Here are the 48 best nature books of 2021 according to Google. Find your new favorite book from the local library with one click.
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity’s transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? “A superb and honest reflection of our extraordinary time.”–Nature That man should have dominion “over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that it’s said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. In Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish, which lives in a single tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a super coral that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth. One way to look at human civilization, says Kolbert, is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. In The Sixth Extinction, she explored the ways in which our capacity for destruction has reshaped the natural world. Now she examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.
“A timely and much needed call to plant, protect, and delight in these diverse, life-giving giants.” —David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen and The Songs of Trees With Bringing Nature Home, Doug Tallamy changed the conversation about gardening in America. His second book, the New York Times bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, urged homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. Now, he is turning his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom—the mighty oak tree. Oaks sustain a complex and fascinating web of wildlife. The Nature of Oaks reveals what is going on in oak trees month by month, highlighting the seasonal cycles of life, death, and renewal. From woodpeckers who collect and store hundreds of acorns for sustenance to the beauty of jewel caterpillars, Tallamy illuminates and celebrates the wonders that occur right in our own backyards. He also shares practical advice about how to plant and care for an oak, along with information about the best oak species for your area. The Nature of Oaks will inspire you to treasure these trees and to act to nurture and protect them.
At once joyous and somber, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore’s distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change. In this meditation on the music of the natural world, Moore celebrates the call of loons, howl of wolves, bellow of whales, laughter of children, and shriek of frogs, even as she warns of the threats against them. Each group of essays moves, as Moore herself has been moved, from celebration to lamentation to bewilderment and finally to the determination to act in defense of wild songs and the creatures who sing them. Music is the shivering urgency and exuberance of life ongoing. In a time of terrible silencing, Moore asks, who will forgive us if we do not save nature’s songs?
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES A powerful return to the forest, where trees have heartbeats and roots are like brains that extend underground. Where the color green calms us, and the forest sharpens our senses. In The Heartbeat of Trees, renowned forester Peter Wohlleben draws on new scientific discoveries to show how humans are deeply connected to the natural world.In an era of cell phone addiction, climate change, and urban life, many of us fear we’ve lost our connection to nature—but Peter Wohlleben is convinced that age-old ties linking humans to the forest remain alive and intact. Drawing on science and cutting-edge research, The Heartbeat of Trees reveals the profound interactions humans can have with nature, exploring: the language of the forest the consciousness of plants and the eroding boundary between flora and fauna. A perfect book to take with you into the woods, The Heartbeat of Trees shares how to see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste the forest. Peter Wohlleben, renowned for his ability to write about trees in an engaging and moving way, reveals a wondrous cosmos where humans are a part of nature, and where conservation and environmental activism is not just about saving trees—it’s about saving ourselves, too. Praise for The Heartbeat of Trees “As human beings, we’re desperate to feel that we’re not alone in the universe. And yet we are surrounded by an ongoing conversation that we can sense if, as Peter Wohlleben so movingly prescribes, we listen to the heartbeat of all life.” —Richard Louv, author of Our Wild Calling and Last Child in the Woods “Astonishment after astonishment—that is the great gift of The Heartbeat of Trees. It is both a celebration of the wonders of trees, and a howl of outrage at how recklessly we profane them.” —Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Earth’s Wild Music “As Peter Wohlleben reminds us in The Heartbeat of Trees, trees are the vocabulary of nature as forests are the brainbank of a living planet. This was the codex of the ancient world, and it must be the fine focus of our future.” —Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of To Speak for the Trees and The Global Forest “Peter Wohlleben knows the battle that lies before us: forging a closer relationship with nature before we destroy it. In The Heartbeat of Trees he takes us deep into the global forest to show us how.”—Jim Robbins, author of The Man Who Planted Trees
New York Times best-selling author and renowned science journalist Ed Yong compiles the best science and nature writing published in 2020. “The stories I have chosen reflect where I feel the field of science and nature writing has landed, and where it could go,” Ed Yong writes in his introduction. “They are often full of tragedy, sometimes laced with wonder, but always deeply aware that science does not exist in a social vacuum. They are beautiful, whether in their clarity of ideas, the elegance of their prose, or often both.” The essays in this year’s Best American Science and Nature Writing brought clarity to the complexity and bewilderment of 2020 and delivered us necessary information during a global pandemic. From an in-depth look at the moment of the virus’s outbreak, to a harrowing personal account of lingering Covid symptoms, to a thoughtful analysis on how the pandemic will impact the environment, these essays, as Yong says, “synthesize, evaluate, dig, unveil, and challenge,” imbuing a pivotal moment in history with lucidity and elegance. THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE AND NATURE WRITING 2021 INCLUDES – SUSAN ORLEAN – EMILY RABOTEAU – ZEYNEP TUFEKCI – HELEN OUYANG – HEATHER HOGAN BROOKE JARVIS – SARAH ZHANG and others
An exhilarating exploration of the science and wonder of global bird migration. In the past two decades, our understanding of the navigational and physiological feats that enable birds to cross immense oceans, fly above the highest mountains, or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch has exploded. What we’ve learned of these key migrations—how billions of birds circumnavigate the globe, flying tens of thousands of miles between hemispheres on an annual basis—is nothing short of extraordinary. Bird migration entails almost unfathomable endurance, like a sparrow-sized sandpiper that will fly nonstop from Canada to Venezuela—the equivalent of running 126 consecutive marathons without food, water, or rest—avoiding dehydration by “drinking” moisture from its own muscles and organs, while orienting itself using the earth’s magnetic field through a form of quantum entanglement that made Einstein queasy. Crossing the Pacific Ocean in nine days of nonstop flight, as some birds do, leaves little time for sleep, but migrants can put half their brains to sleep for a few seconds at a time, alternating sides—and their reaction time actually improves. These and other revelations convey both the wonder of bird migration and its global sweep, from the mudflats of the Yellow Sea in China to the remote mountains of northeastern India to the dusty hills of southern Cyprus. This breathtaking work of nature writing from Pulitzer Prize finalist Scott Weidensaul also introduces readers to those scientists, researchers, and bird lovers trying to preserve global migratory patterns in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges. Drawing on his own extensive fieldwork, in A World on the Wing Weidensaul unveils with dazzling prose the miracle of nature taking place over our heads.
