The Consolations of the Forest

By Sylvain Tesson, Linda Coverdale (translator),

Book cover of The Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin on the Siberian Taiga

Book description

Sylvain Tesson, found a radical solution to his need for freedom, one as ancient as the experiences of the hermits of old Russia: he decided to lock himself alone in a cabin in the middle taiga, on the shores of Baikal, for six months. Noting carefully his impressions of the…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Consolations of the Forest as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is through and through simply a gorgeous little book.

I enjoyed rereading it for this article. The largest body of fresh water on earth is Lake Baikal, not far east of Irkutsk in Siberia.

(If you’ve never heard of Baikal, that’s a measure of the variety of wonders to be found in the high north. Baikal holds so much water because it’s so deep: the world’s deepest at more than 5300 feet). If you ever have the opportunity you must visit.

My wife and I have traveled together a good bit, and I don’t feel we’re cloistered in any…

From Bill's list on to understand the high north.

“Fifteen kinds of ketchup. That’s the sort of thing that made me want to withdraw from this world”.  So French nomad Sylvain Tesson retreated to a cabin in the woods on the edge of Lake Baikal, in the middle of Siberia. He took a lot of dried pasta with him, and Tabasco sauce, along with litres and litres of vodka. His account of six months cabinning in the taiga are poignant and sublimely poetic. His book is replete with leisurely ruminations on, amongst other topics, French literature, testosterone-fuelled herd behaviour (his words), messy love affairs, alcoholism, and the joys of…

From Louisa's list on the intimate lives of landscapes.

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