! interesting 😳🥴 2mo
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wanderinglynn 😳 hm, think I‘d pass. 😆 2mo
Hooked_on_books That‘s awful to see, considering that the European Eel is critically endangered. 2mo
SamAnne @Hooked_on_books exactly. The book discusses efforts to stop the harvest of these “glass eels.” if they weren‘t endangered I might have bought a tin just to try. 2mo
AllDebooks This makes me so angry and sad 😔 2mo
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So, this book was great. Some of it felt like “filler,“ but... most of it was so good. And it made me see eels and other sea life in a different light. When I tried to be vegetarian, I jumped into pescatarian because I felt “fish didn't have feelings,“ I guess coming from a “fishing“ family. But then I gradually went back to meat (just not as much, not as often). Now... I have been thinking again.


AllDebooks Glad you enjoyed it. Great review 😊 2mo
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Still working on this #NaturalLitsy … but this is one of the reasons I had been vegetarian for a while.

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Eels kinda give me the heebie-jeebies, so I definitely wouldn‘t have read this without #NaturaLitsy and turns out they‘re completely fascinating! This book is a great blend of very accessible science and memoir from the author, who fished for eels with his dad as a kid. Utterly worth reading.

AllDebooks I think we've all been a little surprised by this gem of a book. Great review x 2mo
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#NaturaLitsy @AllDebooks

I'm giving this a pick overall even though I felt like some of the book became "filler" since there wasn't enough information about the eel.

While I appreciate the mix of memoir and science I felt the strongest sections of this book were the science parts. Eels are truly fascinating and perhaps one day we'll understand more about these mythical creatures.

AllDebooks I agree on the filler statement. Great review x 2mo
SamAnne Great review. 2mo
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Really interesting mix of nature writing and personal vignettes. If you are looking for a scientific book about eels, this may not be to your liking. But, if you want to marvel at the mystery that is Anguilla anguilla, learn about the eel in history and in literature, and ruminate on the nature of time, life and death, you‘ll likely enjoy this as much as I did.

Another great pick for #NaturaLitsy! I‘ve been appreciating our discussions.

AllDebooks Great review. Every week I'm astounded at the depth and breadth of our #NaturaLitsy discussions. So glad you enjoy them too. X 2mo
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Our last week with the eels!

Discussion thread will be posted on Saturday. Have a great week.

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A soft pick. Loved reading it with #Naturalitsy I love Pacific Lamprey, an eel important to NW U.S. Tribes. This book is about a different sort of eels, equally fascinating. I liked what the author tried to do to combine a memoir of his relationship with his father with eels. I felt he overextended the historical importance of eels—👇

SamAnne While it is interesting and a little humorous that Freud studied eels as a young man, I don‘t think they were the genesis of his obsession on phalluses. 2mo
AllDebooks Great review 😊🤣 2mo
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Week 3 - discussion thread for chapters 11 - 14. What stood out for you this week?

I have to say Rachel Carson is one of my heroes, so I loved this segment.

Please do let me know if you wish to be added/removed from the tag list.