A pioneering marine biologist takes us down into the deep ocean to understand bioluminescence—the language of light that helps life communicate in the darkness—and what it tells us about the future of life on Earth. “Edith Widder’s story is one of hardscrabble optimism, two-fisted exploration, and groundbreaking research. She’s done things I dream of doing.”—James Cameron Edith Widder’s childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist was almost derailed in college, when complications from a surgery gone wrong caused temporary blindness. A new reality of shifting shadows drew her fascination to the power of light—as well as the importance of optimism. As her vision cleared, Widder found the intersection of her two passions in oceanic bioluminescence, a little-explored scientific field within Earth’s last great unknown frontier: the deep ocean. With little promise of funding or employment, she leaped at the first opportunity to train as a submersible pilot and dove into the darkness. Widder’s first journey into the deep ocean, in a diving suit that resembled a suit of armor, took her to a depth of eight hundred feet. She turned off the lights and witnessed breathtaking underwater fireworks: explosions of bioluminescent activity. Concerns about her future career vanished. She only wanted to know one thing: Why was there so much light down there? Below the Edge of Darkness takes readers deep into our planet’s oceans as Widder pursues her questions about one of the most important and widely used forms of communication in nature. In the process, she reveals hidden worlds and a dazzling menagerie of behaviors and animals, from microbes to leviathans, many never before seen or, like the legendary giant squid, never before filmed in their deep-sea lairs. Alongside Widder, we experience life-and-death equipment malfunctions and witness breakthroughs in technology and understanding, all set against a growing awareness of the deteriorating health of our largest and least understood ecosystem. A thrilling adventure story as well as a scientific revelation, Below the Edge of Darkness reckons with the complicated and sometimes dangerous realities of exploration. Widder shows us how when we push our boundaries and expand our worlds, discovery and wonder follow. These are the ultimate keys to the ocean’s salvation—and thus to our future on this planet.
“What a wonderful idea for an adventure! Absolutely inspired, timely, and important.” —Alistair Humphreys, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and author of The Doorstep Mile and Around the World by Bike Outdoor educator and field researcher Sara Dykman made history when she became the first person to bicycle alongside monarch butterflies on their storied annual migration—a round-trip adventure that included three countries and more than 10,000 miles. Equally remarkable, she did it solo, on a bike cobbled together from used parts. Her panniers were recycled buckets. In Bicycling with Butterflies, Dykman recounts her incredible journey and the dramatic ups and downs of the nearly nine-month odyssey. We’re beside her as she navigates unmapped roads in foreign countries, checks roadside milkweed for monarch eggs, and shares her passion with eager schoolchildren, skeptical bar patrons, and unimpressed border officials. We also meet some of the ardent monarch stewards who supported her efforts, from citizen scientists and researchers to farmers and high-rise city dwellers. With both humor and humility, Dykman offers a compelling story, confirming the urgency of saving the threatened monarch migration—and the other threatened systems of nature that affect the survival of us all.
From the creator of the New York Times bestseller Women in Science, comes a new nonfiction picture book series ready to grow young scientists by nurturing their curiosity about the natural world–starting with what’s inside a flower. Budding backyard scientists can start exploring their world with this stunning introduction to these flowery show-stoppers–from seeds to roots to blooms. Learning how flowers grow gives kids beautiful building blocks of science and inquiry. In the launch of a new nonfiction picture book series, Rachel Ignotofsky’s distinctive art style and engaging, informative text clearly answers any questions a child (or adult) could have about flowers.
Originally published in 2000 with endorsements from E.O. Wilson and Jane Goodall, Clare Walker Leslie’s Keeping a Nature Journal was at the forefront of the nature observation and journaling movement. Leslie’s approach has long been acclaimed for its accessible style of teaching people to see, witness, and appreciate the wonders of nature, and her classic guide is still used by individuals, groups, and educators ranging from elementary school teachers to college-level instructors. The third edition features more of Leslie’s step-by-step drawing techniques, a new selection of pages from her own journals (which she’s kept for 40 years), and an expanded range of prompts for observing particular aspects of the natural world in any location. With an emphasis on learning to see and observe, Leslie shows how drawing nature doesn’t require special skills, artistic ability, or even nature knowledge, and it is a tool everyone can use to record observations and experience the benefits of a stronger connection to the natural world.
