New and forthcoming environmental books

Here are a few recent books that came across our desks and inboxes… Afterglow: Climate Fiction for Future AncestorsEdited by Grist Afterglow is a stunning collection of original short stories in which writers from many different backgrounds envision a radically different climate future. Published in collaboration with Grist, a nonprofit media organization dedicated to telling stories …

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Book Review: Sixty Harvests Left: Regenerating our planet and ourselves

I’ve long believed that the Dust Bowl years were the result of rampant over-farming and generally awful land management. And while this is true, what I didn’t realize until I had read Sixty Harvests Left was that even back then, when the “dusters” were an ever-present threat, there were those in positions of power who …

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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2022

Philosopher Albert Camus summed it up best when he wrote: “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” The books we’ve highlighted below include a number of writers, including our reviewers, who are trying to do just that. We hope you enjoy the reviews and that you support these amazing writers. …

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2022 Year in Review: Most popular books and posts

When I look at visitor stats for the past year, EcoLit Books has seen a steady increase in the number of daily visitors. We now average just over 200 unique visitors per day, with many days surpassing 300 and a few days over 500. For a website devoted to environmental and animal literature, these are …

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Book Review: COYOTE AMERICA by Dan Flores

Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History by Dan Flores is excellent reading, especially for those of us who’ve shared our landscapes with these magnificent creatures. Flores’s knowledge of the science and history of the coyote is vast, compiled in a highly accessible narrative that combines research, experience, and interviews to create an inspiring portrait …

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On Animals by Susan Orlean

Guest book review by Gene Helfman. “. . . are such rare, extraordinary kinships valuable because they remind us of a continuity with living creatures that we easily forget?”  Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief (turned into an Oscar-winning movie starring Meryl Streep) and The Library Book (a must read for any bibliophile), titled her latest book On Animals when …

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The Creative Lives of Animals: Understanding the artists around us

Creativity is something that is easier to identify than to explain. And one person’s definition of creativity may vary from your definition. For proof, you need only enter the modern art wing of a museum to hear “Why is that art?” uttered. But though creativity may be in the eye of the beholder, nobody would …

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Book Review: BITCH by Lucy Cooke

As a zoology student, Lucy Cooke was taught that the females of the species are exploited, weak, and passive. As a human animal, Cooke begged to differ. In Bitch: On the Female of the Species, she challenges this sexist mythology across species, from birds to primates to whales, showing that females can be just as sexually …

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Halcyon Journey: Searching for Kingfishers

Kingfishers are birds more often heard than seen. Walk next to Bear Creek here in the Rogue Valley and you will probably hear them, though seeing them is not so easy. Fortunately, we have a new book about the kingfisher by Marina Richie to shed light on this fascinating bird. Marina takes us along with …

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Book Review: Groundglass by Kathryn Savage

book cover for Kathryn Savage's Groundglass, the words around broken fragments

Kathryn Savage’s gorgeous lyric essay Groundglass is a poetic reckoning with environmental pollution and its unavoidable connection to human bodies. In the book, available August 2nd from Coffee House Press, Savage blends tough questions about external systems with nuanced reflections on internal harm. Savage chooses the lyric essay, a hybrid form combining poetry and essay, as the conduit …

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Book Review: The Treeline

As environmental activists have made clear for decades, the preservation of Earth’s forests is essential to the existence of life. And, yet, continued exploitation of this resource and the simultaneous warming of Earth have placed forests in a precarious situation. The boreal forest is one of the largest biomes on Earth, second only to the …

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Book Review: The Insect Crisis

The subtitle of the must-read book The Insect Crisis by Oliver Milman is The Fall of the Tiny Empires that Run the World. Tiny empires indeed. Consider the following: Three out of four species on this planet are insects. There are more species of assassin fly on this planet (7,500+) than the entire world of …

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Book Review: Environment by Rolf Halden

If you were expecting a book called “Environment” to include an inspiring exploration of how trees communicate, poetic scenes of dolphins swimming gracefully through a blue ocean or an examination of sparkling lakes in gorgeous national parks, you’d be in for a downer surprise. The environmental overview that is Environment by Rolf Halden is instead—as the plastic …

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