I will be posting re Feb/March reads tomorrow 😊

See All 54 Comments
rockpools I think I‘d nominated Under A Sea Wind for this quarter‘s read (I‘ll get to it one day), but was really glad to read this first and get his take on why Rachel Carson was such an amazing science communicator. Not entirely sure how neatly it fit into the book, but happy it was there! And I did enjoy the eel trap section. 2mo
BookwormAHN I also loved learning about Rachel Carso. 2mo
TEArificbooks The Rachel Carson book sounded intriguing. I also liked learning about those long living eels that never metaphorically changed because they were contained. And the part about how we can‘t even breed eels in a lab (maybe that was in a chapter for next week). 2mo
Addison_Reads Rachel Carson was my inspiration to study marine biology, so needless to say I loved this section. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole I also enjoyed learning a little about Rachel Carson.
I‘ve had her books on my list to read for a long time and never gotten around to it. Maybe we‘ll read one for #NaturaLitsy 😉
Hooked_on_books First off, I‘m glad that eel is not a traditional thanksgiving food! 😝 I also enjoyed reading about Carson, but two things struck me in that chapter. The first was his repeated assertions that she anthropomorphized the eel, when he included a quote from her specifically stating that‘s not what she was doing. He also seemed insistent that humans are separate from/superior to animals while at the same time showing that our understanding of 👇 2mo
Hooked_on_books animals has changed drastically. I wonder why he needs to hang onto this idea? An incredible book that everyone in this book should read about animal senses, that fits right in with the contents of this chapter, is Ed Yong‘s An Immense World. It‘s absolutely phenomenal. 2mo
AllDebooks @Hooked_on_books Can you imagine, the pardoned eel? 😂 That is a good point and irritated me. I'm planning on reading the Ed Yong book for #NaturaLitsyBingo2023 2mo
TheBookHippie I‘ve read all of Rachel‘s books. I just reread Silent Spring with our Bookclub and we had a water scientist activist come talk about what threats we face. Fascinating. I‘ve sent her a message to read this book. I think Rachel is so underrated for her contributions - so many people have no clue who she is. 2mo
TheBookHippie @Hooked_on_books I agree - he must have a reason? And thanks for the book rec! 2mo
wanderinglynn Although Carson claimed she was not anthropomorphizing the animals in her story, that is what she did because she, a human, imagined what the animals (birds, fish, eels) thought & felt. She did described the scenes and the anthropomorphizing was minimal—it wasn‘t to the extreme that say Walt Disney did with a mouse named Mickey. For example from chapter 2, two birds “forgot the long flight of the night before in the excitement of the hunt.” 2mo
wanderinglynn I think Svennson presents the eel as a symbol not only of the challenges and limits of science and the mystery of nature, but also of how relationships to nature (like that he and his dad) enhance the human experience, and of the fragility of nature and human blindness about what damage humans have done/are doing to the world. 2mo
jlhammar @AllDebooks The pardoned eel! Love it 😂 @Hooked_on_books I have the audiobook of An Immense World currently checked-out, but haven't started it yet. Do you think it will work okay in that format? Looking forward to it. 2mo
ElizaMarie Behind behind but still loving it so far :) 2mo
jlhammar I also enjoyed the Rachel Carson section. I read Silent Spring many years ago, in high school, and am very interested in trying this biography 2mo
jlhammar The life cycle of eels is just so fascinating! That “its aging seems tied to something other than time“ I thought the stories of the old eels in captivity were kind of haunting. How “if the eel isn't free to go to the Sargasso Sea, it won't undergo the final metamorphosis, won't turn into a silver eel, and won't become sexually mature. Instead, it waits, patiently, for decades, until the opportunity presents itself or it runs out of strength.“ 2mo
Graywacke Rachel Carson stood out for me too. His take on her is very inspiring and I‘ve never read her. But also he covered a lot of different stuff in this chapter and I like how he mixes so much up without overwhelming the reader. I enjoyed his exploration of the Bible, Pilgrims and other literary stuff. And i feel so sad for those poor trapped eels living a hopeless hundred years. 2mo
Graywacke @jlhammar yeah, how sad. Appreciate the quote. 2mo
jlhammar I haven't watched it yet, but am looking forward to this PBS Nature documentary:
jlhammar @Graywacke I also really enjoyed the part about the symbolism and myth of the eel in the Bible and elsewhere. Really interesting. 2mo
Julsmarshall Loved the Carson bits, didn‘t love some of the other literary bits. That one about the pregnant woman and all the vomiting-I had to take a break. Was it just me? I did think the Thanksgiving part was fascinating but I‘m quite thankful that we don‘t eat eel for the holiday. I loved the tidbit about how long they can live . . . then they killed the eel while studying its longevity 😱🤦🏽‍♀️Still enjoying this one, hard not to read ahead! 2mo
CaitZ I found his interpretation of Rachel Carson's work interesting. I need to read more of her books. I think she was ahead of her time in the way she made science more accessible. I continue to be intrigued with eels and how much we don't know. 2mo
TEArificbooks When I was looking up more about Rachel Carson, I noticed a new book out called. It might be a good fit for a later novel to read with the group. 2mo
