St. Louis Blues: The Broken Heart of America

The cover of The Broken Heart of America by Walter Johnson features a nearly complete St. Louis Arch, known as the Gateway to the West. It was completed about six years before my family moved to St. Louis and my memories of it consist of squeezing into an egg-shaped elevator and tilting our way up …

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Book Review: Phoenix Zones by Hope Ferdowsian

Phoenix Zones: Where Strength Is Born and Resilience Lives by Hope Ferdowsian, MD, is among the many compassionate, powerful, inspiring books the world needs now. This slender book about trauma and healing portrays the lives of human and nonhuman animals from myriad parts of the world, examining the ways in which suffering—and healing—is universal across  borders …

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Book review: PROTEST KITCHEN by Carol J. Adams and Virginia Messina

Carol J. Adams, best known for her groundbreaking book The Sexual Politics of Meat, has teamed up with dietician Virginia Messina to create Protest Kitchen: Fight Injustice, Save the Planet, and Fuel Your Resistance One Meal at a Time, an inspiring guide for all who care about social justice, animal rights, and our planet.  With …

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Learning to love weeds: Beyond the War on Invasive Species

Dandelions. Bull thistle. Kudzu. Japanese knotweed. Himalayan blackberry. From front lawns to woodlands, these are among the most despised of plant species. Species that, we are told, are hell-bent on taking over every square inch of soil, crowding out native species, ruining ecosystems, giving gardeners ulcers. But what if everything we know about weeds is …

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Review: In The Art of Earth Architecture everything old is new again

As an architectural enthusiast, I have long admired Louis Khan. When I first visited San Diego years ago, I made sure to visit The Salk Institute. To see how concrete was used as both structure and frame, guiding my eyes toward the ocean. Kahn inspired me to dream about one day building a home made …

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Book Review: The Great Derangement

With the future state of the planet in question, Amitav Ghosh explores the roles of literature and history in terms of their place in the climate crisis in his book The Great Derangement. Ghosh, a fiction writer who has experienced climate catastrophes in South Asia, structures his argument in three parts: Stories, History, and Politics. …

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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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Bird by Word: Two reviews of American Birds: A Literary Companion

As I finished reading American Birds: A Literary Companion I realized that there were two reviews I could write: the “typical American birder” review and the “atypical vegan birder” review. And that, in the end, I needed to write both reviews. Let’s begin with the “typical American birder” review. In this review, I admire the …

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Book Review: Land of Wondrous Cold

Gillen D’Arcy Wood’s Land of Wondrous Cold combines the stories of three lesser known (but no less important) Antarctic explorers with continental history and future implications on a rapidly warming planet Earth. In a book that is both science and adventure story, Land of Wondrous Cold weaves together the human and natural history of the Antarctic by connecting early Victorian …

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