Think like a scientist and search like an explorer with this illustrated nature guide for kids ages 8 to 12 Get ready to explore the sky above, the ground below, and all the plants and creatures in between! Made just for kids, this nature anatomy book teaches you about the incredible forces and living things that exist in nature. You’ll dig in to tons of different topics–from naming the layers of the atmosphere to learning the parts of a flower–and try out fun activities like creating a mini cloud and raising a tadpole. As you explore the natural world around you, you’ll become a real scientist by asking questions, imagining outcomes, testing your ideas, and then writing down what you discover. Nature Anatomy Activities for Kids includes: 5 Subjects, 20 lessons–Dive in to different chapters for the earth, the sky, water, plants, and animals. Every chapter includes multiple lessons about the topic, with a new activity and a journal prompt for each. Journal like a scientist–Use your own blank journal to answer prompts and take notes so you can write and draw everything you observe or note any questions you want to find an answer for. Detailed illustrations–Colorful pictures and diagrams make this nature anatomy book fun to use and get kids excited about the anatomy of plants, animals, ecosystems, and landscapes. Get outside and explore with this book of nature anatomy activities that opens up a whole new world of learning.
A lyrical, gorgeously illustrated look at the majesty of trees—and what humans can learn from them Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun. Be a tree! We are all like trees: our spines, trunks; our skin, bark; our hearts giving us strength and support, like heartwood. We are fueled by air and sun. And, like humans, trees are social. They “talk” to spread information; they share food and resources. They shelter and take care of one another. They are stronger together. In this gorgeous and poetic celebration of one of nature’s greatest creations, acclaimed author Maria Gianferrari and illustrator Felicita Sala both compare us to the beauty and majesty of trees—and gently share the ways in which trees can inspire us to be better people.
The videographer behind the Journey to the Microcosmos YouTube channel (386K subscribers) James Weiss presents a beginner’s guide to the extremely small and utterly strange life that surrounds us. James Weiss was feeling lost in life when he first discovered his interest in the microscopic world. With his own microscope and a little homespun ingenuity, he began to capture thousands of hours of stunning footage of the creatures that he found around him: the local pond, at the beach, in a puddle. What he found astounded him, and it became his mission to reveal the beauty of the microcosmos to everyone. In his fun and accessible style, interspersed with otherworldly photographs, James presents this beginner’s guide to the invisible life that surrounds us. From the most simple single-celled life, to complex micro-animals, James reveals the secrets of a world that we rarely consider. Navigating the births, feasts, tragedies, idiosyncracies and deaths of a cast of tiny characters, learn how these lifeforms work and what lessons they can teach us about our own existence. Mixing scientific detail with thoughtful musings that betray the fascination at the heart of his topic, James has created a way of looking at microorganisms in an empathetic and engaging style. You’ll discover fascinating absurdities: that a cell can be both its own daughter and its own mother. That immortality really does exist, and it comes in the form of a teeny, tentacled medusa. And that seeing the wonder of nature from a new perspective can literally save your life.
Catch All the Buzz About Bugs! Kids love the thrill of discovery—especially when it comes to bugs. Become a young entomologist. Learn all about bees, butterflies, spiders, and other creepy crawlies. Jaret C. Daniels, author of many bug books, presents a kids’ introduction to entomology. From ants and beetles to dragonflies and mosquitoes, this easy-to-understand book is a perfect guide for beginners. It features expert insights on a variety of common and important insects. It delves into such topics as what the various species eat, how long they live, and whether or not they migrate during winter. In the field-guide section, featured species are organized by where they are commonly found. Full-color photographs and descriptions of key markings help readers to identify the species they see in nature. Inside You’ll Find Beginner’s guide to bugs of the USA and southern Canada The basics of entomology and bug anatomy Identification guide to common and important bugs to know Fun bonus activities for the whole family
In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives. Though her father supports Mindy’s desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he’ll lose the daughter he’s poured his heart into. Mindy’s mother undergoes the emotional rollercoaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy’s sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family–but also speak of the beauty of overcoming. Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.
From the author of Losing Earth, a beautifully told exploration of our post-natural world that points the way to a new mode of ecological writing. We live at a time in which scientists race to reanimate extinct beasts, our most essential ecosystems require monumental engineering projects to survive, chicken breasts grow in test tubes, and multinational corporations conspire to poison the blood of every living creature. No rock, leaf, or cubic foot of air on Earth has escaped humanity’s clumsy signature. The old distinctions—between natural and artificial, dystopia and utopia, science fiction and science fact—have blurred, losing all meaning. We inhabit an uncanny landscape of our own creation. In Second Nature, ordinary people make desperate efforts to preserve their humanity in a world that seems increasingly alien. Their stories—obsessive, intimate, and deeply reported—point the way to a new kind of environmental literature, in which dramatic narrative helps us to understand our place in a reality that resembles nothing human beings have known. From Odds Against Tomorrow to Losing Earth to the film Dark Waters (adapted from the first chapter of this book), Nathaniel Rich’s stories have come to define the way we think of contemporary ecological narrative. In Second Nature, he asks what it means to live in an era of terrible responsibility. The question is no longer, How do we return to the world that we’ve lost?It is, What world do we want to create in its place?
A journey into the alien depths of the sea, and into our possible future, from a marine biologist known for “nature writing at its most engaging” (Sunday Express). A golden era of deep-sea discovery is underway as revolutionary studies rewrite the very notion of life on Earth and the rules of what is possible. In the process, the abyss is being revealed as perhaps the most amazing part of our planet, its topography even more varied and extreme than its landmass counterpart. Teeming with unsuspected life, an extraordinary, interconnected ecosystem deep below the waves has a huge effect on our daily lives, influencing climate and weather systems, with the potential for much more—good or bad, depending on how it is exploited. Currently, the fantastic creatures that live in the deep—many of them incandescent in a world without light—and its formations capture and trap vast quantities of carbon that would otherwise poison our atmosphere, and novel bacteria as yet undiscovered hold the promise of potent new medicines. Yet the deep also holds huge mineral riches lusted after by nations and corporations; mining them could ultimately devastate the planet, compounded by the deepening impacts of ubiquitous pollutants and rampant overfishing. Eloquently and passionately, the author of Spirals in Time and Eye of the Shoal brings to life the majesty and mystery of an alien realm that nonetheless sustains us, while urgently making clear the price we could pay if it is further disrupted. The Brilliant Abyss is at once a revelation and a clarion call to preserve this vast unseen world.
A renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change, and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet. Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we’ve been told can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on individual behavior is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals. Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame (think “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”) or greenwashing (think of the beverage industry’s “Crying Indian” commercials of the 1970s). Meanwhile, they’ve blocked efforts to regulate or price carbon emissions, run PR campaigns aimed at discrediting viable alternatives, and have abdicated their responsibility in fixing the problem they’ve created. The result has been disastrous for our planet. In The New Climate War, Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters-fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petrostates. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including: a common-sense, attainable approach to carbon pricing- and a revision of the well-intentioned but flawed currently proposed version of the Green New Deal; allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate and driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions combatting climate doomism and despair-mongering With immensely powerful vested interests aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo, the societal tipping point won’t happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward. This book will reach, inform, and enable citizens everywhere to join this battle for our planet.
“At once thoughtful and thought-provoking,” Beloved Beasts tells the story of the modern conservation movement through the lives and ideas of the people who built it, making “a crucial addition to the literature of our troubled time” (Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction). In the late nineteenth century, humans came at long last to a devastating realization: their rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving scores of animal species to extinction. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the history of the movement to protect and conserve other forms of life. From early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale, Nijhuis’s “spirited and engaging” account documents “the changes of heart that changed history” (Dan Cryer, Boston Globe). With “urgency, passion, and wit” (Michael Berry, Christian Science Monitor), she describes the vital role of scientists and activists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, reveals the origins of vital organizations like the Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund, explores current efforts to protect species such as the whooping crane and the black rhinoceros, and confronts the darker side of modern conservation, long shadowed by racism and colonialism. As the destruction of other species continues and the effects of climate change wreak havoc on our world, Beloved Beasts charts the ways conservation is becoming a movement for the protection of all species including our own.
“A fascinating, entertaining, and totally engrossing story.”–David Sibley, author of What It’s Like to Be a Bird “Utterly captivating and beautifully written, this book is a hugely entertaining and enlightening exploration of a bird so wickedly smart, curious, and social, it boggles the mind.”–Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Bird Way “As curious, wide-ranging, gregarious, and intelligent as its subject.”–Charles C. Mann, author of 1491 An enthralling account of a modern voyage of discovery as we meet the clever, social birds of prey called caracaras, which puzzled Darwin, fascinate modern-day falconers, and carry secrets of our planet’s deep past in their family history. In 1833, Charles Darwin was astonished by an animal he met in the Falkland Islands: handsome, social, and oddly crow-like falcons that were tame and inquisitive . . . quarrelsome and passionate, and so insatiably curious that they stole hats, compasses, and other valuables from the crew of the Beagle. Darwin wondered why these birds were confined to remote islands at the tip of South America, sensing a larger story, but he set this mystery aside and never returned to it. Almost two hundred years later, Jonathan Meiburg takes up this chase. He takes us through South America, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of Guyana, in search of these birds: striated caracaras, which still exist, though they’re very rare. He reveals the wild, fascinating story of their history, origins, and possible futures. And along the way, he draws us into the life and work of William Henry Hudson, the Victorian writer and naturalist who championed caracaras as an unsung wonder of the natural world, and to falconry parks in the English countryside, where captive caracaras perform incredible feats of memory and problem-solving. A Most Remarkable Creature is a hybrid of science writing, travelogue, and biography, as generous and accessible as it is sophisticated, and absolutely riveting.
“From one of our most intrepid and eloquent adventurers of the natural world: an account of her search for home–experiences traveling in Greenland, the North Pole, the Channel Islands of California, Japan; of herding animals in Wyoming and Montana, and her embrace of the balance between the ordinary and celestial. In The Solace of Open Spaces, Gretel Ehrlich announced her aspiration as a writer to assign the physical qualities of the earth–weather, light and wind–to our contemporary age. In Unsolaced, thirty-five years later, Ehrlich shows us how these forces have shaped her experience and her understanding as she recalls the split-end strands of friendships spliced to new loves, houses built and lived in, conversations that shifted outlooks, as she tries to catch a glimpse of herself and the places she has sought as an anchor for her spirit. Ehrlich’s quest is not for the comfort of permanence, but for transience, the need to be unsettled–to find stillness in the disquiet of engagement, to find in the landscapes of earth, ice, climate, genetic mayhem, and shifting canvas of memory–the possibility of longing. Ehrlich’s voice is a unique amalgam of poetry and science, her attention held fast by the vegetation and animals she cares for, the lyric exaltation of insight that gives both her and her readers an intimation of a greater whole”–
What makes us human, and why are we so sure we’re different from other animals? Humans are the most inquisitive, emotional, imaginative, aggressive, and baffling animals on the planet. But how well do we really know ourselves? How to Be Animal rewrites the remarkable human story and argues that at the heart of our psychology is a profound struggle with being animal. Most of our effects on the planet are the consequences of technological improvements and advances in our understanding of natural mechanisms. But why did this cognitive and technological edge come about in the first place and what kind of being has it made us? In How to Be Animal, Challenger brilliantly argues that this dizzying trajectory is the result of a singular characteristic of our species: the struggle with being an animal. Using a combination of memoir, historical texts, interweaving interviews and cultural and environmental history, How to Be Animal is lively and thought-provoking, bursting with ideas. This is a book for anyone who has ever contemplated what humans are and what makes our species so simultaneously brilliant and awful. Even more so, it is a book that asks tantalizing philosophical questions, such as whether and how human life matters. How to Be Animal is a tough-minded but ultimately sympathetic portrait of humanity. It exposes human beings as extraordinary animals defined by a profound struggle. In the third millennium, the way humans respond to being an animal among animals is the greatest and most inspiring challenge we face.
