Book Review: What a Bee Knows by Stephen Buchmann

In pollinator ecologist Stephen Buchmann’s What a Bee Knows: Exploring the Thoughts, Memories, and Personalities of Bees, the author makes a compelling case for why we need to pay closer attention to bees (and to protect them), offering stories and anecdotes from research and observation that highlight the fascinating lives of these extraordinary creatures.

Book Review: Vesper Flights

by Helen Macdonald Vesper flights is the name of the sunset behavior of swifts, who rise high into the air, out of sight, in order to reorient themselves to the world. Vesper Flights is also the name of a collection of essays by Helen Macdonald, and it, too, is a reorientation to the world, particularly …

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Book Review: Entangled Encounters at the National Zoo

In Entangled Encounters at the National Zoo: Stories from the Animal Archive author Daniel Vandersommers explores the evolution of the National Zoo as well as the far more limited evolution of society’s empathy for the animals within its walls. The National Zoo opened in 1891, thanks in large part to the advocacy of William Temple …

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Book Review: How To Be Animal, A New History of What it Means to Be Human

By Melanie Challenger, (Penguin Books, March, 2021) To call someone an animal is considered a grave insult, but it is also the truth. We, the humans, we are all animals. It’s not something we like to admit, but if Melanie Challenger is correct in her thinking, embracing our animalness will help humanity better deal with …

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Book Review: LETTERS TO MY SHEEP by Teya Brooks Pribac

In Letters To My Sheep, a lovely, thoughtful book comprising sixty-three short chapters, Teya Brooks Pribac, a scholar and multidisciplinary artist who lives in the Blue Mountains of Australia, shares musings, meditations, stories, and insights into the lives of her extraordinary companions.   “You’ll know when you’ve reached happiness,” Brooks Pribac tells us, “because there will be …

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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2023

This is the eighth year that we’ve gathered together a list of our favorite books from the past 12 months. Seeing this list makes me appreciate what EcoLit Books has accomplished over the years — drawing attention to authors and presses you might not read about in the more mainstream publications. But that’s what we’re …

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Book Review: THE HIDDEN LANGUAGE OF CATS by Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown’s The Hidden Language of Cats shares with readers the many varieties of cat communication, from vocalization to tail signals to gazes, and what studies have revealed cats are trying to say to us humans. Unlike dogs, who descended from wolves—a very social species—domestic cats descended from North African wildcats, who are quite solitary. So, says …

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Book Review: Pig by sam sax

Cover of sam sax's poetry book "Pig"; shows an abstract line drawing evoking a pig, on a pink and read background, with a flower in place of an eye.

The first poem in sam sax’s collection Pig concludes with these portentous lines: “in the beginning pig offered its body so the world / might be built & when this world ends, / pig will inherit.” There are a lot of beginnings, endings, offerings, and inheritances throughout sax’s book. Even before this first poem, there …

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Book Review: To get to the other side: Crossings

In Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet author Ben Goldfarb shines a light on the millions of animals who perish on our roads. There are four million miles of paved roads in the US on which a million animals die each year. Goldfarb notes the tragic irony of our road …

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Book Review: OPEN THROAT by Henry Hoke

The narrator of Henry Hoke’s slender, evocative novel Open Throat begins their story with, “I’ve never eaten a person but today I might.” Described by the book’s publisher as a “lonely, lovable, queer mountain lion” whose pronouns are they/them, the lion shares their journey from an urban park to a suburban home to a busy Los Angeles …

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Q&A with Gene Helfman, author of FINS

Gene Helfman, EcoLit Books contributor and author of Beyond the Human Realm, has a new book out — a “novel of relentless satire” and an impassioned defense of sharks. I recently asked Gene about the book and what inspired him to write it. Here’s what he had to say… Tell us about your latest book FINS, …

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Book Review: Three Bears, not Eight

A Review of Gloria Dickie’s Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future In my life I have had the privilege of seeing more grizzlies, more blacks, and more polar bears than I can remember, most at respectable distances but some a bit too close for comfort.  And while I may not be able to recall details …

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Book Review: The Nature Book, a novel

By Tom Comitta Coffee House Press, 2023 Reviewed by JoeAnn Hart  “No words of my own can be added anywhere in the novel,” writes The Nature Book’s author, Tom Comitta, with a nod to the Oulipo group[1] and a whiff of Sol LeWitt[2], as he defines the constraints and rules of this extraordinary novel. Every …

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Catch up on our recent event

Ashland Creek Press was thrilled to host Reading Animals/Writing Animals, sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Writers’ Union of Canada, with Siskiyou Prize winner and Among Animals 3 contributor Nadja Lubiw-Hazard — and we’re delighted to present a recording of the event. The live event on Wednesday, May 24, was filled …

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