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Staff Picks

The Electricity of Every Living Thing: A Woman's Walk in the Wild to Find Her Way Home

Emily Porter

October 20, 2021

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This book is easy to devour and an incredibly raw and heartfelt story of one woman's wondrous venture of self-discovery. 

The Electricity of Every Living Thing: A Women’s Walk in the Wild to Find Her Way Home Katherine May, Melville House 

Katherine May decided to trek the South West Coast Path around her 38th birthday after coming to the realization that she might be autistic after listening to a radio interview. Taking small breaks from the duties of motherhood and career, she begins walking the 630-mile South West Coast path in increments, completing 25 miles a month, to find comfort within nature and to understand why she has always found certain things harder than most others. Through this journey of soul-searching, May begins to unravel why she recoils from or has to prepare herself for touch, why she has had a difficult time coping with motherhood and juggling her everyday, and why it feels like there is, well, electricity in every living thing, which for her is uncomfortable. May describes running into a large, loud group on the trail:  

People carry electricity for me; they have a current that surges around my body until I’m exhausted. It’s hard to pinpoint what it is, exactly; something about their noise, their unruly movement, the unpredictable demands they might make on me. It makes the air feel thick, like humanity has...not a scent, but a texture. It makes me feel like I can’t breathe. I had come to the woods to escape that, and yet here it was, following me. 

May, author of Wintering, which Porchilght named the best Personal Development & Human Behavior book of 2020, has again written a book that resonates to the soul. We walk with her as she relives moments of her past and relates her thoughts to us as if speaking to an old friend. She grapples with the idea that she may be autistic and what that may mean in her life, prompting her to look at her past with a gentler lens than before. This book is easy to devour and an incredibly raw and heartfelt story of one woman's wondrous venture of self-discovery. 

About The Author

Emily Porter is our Communications & Publicity Manager who loves conversing with the wonderful authors we work with. A film photographer and long-time film industry nomad, she has had a constant love for books throughout her life. When not at work she enjoys curling up with her cats, adding to her bookshelves, practicing yoga, and photographing new landscapes. Travel. Cats. Coffee. Tea. Film. Books. RadioLab. National Geographic. Patti Smith. Dinosaurs.

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