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Q&A with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

In Birds, Conservation, Insects, Nonfiction, Oceans, Trees by Center for Humans and Nature0 Comments

Florence Williams is a journalist and Fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature who often writes about the connections between people, health, and nature. She is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, and she also writes for  the New York Times, National Geographic, Slate, Mother Jones, High Country News, and other publications. In her latest book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative (W.W. Norton 2017), Williams sets out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to groves of eucalyptus in California, she investigates the science …

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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2016

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Birds, Book Publishers, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Fiction, Nonfiction by John Yunker0 Comments

I polled our contributors to see what books they’ll remember best from 2016. And here we have it — some of which we’ve reviewed and some of which we hope to still…   Anna Monders Last of the Giants: The Rise and Fall of Earth’s Most Dominant Species by Jeff Campbell   Midge Raymond The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf This book examines the life of the oft-forgotten founder of the modern environmentalist movement, Alexander von Humboldt, and his story is a timely one, especially in an era in which climate change is still not receiving the attention it …

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My Last Continent: A Novel by Midge Raymond

In Birds, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Fiction, Oceans, Veganism by John Yunker0 Comments

I’m happy to announce the publication of contributor Midge Raymond’s debut novel My Last Continent (Scribner). This novel wears the “eco-fiction” label quite well. The novel focuses on penguin researchers in Antarctica and their struggles to protect creatures who are at the mercy of changing climate and increased tourism. The book also has a plot element that has long been a concern from those who work in Antarctica: A tourist vessel hits ice and begins to sink, with rescuers more than half a day away. Here are a few reviews My Last Continent has received so far: “Atmospheric and adventurous…the story and vivid writing will …

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Holy Mōlī: Albatross and Other Ancestors

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Oceans by John Yunker0 Comments

The Laysan albatross is known as Mōlī in Hawaiian. It is difficult not to speak in superlatives when describing the albatross. The bird has a wingspan longer than most humans are tall. Albatross far outlive most other birds — with one active albatross now 64 years old. They spend most of their lives  at sea, gliding just a few inches above the waves. Only 5% of their lives are spent on land — and this is where they are particularly vulnerable, when they are breeding and caring for their chicks. Author Hob Osterlund is founder of the Kaua’i Albatross Network an organization that works to protect these birds. And through her writing you …

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Do Unto Animals: A Guide to Raising a More Compassionate Family

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Birds, Book Reviews, Children's Books, Conservation, Endangered Species, Insects, Nonfiction, Veganism by John Yunker0 Comments

I grew up around cats, so it always struck me as odd when people didn’t understand what a cat’s purr signified. Then again, I did not grow up around cows or goats or sheep and don’t understand their behaviors. You have to learn how to live among animals. How to read the languages they speak through their body language and the noises they make. And since not all of us were raised in households with pets or by outdoorsy parents, how do we learn how to peacefully coexist with animals when we don’t have much practice? This book provides a great start. What I …

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The Narrow Edge

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Oceans, Pollution by JoeAnn Hart0 Comments

    The Narrow Edge By Deborah Cramer Yale University Press, 2015.   The “narrow edge” in the title of this engaging book by Deborah Cramer evokes the image of comedian Harold Lloyd, in the 1923 film Safety Last!, teetering on a skyscraper ledge, clinging for dear life to the hands of a clock. It is an apt metaphor for the uncertain future of the red knot (“a small sandpiper about the size of a robin and weighing about as much as a coffee cup”), which roams the sliver of sand between land and sea, a precarious place to be …

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Submissions for Among Animals will close December 15

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Birds, Conservation, Endangered Species, For Writers, Insects, Veganism, Wolves, Writing Opportunities by Midge Raymond0 Comments

We are pleased to announce we’re on the home stretch toward choosing stories for the next edition of Among Animals. We’re still looking for a few more great stories and have set a deadline of December 15. So if you’ve got a short story you think might fit, please send it along! And for more details about what we’re looking for in these stories, check out our first edition, which will give you a good idea of what the anthology is all about. And thanks to everyone who has shared their work with us so far. We’ve been honored to read your stories.

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Flight Ways: Birds living on the dull edge of extinction

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Birds, Book Reviews, Endangered Species, Nonfiction by John Yunker0 Comments

In Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction, environmental philosopher Thom van Dooren tells the stories of five species of bird: Albatross Little Penguin Indian Vulture Whooping Crane Hawaiian Crow Each species sheds light on a different “extinction story.” We begin with the albatross — birds that spend most of their lives gliding inches above the sea, ingesting plastics and other contaminants that they in turn feed to their offspring, resulting in increased numbers of dead offspring. Fishing lines have had an equally devastating effect on the adults. Most humans may never set eyes on an albatross, but by eating seafood or by simply …

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Zoologies

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction by JoeAnn Hart1 Comment

Zoologies, On Animals and the Human Spirit (Milkweed Editions) By Alison Hawthorne Deming Every day, as I walk from house to barn, or go up the driveway to get the mail, I am closely monitored by the resident crows who glide from oak to oak, loudly discussing my movements amongst themselves. In a cacophony of caws and clacks, I understand the gist of their conversation: Look, look. There she is! Here she comes! Is she carrying food? Are her barking things with her? Look, look. She’s going back to her nest! She’s gone. Crows are intelligent animals with the leisure …

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Book Review: Trash Animals

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Birds, Book Reviews, Nonfiction by JoeAnn Hart0 Comments

How we live with nature’s filthy, feral, invasive, and unwanted species Kelsi Nagy and Phillip David Johnson II, editors University of Minnesota Press, 2013 In this collected cross-section of stories and essays about trash animals — the loathed species we deem dirty or dangerous nuisances, such as pigeons and coyotes — the authors differ in subject matter and narrative focus, but they all have one thing in common. They ask that we see these animals in a new light. Why is that so difficult? Mostly, as the authors argue, because we hate species who survive on our sloth, such as …