A personal and historical exploration of the Bears Ears country and the fight to save a national monument. The Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah, created by President Obama in 2016 and eviscerated by the Trump administration in 2017, contains more archaeological sites than any other region in the United States. It’s also a spectacularly beautiful landscape, a mosaic of sandstone canyons and bold mesas and buttes. This wilderness, now threatened by oil and gas drilling, unrestricted grazing, and invasion by Jeep and ATV, is at the center of the greatest environmental battle in America since the damming of the Colorado River to create Lake Powell in the 1950s. In The Bears Ears, acclaimed adventure writer David Roberts takes readers on a tour of his favorite place on earth as he unfolds the rich and contradictory human history of the 1.35 million acres of the Bears Ears domain. Weaving personal memoir with archival research, Roberts sings the praises of the outback he’s explored for the last twenty-five years.
A beautifully illustrated guide to nature through the seasons by much-loved printmaker Angela Harding. The cover of this stunning book has an exclusive triptych printed on the reverse – a perfect collector’s item This stunning work, the first book that is solely dedicated to Angela’s art, is a celebration of her beautiful prints, and a glimpse into her detailed and meticulous process. A Year Unfolding is a journey through Angela’s year in nature watching the seasons unfold in front of her from her studio in Rutland, and giving the reader detail into how nature transforms and evolves over the course of the year. A Year Unfolding also tells the stories behind some of Angela’s most popular images, giving context to Angela’s celebrated work, as well as new art created specifically for the book. The beautiful illustrations and evocative imagery of the prose make this the perfect book for Angela’s fans and readers and art lovers everywhere.
Can reading a book make you more rational? Can it help us understand why there is so much irrationality in the world? Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now (Bill Gates’s “new favorite book of all time”) answers all the questions here Today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding–and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing? Pinker rejects the cynical cliché that humans are simply irrational–cavemen out of time saddled with biases, fallacies, and illusions. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and set out the benchmarks for rationality itself. We actually think in ways that are sensible in the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives, but fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning we’ve discovered over the millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability, correlation and causation, and optimal ways to update beliefs and commit to choices individually and with others. These tools are not a standard part of our education, and have never been presented clearly and entertainingly in a single book–until now. Rationality also explores its opposite: how the rational pursuit of self-interest, sectarian solidarity, and uplifting mythology can add up to crippling irrationality in a society. Collective rationality depends on norms that are explicitly designed to promote objectivity and truth. Rationality matters. It leads to better choices in our lives and in the public sphere, and is the ultimate driver of social justice and moral progress. Brimming with Pinker’s customary insight and humor, Rationality will enlighten, inspire, and empower.
A bold, provocative history of our species finds the roots of civilization’s success and failure in our evolutionary biology. We are living through the most prosperous age in all of human history, yet people are more listless, divided and miserable than ever. Wealth and comfort are unparalleled, and yet our political landscape grows ever more toxic, and rates of suicide, loneliness, and chronic illness continue to skyrocket. How do we explain the gap between these two truths? What’s more, what can we do to close it? For evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, the cause of our woes is clear: the modern world is out of sync with our ancient brains and bodies. We evolved to live in clans, but today most people don’t even know their neighbors’ names. Traditional gender roles once served a necessary evolutionary purpose, but today we dismiss them as regressive. The cognitive dissonance spawned by trying to live in a society we’re not built for is killing us. In this book, Heying and Weinstein cut through the politically fraught discourse surrounding issues like sex, gender, diet, parenting, sleep, education, and more to outline a provocative, science-based worldview that will empower you to live a better, wiser life. They distill more than 20 years of research and first-hand accounts from the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth into straight forward principles and guidance for confronting our culture of hyper-novelty.
A world-leading expert shares her amazing story of discovering the communication that exists between trees, and shares her own story of family and grief. Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she’s been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls in James Cameron’s Avatar), and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide. Now, in her first book, Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truths—that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own. Simard describes up close—in revealing and accessible ways—how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved; how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about their future; how they elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication: characteristics previously ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies. And, at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.Simard, born and raised in the rain forests of British Columbia, spent her days as a child cataloging the trees from the forest; she came to love and respect them and embarked on a journey of discovery and struggle. Her powerful story is one of love and loss, of observation and change, of risk and reward. And it is a testament to how deeply human scientific inquiry exists beyond data and technology: it’s about understanding who we are and our place in the world. In her book, as in her groundbreaking research, Simard proves the true connectedness of the Mother Tree to the forest, nurturing it in the profound ways that families and humansocieties nurture one another, and how these inseparable bonds enable all our survival.
