Book Review: The Elephant of Belfast

The Elephant of Belfast, S. Kirk Walsh’s debut novel, reimagines the extraordinary relationship between an Irish zookeeper and a young Asian elephant during the Second World War. Twenty-year-old Hettie Quin works part-time at Bellevue Zoo and Gardens and is angling hard for a promotion. She wants to become a full-time zookeeper—a position traditionally held by …

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Book Review: Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World

The natural world is in crisis. Rising sea levels. Burning forests. Species extinction. Climate change is leaving no one and no thing unaffected. At this precarious moment, what becomes the role of the nature writer, who has long heralded nature’s beauty and bounty? Writer, philosopher, and environmental activist Kathleen Dean Moore answers that question in …

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Book Review: The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here

In 1989, Robert Fulghum published All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Three decades later, reading Hope Jahren’s new book, The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here, I found myself thinking about Fulghum and his lessons learned. Number one: Share everything. It’s an …

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Book Review: Erosion, Essays of Undoing

“Trump finalizes rollback of Obama-era vehicle fuel efficiency standards” (Reuters) “Trump Loosens Methane Standards In A Win For Oil & Gas Industry” (Forbes) “Trump Slashes Size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Monuments” (New York Times) Since being elected president, Donald Trump has seemingly had it out for Mother Earth. Unless stopped by the courts, …

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Book Review: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead resists easy categorization. It is a dark comedy, murder mystery, treatise on animal rights, and tribute to English poet William Blake. It is also a feminist portrait of a woman taking stock of the social and cultural values that have shaped all that she …

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Book Review: Rescue Dogs: Where They Come From, Why They Act the Way They Do, and How to Love Them Well

Pete Paxton hesitated upon hearing the command, “Jump inside.” Inside the trench, which was more than one hundred feet long, six feet wide, and six feet deep, lay dogs in all stages of decomposition. Paxton could see skulls, organs, guts. He saw mosquitoes and maggots. The stench was so putrid, he nearly vomited. But it …

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Muri

As Arctic sea ice melts, what, if any, responsibility do humans have for the animals whose very existence is threatened? It’s a question worth considering as temperatures rise and sea ice declines, a situation brought to light, once again, in the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It’s also the question …

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Where the Crawdads Sing

Kya Clark, the protagonist in Delia Owens’ debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, knows little of the world beyond the remote sliver of North Carolina coastal marsh she calls home. Abandoned by her family. Shunned by her community. Kya’s is a near solitary existence, her closest companions the gulls that, like Kya, inhabit the marshland. …

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