Jess861 I might have the unpopular opinion here but I didn't enjoy this section as much as I did the previous two. Although there are still some interesting parts in this section - it just didn't capture me like the first two. Loved the story about the Eel in the well and it is quite fascinating that they just kind of stop growing but keep living if they are misplaced. (edited) 2mo
AllDebooks We all seem to be in awe of this incredible, adaptable creature, the eel, not the author! 😁 It has been a fascinating book club selection. As mentioned previously next month is free, apart from those of us reading 2mo
AllDebooks I'm more than happy to run a #buddyread in February, of a Rachel Carson book if anyone is interested. 2mo
TheKidUpstairs I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of Poseidon's Steed from a library for next month, but I do have some Rachel Carson at my library, so I'll probably read this one. Totally up for a buddy read if others are interested! 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @TEArificbooks oooh, that one sounds really interesting! 2mo
AllDebooks @TEArificbooks that looks absolutely amazing. I love nature, history and politics. All 3 in one book, I need it, like rn 2mo
TEArificbooks @TheKidUpstairs I am having the hardest time getting a copy of Poseidon‘s Steed as well. It has been out of stock online everywhere. Finally Amazon said they had one copy I ordered it, they mailed it, but it got lost. Library doesn‘t have it. I finally just ordered a used copy on eBay hopefully that one gets here 2mo
Aimeesue @wanderinglynn Yes! - the challenges/limits of science! I kept wondering if the scientists in Japan put the eels in wave pools. Kinda seems like a minute genetic difference (extra vertebrae) that divides Euro & American eels might just point to waves/tides having an effect on development? We like to think that if we throw enough science at a problem, we can fix it so it works for us. We rarely consider how it's going to work for, say, the eels. (edited) 2mo
Aimeesue I enjoyed the part about the Brantevik eel a lot. Apparently it was common to put an eel in your well because it would eat bugs, vermin, etc? He did have some big eyes though! https://www.sunnyskyz.com/blog/446/An-Eel-Was-Placed-In-A-Swedish-Well-To-Keep-T... 2mo
wanderinglynn @Jess861 I didn‘t enjoy it either. I thought it lost steam & I skimmed a lot. Only some parts interested me, like the parts on Rachel Carson and some on the studies of eels . 2mo
AllDebooks @Aimeesue Yes, stop with the science and leave them be 2mo
AllDebooks @wanderinglynn @Jess861 I did find some parts repetitive in this section. Hated the bit about the eel in the well and in captivity. 💔 2mo
Hooked_on_books @jlhammar I don‘t know who reads it, but it should absolutely work on audio. 2mo
Hooked_on_books @AllDebooks The pardoned eel! 🤣 I didn‘t even think about that part! 2mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm I‘ve never had eel, so I‘m not sure if my Thanksgiving feasts are missing out or not… 😅 The part that stuck with me the most was the trapped eel in the well. Especially when the author describes it as how a human would react to it as just one, long, painfully endless night. Ugh, made me shudder! I know he‘s specifically covering European eels, but I‘m curious to see if he‘ll ever touch on the Polynesian culture‘s relationship with the animal. 2mo
Graywacke @Aimeesue thanks for the link with the video! 2mo
Graywacke @AllDebooks i would really like to read Carson but i won‘t be able to join in February. I will try to read Poseidon‘s Steed. 2mo
Aimeesue @Graywacke I really needed to see what a 150 year old eel looked like. Impressive little guy! I was also really struck by the part where they captured some returning eels and they were all "teenagers" developmentally, but hugely different in actual # of years old. That's kind of mind boggling. (edited) 2mo
TheBookHippie My next book arrived and this was suggested Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells https://a.co/d/dtbw37m 👀🤣 2mo
TheBookHippie @TEArificbooks oh I would definitely read that! @AllDebooks I‘d do this one! 👀📚📚📚 2mo
AllDebooks @Aimeesue thank you for the link. I'm shocked at how different the eel looks with bigger eyes! Certainly, it's a lot less creepy. Still got Red Riding Hood in my head, 'all the better to see you with'. 😱 2mo
AllDebooks @Graywacke @TheBookHippie I will do a separate post for the next read. Working on it now. 2mo
AllDebooks @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm he does seem to be focusing on the European eel. Although it would be a shame not to cover the American eel, culture and traditions. Would be interesting to see how they differ from Europe. Let's hope he does in this last section. 2mo
Aimeesue @AllDebooks That was my first thought as well! 😂 2mo
Chrissyreadit @HookedonBooks I‘m going to get audio for An Immense World- I also agree that he discussed the mystery and intelligence of the eel but still sees human superiority as a given. I struggled with that. 2mo
Chrissyreadit I enjoyed reading all these comments- I really felt sad about the eel in the well. But maybe he liked his privacy. At the same time I wish we had a greater respect for all living creatures and the earths environments. 2mo
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I was on the fence about this book- but it was available to borrow from the library, so I decided to read a chapter and then decide. Just finished chapter 5 so only a week behind #naturalitsy. And it is Good! I had no idea that eels have a complex system of metamorphosis. That both Aristotle and Freud were fascinated by and extensively studied eels (why?) and that The Saragossa Sea is a fascinating space! I‘m glad I‘m reading this.