“An exhilarating romp through Orwell’s life and times and also through the life and times of roses.” —Margaret Atwood “Nobody who reads it will ever think of Nineteen Eighty-Four in quite the same way.”—Vogue A lush exploration of roses, pleasure, and politics, and a fresh take on George Orwell as an avid gardener whose political writing was grounded in his passion for the natural world “In the year 1936 a writer planted roses.” So begins Rebecca Solnit’s new book, a reflection on George Orwell’s passionate gardening and the way that his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, and the natural world illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and the intertwined politics of nature and power. Sparked by her unexpected encounter with the surviving roses he planted in 1936, Solnit’s account of this understudied aspect of Orwell’s life explores his writing and his actions—from going deep into the coal mines of England, fighting in the Spanish Civil War, critiquing Stalin when much of the international left still supported him (and then critiquing that left), to his analysis of the relationship between lies and authoritarianism. Through Solnit’s celebrated ability to draw unexpected connections, readers encounter the photographer Tina Modotti’s roses and her Stalinism, Stalin’s obsession with forcing lemons to grow in impossibly cold conditions, Orwell’s slave-owning ancestors in Jamaica, Jamaica Kincaid’s critique of colonialism and imperialism in the flower garden, and the brutal rose industry in Colombia that supplies the American market. The book draws to a close with a rereading of Nineteen Eighty-Four that completes her portrait of a more hopeful Orwell, as well as a reflection on pleasure, beauty, and joy as acts of resistance.
An illustrated miscellany of the nightingale, perfect for nature and bird lovers. Come to the forest, sit by the fireside and listen to intoxicating song, as Sam Lee tells the story of the nightingale. Every year, as darkness falls upon woodlands, the nightingale heralds the arrival of Spring. Throughout history, its sweet song has inspired musicians, writers and artists around the world, from Germany, France and Italy to Greece, Ukraine and Korea. Here, passionate conservationist, renowned musician and folk expert Sam Lee tells the story of the nightingale. This book reveals in beautiful detail the bird’s song, habitat, characteristics and migration patterns, as well as the environmental issues that threaten its livelihood. From Greek mythology to John Keats, to Persian poetry and ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’, Lee delves into the various ways we have celebrated the nightingale through traditions, folklore, music, literature, from ancient history to the present day. The Nightingale is a unique and lyrical portrait of a famed yet elusive songbird.
One of Bookpage’s Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2021 Join “America’s funniest science writer” (Peter Carlson, Washington Post), Mary Roach, on an irresistible investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet. What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology. Roach tags along with animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and “danger tree” faller blasters. Intrepid as ever, she travels from leopard-terrorized hamlets in the Indian Himalaya to St. Peter’s Square in the early hours before the pope arrives for Easter Mass, when vandal gulls swoop in to destroy the elaborate floral display. She taste-tests rat bait, learns how to install a vulture effigy, and gets mugged by a macaque. Combining little-known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and trespassing squirrels, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature’s lawbreakers. When it comes to “problem” wildlife, she finds, humans are more often the problem—and the solution. Fascinating, witty, and humane, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat.
From the creators of the hit documentary My Octopus Teacher, an immersive journey into the underwater world that inspired it–and holds transformative lessons for us all Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck regularly dive together in the awe-inspiring kelp forests off South Africa, without wetsuits or oxygen tanks. Craig had dived this way for years, including alongside the octopus that inspired My Octopus Teacher. In Ross, he found a kindred spirit, someone who also embraced the ancient methods of acclimating his body to frigid waters, but whose eyes had not yet adjusted to the transcendent wonder Craig saw each time they dove. In the heart-wrenching stories that make up this unforgettable book, we swim alongside Ross as he grows from skeptic to student of the underwater wild. And in the revelatory marine science behind the stunning photos, we learn how to track sea hares, cuttlefish, and limpets, and we witness strange new behaviors never before documented in marine biology. We realize that a whole world of wonder, and an innate wildness within us all, emerge anew when we simply observe. My Octopus Teacher has captivated millions who long to connect with the natural world. Now, with Underwater Wild, the divers behind the film reveal a new vision of the se:, one full of wonder, new insights into marine biology, and life-changing teachings for even the most land-bound of us.
As Prince William, founder of The Earthshot Prize, said, ‘The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate, and problem-solve. People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.’ The Earthshot concept is simple: Urgency + Optimism = Action. We have ten years to turn the tide on the environmental crisis, but we need the world’s best solutions and one shared goal – to save our planet. It’s not too late, but we need collective action now. The Earthshots are unifying, ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for all of us, for the rest of life on Earth, and for generations to come. They are to: · Protect and Restore Nature · Clean our Air · Revive our Oceans · Build a Waste-Free World · Fix our Climate EARTHSHOT: HOW TO SAVE OUR PLANET is the first definitive book about how these goals can tackle the environmental crisis. It is a critical contribution to the most important story of the decade.
Join brilliant young naturalist Dara McAnulty – winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize for his book Diary of a Young Naturalist – on a nature walk and experience the joy of connecting with the natural world on your multi sensory journey. This beautiful gift book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls, is divided into five sections: looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank. Dara pauses to tell you about each habitat and provides fantastic facts about the native birds, animals and plants you will find there – including wrens, blackbirds, butterflies, tadpoles, bluebells, bees, hen harriers, otters, dandelions, oak trees and many more. Each section contains a discovery section where you will have a closer look at natural phenomenon such as metamorphoses and migration, learn about categorization in the animal kingdom or become an expert on the collective nouns for birds. Each section finishes with an activity to do when you get home: plant wild flowers, make a bird feeder, try pond dipping, make a journey stick and build a vivarium. Dara ends the book with advice for young conservationists and how to follow the countryside code.
An entertaining and enthralling collection of myths, tales and traditions surrounding our trees, woodlands and forests from around the world. From the dark, gnarled woodlands of the north, to the humid jungles of the southern lands, trees have captured humanity’s imagination for millennia. Filled with primal gods and goddesses, dryads and the fairy tales of old, the forests still beckon to us, offering sanctuary, mystery and more than a little mischievous trickery. From insatiable cannibalistic children hewn from logs, to lumberjack lore, and the spine-chilling legend of Bloody Mary, there is much to be found between the branches. Come into the trees; witches, seductive spirits and big, bad wolves await you. With this book, Folklore Thursday aim to encourage a sense of belonging across all cultures by showing how much we all have in common.
