The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating Info

Check out our selection of the best cooking, food, and wine books of the month and the best books and ebooks of the year so far. Do you want to download The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating? Still asking yourself if The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey is the best book to download? We are here to help you - Check out over #reviewcount# reviews. Read&Download The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey Online Author:Elisabeth Tova Bailey Formats:Paperback,Hardcover,Kindle,Audible Audiobook,MP3 CD Publication Date:Sep 6, 2016 Ratings: 4.32 of 9338


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
understanding 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.



Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.32

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Reviews for The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating:

5

Jan 14, 2011

Elisabeth Tova Bailey was 34 when she was struck with a mysterious, flu-like illness while traveling in Switzerland. Upon her return home, the flu symptoms subsided, but her health did not return. She found herself so weak and dizzy she was barely able to sit up, let alone stand or care for herself, and her doctors had no idea why.

Bailey's life changed radically at that point, shrinking to a single room almost entirely cut off from the outside world. On impulse, a friend brought her a pot of Elisabeth Tova Bailey was 34 when she was struck with a mysterious, flu-like illness while traveling in Switzerland. Upon her return home, the flu symptoms subsided, but her health did not return. She found herself so weak and dizzy she was barely able to sit up, let alone stand or care for herself, and her doctors had no idea why.

Bailey's life changed radically at that point, shrinking to a single room almost entirely cut off from the outside world. On impulse, a friend brought her a pot of wild violets and a woodland snail she'd found on a walk. Both Bailey and the snail were initially confused by this sudden change to their ecosystems, but it wasn't long before Bailey, who lacked the strength to hold a book or watch an assaultively noisy television, found herself mesmerized by her new companion.

Over the course of this small book, Bailey learns to care for and relate to this tiny creature whose pace so closely matches her own. Her discoveries about the snail unfold with unexpected delight, and her pages teach us about both the enchanting secrets of mollusks and the psychology of successfully managing a debilitating illness.

It's hard to describe just how phenomenally well written this book is. One wouldn't think that a book about a sick woman and her snail would be much of a page-turner, but I found myself looking forward to its lovely, quiet discoveries and profound insights with real anticipation.

This is in part because Bailey has taken the time to masterfully craft each sentence in this book, eliminating anything unnecessary in the way that those of us with limited energy are required to do. She has also kept the focus extremely tight, with the snail and its compelling habits at the center, her own illness in the background, and the rest of the world and the other humans in it on the hazy periphery. It is an enormously powerful and effective piece of writing that moved me a great deal, and not just because I have a milder version of Bailey's disease. At its core, this is a book about finding connection in the midst of punishing isolation and hope in the face of cruel and unexpected loss. It's one of the most beautiful and quietly inspiring books I've ever read. ...more
5

Sep 15, 2016

Solace in a snail....

I read this book - and I write this review in honor of Dov Zeller- who shares the same disease as Elizabeth Tova Bailey which often keeps him bedridden.

"Slime is the sticky essence of a gastropod's soul, the medium for everything in its
life: locomotion, defense, healing, courting, mating, and egg protection. Nearly 1/3
at my snails daily energy went into slime production. And rather than making a single batch of "all-purpose" slime, my snail had a species-specific recipe Solace in a snail....

I read this book - and I write this review in honor of Dov Zeller- who shares the same disease as Elizabeth Tova Bailey which often keeps him bedridden.

"Slime is the sticky essence of a gastropod's soul, the medium for everything in its
life: locomotion, defense, healing, courting, mating, and egg protection. Nearly 1/3
at my snails daily energy went into slime production. And rather than making a single batch of "all-purpose" slime, my snail had a species-specific recipe for each of these needs and for different parts of its body. It could adjust the ingredients, just as a good cook would, to meet a particular occasion. And in a catastrophic accident in which a snail is squashed, it can release a flood of life saving, medicinal mucus packed with
antioxidants and regenerative properties".

After reading "The Sound of A Wild Snail Eating", 190 little pages, by Elizabeth Tova Bailey... your relationship with the Snail,... [ Neohelix albolabris], will be transformed.

You'll never see a snail in the same way again. You might even make a new tiny companion.

A lovely gift to a friend......( and yourself)

*Dov, the weight of the world 'literally' pins you down horizontally much too often...
I'm sorry, so sorry! -- but I must share... you inspire me as much as Bailey! With the many friends popping in to visit you - your music - Friday night Shabbat story time at your house- your love of nature and birds - and you're as talented of a writer as Elizabeth Bailey. I should know ---I've read your novel!! - waiting for the world to read it!!! Thanks for being an 'inspiration' to 'many'. You are to me!!
...more
4

Feb 15, 2019

When Elisabeth Bailey is bedridden for months on end due to severe illness, it takes observing the slow, placid life of a snail to bring meaning back into her own.

