Book Review: The Shark Club

Ann Kidd Taylor’s novel, The Shark Club, is not only a delightful read as we head into spring and summer “beach reading” time, but it is a much-needed antidote to Peter Benchley’s Jaws. Rather than instill fear in readers, The Shark Club highlights the importance of these four-hundred-million-year-old creatures to our ecosystem and debunks the myths that other books …

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When a vegetarian crashes a hunting party: The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate

I’m not sure how I heard about this novel, only that I had heard that there was an animal rights element to it. Yet in the early pages I struggled to find that element. This is a novel set in 1913 on a British estate in which a group of upper-class couples have gathered to …

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Book Review: Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica (translated from the Spanish by Sarah Moses)

In Tender is the Flesh, Agustina Bazterrica expertly crafts a horrifying reality that feels too contemporary to be the future. A virus has decimated the world’s animal population. Societies around the globe, rather than shifting to vegetarianism, continue to demand meat at alarming costs. Governments have legalized cannibalism (which has the added benefits of curbing …

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Review: The Yield by Tara June Winch

I didn’t plan to read the nonfiction book Dark Emu shortly before reading the novel The Yield by Tara June Winch. But I couldn’t think of a better pairing. While Dark Emu deconstructs colonial myths about Australian Aboriginal civilizations, The Yield illustrates how these myths were used to justify tearing apart families and cultures. In …

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Book Review: MIGRATIONS by Charlotte McConaghy

Migrations is a stunningly beautiful novel about a woman who has always been running—from her childhood, her mistakes, her memories—and this time, she’s traveling from Greenland to Antarctica, following the world’s last flock of Arctic terns on their final migration.  As the novel opens, Franny Stone approaches the captain of the only boat who might …

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Book Review: The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals by Becky Mandelbaum

While the title of Becky Mandelbaum’s The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals may indicate this is a novel about animals, it is very much more a human novel. Set primarily in a small, conservative town in St. Clare, Kansas, just after the 2016 election, the book focuses mainly on two characters: Mona, a sanctuary owner …

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New and upcoming book releases

Sadly, we cannot review everything we receive here at EcoLit Books — but I did want to highlight a few new and newly republished works… The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animalsby Katy M. GuentherStanford University Press For the Birds: Protecting Wildlife through the Naturalist Gazeby Elizabeth CherryRutgers University Press Butterfly: Poems by Miriam Sorrel …

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Book Review: The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-Eun

Eco-tourism has become increasingly popular in recent years, travel intended to help conserve and contribute to remote communities and delicate ecosystems, but…disaster tourism? We’re all familiar with rubbernecking drivers, and South Korean novelist Yun Ko-Eun escalates our morbid curiosity with catastrophe into a full-blown industry in The Disaster Tourist. This is Yun’s second novel to …

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Book Review: Deb Olin Unferth’s BARN 8

It’s rare to find a novel whose plot centers around animal rescue, and rarer still to encounter one that is deftly written and gets it (mostly) right—which is among the many reasons Deb Olin Unferth’s Barn 8 is both a terrific and important book.  Barn 8 is not necessarily an animal-rights novel—the animals themselves come second to many …

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