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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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: 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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The Ecological Citizen is looking for rewilding success stories

The editorial team of The Ecological Citizen is looking for submissions of rewinding success stories: The pieces we publish are short (generally around 750 words) and describe inspiring stories about nature’s rebounding. If there is a rewilding example from your corner of the world that you might like to write about, then please get in …

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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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Book Review: An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us

Guest book review by Gene Helfman. Put simply, reading An Immense World will change how you perceive the world. It certainly has altered my perception. I have decades of experience conducting research on, and teaching about, animal behavior. I thought I had a fairly sophisticated understanding of the natural world. But organisms and environments I …

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Book Review: JUSTICE FOR ANIMALS by Martha C. Nussbaum

As with so many books about the plight of animals in today’s world, Martha C. Nussbaum’s Justice for Animals: Our Collective Responsibility needs to be read most of all by those who eat animals, visit zoos, buy puppies, and so on — in other words, those who may not realize (or who don’t wish to …

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Love is War: Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag

Boy meets girl. Girl goes veg. Boy goes off the deep end. And so begins this heartfelt, occasionally hilarious and generally brilliant graphic novel about one man’s struggle to resist his girlfriend’s vegetarian (and ultimately vegan) calling. The protagonist, Michael, is an army vet who returns to the US and falls for a girl he …

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Eco-Fiction, Edited by John Stadler

The stories in Eco-Fiction, most written in the mid-20th century, are by very well-known authors. Some are sci-fi, some are dated, and others are sadly prescient, such as Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder” which makes the connection between authoritarianism and ecological disaster.

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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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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