TheBookHippie I had the same reservations but I am learning so much! 2mo
AllDebooks I think we've all felt similarly towards this book! 2mo
Fr3NcHtOaSt This is on my TBR 2mo
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Here's our 2nd discussion thread. Are you still enjoying it? Has anything stood out for you?

What are your thoughts on the chapters 6 - 10.

Please do let me know if you wish to be removed/added from the tag list.

TEArificbooks The chapters on the Dane that found the breeding ground, and about the cultures of eel fisherman stood out to me. I honestly just don‘t care enough about eels to really “enjoy” the book, but I am learning a lot. So there was a part about how the fishing cultures are also trying to protect the eels now, because we as a society need to care or we will lose more species. And I think books like these help people care more. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I loved seeing the process of how the breeding ground was found. I think science in motion makes it so much more interesting than just hearing the facts. I also like how the Swedish eel fisherman use traps rather than nets. This suggests an understanding of sustainability to me. This section didn‘t wow me the same way the first chapters did, but I liked it. 2mo
Graywacke A bits and pieces section. Johannes Schmidt was insane…and it worked. @AllDebooks - you probably want to add your usual comments that tag everyone. 2mo
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AllDebooks @Graywacke yes, I will. Just wouldn't work this morning. I'm having one of those days!! 2mo
AllDebooks @Graywacke I loved that as a newly wed, he disappeared for years, chasing down the eels breeding ground. Obsessed!! He could have been home doing his own breeding! 😁 2mo
TheBookHippie I‘m almost done with our section but have to say it‘s a smart read as in I‘m learning a ton and I enjoy perspective in this read a lot. I‘ve never even considered eels other than to avoid them so it‘s a win for me so far. It‘s very easy to read as well. (edited) 2mo
TheBookHippie @TEArificbooks I agree 💯. Very close to how I feel reading this. 2mo
TheBookHippie @Hooked_on_books I think the process is so helpful to understanding. Considering I‘ve never even thought of eels, it‘s good perspective. 2mo
TheBookHippie @Graywacke sometimes insanity works ! 👀 2mo
daena The fishing culture is a fascinating one and necessary to the discussion, so I‘m glad he touched on that. I think what makes his book smart is that he exposes a lot of interconnected themes that allows the reader to potentially dig further into. 2mo
claudiuo @AllDebooks Just wanted to apologize that as always I am very bad at reading when planned so I haven't even started the book and can't contribute with anything. If you can keep me on the tag list, I'd appreciate it, I love reading everyone's thoughts. But on the other hand knowing I'm so bad at keeping with a schedule you may want to remove me. Either way I'll read the book, it sounds very interesting. Just not sure when 😁 2mo
Graywacke @AllDebooks ah, i see. The delays are very awkward and frustrating. Litsy is really slow this past week. I post and then nothing shows up. Then several minutes later I see the post. In one case several hours later. 2mo
Graywacke @TheBookHippie apparently 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @daena yes, the interconnected themes are fun. An odd perspective on a lot of different stuff. 2mo
AllDebooks @claudiuo please don't worry. It's all very relaxed and meant to be no pressure. You can always comment on the threads when you get round to reading it. X 2mo
AllDebooks @TEArificbooks I think a few of us feel a little icky about the eels. Certainly not cute and fluffy like pandas, there I said it 🙈 I'm fascinated with how many people struggled to understand eels. Slippery, elusive lil suckere 2mo
sebrittainclark @daena I'm really glad the fishing culture was included too. It's an important part of the story that I wouldn't have understood otherwise. 2mo
Aimeesue This section got me very interested in eel fishing, I must say. And the difference between European and American eels -extra vertebrae and how that plays out -was fascinating. 2mo
Aimeesue While I was googling glass eels, I came across this article about eel smuggling. Eels in suitcases! https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/baby-eels-poaching-trafficking-nova-s... 2mo
AllDebooks @Aimeesue $1.3 million dollars!!! 2mo
AllDebooks @Larkken sorry, I just noticed your tag didn't work 2mo
AllDebooks I thought the descriptions and history of eel fishing were fascinating. I guess the fishermen are fighting to keep their traditions will motivate them to build on sustainability practice. 2mo
Graywacke @AllDebooks 🙂 they are definitely not cute cuddly 🐼s. They‘re disgusting. 😂 2mo
Graywacke @Aimeesue that the two types of eels are separated by current strength is really fascinating. And, wow, I didn‘t read the whole article, but that‘s big money (and cool picture topper). 2mo
CaitZ The discovery of the breeding ground was interesting and the drive to find it relates to another book I'm reading Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy. I didn't find the fishing sections quite as interesting, but that is probably due to my not liking fishing. 2mo
Julsmarshall I love reading about all the different historical elements and how they fit together. Eels, how they‘ve evolved, scientific discovery, ocean currents, land ownership and fishing rights, how the IRA and the Troubles fit in, and the cultural contexts of what we eat and how we capture and cook it. I never would have guessed that eels would be so fascinating! (edited) 2mo
Aimeesue @Graywacke Those vertebrae really underline how slight genetic differences can change your whole life. 2mo
Aimeesue @AllDebooks The money is crazy! And not so long ago eels were "poor people's food." 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @CaitZ—hope you‘re enjoying, I LOVE 2mo
Chelsea.Poole I was struck in the chapter about the Dane‘s odyssey to find out more about eel reproduction where the author mentioned the WHY of it all. Thinking about what drove earlier scientists to discover more about our world was a really interesting thought. The author imagines its an existential dilemma…finding out about eels also tells us more about ourselves. This made it much more interesting for me, as a devoted memoir reader. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @Julsmarshall loving the different histories explored too —it‘s an intersection for me as I‘m reading about the IRA from my #alspine pick as well : 2mo
AmandaBlaze Sorry, I haven't contributed yet. I have an infection in both eyes, which makes it hard to read. I hope to catch up soon. 2mo
AllDebooks @Chelsea.Poole I find it extraordinary that this little creature has captivated some of the greatest minds for centuries and there is still so much unknown. 2mo
AllDebooks @AmandaBlaze oh no, that does not sound great at all. Wishing you a speedy recovery. As I mentioned above to @claudiuo please don't feel pressured. #NaturaLitsy is all about bringing people together through our love of the natural world not about rigid schedules. It's all very informal. X 2mo
rockpools I‘m still really enjoying this, although this section was maybe a little less gripping. Loved learning about eel fishing cultures, and I had no idea of the importance of eels in Northern Ireland. His own experiences with his dad (especially the eel balls 😵‍💫) make it a very human, personal story as well. 2mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm I too was mostly intrigued by how the American and European eels start out in the same place but because of a seemingly inconsequential difference, end up on opposite sides of the planet. I love the bits about fishing and the memories he built with his dad. I love going fishing and hope to have moments like this with my child. 2mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @Aimeesue Thank you for the article! Blows my mind how much money people will spend on something I‘d never pay a dollar for. 😅 2mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @AmandaBlaze Hope you feel better soon. 🤗❤️ That doesn‘t sound fun at all. 2mo
ElizaMarie Slightly behind (Chapter 7) because well, this is a rough week for me. But I am enjoying it so far. I love the fishing and the father/son aspect of it. I fished with my daddy (I was daddy's girl) and I just feel such nostalgia when talking about finishing. The eels so far are fascinating. I am the type of persons that “would know“ more about them and I am ashamed to say I was so unaware about how cool these creatures are! 2mo
Caterina I loved that all of Schmidt's methodical work and obsessive dedication paid off! And learning about the Irish eel fishing collective was so cool. I love that they won such a big battle, yet I'm sad about how their traditions and those of so many other eel fishers are endangered now. But I always love learning about how local cultural traditions motivate people towards caring for our environment! 2mo
AllDebooks @ElizaMarie I'm sorry you've had a tough week. Take it easy and be kind to yourself. I've never been fishing but finding the bonds with his Father very endearing. 2mo
AllDebooks @rockpools the eelballs were gross 2mo
AllDebooks @Caterina I loved this part of traditions and cultures 2mo
wanderinglynn One small tidbit I found it interesting that a Danish company “lent” him a schooner. Sadly I can‘t imagine any company doing that today. 2mo
BookwormAHN Okay, finally caught up. I've always thought that eels were fascinating so I'm enjoying this. But I love how his dad got the worms 😸 2mo
AllDebooks @wanderinglynn Absolutely wouldn't happen today! @BookwormAHN 🙈 2mo
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Week 2 reading schedule. The discussion thread will be posted on Saturday.

Enjoy 😊

jlhammar I'm visiting family this weekend so will probably be contributing to our discussion thread late. Really enjoying the book so far! 2mo
AllDebooks @jlhammar how lovely, have a great time x 2mo
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Here we are, our 1st discussion thread for our 1st book of 2023. Are you enjoying it? Has anything stood out for you?

What are your thoughts on the chapters 1 - 5.

Please do let me know if you wish to be removed/added from the tag list.