This book was inspirational, informative, and carried an ephemeral air. It reminds me of why I first decided to study biology, before all the exams and bills and stress. Nature is simply fascinating if you take the time to look and the author managed to capture that fascination in words to share with the world.

This book is not for When Elisabeth Bailey is bedridden for months on end due to severe illness, it takes observing the slow, placid life of a snail to bring meaning back into her own.

This book was inspirational, informative, and carried an ephemeral air. It reminds me of why I first decided to study biology, before all the exams and bills and stress. Nature is simply fascinating if you take the time to look and the author managed to capture that fascination in words to share with the world.

This book is not for those seeking action and adventure. It follows the snail in the fashion of a snail, moving slowly and surely. Reading it felt like peace, in book form, so if you're looking for a breather after a chaotic day, this is the book for you. ...more
5

Oct 26, 2010

Loved loved it.

First I have to tell you something about myself. I am known as the snail saviour. I am always telling everybody when they are visiting and tread in my garden, beware of my snails.



They are scared when they accidently do step on one because they know I will get my whip out!



A few weeks ago I removed most of the snails I could find from my back garden to my front garden, because I knew my dad and brother would not notice if they'd walk on my snails, while they were installing a new Loved loved it.

First I have to tell you something about myself. I am known as the snail saviour. I am always telling everybody when they are visiting and tread in my garden, beware of my snails.



They are scared when they accidently do step on one because they know I will get my whip out!



A few weeks ago I removed most of the snails I could find from my back garden to my front garden, because I knew my dad and brother would not notice if they'd walk on my snails, while they were installing a new fence in my garden.

Two days ago my neigbour knocked on my window. I have something here for you?I thought "hmm maybe some nice food?" No it was a bowl filled with snails.


She had been working in her garden and knew I did not want her to kill snails, so she gave them back to me. And of course returned them to my back garden. I do not care if they eat my plants.


Anyway. I found out I did not know much about them after reading this book. I loved how she enjoyed watching her snail and her story made me realize how important ones health is. I have been in a lot of pains for year but I finally know what caused it and feel good.But you forget so quickly how bad it was.

Health is really the most important thing of all but it is so easy to forget, especially when you are young and feeling great. :)

Loved her writing style and I highly recommend this lovely book. ...more
5

Oct 06, 2011

I never thought reading a book about a snail could be such a rewarding experience. Who knew so many people had written poems about snails?
Who knew that snails have a life and intelligence? I do now. I know a lot about snails that I never knew before. Until this wonderful book came my way, I thought the only good snail was a dead one.

Come on, you know you think the same thing! Read this book, it may change your mind.

Elisabeth Tova Bailey's story about a garden snail, picked up in the woods one I never thought reading a book about a snail could be such a rewarding experience. Who knew so many people had written poems about snails?
Who knew that snails have a life and intelligence? I do now. I know a lot about snails that I never knew before. Until this wonderful book came my way, I thought the only good snail was a dead one.

Come on, you know you think the same thing! Read this book, it may change your mind.

Elisabeth Tova Bailey's story about a garden snail, picked up in the woods one day and transported into her sick room in a pot of wild violets is amazing. It is a journey in learning and discovery; first about a very special snail and second about a very special woman with an illness that most of us could never dream of experiencing. You will find unexpected humor, gentle revelations, amazing insight and awsome research all in less than 120 pages that will leave you feeling grateful to be well and part of a world that includes such an insignificant creature as a garden snail. ...more
5

May 14, 2011

Dear, dear gastropod...how was I to know that you are the epitome of elegance and strength of character?

Bailey develops a mysterious illness at the end of a trip to the Swiss Alps. While convalescing on her farm in Maine, she is trying to adjust to the sudden loss of control in her life. Practically incapacitated, and depending on the assistance of a caregiver and irregular visits from friends, she soon succumbs to depression and the monotony of the sick bed. A friend decides to bring nature to Dear, dear gastropod...how was I to know that you are the epitome of elegance and strength of character?

Bailey develops a mysterious illness at the end of a trip to the Swiss Alps. While convalescing on her farm in Maine, she is trying to adjust to the sudden loss of control in her life. Practically incapacitated, and depending on the assistance of a caregiver and irregular visits from friends, she soon succumbs to depression and the monotony of the sick bed. A friend decides to bring nature to her by planting wild violets in a pot, along with a little woodland snail that she happens to find in the woods, and placing them by her bedside.

