September Picks - Nature & Environmentalism

The theme for September was Nature & Environmentalism. This is a collection of non-fiction and/or fiction books on this topic that the participants shared during the September program.

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The bird way : a new look at how birds talk, work, play, parent, and think

The bird way : a new look at how birds talk, work, play, parent, and think

Ackerman, Jennifer, 1959- author.
2020

There is the mammal way and there is the bird way." This is one scientist's pithy distinction between mammal brains and bird brains: two ways to make a highly intelligent mind. But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviors they have, for years, dismissed as anomalies or mysteries. What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, how they communicate, forage, court, breed, survive. They're also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own--deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, infanticide, but also, ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play.

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Birds art life

Birds art life

Maclear, Kyo, 1970-, author
2017



The cloud collector's handbook

The cloud collector's handbook

Pretor-Pinney, Gavin.
2009


Diary of a young naturalist

Diary of a young naturalist

McAnulty, Dara, author.
2021

"Evocative, raw, and beautifully written, Diary of a Young Naturalist vividly explores the natural world from the perspective of an autistic teenager juggling homework, friendship, and campaigning for the environment. Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of fifteen-year-old Dara McAnulty's world. From spring and through a year in his backyard in Northern Ireland, McAnulty spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative, and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. Above all, Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays McAnulty's intense connection to the natural world. "I was diagnosed with Asperger's/autism aged five ... By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system."-- Provided by publisher.

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Down from the mountain : the life and death of a grizzly bear

Down from the mountain : the life and death of a grizzly bear

Andrews, Bryce, author
2019

The story of a bear named Millie: her life, death, and cubs, and what they reveal about the changing wilds of the American West.

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Greenwood : a novel

Greenwood : a novel

Christie, Michael, 1976-, author
2020

It's 2034 and Jake Greenwood is an overqualified tour guide in one of the world's last remaining forests. It's 2008 and Liam Greenwood is a carpenter, fallen from a ladder and sprawled on his broken back. It's 1974 and Willow Greenwood is out of jail, free after being locked up for one of her endless series of environmental protests. It's 1934 and Everett Greenwood is alone, as usual, in his maple syrup camp squat when he hears the cries of an abandoned infant and gets tangled up in the web of a crime that will cling to his family for decades. And throughout, there are trees: thrumming a steady, silent pulse beneath Christie's effortless sentences and working as a guiding metaphor for withering, weathering, and survival.

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Horizon

Horizon

Lopez, Barry Holstun, 1945- author
2020

A book that moves through decades of the author's life as it describes his travels to six regions of the world: from the Oregon coast where he lives to the northernmost reaches of Canada; to the Galapagos; to the Kenyan desert; to Botany Bay in Australia; and in the resounding last section of this magisterial book, unforgettably to the ice shelves of Antarctica. As he revisits his growing up and these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada; the colonialists who plundered Central Africa; an Enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific and a Native American emissary who arrived in Japan before it opened to the West. He confronts today's ecotourism in the tropics and visits the haunting remnants of a French colonial prison on Île du Diable in French Guiana. Through these journeys, and friendships forged along the way with scientists, archeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world. With tenderness and intimacy, Horizon evokes the stillness and the silence of the hottest, the coldest and the most desolate places on the globe.

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The overstory

The overstory

Powers, Richard, 1957- author
2018





Underland : a deep time journey

Underland : a deep time journey

Macfarlane, Robert, 1976- author.
2019

In Underland, Macfarland delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth's underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself. He takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Traveling through "deep time" - the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present - he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future, from the prehistoric art of Norwegian sea caves to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk "hiding place" where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come.

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The wake : the deadly legacy of a Newfoundland tsunami

The wake : the deadly legacy of a Newfoundland tsunami

MacIntyre, Linden, author
2019

On November 18, 1929, a tsunami struck Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula. Giant waves, up to three storeys high, hit the coast at a hundred kilometres per hour, flooding dozens of communities and washing entire houses out to sea. The most destructive earthquake-related event in Newfoundland's history, the disaster killed twenty-eight people and left hundreds more homeless or destitute. It took days for the outside world to find out about the death and damage caused by the tsunami, which forever changed the lives of the inhabitants of the fishing outports along the Burin Peninsula.

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Wenjack

Wenjack

Boyden, Joseph, 1966-, author
2016


The white bone

The white bone

Gowdy, Barbara.
1998


World of wonders : in praise of fireflies, whale sharks, and other astonishments

World of wonders : in praise of fireflies, whale sharks, and other astonishments

Nezhukumatathil, Aimee, author
2020

"From beloved, poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction-a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us."

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