Hooked_on_books I‘m completely drawn in by this book. The fact that eels don‘t develop reproductive organs until they‘re needed is extraordinary. If we can ever grow to understand how that works, there is the opportunity for amazing applications to human health and disease. I‘m also fascinated by the fact that no one knows where these eels die. That flummoxes me in the best way. 3mo
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BarbaraBB Can you please remove me? I already feel I‘ve taken on too many challenges. Thank you so much and have fun with #Naturalitsy! 3mo
AllDebooks @BarbaraBB of course, good luck with your other challenges. Thank you for participating x 3mo
AllDebooks @Hooked_on_books Eels do have the most incredible physiology and life cycle. 3mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm So far I‘m enjoying it. The history of humans all over the world being absolutely perplexed by multiple aspects of the eel amuses me to no end. Especially when someone is SO sure they know exactly how they operate, like Aristotle. 😅 It‘s humbling to know that even in todays world, we still barely understand the world around us and that it‘s still surprising us every day. 3mo
Chelsea.Poole I‘m loving this book already. The writing style is working well for me…very informative, draws me in, yet doesn‘t get too bogged down with facts (thus far at least). Like @Hooked_on_books and @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm I‘m amazed that we humans have yet to fully figure out what exactly this little creature is up to. Kinda makes me love it for that reason, like “yes! keep your mystery little eek!” 3mo
Soubhiville I realized in reading this that I hadn‘t thought much about eels or their life cycles. Who knew they were so complex? I found myself thinking that maybe eels should replace butterflies when we learn about metamorphosis in the classroom. Their changes seem more subtle but also more complex. I agree that the difficulty in learning where they breed and die is fascinating. 3mo
rockpools I wasn‘t overly enthusiastic to start this one if I‘m honest. But I totally agree with @Hooked_on_books - it‘s fascinating! The fact that no eel has ever been seen in the Sargasso Sea - 🤯. Sometimes it‘s fun to see where the limits of our knowledge lie. And I quite like the alternating between his personal story and All Things Eel. 3mo
Jess861 I've quite enjoyed the first five chapters of this book. I've never really thought about eels or learning about them so I was excited when I saw this would be the first book we read. It is fascinating that eels can be so easily accessed yet it took so long to discover their reproductive organs and system and we still could learn so much more about them. I'm enjoying the writing style and the back and forth between his personal story and facts. 3mo
AllDebooks @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm I found this so amusing too. This little creature is able to confound the greatest thinkers to this day!! 3mo
AllDebooks @Soubhiville that is an amazing idea. Would be great to study on paper but not so easy to replicate as a clutch of butterfly eggs hatching through their life cycle in a classroom. However, it does provide context of the complexity of life cycles, the biodiversity they need (and bring) to sustain life and highlights the perils they face at different life stages. 3mo
TheKidUpstairs @Hooked_on_books @Soubhiville I was especially fascinated by the eels metamorphosis as well. The idea that each individual eel becomes what it needs to be only when it needs, depending on its own surroundings and experiences. 3mo
AllDebooks @rockpools @Jess861 I agree, it is endleesly fascinating. I'm engrossed in the story of son and father, alongside the natural history of eels. I confess, I'm completely (was) ignorant about these complex creatures. I think I was traumatised, as a kid by the moray eel attacks in the movie The Deep. 😅 I'm really impressed with the amount of information, knowledge and experience this little book contains. 3mo
AllDebooks @TheKidUpstairs it's astounding. The fact that this cycle can go on for decades, too, is fascinating. It made me wonder what impact climate change will have on them now. Will they stay at the stage they're at now, leading to a rapid deterioration in population numbers. I sincerely hope not. If there's one thing an eel is, it's a survivor!!! 3mo
jlhammar I knew next to nothing about eels so this book is blowing my mind so far! Like many of you, I‘m loving how mysterious they are. And the fact that they can travel on dry land if needed yet also swim for miles a day at a depth of 3,000 feet below the surface is kind of amazing. 3mo
sebrittainclark I'm finding it fascinating how mysterious eels are to us even today. The question of how to categorize eels is reminding me a lot of Why Fish Don't Exist by Lulu Miller. 3mo
Ann_Reads I'd always imagined eels to be primitive but after reading about the various stages of development in their life cycle, they are quite sophisticated biologically. I really didn't give eels much thought prior to reading this book. 3mo
Julsmarshall Just got this book from the library and will dive in today. I‘d love to be tagged, will try read most of that books 😄 3mo
TheKidUpstairs @AllDebooks he does get into a bit about how climate change and other human involvement (primarily fishing) is affecting eels in later chapters. 3mo
TheKidUpstairs @jlhammar oh my gosh, yes! The ability to snake across dry land blew my mind, too. The incredible distance they can travel, but then spend the vast majority of their lives in one location. I had no idea how fascinating they are! 3mo
Chelsea.Poole @TheKidUpstairs so well put! It seems as if we humans could take note of their abilities and apply this concept to our own lives — ie: change when needed, be more fluid and less rigid in our thoughts and opinions. Lots to chew on here as I think more about these fascinating eels! 3mo
jlhammar @sebrittainclark I loved Why Fish Don't Exist! 3mo
Graywacke These comments capture how there are so many interesting aspects to this book so far. I fully admit I‘m not particularly interested in eels…well, that‘s overstating. I‘m mildly interested. But regardless I have thoroughly enjoyed the opening chapters of this book and his rumination on eels, the study of eels and his dad. I‘m really struck by the nature of the Sargasso Sea, the still spot caught between all those massive ocean currents. (edited) 3mo
Graywacke And the Freud chapter was really entertaining. Dissecting 400 eels to find what doesn‘t exist, not realizing they metamorphose…terrific stuff. 3mo
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books I‘m drawn in too! @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Aristotle surely was partially crazy, right? 🙂 That section was entertaining. @Chelsea.Poole agreed about the writing. It‘s terrific. 3mo
Graywacke @Soubhiville Had no idea eels were so complex either @rockpools I wasn‘t excited either, but I‘m into now. it‘s pretty cool that there‘s so much we don‘t know @Jess861 I had never put any thought into eels either. 3mo
Graywacke @TheKidUpstairs @AllDebooks Thinking and Aristotle and Freud, i hadn‘t considered the impact of climate change. I‘ll brace myself to be depressed 🙁 3mo
Graywacke @jlhammar how do you study an animal living at 3000 ft of open water. Crazy, no? @sebrittainclark How are they classified? I was surprised he mentioned how close they are to fish. Didn‘t imagine that. @Ann_Reads Agree, who knew these brown muddy things living in little water hollows were such travelers or had some dramatic metamorphoses. Cool stuff. 3mo
AllDebooks @sebrittainclark that's on my tbr list, especially now. 3mo
AllDebooks @jlhammar Eels must be the most dynamic creature I've ever read about 3mo
AllDebooks @Ann_Reads me neither. If I'm honest, I didnt think I would like this book. How wrong was I? 3mo
AllDebooks @Graywacke I loved this chapter on chasing down the knowledge of eels reproductive cycle. I had no idea Freaud was a naturalist before switching careers.🤯 3mo
AllDebooks @Julsmarshall Absolutely, welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have so far. 3mo
Graywacke @AllDebooks Freud. It‘s just so funny the penis-envy man failed to find a penis. 🤭 (on a phallic shaped fish!) 3mo
AllDebooks @Graywacke LOL 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 I just spat coffee everywhere 🤣 3mo
Graywacke @AllDebooks sorry 😂 😂 3mo
ElizaMarie @Soubhiville That sounds like a great idea! They are so complex! 3mo
Ann_Reads @Graywacke Glad you said it instead of me. 😁😁😁 That chapter was equally disturbing and hilarious. (Not a fan of Freud's theories.) (edited) 3mo
ElizaMarie Can you please tag me?