What follows is a close observation of this little creature's habits and well...personality! No longer lonely, Bailey looks forward to each new day, and develops a voracious appetite for more snail research. The snail's determination, strength, and even romantic sensibilities are examples that are emulable. I could list all the great things that make snails so cool, but then you wouldn't read the book, right? Ugh! You're a sly one...

Although Bailey attributed all of the snail's intricate qualities to the theory of Evolution, her observations and case notes pointed me in the opposite direction. I was bowled over by it's intelligent design, and the intelligent Creator behind it. Nothing was missed, from the way a snail ensures it's survival during winter to it's courtship rituals. Snails are deep! So true are the words found at Romans 1:20 "...For His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable..."

If you get a chance to read this, please do. I'm sure you'll relate to both the snail and the author, especially if you're an introvert, or find that you can't do what you used to do because of declining health. Take a lesson from the gastropod, and keep sliming ever forward!


Climb Mount Fuji
O snail
but slowly, slowly


—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) ...more
5

Sep 12, 2016

The other day I was telling a sick friend about this book and I told her the author has an illness that sounds very much like ours and my friend said, 'no wonder she can hear the snails eating!' Because some people with this illness have chronic migraine symptoms including horrific sound sensitivity (which I sometimes call bionic hearing.)

As it turns out, the author does have the same illness as I do. The poorly named Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As Laura Hillenbrand, author of sea biscuit says, The other day I was telling a sick friend about this book and I told her the author has an illness that sounds very much like ours and my friend said, 'no wonder she can hear the snails eating!' Because some people with this illness have chronic migraine symptoms including horrific sound sensitivity (which I sometimes call bionic hearing.)

As it turns out, the author does have the same illness as I do. The poorly named Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As Laura Hillenbrand, author of sea biscuit says, “This illness is to fatigue what a nuclear bomb is to a match. It's an absurd mischaracterization.”

Bailey writes beautifully about snails and about illness. Her descriptions of both are vivid and powerful, at times stunning, at others charming.

“As the snail’s world grew more familiar my own human world became less so; my species was so large, so rushed, and so confusing. I found myself preoccupied with the energy level of my visitors, and I started to observe them in the same detail with which I observed the snail. The random way my friends moved around the room astonished me; it was a if they didn’t know what to do with their energy. They were so careless with it. There were spontaneous gestures of their arms, the toss of a head, a sudden bend into a full body stretch as if it were nothing at all; or they might comb their fingers unnecessarily through their hair.”(50)

“With only 32 adult teeth, which had to last the rest of my life, I found myself experiencing tooth envy toward my gastropod companion. It seemed far more sensible to be a species that had evolved natural tooth replacement than to belong to one that had developed the dental profession." (50)

"I combed through scientific gastropod literature, eager to know more about my companion. I learned that snails re extremely sensitive to the ingestion of toxic substances from pollution and to changes in environmental conditions, such as temperature, moisture, wind, and vibration. I could relate to this, as my dysfunctional autonomic nervous system made me sensitive to these things as well.
Since I was unable to tolerate most drugs, my doctor prescribed treatments at such minute doses that a pharmacist said he felt as if he were dispensing medication to a mouse. My body’s temperature regulation no longer worked. One moment I was chilled, and the next too hot; this made life as a cold-blooded poikilotherm seem appealing. Before my illness I had slept like a log with no window shades drawn; now my room had to be pitch black at night. The sound of the telephone sent a tsunami-like shock wave coursing through me, so I kept the ringer turned off. I could listen only to music that was slow and continuous; anything with individually punctuated notes was too jarring. This restricted my entertainment to the calm of Gregorian chants at a barely audible level. I wondered if the snail could sense the vibrations through the air, and what the Benedictine monks would think of singing to a gastropod. (59-60)

I don't remember what drew me to get this book out of the library, but I'm so glad I did. Not only was it meaningful to read a book written by someone whose experiences of illness are similar to my own, but her writing about gastropods is so fantastic. Full of such a delight of details. Darwin's agony in trying to understand how land mollusks made their way to isolated islands. (It nearly drove him mad.) Gerald Durrell's observation of snails mating and the wild and fantastic existence of the 'love dart.'

I think some of my favorite parts were excerpts from many different naturalistic texts as well as hearing Bailey talk about literary addresses of snails.

"In most languages, the word for ‘snail’ refers to its spiral shape: in Native American language Wabanaki, the term is Wiwilimeq, for ‘spiraling water creature.’ Giovanni Francesco Angelita, an Italian scholar, wrote an essay in 1607 titled ‘On the Snail and That It Should Be the Example for Human Life.’ He praises the creature’s thoughtful pace and good morals and credits it with inspiring everything spiral, from the invention of drill bits to Europe’s most famous staircases.

