Tag: Climate Change

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Earth Day Reads that aren’t ‘The Lorax’

It’s hard to find ways to connect with people while we all social distance.  However, as the world sits at home, we are beginning to notice over social media, telephone calls to those we haven’t spoken to in a while, and even waving at others across the street for their daily walk that we have a lot more in common that we usually might think.  The biggest thing we share is our Earth, and in honor of Earth Day here are some spectacular modern titles about the collective challenge facing us across the globe.

 

Rising

Elizabeth Rush’s book takes readers to the cultural, social, and economic peripheries of the United States.  From places like Louisiana’s marginalization shores to the glass castles of Silicon Valley, Rush shows the encroaching problem of rising tides on our coastal communities around the country.

Rising

Image Via amAZON

The Uninhabitable Earth

Columnist and editor David Wallace-Wells traverses past, present, and future to bring his readers a harrowing picture of life in the time of anthropogenic global warming.  His tone is urgent, keenly aware of the emergency crisis we face today.  However, he seizes moments of hope, possibility, and ways out of the mess if we act soon.

Uninhabitable earth
Image via amazon

 

Silent Spring

Published in 1962, Silent Spring was a cornerstone of modern America’s awareness about the adverse effects of indiscriminate pesticide use.  Author Rachel Carson began her research in 1950, driven by a belief that many environmental problems were the effect synthetic pesticide contamination.  Upon its publication, Silent Spring was unsurprisingly met with opposition from chemical companies but the truth in its pages spread across the country in a transformative way.

silent spring
Image via AMAZON

 

This Radical Land

Daegan Miller dives deep into the archives in this collection of essays that explore the history of the environmental conservation movement from its very beginnings.  These early radicals believed in a way for humans to coexist with the natural world rather than exploit it, even when most were under the impression that Earth was an endless supply of resources.  Miller reminds his readers that efforts to live in harmony with our environment have always been part of our history, and it’s up to us to harness these early sentiments in our actions today.

this radical land
Image via Amazon

 

 

Where the Water Goes

David Owen takes a trip along the Colorado River, from its start in the Rocky Mountains all the way down to Mexico.  This prized waterway is depended on by nearly 40 million people, but overuse by farmers, engineers, lawyers, and politicians is quickly threatening the river’s resilience and longevity.  We must do something, argues Owen, before the tap runs dry.

where the water goes
Image via amazon

 

The End of Nature

If the waves crash up against the beach, eroding dunes and destroying homes, it is not the awesome power of Mother Nature. It is the awesome power of Mother Nature as altered by the awesome power of man, who has overpowered in a century the processes that have been slowly evolving and changing of their own accord since the earth was born, writes Bill McKibben in The End of Nature.  McKibben refuses to sugarcoat our defamation of the natural world, suggesting we return to a more humble way of living.

the end of nature
image via amazon
Feature Image Via Smithsonian Magazine

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featured image for nature centered books to read on earth day

7 Nature-Centered Books to Read on Earth Day

It’s April 22nd, do you know what that means? It’s time to celebrate Earth Day! While this year it will be a little harder to celebrate what with everyone in quarantine, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop to appreciate the planet we call home. In honor of having some extra time to read in quarantine, here are some books that one can read to connect more with nature.

1. ‘Braiding sweetgrass’ by Robin Wall Kimmerer

book cover

image via amazon

In this memoir, Robin Wall Kimmerer uses her experiences as a woman, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and a scientist, to express the relationship between people and nature. Kimmerer unifies these perspectives to show us how to strengthen our relationships with other living beings. Kimmerer emphasizes the importance of other living things, including the small animals we find in the forest, and how much we can learn from the workings of nature when we choose to listen. This is an inspiring read that expertly knits together identity, science, and spirit. 

2. ‘RAIN’ by Cynthia Barnett

Book cover

image via amazon

If you are interested in history or the study of humans, this book is the one for you. Cynthia Barnett tells the story of rain and how humans have tried to control it, from rain dances to levees. This book takes you on an anthropological journey from the beginning of time to now, and how we as humans have changed rain for the worse. This book speaks about climate change and rain; how it benefits, how it damages, and ultimately leads to a conversation about how we as a society treat the Earth.

3. ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben

book cover

image via amazon

This book shares the case that the forest is a social network. Drawing on scientific discoveries, Wohlleben describes how trees are like human families – complete with tree parents and children. Wohlleben explains how they live together, communicate and support each other as they grow, share nutrients when one is struggling, and even warn each other when danger is near. This book helps you dive into the amazing processes of nature, how much we know, and how much we can’t possibly understand.  While this life of trees seems like a different world, Wohlleben explains the importance of sharing this world and how we can learn from their processes of life, death, and regeneration. 

 

4. ‘The Peace of Wild Things’ by Wendell Berry

Book cover

image via amazon

The Peace of Wild Things is a collection of poems written by Wendell Berry. These poems will instantly transport you into a mindset of gratitude towards the interworking of nature. Using simple yet powerful language, Berry notes his love for nature while also commenting on his inner peace, relationships, and life philosophy. Want a taste? Here is an excerpt from one of Berry’s poems, ‘The Peace of Wild Things’

“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

5. ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers

book cover

image via amazon

This novel by Richard Powers won the Pulitzer Prize and there are quite a few good reasons why. One reason is its beautiful prose, and another is the connection of our lives to the natural world. This story intertwines eight lives from antebellum New York, to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest, and even beyond. Throughout the novel, Powers weaves together these lives to trees. This connection drives us to see the world in a whole new lens that makes us look to nature with admiring eyes. 

6. ‘The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating’ by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

Book Cover

image via amazon

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a memoir of Bailey’s observation of nature while dealing with a life-threatening illness. One of the species she studies is the Neohelix albolabris -a common woodland snail. Bedridden from her illness, Bailey discovers comfort and admiration from a creature whose new home is on her bed stand, from both being confined to a small place in the world. This memoir holds many lessons and observations that inspire us to appreciate being fully alive. 

7. ‘The Shell Collector’ by Anthony Doerr

book cover

image via amazon

This collection of short stories was one of my favorite books I read last year. it is filled with magical realism and themes of how we interact with nature. These stories are imaginative with a wide range of characters and settings. From the African coast, to the pine forest of Montana, Doerr explores how nature reflects the delicacy, beauty, and crushing realities of both humanity and nature. 

 

I hope these nature centered books inspire you to celebrate the complex and beautiful inter-workings of our planet!

featured image via Smithsonianmag.com

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5 Fascinating Fantasy Novels Inspired by the Natural World

Nature has long inspired artists of all kinds, from Wordsworth, to Van Gogh, from O’Keeffe, to Miyazaki. Mother Nature has touched the lives of creatives in every field, so we’ve assembled a list of amazing fantasy novels that are inspired by the natural world.

 

The Prophet of the termite god by Clark Thomas Carlton

 

 

Clark T. Carlton explores the intricate world of insects in his amazing fantasy series. The Prophet of the Termite God is the sequel to The Prophets of the Ghost Ants, celebrated as “exciting, visionary” and “a tour de force” by Lawrence Bender, producer of Inglorious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Good Willing Hunting and Al Gore’s climate change awareness documentary An Inconvenient Truth.  Clark’s series is a thrilling look at the possibility of worlds within our world, and what nature is truly capable of, as well as a smashing feat of world building.

According to his FantasticFiction profile, Clark was “inspired to begin writing the series during a trip to the Yucatan when he witnessed a battle for a Spanish peanut between two different kinds of ants. That night he dreamed of armies of tiny men on the backs of red and black ants. After doing years of research on insects and human social systems, Clark says that “the plot was revealed to me like a streaming, technicolor prophecy on the sixth night of Burning Man when the effigy goes up in flames.”

Carlton’s latest novel tells the story of Pleckoo, once an outcast, who has risen to Prophet-Commander of the Hulkrish army.  But a million warriors and their ghost ants were not enough to defeat his cousin, Anand the Roach Boy, the tamer of night wasps and founder of Bee-Jor. Now Pleckoo is hunted by the army that once revered him. Yet in all his despair, Pleckoo receives prophecies from his termite god, assuring him he will kill Anand to rule the Sand, and establish the One True Religion. Can Anand, the roach boy who worked in the dung heap, rise above the turmoil, survive his assassins, and prevent the massacre of millions?

Follow Clarke T. Carlton on Twitter, and on his website!

The Prophet of the Termite God is published by Harper Voyager Impulse; Paperback; June 2019; $7.99 & e-book; $2.99).)

Check out more about him here!