In the tradition of Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking environmental classic Silent Spring, an award-winning entomologist and conservationist explains the importance of insects to our survival, and offers a clarion call to avoid a looming ecological disaster of our own making. Drawing on thirty years of research, Goulson has written an accessible, fascinating, and important book that examines the evidence of an alarming drop in insect numbers around the world. “If we lose the insects, then everything is going to collapse,” he warned in a recent interview in the New York Times—beginning with humans’ food supply. The main cause of this decrease in insect populations is the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides. Hence, Silent Earth’s nod to Rachel Carson’s classic Silent Spring which, when published in 1962, led to the global banning of DDT. This was a huge victory for science and ecological health at the time. Yet before long, new pesticides just as lethal as DDT were introduced, and today, humanity finds itself on the brink of a new crisis. What will happen when the bugs are all gone? Goulson explores the intrinsic connection between climate change, nature, wildlife, and the shrinking biodiversity and analyzes the harmful impact for the earth and its inhabitants. Meanwhile we have all read stories about hive collapse syndrome affecting honeybee colonies and the tragic decline of monarch butterflies in North America, and more. But it is not too late to arrest this decline, and Silent Earth should be the clarion call. Smart, eye-opening, and essential, Silent Earth is a forceful call to action to save our world, and ultimately, ourselves. Silent Earth includes approximately 20 black-and-white illustrations and charts and graphs.
Susan Orlean examines animal-human relationships through the compelling tales she has written over the course of her celebrated career. These stories consider a range of creatures – the household pets we dote on, the animals we raise to end up as meat on our plates, and the various tamed and untamed animals we share our planet with who are central to human life. Equal parts delightful and profound, enriched by Orlean’s stylish prose and precise research, these stories celebrate the meaningful cross-species connections that grace our collective existence. Print run 150,000.
‘A remarkable book’ Robert Macfarlane ‘A distinctive new voice: attentive and tender’ Amy Liptrot ‘Elegant, understated, urgent and nourishing’ Jessica J. Lee Home is many people and places and languages, some separated by oceans. Nina Mingya Powles first learned to swim in Borneo – where her mother was born and her grandfather studied freshwater fish. There, the local swimming pool became her first body of water. Through her life there have been others that have meant different things, but have still been, in their own way, home: from the wild coastline of New Zealand to a pond in northwest London. This lyrical collection of interconnected essays explores the bodies of water that separate and connect us, as well as everything from migration, food, family, earthquakes and the ancient lunisolar calendar to butterflies. In powerful prose, Small Bodies of Water weaves together personal memories, dreams and nature writing. It reflects on a girlhood spent growing up between two cultures, and explores what it means to belong.
In this collection of literary essays, Karen Lloyd explores abundance and loss in the natural world, relating compelling stories of restoration, renewal and repair, describing how those working on the front lines of conservation are challenging the inevitability of biodiversity loss, as well as navigating her own explorations of the meaning of abundance in the Anthropocene. In an era of urgent ecological challenge, her timely book reveals the places that people are coming together to bring species and habitats back from the edge of extinction. Yet, elsewhere, many other species are being allowed to disappear forever. To understand why, she examines how humans have chosen to entangle themselves in nature and considers the ways we perceive the natural world. A book about ways of seeing, as Lloyd explores attitudes towards meaningful restoration, she weaves her insightful and joyous narrative through a diverse range of inspiring landscapes, from Romania’s Carpathian mountains and the Hungarian Steppe to Perthshire’s rivers and the dune forests of the Netherlands.
This is a lovely little book that could and should have a big impact…Let’s all get rebugging right away!–Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Meet the intelligent insects, marvelous minibeasts, and inspirational invertebrates that help shape our planet–and discover how you can help them help us by rebugging your attitude today! Remember when there were bugs on your windshield? Ever wonder where they went? We need to act now if we are to help the insects survive. Robin Wall Kimmerer, David Attenborough, and Elizabeth Kolbert are but a few voices championing the rewilding of our world. Rebugging the Planet explains how we are headed toward “insectageddon” with a rate of insect extinction eight times faster than that of mammals or birds, and gives us crucial information to help all those essential creepy-crawlies flourish once more. Author Vicki Hird passionately demonstrates how insects and invertebrates are the cornerstone of our global ecosystem. They pollinate plants, feed birds, support and defend our food crops, and clean our water systems. They are also beautiful, inventive, and economically invaluable–bees, for example, contribute an estimated $235 to $577 billion to the US economy annually, according to Forbes. Rebugging the Planet shows us small changes we can make to have a big impact on our littlest allies: Learn how to rewild parks, schools, sidewalks, roadsides, and other green spaces. Leave your garden to grow a little wild and plant weedkiller-free, wildlife-friendly plants. Take your kids on a minibeast treasure hunt and learn how to build bug palaces. Make bug-friendly choices with your food and support good farming practices Begin to understand how reducing inequality and poverty will help nature and wildlife too–it’s all connected. So do your part and start rebugging today! The bees, ants, earthworms, butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, ladybugs, snails, and slugs will thank you–and our planet will thank you too.
