Book Review: Lost Antarctica by James McClintock

As James McClintock points out in his enlightening book, Antarctica is often referred to as “the poster child” for global warming, a bellwether of climate change, the place where we see the most drastic results of a warming planet. McClintock’s Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land offers a firsthand view of the challenges facing …

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Pity the predators. A review of Beasts by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

What happens when a predator becomes prey? Today, the animals we have long viewed as predators – lions and tigers, bears and sharks – are in some cases on the verge of extinction. And, thanks to science, we now know that these predators are not nearly so violent or dangerous as we were once told (or continue to tell ourselves). Nevertheless, we …

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Book Review – The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them by Wayne Pacelle

Wayne Pacelle’s The Bond is much more than its gentle title suggests. Rather than present a quaint book about the human-animal bond, Pacelle (president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States) takes readers through a complex history of the relationships among human and non-human animals, from farming to hunting to pets to wildlife. …

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Fill ‘er up: A review of Living Oil by Stephanie LeMenager

Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century by Stephanie LeMenager  is an academic book and priced accordingly. In other words, this is not the sort of book you’d find in an airport bookstore. Perhaps it should be. This book provides historical and cultural insights into our complex relationship with oil — from the “peak discovery” period of the …

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The Human Shore, Seacoasts in History by John R. Gillis

 

The Human Shore, by John Gillis University of Chicago Press, 2012
The Human Shore, University of Chicago Press, 2012

 

The interior section of Cape Ann, which includes Gloucester and Rockport, is called Dogtown. It was the earliest part of the Cape to be settled, and was later abandoned, so that its only occupants for many years were dogs, witches, and other assorted outcasts. It is still largely undeveloped. “Why here?” visitors ask,

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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Edited by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Tim Folger, Series Editor…   Science is a scary word. At least, it used to be for those of us who grew up messing around in the hazy world of literature and art, not empirical facts. Science was what made it …

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Opportunity for writers: The Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

Ashland Creek Press has just announced its new book award, The Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature. The 2014 prize will be judged by New York Times bestselling author Karen Joy Fowler, whose most recent book is We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. (Check out Shel Graves’ review of the book here.) The contest is open to unpublished, full-length prose …

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Book Review: The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams

On a bookshelf or reading list, this classic of vegetarian thought belongs beside Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation. Originally published in 1990 and reprinted in a 20th Anniversary Edition The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory describes the intersection between feminism, pacifism and vegetarianism (conversely male dominance, war and meat-eating). It examines the use …

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Book Review: Comfortably Unaware: What We Choose to Eat Is Killing Us and Our Planet by Richard Oppenlander

Richard Oppenlander’s Comfortably Unaware is a book everyone on the planet should read. Unfortunately, the book’s biggest drawback is that it may not feel accessible to those who need to read it most. In Comfortably Unaware, Oppenlander makes the case for why the planet needs us humans to adopt a plant-based diet in order to …

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Book Review: In the Temple of Wolves by Rick Lamplugh

Imagine. Three months in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, the place known as America’s Serengeti, lush with bison, elk, bear, coyotes, wolves and other wild beasts. This is where writer Rick Lamplugh and his wife Mary Strickroth choose to spend their winters, serving as volunteers at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, where seminars on the flora and fauna …

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Book Review: Taking Back Eden: Eight Environmental Cases that Changed the World by Oliver Houck

Oliver A. Houck’s Taking Back Eden is one of those books that can offer great hope during tough environmental times. Published by Island Press in 2011, this book’s relevance is only going to grow as we face more environmental obstacles and challenges. Taking Back Eden, which presents environmental lawsuits brought in eight countries, offers an inspiring look …

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Book Review: We Animals by Jo-Anne McArthur

We Animals by Jo-Anne McArthur

Contributors to the Indiegogo campaign received We Animals, photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur’s beautifully designed coffee table book, just before the New Year. Published by Lantern Books, it features photos of individual animals used for entertainment, fashion, food, and research. It serves to highlight the barriers humans erect between themselves and other animals to assert dominance. The …

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Book Review: Stung! by Lisa-ann Gershwin

Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean, by Lisa-an Gershwin (The University of Chicago Press, 2013)   They’re here, and we’ve not just cleared out the guest room for them, we’re opened up the front parlor, the master bedroom, rumpus room, and kitchen. Soon we’ll be barricaded in the basement with a …

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Book Review: The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

The Snow Leopard (1978), a beautiful true account of a wildlife research trek into the Himalayas, reads like a novel. It’s rich with sensory detail — capturing the sights, tastes, smells, sounds and textures of the author’s journey as well as his observations and feelings along the way. “It helps to pay minute attention to …

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Book Review: Animal Liberation by Peter Singer

Animal Liberation

Firstly, in March, you can take a free online course on Practical Ethics taught by Peter Singer author, ethicist and professor of bioethics at Princeton University — how fantastic! — go sign up now. Singer’s book of the same name, Practical Ethics (1979), is his second most reprinted work. Secondly, if you haven’t read Singer’s …

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