"As a snail grows, its mantle secretes material at the shell opening, thus lengthening and widening its house by increments to keep up with its expanding body size. A snail’s shell is ‘part and parcel of the animal itself,’ points out the 19th century naturalist Seamless Wood, as quoted in British Conchology. And Edgar Allan Poe, in an odd leap from his usual macabre genre, comments in the preface to The Conchologist’s First Book in 1839 that ‘the relation of the animal and shell, with their dependence upon each other, is a radically important consideration in the examination of either.’

"My snail’s shell had five and a half turns or whorls around its center starting point. I could see the past growth lines, and its final shell opening was elegantly rounded off with a wide, creamy lip. Was this curved lip a way to strengthen the shell edge? Perhaps it was a sort of built-in gutter system. I would learn, soon enough, that this detail proved, irrevocably, my snail’s maturity.

"In Italo Calvino’s book Cosmicomics, in a story titled ‘The Spiral’, the molluscan narrator expounds on the art of shell making and reflects on what it is like to be part shell. But it was the gastropod narrator in Elizabeth Bishop’s poem ‘Giant Snail’ that is so enchanted with its own she’ll that it made me want my own:

'Ah, but I know my shell is beautiful, and high, and glazed, and shining. I know it well, although I have not seen it. Its curled white lip is of the finest enamel. Inside, it is as smooth as silk, and I, I fill it to perfection.'"

Who knew Poe wrote a book about snails? "The Conchologist's First Book." And Patricia Highsmith was a bit obsessed with them and wrote two stories in which snails play a rather large (wink, nudge) role. (You will find both Highsmith stories in Eleven http://bookdirtblog.blogspot.com/2013....

As it turns out I wrote my college thesis on Elizabeth Bishop's "The Giant Snail", so I knew about that one, but it was still magnificent to read excerpts in "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating."

https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~cinichol...

Sometimes the way she makes connections between snail life and CFS/ME life feels a little forced, but all in all I thought this was a beautifully researched and written book with a lot to offer those who love natural sciences and those who love seeing connections between science and literature and for those who are sick or have loved ones who suffer from chronic illness.



...more
5

Oct 15, 2016

If you need to slow down.
(Don't we all?)

If you want to marvel at the little wonders of the natural world.
(Slime and tenatacles that taste and love darts, no lie.)

If you cherish moments of peace strewn among the madness of a work day.
(Five minutes on the metro is enough.)

My own brain is chugging along too slowly to properly explain why you should read this tale of a bed-bound woman and her foray into the world of snails. All I know is that every time I picked up this book, it is exactly what I If you need to slow down.
(Don't we all?)

If you want to marvel at the little wonders of the natural world.
(Slime and tenatacles that taste and love darts, no lie.)

If you cherish moments of peace strewn among the madness of a work day.
(Five minutes on the metro is enough.)

My own brain is chugging along too slowly to properly explain why you should read this tale of a bed-bound woman and her foray into the world of snails. All I know is that every time I picked up this book, it is exactly what I wanted to be reading. I wish I was reading it still. ...more
4

Jan 07, 2011

I allowed myself a long and slow read for this small memoir of one year during a woman's lengthy, 20 year convalescence from an unknown virus. That year was made special by the presence of a snail brought in from the woods outside by a visitor. The author, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, was unable to live in her own home at that time, was feeling alienated from life, her surroundings, and felt isolated. This small creature led her to a year of observation, learning, fostering, and companionship. I I allowed myself a long and slow read for this small memoir of one year during a woman's lengthy, 20 year convalescence from an unknown virus. That year was made special by the presence of a snail brought in from the woods outside by a visitor. The author, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, was unable to live in her own home at that time, was feeling alienated from life, her surroundings, and felt isolated. This small creature led her to a year of observation, learning, fostering, and companionship. I learned facts I never knew that I wanted to know about the life cycle of the snail. And also I've confirmed a fact I've learned for myself... that the human spirit will find the means if at all possible to sustain itself and that companionship can come in many forms. ...more
3

Nov 02, 2016

Smoothly written, mildly interesting meditation on invalidism.
Mysteriously and drastically ill, the author observes the behavior of a snail a friend has left in some flowers by her bedside.



Then, I must confess I got bored and did not finish the book, but I think that's just me. This isn't really my kind of book. The friend who gave it to me liked a lot and read it multiple times.
5

Jan 28, 2018

What a lovely book. No wonder it has fans. And it spoke to me very personally.

The author fell ill after a mysterious infection on a trip to Europe, leaving her housebound with chronic illness. I, too, was left with chronic illness by a viral infection, and I deeply empathize with the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social implications of being chronically ill, including the isolation factor. More than that, I've had a lifelong love of bugs and little crawly, creepy creatures, with What a lovely book. No wonder it has fans. And it spoke to me very personally.

