It’s not often that I find book reviews a delight to read, but Yaël Ksander’s consideration of “Shop Tails: The Animals Who Help Us Make Things Work” in the Limestone Reader is just that. “If the life of a woman who has not only made a living but also distinguished herself over the past four decades in the overwhelmingly masculine orbit of fine woodworking is not worthy of memoir, whose is,” writes Ksander. Indeed.
“Shop Tails is a paean to that life Hiller has made, bathed in the new light that reconciliation and reorientation have afforded. In that way, the comparison with Herriot’s All Creatures series finally seems apt, given that he named it after an Anglican children’s hymn extolling the wonders of the natural world. In the same spirit, Hiller’s book records the routines and pleasures of daily life and the flora and fauna (of all species) she has encountered along the way. Not a refuge from reality — like Kit and the mountain lion were for me as a child — but a mindful embrace of it.”
Click here to read the review in its entirety.