A lyrical celebration of birdsong, and the rekindling of a deep passion for nature. “At this time of year, blackbirds never simply fly: instead, like reluctantly retired officers, they’re always ‘on manoeuvres’, and it’s easy to see from their constant agitation that for them every flower bed is a bunker, every shed a redoubt and every hedge-bottom a potential place of ambush” As the world went silent in lockdown, something else happened; for the first time, many of us started becoming more aware of the spring sounds of the birds around us. Birdsong in a Time of Silence is a lyrical, uplifting reflection on these sounds and what they mean to us. From a portrait of the blackbird – most prominent and articulate of the early spring singers – to explorations of how birds sing, the science behind their choice of song and nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to and taken from birdsong, this book ultimately shows that natural history and human history cannot be separated. It is the story of a collective reawakening brought on by the strangest of springs.
The very best of British and Irish nature writing selected by the natural history writer Patrick Barkham.
Head outside and get the buzz on bugs! Packed with educational prompts and activities, this fourth book in the Backpack Explorer series encourages junior naturalists to spot insects while on a walk in the woods, playing in a park, or searching right outside their front door. Twelve interactive field guides help young seekers identify fliers, crawlers, and pollinators, while sensory scavenger hunts, projects such as Weave a Web or Make a Bug Hotel, and cool bug facts boost the insect intrigue. Equipped with a real magnifying glass, stickers, and a log for recording sightings, this book is the perfect companion for any nature adventure.
Listen to tiny tales from Buzzwing the hardworking honeybee. Combining nonfiction with a splash of fantasy, The Secret Life of Bees is a book to get lost in, time and again.
‘A warp-speed tour of dinosaurs, with an expert guide’ PROF. STEVE BRUSATTE, bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs ‘A fun, speedy read for grown-ups who love dinosaurs – a great way to get into the subject’ PROF. MICHAEL BENTON, author of The Dinosaurs Rediscovered ——— Travel back to the prehistoric world and discover the most fascinating parts of the lives of Earth’s most awe-inspiring creatures – the dinosaurs. Dr Dean Lomax brings these prehistoric creatures to life in ten bite-sized essays, written for people short on time but not curiosity. Making big ideas simple, Dean takes readers on a journey to uncover what makes a dinosaur a dinosaur, what dinosaurs ate, how they evolved, what caused them to go extinct, and more! Perfect for anyone fascinated by the dinosaur exhibits at museums, palaeontology and fans of Jurassic Park.
No Life Too Small is the joyful and inspiring story of the world’s first animal hospice, celebrating the power and beauty of nature, the strength of the human and animal spirit, and the importance of love, friendship and community. It will leave you with a tear in your eye, a smile on your face and a renewed belief in human kindness. A few years ago Alexis Fleming was bedridden with a chronic illness. Things became so bad that she wanted to end her life many times during this period – but her beloved dog, Maggie, kept her going, especially when doctors gave her just six weeks to live. Incredibly, Alexis fought her way back to health with Maggie by her side, only for Maggie to die of lung cancer two years later on a vet’s operating table. Alexis was devastated that Maggie had died without her and decided to start an animal hospice in her name in the hope that she could ensure other animals nearing the end of their life would not have to die alone. Six months later, the Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice was launched. Alexis and her partner, Adam, have turned a dilapidated farm in rural Scotland into a haven for animals to live out their last days in comfort and at peace. With the help of the local community, despite many challenges, the hospice came to life. Meanwhile , Alexis’ own health was deteriorating again and she needed life-threatening surgery. Alexis came through the operation and the road to her recovery was paved with companionship from the animals in her care, particularly Bran, a dog who had been dumped with terminal cancer and given six weeks. He recovered alongside Alexis and went on to live for two more years. Dogs, however old and mangy, chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, cockerels and even turkeys : The Maggie Fleming Hospice is a place where all manner of terminally-ill, abandoned animals come to live out their last days in comfort and are treated with love. Looking after dying animals has taught Alexis what really matters in life – kindness, compassion and love.
“Merlin Sheldrake’s marvelous tour of these diverse and extraordinary life forms is eye-opening on why humans should consider fungi among the greatest of earth’s marvels. . . . Wondrous.”–Time A mind-bending journey into the hidden universe of fungi, “one of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you” (Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk). NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time * New Statesman * London Evening Standard * Science Friday When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave. In Entangled Life, the brilliant young biologist Merlin Sheldrake shows us the world from a fungal point of view, providing an exhilarating change of perspective. Sheldrake’s vivid exploration takes us from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that range for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the “Wood Wide Web,” to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision. Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They are metabolic masters, earth makers, and key players in most of life’s processes. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms–and our relationships with them–are changing our understanding of how life works. Praise for Entangled Life “Entangled Life is a gorgeous book of literary nature writing in the tradition of [Robert] Macfarlane and John Fowles, ripe with insight and erudition. . . . Food for the soul.”–Eugenia Bone, Wall Street Journal “[An] ebullient and ambitious exploration . . . This book may not be a psychedelic–and unlike Sheldrake, I haven’t dared to consume my copy (yet)–but reading it left me not just moved but altered, eager to disseminate its message of what fungi can do.”–Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times
A New York Times Bestseller ‘Within two pages, nature writing feels different and fresh and new … This book demands we find the eyes to see and the heart to love such things once more. It is a very fine book indeed, truly full of wonder’ – James Rebanks, author of Pastoral Song ‘An unusual and captivating memoir … a thing of wonder, the book that most took me by surprise this year’ – Jini Reddy, author of Wanderland What the peacock can do is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life. The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. In her nonfiction debut, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil explores the many places she has called home, from inhospitable plains to tall mountains in big sky country. No matter where she is transplanted, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship, even in the strange and the unlovely. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.
Last updated on October 17, 2021