The author fell ill after a mysterious infection on a trip to Europe, leaving her housebound with chronic illness. I, too, was left with chronic illness by a viral infection, and I deeply empathize with the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social implications of being chronically ill, including the isolation factor. More than that, I've had a lifelong love of bugs and little crawly, creepy creatures, with snails right up there among my favourites. I used to marvel at them and keep them as little pets.

So I thank The Reading Women https://www.readingwomenpodcast.com/the for putting "a book with someone with chronic illness" on their 2018 #readingwomenchallenge reading challenge list, and I thank Sheryl @AChVoice on Twitter for recommending this particular title. I'd forgotten it was on my TBR list, but I almost feel like it was written just for me. And so beautifully written, too!

And I just read that there is now an audiobook version: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog... ...more
4

Dec 20, 2011

I have often stated that I need to get my larnin in disguise; I need to be tricked into it.

Because of this, I have a fondness for biology books like Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body and The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, which do not read like textbooks; in which the author does not talk condescendingly and chapters read like an intriguing story book, with pictures.

Im pretty sure that author:Elisabeth Tova Bailey never intended to be a I have often stated that I need to get my larnin’ in disguise; I need to be tricked into it.

Because of this, I have a fondness for biology books like Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body and The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, which do not read like textbooks; in which the author does not talk condescendingly and chapters read like an intriguing story book, with pictures.

I’m pretty sure that author:Elisabeth Tova Bailey never intended to be a biology instructor, and I’m real sure that I never intended to learn all that much about a land snail.

This little book makes you want to learn what next happens to The Snail and how it carries on its daily job of living. Its position as a hospice companion was essential, and touched my heart as easily as any furry animal may have.
...more
5

Apr 08, 2018

Elisabeth Tova Bailey is the strongest and finest person/author I have yet to encounter. This her memoir, is also an educational document on the snail. Elisabeth suffers from an extremely debilitating condition rendering her to bed all of the time. Enter the snail. I think it got into her room on the clothes of a visitor. The snail made its home in a violet flower pot. And then Elisabeth began to watch and learn. The snail slept with her during the day and kept her company while she suffered her Elisabeth Tova Bailey is the strongest and finest person/author I have yet to encounter. This her memoir, is also an educational document on the snail. Elisabeth suffers from an extremely debilitating condition rendering her to bed all of the time. Enter the snail. I think it got into her room on the clothes of a visitor. The snail made its home in a violet flower pot. And then Elisabeth began to watch and learn. The snail slept with her during the day and kept her company while she suffered her insomniac nights. And the reader is benefited: we meet Elisabeth and suffer with her through her days and learn so much about the snail as well.

Eating
"The sound was of someone very small munching celery continuously. I watched, transfixed, as over the course of an hour the snail meticulously ate an entire purple petal for dinner."

Traveling
"My snail secreted a special kind of slime for locomotion, called pedal mucus, over which it traveled."

"The history of gastropod travel now included the unexpected journey of my own snail, which had arrived at my bedside by human transport."

Love-making!!
"The emotional natures of snails, as far as love and affection are concerned, seem to be highly developed, and they show plainly by their actions, when courting, the tenderness they feel for each other. —JAMES WEIR, The Dawn of Reason, 1899"

And finally
"IT CAME DOWN to this: I envied my snail’s many abilities. I wished I could create an epiphragm (a temporary structure) at a moment’s notice and seal myself off from the challenges around me. If I couldn’t, like a snail, have strength equal to many times my weight, I’d settle for just getting my normal strength back. If I couldn’t glide straight up a wall or sleep stuck to the ceiling, I wished I could at least walk upright with the rest of my species. I wanted to escape from the chink of illness in which I was stuck."

These might not be the best quotes to describe these areas, but that means the book contains much more to describe all there is to know about Elisabeth and her snail.

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK. You will learn and feel so much.

5 stars ...more
5

May 12, 2015

"Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life."--Edward O. Wilson

This quote is an epigraph to one of the chapters. Oh, how I love the quote and this little gem of a book. I'm thrilled to see it has over 3k reviews and won two awards. It's beautifully packaged with soft pencil drawings reminiscent of the 1970s and telling quotes about snails and nature at the start of each small chapter.

The book is a "Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life."--Edward O. Wilson

This quote is an epigraph to one of the chapters. Oh, how I love the quote and this little gem of a book. I'm thrilled to see it has over 3k reviews and won two awards. It's beautifully packaged with soft pencil drawings reminiscent of the 1970s and telling quotes about snails and nature at the start of each small chapter.