I am surprised at how little I knew about Eels and their lives. It just never was one of the animals I tried to learn about. I always thought they looked “cool,“ but to see that they are so adaptable to their environment is awe-inspiring. The human story that is woven into it is always delightful.

Thank you for including me int his wonderful #BuddyRead
CaitZ I'm fascinated by these creatures. I never had any idea that their lives were so complex and mysterious. I like the way the author weaves his encounters with science. 3mo
Aimeesue I'm currently listening to The Night Ship which goes with TBOE very well, as eels and eely monsters are a big part of book. Leaning how unfathomable eels have been for thousands of years, and how dark & mysterious they seemed, it makes a lot of sense that there's a kind of mythology around them in many places. 3mo
TEArificbooks Can you please add me to the tags as well. I never knew eels were so mysterious. The eel fishing and eating with the dad stood out to me. I have never had a desire to eat eel and after reading this I most certainly still do not want to eat eel. I did like fishing with my dad as a kid though, we never fished for eel. 3mo
TEArificbooks I also liked the Freud chapter and how even though he never found the eel penis, he did learn things about the scientific process as use some of that knowledge later. 3mo
TEArificbooks @Aimeesue that is good to know I will move that book up my tbr then. I will try to read it this month 3mo
AllDebooks @ElizaMarie apologies, I lost my list of #midwinter solace littens carrying on with #naturalitsy added you now x 3mo
AllDebooks @mdm139 absolutely, thanks for joining us x 3mo
daena To add to all of the thoughtful comments before me, I am really enjoying the book thus far. I loved the authors story of how his family caught, prepared, and ate eel. His writing allows the reader to feel as though they are sitting at the kitchen table as well. Also, the whole Freud connection blew me away. The definitely don‘t teach you that bit in psych class! 3mo
AllDebooks @Readergrrl this is what we're currently reading for January. In Feb a few of us will be reading 3mo
AllDebooks @daena Svensson is a very warm, engaging writer, isn't he? I do think I'd have to pass on the eel donners though 🤔 3mo
Caterina I'm loving it so far! It's informative but fun and easy to read, and good on audio. I told my husband about the Freud part, and it's been cracking us both up 😂 Freud futilely searching for eel penises, then switching to his whole penis-envy psych stuff 😂 And I love the mystery of eels, such cool little guys 😍 I love learning about the limits of our knowledge! 3mo
AllDebooks @Caterina haha, love that you're both laughing at the Freud part 😆 3mo
Julsmarshall This book is such a delight! I keep reading bits of info to my husband and he is as surprised as I am. Who knew eels were such cool, mysterious little creatures?! 3mo
SamAnne I loved the Aristotle chapter, all the arguments over how eels reproduced: a window into the larger arguments going on over evolution, reproduction, etc in the scientific world of the day. While this book is about an entirely different eel species, I've worked a bit on Pacific Lamprey protection, a Pacific NW US eel that between ocean and rivers. Not as well known as salmon, but very important to Tribes. And a face only a mother could love! 3mo
AllDebooks @SamAnne 😍 I loved how the complexity of the eels life cycle has confounded some of our greatest thinkers for centuries. Just keep swimming, little eels 😊 2mo
TheBookHippie I‘m late😵‍💫🤣 so, I am terrified of eels they freak me out. Too snake like. However I‘m enjoying this learning a ton and sharing tidbits daily to my son! 💚 I‘d have never read this without this group so thank you! 2mo
AllDebooks @TheBookHippie I don't think I would have read it either, certainly wouldn't have been a tbr priority. That would have been a shame. This little volume contains so much information! 2mo
Chrissyreadit I‘m just finishing chapter 5- so have to read this thread- but this is so much more interesting than I expected!!! 2mo
AllDebooks @Chrissyreadit I think this little book has surprised us all tbh. 😊 2mo
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I think I‘m still recovering from the new year. I have read a little. I started this for #naturalisty and read this week‘s section. So far it seems like we found a lovely nonfiction writer.