Clark Thomas Carlton

This author has turned his childhood hobby into his literary muse! Check out his novels here: https://amzn.to/2NqTULa

Posted by Bookstr on Sunday, June 30, 2019

 

 

Wonderblood by Julia Whicker

 

Images Via Goodreads

 

Julia Whicker’s debut novel imagines a post-apocalyptic America, in which a plague wiped out most of the population and laid waste to the land. The book is a timely warning of what could happen if society fails to acknowledge climate change.

Set five hundred years in the future, Wonderblood is Julia Whicker’s fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and dangerous carnivals. A mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off millions. Those who remain worship the ruins of NASA’s space shuttles, and Cape Canaveral is their Mecca. Medicine and science have been rejected in favour of magic, prophecy, and blood sacrifice.

When travelling marauders led by the blood-thirsty Mr. Capulatio invade her camp, a young girl named Aurora is taken captive as his bride and forced to join his band on their journey to Cape Canaveral. As war nears, she must decide if she is willing to become her captor’s queen. But then other queens emerge, some grotesque and others aggrieved, and not all are pleased with the girl’s ascent. Politics and survival are at the centre of this ravishing novel that will delight fans of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance.

 

 

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

 

Image Via Deskgram and Medium

 

Recently made into a blockbuster film starring Natalie Portman, Jeff VanderMeer’s epic trilogy explores a world reclaimed by nature. Dubbed ‘creepy and fascinating’ by none other than Stephen King, VanderMeer’s books are ‘shot through with echoes of Lovecraft, Orwell, and Kafka’ and are ‘compulsively readable’, according to Tina Jordan for Entertainment Weekly and are a brilliant examination of a world over which humans have no control.

 

Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, Authority is the second, and Acceptance is the third.

Area X-a remote and lush terrain-has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.
This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers-they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding-but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach-the secret agency that monitors these expeditions-is in disarray. In Authority, John Rodriguez, aka “Control,” is the team’s newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves-and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he’s promised to serve. And the consequences will spread much further than that.
It is winter in Area X in Acceptance. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown-navigating new terrain and new challenges-the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. The mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound-or terrifying.

 

 

 

MIDWORLD BY ALAN DEAN FOSTER

 

Image Via Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

 

Brian M. Stableford listed Midworld as a “notable example” of the “elaborate and ingenious” Earth-like worlds of late-20th-century sci-fi, and we agree! This novel explores a world inspired by our Earth’s (rapidly diminishing) jungles and follows its inhabitants as they face a threat greater than any they have ever known… Timely.

 

Born was a child of the rain forest that covered Midworld, part of the primitive society that the peaceful jungle planet had sustained for hundreds of years. He was wise in the ways of his world, and he knew well the precarious natural balance that governed all things.

Then one day the aliens came. Giants.  They knew nothing of the Upper or Lower Hell — and they cared less. Born had risked his life to save them, to guide them through the myriad tangled boughs, past unseen, unsuspected dangers lurking in the underbrush. But worse than their ignorance of how to survive, the aliens had plans for Midworld, plans that could utterly destroy the globe-spanning forest that his people called home.

As the days passed, Born realized his mistake. And as he had once hunted only to live, he knew now that he would be forced to live only to kill…

 

The Color of Distance by Amy Thomson

 

Images Via Goodreads and Amy Thompson WordPress

 

Another amazing book inspired by the idea of a post-apocalyptic Earth, Thomson’s novel is a classic of its genre, and a definite must-read for any sci-fi fans who love the world of nature too!

Juna is the sole survivor of a team of surveyors marooned in the dense and isolated Tendu rain forest, an uninhabitable world for humans. Her only hope for survival is total transformation–and terrifying assimilation–into the amphibian Tendu species. Juna will learn more about her own human nature than ever before.

Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Lands Book Deal

Young people are getting more involved in politics than ever, and one of the most vocal is getting a book published very soon

First reported by The Guardian, Climate activist Greta Thunberg will have her speeches compiled and published into a book coming out next month. Titled No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference, the book will consist of eleven speeches written by Thunberg and will be published on June 6th.

 

 

Image Via Metro

 

Thunberg is best known for organizing the School Strike for Climate, which is a movement started by students where instead of attending classes, they take part in demonstrations to demand action against climate change. Thunberg did her first demonstration in August of 2018, and her actions inspired millions around the world to join the fight for a cleaner environment.

 

 

Image Via Greenpeace USA

 

This isn’t the only book centered around Thunberg. A memoir written by her parents and family members, titles Scenes From The Heart, will also be released later this year. It will focus on the family’s support of Greta and track her political activism from the beginning.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via The Economist