The book is a beautiful piece of nature writing, also doubling as a memoir. It's a reminder of how fragile human life is and how much depends on our body's vulnerability and ability to to heal itself. The author, recovering from a debilitating virus, is taken with a snail that a friend drops off to keep her company. The bond between such unlikely companions is fascinating, and we grow to understand how complex each creature, no matter how tiny, must be in the natural world.

I recall having a pet snail when I was very little, dragged back from the beach. One of those black ocean snails. It didn't live long away from its sea environment. This snail survives and indeed thrives in a terrarium, and Bailey's intense observations and facts gleaned from her readings are rendered exquisitely. I will never look at a snail or woodland creature the same way again.

Nature is a miracle, really, as are we, and the fact that Bailey recovers to tell this story is the best part of this journey. ...more
4

May 02, 2011

I accidentally read this. Downloaded a sample to my Kindle> liked it> bought the book to read later but just wanted to read a few more pages> read it all.

This is a quiet, intimate book about a woman and her land snail. The youthful author contracts some unknown and completely debilitating virus while vacationing abroad. This virus changes her body permanently. One day she is brimming with joyeux de vivre and the next day she is bedridden, betrayed by her body and literally without the I accidentally read this. Downloaded a sample to my Kindle> liked it> bought the book to read later but just wanted to read a few more pages> read it all.

This is a quiet, intimate book about a woman and her land snail. The youthful author contracts some unknown and completely debilitating virus while vacationing abroad. This virus changes her body permanently. One day she is brimming with joyeux de vivre and the next day she is bedridden, betrayed by her body and literally without the ability to sit up. She is physically and mentally isolated by her condition. Enter a small land snail, brought to her in a pot of violets, gifted to her by a friend.

The land snail becomes her connection to the living world. They live at the same pace. Through quiet observation, she learns much about her molluscan friend. Her own observations are enhanced by bouquets of snail science and lore from naturalists, writers and poets. The book is fascinating.

There is a lot of gratitude-for-small-things in this book. There are things that are important to our spirits that are drowned out by things that shout at us in our fast paced lives.

...more
0

May 17, 2014

I picked up this book because it seemed to be a quick read (190 pages) while I was waiting for another download for a library book to be available. Wow! What a surprise. Who knew snails could be so facinating? The author is a victim of a strange disease that keeps her bedridden. A friend brought her a pot of violets she had dug up in the woods, and there just happened to be a snail in residence. She becomes fascinated with his movements and motives and begins her research. They are intelligent I picked up this book because it seemed to be a quick read (190 pages) while I was waiting for another download for a library book to be available. Wow! What a surprise. Who knew snails could be so facinating? The author is a victim of a strange disease that keeps her bedridden. A friend brought her a pot of violets she had dug up in the woods, and there just happened to be a snail in residence. She becomes fascinated with his movements and motives and begins her research. They are intelligent little creatures who know how to adapt and get the most out of their slow, quiet lives.
This book is not just for naturalists, but anyone who loves a book about living with limitations and embracing who you are. There is a wonderful You Tube video for the book that actually has audio of the sound of a snail eating. The slow progress of the snail across the scene is mesmerizing, and it is a wonderful destresser. You can actually feel yourself relaxing as you watch. Recommended for all. ...more
5

Jun 17, 2012

Exquisitely written, beautiful narrative. I would happily be a snail in my next life....
4

Nov 04, 2010

Is it a memoir or a beautiful piece of nature writing? It is both, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a Neohelix albolabris, the common woodland snail, and encourage you to pick this book up and escape into a world you may never have known to exist...

Elisabeth Tova Bailey found herself suffering from a debilitating unknown illness that left her with severe neurological symptoms and virtually bedridden all the time. As her illness progressed, and as she had to move out of her farmhouse and to Is it a memoir or a beautiful piece of nature writing? It is both, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a Neohelix albolabris, the common woodland snail, and encourage you to pick this book up and escape into a world you may never have known to exist...

Elisabeth Tova Bailey found herself suffering from a debilitating unknown illness that left her with severe neurological symptoms and virtually bedridden all the time. As her illness progressed, and as she had to move out of her farmhouse and to a place where she could receive the care she needed, she felt herself more and more isolated from the outside world. One day a friend brought her a small pot of flowers and while walking through the woods spotted the perfect accessory to her gift- a small snail.

As the snail quietly came to life, and the hours of Elisabeth's isolation grew, a certain curiosity took over Elisabeth and she began to research the genealogy & life of her snail... The snail became the perfect companion to the hours Elisabeth spent in her own flowerpot, and she found an amazing similarity to her own life and that of the snail...