AllDebooks I'm so glad you like it. He's a wonderful writer, isn't he? 3mo
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This quote made me think of all the times I spent fishing with my father. Sitting in a boat, watching the line, not talking but feeling like we had the “best talk.“ Awe, I miss him (I know that's not what is entirely happening in this passage), but it just triggered this memory for me.


Bklover I always think of those as magical memories. Perfect moments for you and your dad! 3mo
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#Naturalitsy #NaturaLitsyBingo2023 FROM @Alldebooks

Have you made a start? Do you plan ahead or fit in books as and when you read them? I've bookmarked a few titles for each category. I'll choose as we go through the year. The good news is our January read fits the water prompt, so 1 down already 😀
Feel free to join us, all nature lovers welcome 💚🌳💚

AllDebooks Thank you for the share x 3mo
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"We were in a place where the need for talking was limited, a place where nature was best enjoyed in silence. The reflected moonlight, the hissing grass, the shadow of the trees, the monotonous rushing of the stream & the bats like hovering asterisks above it all. YOU HAD TO BE QUIET TO MAKE YOURSELF PART OF THE WHOLE."

SamAnne The writing is beautiful in this book! 3mo
jlhammar Lovely passage. 3mo
CaitZ I learned so much in just the first chapter. It's fascinating 3mo
AllDebooks @SamAnne It's certainly very poetic, evocative writing 😍 3mo
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#Naturalitsy #NaturaLitsyBingo2023

Have you made a start? Do you plan ahead or fit in books as and when you read them? I've bookmarked a few titles for each category. I'll choose as we go through the year. The good news is our January read fits the water prompt, so 1 down already 😀
Feel free to join us, all nature lovers welcome 💚🌳💚


MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm I‘ve got some choices planned for a few of the prompts, but several are still open. I‘m hoping our monthly picks will help fill in some of the gaps as we go. 😅 3mo
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Week 1 - Ch 1 - 5

I'm hooked already, how about you?

Anyone wishing to join us, please comment and I'll add you to the tag list.

Discussion thread will be posted on Saturday 😊

TheKidUpstairs I read this one last month and absolutely loved it. Enjoy! 3mo
AllDebooks @TheKidUpstairs thank you 😊 I can't put it down!! I know a few in our group have already finished it and loved it too. Should make for interesting discussions!! You're more than welcome to join in, if you want me to add you to the taglist x 3mo
TheKidUpstairs @AllDebooks yes, please add me, would love to join. I went in expecting it to be interesting, but was surprised by how completely engaging it was, I couldn't put it down either! 3mo
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MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm I was tempted to keep reading last night but I‘m trying to pace myself. 😅 I keep thinking of the River Monsters episode with the New Zealand Longfin Eel. 3mo
Ann_Reads The writing is engaging. The chapters about eel fishing are even interesting, although I'd never do it myself. 3mo
Hooked_on_books Just got the book today and would like to join! 3mo
AllDebooks @Hooked_on_books That's great, welcome to #NaturaLitsy. I'll be posting the discussion thread tomorrow. 😊 3mo
AllDebooks @Hooked_on_books Here's the reading schedule post, if you wish to follow it. 😀 3mo
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So excited to start this one :) I haven‘t used my kindle in forever ! Maybe this will be a new era for me :)


SamAnne Me too! 3mo
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Sending you all a heartfelt message for a happy & healthy 2023.

Don't forget our 1st #buddyread of the year starts tomorrow.

LeeRHarry Happy New Year to you too Debbie! 🎉 Thanks for running #naturalitsy, I may not be a very active participant but I enjoy all the nature discussions nevertheless 😊 3mo
AllDebooks @LeeRHarry I'm so glad you're enjoying it. Here's to a great 2023 x 3mo
jlhammar Thanks, Happy New Year! I‘m excited to start this. 3mo
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CaitZ Happy New Year!🎉 3mo
Ann_Reads Thanks for the schedule post and Happy 2023!!!! 🎊🎉 3mo
AllDebooks @jlhammar @CaitZ @Ann_Reads Happy New Year to you all xxx 3mo
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Here's our reading schedule for our 1st chosen book of 2023. 🎉🙌 Please note, this is also published as The gospel of eels in some areas.

Start date - Monday 2nd January.
Weekly reminder of the schedule on Mondays Discussion thread on Saturdays.

Thank you all for helping me build our amazing nature-lover's community.

All welcome. Please let me know if you would like to be added/removed from the tag list.


