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Book Review: Back from the Brink by Nancy F. Castaldo

In Book Reviews, Children's Books, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction by Heather TaftLeave a Comment

Back from the Brink, by Nancy F. Castaldo, is a collection of stories for older kids (10 – 12 years old) about animals that have come very close to extinction.  Due to efforts from conservation researchers and passionate individuals who want to see these species survive, their populations have increased again.  I recommend this book for students who are interested in conservation and learning about how researchers help save species that are on the verge of extinction.  It would make an excellent addition to a school library. The book starts with an introduction to the legislation that helps protect species, …

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The Overstory: An arboreal love story (and lament)

In Anthropocene, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Fiction, Trees by John YunkerLeave a Comment

When we started EcoLit Books five years ago, this was the type of book I had in mind. A novel that places nature in its proper place in relation to people. That is, above us — in this case, both figuratively and literally. In The Overstory, Richard Powers has crafted an epic novel that stretches hundreds of years, culminating in a series of life-and-death environmental battles. But even more so, this is a novel about rediscovering the largest and oldest living creatures on our planet. So many of the characters are alien to the trees they share the planet with until …

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Book Review: Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil & the Future of Africa’s Big Cats by Andrew Loveridge

In Animal Behavior, Book Reviews, Conservation, Nonfiction by Heather TaftLeave a Comment

In Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil & the Future of Africa’s Big Cats, lion researcher Andrew Loveridge recounts his work studying prides of lions living in Zimbabwe. From his initial research on jackals, to the inception and evolution of the lion research project to assess the impact hunting has on lion populations, this is a great exploration of Loveridge’s work over the years. I highly recommend it to lion lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. I caution readers not to be misled by the title though. Do not read this book expecting all of it to focus on Cecil. …

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Book Review: The Animals’ Agenda by Marc Bekoff & Jessica Pierce

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Birds, Book Reviews, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Veganism by Midge RaymondLeave a Comment

The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce is an important and timely book that examines the human relationship with — or, more accurately, examines the many ways in which humans use — animals and how this relationship needs to evolve. This book asks readers to rethink how we see animals and to adopt more compassionate practices toward them, from animals used for food and entertainment to those in the wild. If this book has one message that we all need to hear, it’s that animals in our society suffer abuses that …

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Announcing the 2017 Siskiyou Prize winner & finalists

In For Writers, Nonfiction by Midge Raymond

Many congratulations to the winner of the 2017 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature: Diana Hartel, for her essay collection Watershed Redemption: Journey in Time on Five U.S. Watersheds. Judge Jonathan Balcombe writes of Diana’s book: “In Watershed Redemption, Diana Hartel’s sweeping, richly researched account conjures up a Bierstadt landscape. With elegant, crystal-clear prose, she weaves a dire yet hopeful tapestry of ecological ignorance, genocide, and tenacious activism. There is something for everyone—environmentalist, policy-maker, ethnologist, historian, biologist, epidemiologist, artist—in this powerful piece of advocacy.” Diana Hartel writes on public health and ecosystem health issues. She graduated from Columbia University with a doctorate in epidemiology and concentrations in …

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Book Review: I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer

In Book Reviews, Children's Books, Conservation, Fiction by Heather Taft

Brad Meltzer has written a child-friendly account of Dr. Jane Goodall as she grew up and began her research on chimpanzees in I am Jane Goodall.  I recommend this book for budding environmentalists.  It shows kids the importance of caring for the Earth and the need to work with others to advance conservation efforts.  It also demonstrates that passions can turn into careers. If you have a young environmentalist in your home this could be a good addition to their library. The book starts with Jane’s first birthday, then gives a humorous glimpse of trouble she got into as a …

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Book Review: Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America, co-edited by Stefanie Brook Trout and Taylor Brorby

In Book Reviews, Climate Change, Oil, Pollution by Center for Humans and Nature

Reviewed by Lucia Hadella in partnership with Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project and Environmental Arts and Humanities program. How does one go about telling the story of hydraulic fracturing in the United States in a way that illuminates its repercussions for humans and nonhumans? Through poetry? A short story? An essay? Does one travel to a town where fracking is prevalent and talk with its residents, see the operations, walk across the scarred ground? Editors Stefanie Brook Trout and Taylor Brorby made the decision, when putting together Fracture, to include all of these approaches in an effort to capture the qualms …

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Opportunity for Writers: Art after Nature from The University of Minnesota Press

In Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Climate Change, Conservation, For Writers, Nonfiction, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker

I’ve long been a fan of Antennae, a literary/artistic journal created and curated by Giovanni Aloi. So I was thrilled to see that the University of Minnesota Press is partnering with Giovanni and Caroline Piccard on a new book series titled Art after Nature. Here’s their vision for the series: Art after Nature maps new aesthetic territories defined by the humanities’ recent ontological turn. In the face of the unprecedented shifts in humanity’s conceived relationship with the natural world, modes of critical and political artistic engagement are adapting in response. As notions of pristine sublimity crumble, Art after Nature proposes to explore the consequences of this transition, further destabilizing anthropocentrism, and revealing the dark ecological fluidity of naturecultures. The urgency imposed by anthropogenic lenses of inquiry provides an ethical …

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Book Review: Moto and Me by Suzi Eszterhas

In Book Reviews, Children's Books, Conservation by Anna Monders

When Suzi Eszterhas was a kid, she told her mom that when she grew up, she was going to live in a tent in Africa. And she did. She became a wildlife photographer and spent three years living in a tent on the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. While there, a park ranger asked if she would help raise an orphaned serval. (Servals are mid-sized, spotted wildcats found in Africa, and they are considered at risk in some regions, due to habitat loss and hunting.) The serval kitten was just two weeks old when she got him. She named him …

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Book Review: Clean Meat by Paul Shapiro

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Nonfiction, Pollution, Veganism by Midge Raymond

Paul Shapiro’s book Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World explores the fascinating — and potentially planet-saving — world of cultured meat. While the notion of “cultured meat” or “lab-grown” meat may sound odd to many, Shapiro’s book makes the case for why this new industry is among our best hopes for, quite literally, saving the world. He notes, “Our species truly is at a crossroads. It’s not hard to imagine the global instability that could ensue when we have billions more people on the planet, including billions more who expect to eat meat …