Tash Turgoose

"She turned to the sunlight, and shook her yellow head, and whispered to her neighbour, Winter is dead."
— A. A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

The strange thing about dreams coming true is that it starts to make you think differently — if I can do this, what else can I do? All of those crazy, far off, wonderful dreams... can I make them happen too? It makes dreams seem a little less scary, a little less crazy, a little more obtainable. 

One of those dreams has been to build this blog into something special — an online journal, filled with content that falls somewhere between the likes of National Geographic and Harper's Bazaar, filled with essays and interviews, features and reviews, adventures and animals and lifestyle and books. But, not just words — photography, illustrations and scrapbook diary-entry type journal entries. Something special, something different. An exhaustive account of the beauty of life. 

I've always been strangely reluctant to begin, though. Everything on the internet screams of over saturation, there are so many damn blogs out there, why bother? How can I launch something when the field is already full of people killing it? It seems too damn ambitious, even for me. But, 
we rarely apply that same logic to physical industries — we don't stop writing books because Stephen King and J.K. Rowling dominate the market. So, this is it, I'm doing it, I'm all in. 

Tash Turgoose

The Shell Collector

(c) Tash Turgoose

—   R E V I E W   —

"Every six hours the tides plowed shelves of beauty onto the beaches of the world, and here he was, able to walk out into it, thrust his hands into it, spin a piece of it between his fingers. To gather up seashells - each one in amazement - to know their names, to drop them into a bucket: this was what filled his life, what overfilled it."

I've figured it out. I know where this obsession is coming from. 
Anthony Doerr is the David Attenborough of the literary world.

Given my Attenborough love affair, this is a big, big call, I know, but read just a page or two, and you'll get it. Doerr's stories are a love affair with nature, laden with detail and fact in equal portions – like an Attenborough documentary type journey, making you fall in the love with the beauty of the world, and teaching you about it along the way. I can't imagine how long Doerr spends researching each story, but it's so worthwhile - knowledge seeps from every page in the most beautiful way.

The Shell Collector is the first in Doerr's short story collective, his debut book, also called The Shell Collector. So far, I've only read this story, but there are eight in total... so plenty more reviews (and illustrations!) to come! The Shell Collector tells the story of a blind malacologist (shell scientist) living on a tiny island in Kenya, studying shells whilst collecting them for a mainland museum. Each day he wades out onto the shallow reef and searches the corals with his fingertips, almost instantly identifying his finds by touch. The richness in Doerr's language means you feel the ridges, valleys, swirls of the shells alongside the protagonist as he collects... 
Along the way, there is love, heartbreak and miracles — it's a quick read, coming in at 35 pages, but a powerful one. 

Another wonderful thing about Doerr's writing is the Easter eggs — in The Shell Collector you can see the footprints leading to All The Light We Cannot See. Both title characters are blind, and just as The Shell Collector studies shells, Marie-Laure would spend her days in the shell sections of The Museum of Natural History, running her fingers over the grooves and twists... 

So, the Doerr love continues... 
I've acquired all but one of his books now (Memory Wall, I'm coming for you), and am slowing working my way through them. Damn, if I can write even HALF this good one day, I'll be content. With each review, I'll be creating illustrations to go along with them, too. 

Follow my socials to stay updated for when new reviews come out! 
I'm @TashTurgoose on everything. :) 

'til next time x