TheBookHippie 🤍🌱 3mo
jlhammar Yay! Looking forward to it. 3mo
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claudiuo Looking forward to it. Thank you! 3mo
SamAnne I‘m really looking forward to this one! I‘ve worked to help protect Pacific Lampreys and I have a soft spot for eels! (edited) 3mo
AllDebooks @SamAnne oh wow, that must have been amazing!! 3mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Woohoo! Excited to kick off the year with this one. 3mo
Chelsea.Poole Thanks! I have my library copy ready! 3mo
rockpools As usual, I‘ll be joining you late. Meant to pick up my library copy at work tomorrow, but Covid happened, so should get it next week instead. I‘ve heard SUCH GOOD THINGS though! 3mo
daena I would love to be added! 3mo
tdrosebud My copy is on order, hopefully it will be in sometime this week 3mo
TEArificbooks Please add me to the tags as well 3mo
BookBelle84 I'd like to be added as well! I've been looking at this book for awhile 3mo
Jess861 Interested in joining (hoping I can get my hands on the copy our library has). 3mo
AllDebooks @tdrosebud 😍 @daena @mdm139 @BookBelle84 @Jess861 welcome to #NaturaLitsy I've added you to tag list. 😀 3mo
TheBookHippie Have you read the tagged book? If so look at this Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening https://a.co/d/c2yD5yA 3mo
AllDebooks @TheBookHippie I have read Silent Spring, not heard of your suggestion. Obvs, it's now stacked!! Thank you for sharing it. How are you feeling? I hope you're on the mend x 3mo
TheBookHippie @AllDebooks Still battling migraines most likely a long COVID affect … ugh. I saw neurologist yesterday -going to migraine clinic on his referral. At least all brain scans are clear and it‘s not strokes or tumors. I have good days and bad -just trying to manage triggers with out having my sense of smell back, very frustrating. 3mo
AllDebooks @TheBookHippie oh I am sorry, that does sound tough. At least, your scan yielded good results. That must be a relief. Always happy to chat if you need a shoulder x 3mo
TheBookHippie @AllDebooks Thanks I have multiple health autoimmune issues -all controlled by lifestyle and diet. Knowing I may have to take a strong medication for awhile is depressing … I use Motrin 800 for bad days- but I may need to be on something else… to stop them from happening. BUT they agree I do better with my way … we shall see -they want to see if melatonin and magnesium could help. So I‘m researching today… it‘s a wait for appoint to clinic. 3mo
AllDebooks @TheBookHippie you got this! Managing chronic illness is a challenge, the biggest being mindset. Just enjoy the good days and be kind to yourself on the bad x 3mo
Blackink_WhitePaper I m happy to take part in the discussion . Please include me in the discussion. I have read this book just two months back . 3mo
Larkken Looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks! I enjoyed this on audiobook a couple months ago. 3mo
ElizaMarie So excited to start this one. I need to update my Kindle so I have that option and my phone option to read it :) 3mo
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Our reads for Jan/Feb 2023 are two short volumes.

Jan - the tagged (also published as The gospel of eels) (256p)
Feb - Poseiden's steed - Helen Scale (272p)

I will post our reading schedule at the end of the month, a weekly reminder & a discussion post at the end of each week.

All welcome to join in 😃


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We have a winner. Our Jan/Feb read is The book of eels. Funnily enough, there are 2 books with the same title. What are the chances? We're reading the tagged copy.

Thank you all for your votes. It was a very close run between the top 3

Bookwomble I've got the other one! 😄 4mo
AllDebooks @Bookwomble lol, so have I 🙄 4mo
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AllDebooks This may be difficult to get hold of out of USA. No ebook available in UK. The cheapest I could find it for was in the following link 4mo
Dilara Yay! That's the one I voted for - simply because it's available on scribd! 4mo
AllDebooks @Dilara oh, I checked on there. Not available here in UK. Just the Tom Fort book 😔 4mo
Dilara @AllDebooks That's disappointing. 4mo
Chelsea.Poole Looking forward to this read! Hope you all can get ahold of it. 4mo
Graywacke Hopefully everyone can get the book. Thanks @AllDebooks for holding the vote. 4mo
Graywacke Is The Gospel of Eels the same book? 4mo
Graywacke I can‘t find confirmation but i think they are the same book. So you might search out both titles. 4mo
jlhammar @Graywacke I think you're correct. Looks like Gospel of the Eels is the UK title (it is listed as a different/alternate edition in Goodreads). Look forward to reading this with you all! 4mo
AllDebooks @Graywacke great detection work, thank you 😀 4mo
Caterina Yay! This one sounds great, and it's available both as audio and as ebook on Hoopla! 4mo
ElizaMarie Ooo do we tag anyone? or just use the #NaturalLitsy 3mo
AllDebooks Use the #NaturaLitsy and me please 3mo
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Svensson combines scientific inquiry about eels with a memoir of his father and their eel fishing expeditions. It vaguely reminds me of Lab Girl. Apparently the scientific knowledge of eels is vast but incomplete. The author (in translation- the original is in Swedish) weaves together the known science about eels with his family history. It is, as the author told the NYT, “a very strange and nerdy book.”

SamAnne Oh I can‘t wait to read this book! I work on dam removal—which is needed not just for salmon but also Pacific Lamprey eels! I‘ve become a bit obsessed with the weird creatures. 3y
Erynecki @SamAnne I see Rachael Carson in your feed - you‘ll definitely find this book fascinating. He writes towards the later half of the book about Carson‘s interest in eels. 3y
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“What kind of person chooses to become an eel fisherman? What does the eel provide such a person with? A profession and an income is the simple answer. But that‘s not the whole story. True, the eel has been an important source of food in large parts of Europe throughout history, but it has always been tricky. Difficult to catch, difficult to understand,enigmatic and to many people simply unpleasant. It has forced fishermen to develop special cont

RowReads1 methods and tools;it‘s peculiar behavior has kept the fishing industry small scale even though demand has been high. It can‘t be farmed like salmon, for instance;in fact, it won‘t breed in captivity at all. As a source of nourishment, the eel is crucial for a lot of people, but it‘s rarely been cooperative. And today, when fewer and fewer people eat eel and catches are shrinking, why become an eel fisherman at all? 3y
Tex2Flo Intrigued. Always curious about unusual careers. 3y
ElizaMarie I read the little blurb on Amazon, and I am hooked! I am so excited to read this one. I ended up doing a Kindle version (I prefer paperback, but with Christmas coming, our mailman is already delivering a bunch of things to wrong addresses, so I worry I wouldn't get it) 3mo
RowReads1 @ElizaMarie it‘s pretty fascinating! Enjoy! 3mo
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Vinjii 🧐🧐🧐 3y
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StaceyKondla I was ogling this book at work today! Gorgeous cover and fascinating subject matter 3y
SamAnne Yes! I read the review in the NYT. It‘s on my TBR list. 3y
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