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One Hundred Miles by Daniel Thomas
Essays exploring 100 miles centered by author's nature preserve

The book I'm recommending, 100 miles, is about the sound the countryside makes. Daniel Thomas, who lives on 10 acres west of Chico near the Sacramento River, describes himself as a wanderer. But limitations imposed by a heart condition have obliged him to give priority to exploring places that are within 100 miles of where he lives. It's more than wanderlust that gets him out into the world. He writes: "When we as humans can, even for an instant, experience a certain transcendent greatness, whether physical moral, intellectual, metaphysical or artistic, we have discovered nirvana. And that's what Nature and its vastness does for me."

He finds it frustrating that other people aren't moved in the same way: "I've heard people complain about the 'endlessly boring' drive down the spine of our great valley. And I am puzzled. The finest, most diverse agricultural region in the world is boring? I think that a lot of people get so wound up in the essentials of making a living and so drawn into the brutality of our competitive culture that those very things that could ease that tension, like a hidden treasure, are buried and forgotten. The treasure's there but you've forgotten where you buried it." --Steve Brown, Chico Enterprise-Record

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He writes with "nostalgic eyes." His descriptions are like revisiting somewhere I've been. --Heather Lyon, Lyon Books

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