"The life of a snail is as full of tasty food, comfortable beds of sorts, and a mix of pleasant and not-so-pleasant adventures as that of anyone I know."

The story itself is sprinkled with snail lore, poetry and ancient & current studies. It is a fascinating glimpse into nature that is simply & beautifully written. It is a quiet story, filled with wonder. The story is a slim 170 pages from start to epilogue, with beautiful soft pencil drawings by Kathy Bray, and could be easily finished in one sitting. But to really enjoy it, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating should be slowly sipped like a delicious elixir...

Beautiful prose with a wonderful dash of nature writing that challenges us to slow down and observe the smaller world around us. In this wonderful observation of nature, Elisabeth Tova Bailey weaves her story with that of the common woodland snail, to teach us that life is worthwhile no matter how large, or small, your shell is... this would make a wonderful gift for any nature lover, or for someone recovering from an illness ...more
5

Sep 14, 2013

The most soothing book Ive ever read. It moves at a snails pace. Small in size, lyrical in language, precise in observation, delicate in articulation.

The author, Elizabeth Tova Bailey, is bedridden due to a mysterious auto-immune disease. A friend bringers her a flowerpot containing a wild violet from the nearby woods, and along with the plant, a snail. Bailey watches the snail and becomes fascinated by its journeys. Up and down the pot to sip the water that collects in the saucer. She figures The most soothing book I’ve ever read. It moves at a snail’s pace. Small in size, lyrical in language, precise in observation, delicate in articulation.

The author, Elizabeth Tova Bailey, is bedridden due to a mysterious auto-immune disease. A friend bringers her a flowerpot containing a wild violet from the nearby woods, and along with the plant, a snail. Bailey watches the snail and becomes fascinated by its journeys. Up and down the pot to sip the water that collects in the saucer. She figures out what to feed it (in the most dramatic moments of the book, the snail gluts on cornmeal and almost dies) and eventually moves it to a terrarium (a refurbished aquarium) where it settles in a lays eggs. The snail is mostly silent, although in the night, Bailey sometimes hears the tiny rasping sound of it eating. Bailey begins reading about snails and as she expands her knowledge of her quiet companion, her world begins to expand. By the end of the book she has recovered enough to move home and the snail and all 138 baby snails have been released in the woods from which the snail came.

But the true magic of this book is not that the snail healed the woman or that the woman recovered, but rather that loving attention to the smallest creature can open up a world of marvels. I felt refreshed after reading this book (which I read at an un-snail-like pace straight through in two hours) and also as if life had simultaneously slowed down and expanded.

Favorite Quote:
Inches from my bed and from each other stood the terrarium and a clock. While life in the terrarium flourished, time ticked away its seconds. But the relationship between time and the snail confused me. The snail would make its way through the terrarium while the hand of the clock barely moved—so I often thought the snail traveled faster than time. Then, absorbed in snail watching, I‘d find that time had flown by, unnoticed.

...more
2

Nov 08, 2011

The writing and the premise of this book were great but the execution left a lot to be desired. I sympathized with the authors horrible debilitating condition and felt the book offered a lot of insight about disability. However, the snail facts felt choppy and disconnected and I wish they had been incorporated into the narrative a bit better. The constant personification of the snail made me feel like the author kind of didnt understand the animal very well. For instance, constantly feeling bad The writing and the premise of this book were great but the execution left a lot to be desired. I sympathized with the author’s horrible debilitating condition and felt the book offered a lot of insight about disability. However, the snail facts felt choppy and disconnected and I wish they had been incorporated into the narrative a bit better. The constant personification of the snail made me feel like the author kind of didn’t understand the animal very well. For instance, constantly feeling bad that the snail was out of its natural environment, and wondering how the snail felt about the sights, sounds and smells of a hospital room would be like asking a dude in New York City whether Boston was bothering him… it’s just outside the scale of instantaneous sensory detection. Also, the endless snail-related quotations from literary and pseudo-scientific sources felt forced – like the author had found all these obscure references and was determined to include them no matter what. ...more
3

May 20, 2014

Uplifting observations make this a comfortable, peaceful read that also conveys some practical life lessons. Very easy, quick little read that I enjoyed.
5

Oct 11, 2017

What a beautiful little book! I read this as I have a chronic illness too, which the author uses as her theme of how it makes time stand still and makes you notice the little things while you're bedbound, not knowing where the illness will take you next. In her case, the little things was a woodland snail that a friend got for her as company. And the more she's restricted in what she can do each day, the more she watches what the snail gets up to and it's a fascinating study beautifully written What a beautiful little book! I read this as I have a chronic illness too, which the author uses as her theme of how it makes time stand still and makes you notice the little things while you're bedbound, not knowing where the illness will take you next. In her case, the little things was a woodland snail that a friend got for her as company. And the more she's restricted in what she can do each day, the more she watches what the snail gets up to and it's a fascinating study beautifully written that really captures your heart as you read.

Only about 170 pages long, but there's so much detail of the exploits of her snail and it really explores the ways of the snail!

A really heart warming book that is enlightening! Definitely recommend to those suffering with a chronic illness as you'll find yourself nodding along with thoughts that the author shares. ...more
5

Jul 16, 2013

I really enjoyed this book. It's the story of a woman who becomes extremely ill after a trip overseas, and is "gifted" a snail. As she is confined to her bed she begins to pay attention to what her little snail is up to. What ensues is a fascinating look at a snails life. I will never look at a snail the same way again. Their little lives are designed to perfection, and they can teach us all to slow down a little, and smell the roses (or snails)!
5

Apr 10, 2015

This was a lovely book. I have always had a thing for snails and slugs so when I happened across this title I bought it without looking into what it was. Im glad I didnt because if I were to describe it to you it would sound dull. It was not.

The author contracts a mysterious, debilitating disease and is prostrate for months on end, needing care from those around her and unable to move from her bed without assistance. She doesn't dwell on her disease or personal circumstances, but you get the This was a lovely book. I have always had a thing for snails and slugs so when I happened across this title I bought it without looking into what it was. I’m glad I didn’t because if I were to describe it to you it would sound dull. It was not.

The author contracts a mysterious, debilitating disease and is prostrate for months on end, needing care from those around her and unable to move from her bed without assistance. She doesn't dwell on her disease or personal circumstances, but you get the impression she must have been a physically active young woman before the illness. She lived on a farm, did a lot of gardening and obviously spent quite a bit of time outdoors. How much more depressing for someone like her to end up in that condition that someone who was already a bit more stationary and home bound?

During her convalescence a friend visits and while on a walk uproots a wild violet and brings inside a small, brown snail to keep the author company. Sounds silly, although I adore violets, and as I said before, really like snails. Because she is prone, the author cannot move the snail back outside and so they become companions of sorts. She becomes familiar with the snail’s daily rituals and patterns and does as much digging as she can to create as nice a living environment for her new friend as possible. During this digging (which takes place over decades) she learns so much more about the common snail than most people will ever know.

She peppers her narrative with facts and I for one found them fascinating. One of my favorite things about historical fiction is learning as I read. I have no idea what genre this book is, but I certainly learned a lot as I read! Snails are amazing!

The slow, languid style of the snail’s existence helps the author come to terms with her own convalescence. We get the impression she accepts her position more readily because of this little friend. Who would have thought 200 pages about a snail... a SNAIL, could be such a great read? ...more
4

Feb 10, 2015

When Elisabeth Tova Bailey returns from a vacation with a debilitating disease, she is confined to bedrest. A friend found a woodland snail and a bunch of field violets in the Maine woods to cheer her up. The snail was soon transferred from a flowerpot to a terrarium full of woodland plants, with a shell holding water and mushrooms for food. Bailey found watching the snail to be fascinating and relaxing:

"Watching it glide along was a welcome distraction and provided a sort of meditation; my When Elisabeth Tova Bailey returns from a vacation with a debilitating disease, she is confined to bedrest. A friend found a woodland snail and a bunch of field violets in the Maine woods to cheer her up. The snail was soon transferred from a flowerpot to a terrarium full of woodland plants, with a shell holding water and mushrooms for food. Bailey found watching the snail to be fascinating and relaxing:

"Watching it glide along was a welcome distraction and provided a sort of meditation; my often frantic and frustrated thoughts would gradually settle down to match its calm, smooth pace. With its mysterious, fluid movement, the snail was the quintessential tai chi master."

Bailey has written a little gem of a book packed full of information gleamed from her research about snails. The book also contains delightful little quotes from poets and naturalists at the start of each chapter. My favorite was from Kobayashi Issa:

"Climb Mount Fuji
O snail
But slowly, slowly"

The snail and its offspring were released into the woods after a year. Bailey's illness had several possible diagnoses: autoimmune dysautonomia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and mitochondrial disease. Twenty years later, she is still not well, but has had some improvement. A little snail helped her get through a year when it was impossible to maintain blood pressure in an upright position. She wrote:

"Watching another creature go about its life....somehow gave me, the watcher, purpose too. If life mattered to the snail and the snail mattered to me, it meant something in my life mattered, so I kept on."

Bailey also has a website where you can see a video of her snail, and actually listen to the sound of a wild snail eating. Each snail actually has around 2500 tiny teeth! Her website is:
www.elisabethtovabailey.net
...more

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