The best environmental books we’ve read in 2021

In 2016, we began compiling lists of the best books we read that year (new or old, it didn’t matter). And now here we are in 2021, and we’ve got another wonderful list of the best environmental books we’ve read this year. These may not be the books you’ll find in the top lists of …

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Book Review: Ash Davidson’s DAMNATION SPRING

Living in Southern Oregon, not far north of where Ash Davidson’s Damnation Spring is set, I’ve grown used to passing trucks that are overloaded with timber, and mountainsides bare from clear-cuts. Knowing that this novel is about logging redwoods in the late 1970s, I wasn’t sure how biased I might be, as an reader who is decidedly …

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Book Review: Willodeen by Katherine Applegate

Katherine Applegate’s Willodeen, out today from Feiwel and Friends, aptly begins with an epigraph quoting Greta Thunberg: “I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.”  This middle-grade novel geared towards tweens, but also appropriate for younger readers, explores surprisingly mature topics in a way that is still accessible and engaging for …

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Book Review: We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Kaitlyn Greenidge’s stunning and unique novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, begins as the story of a family that moves into the The Toneybee Institute for Ape Research to teach an abandoned young chimpanzee sign language—yet while the novel is very much about language, its focus veers from chimpanzees and delves into the institute’s dark …

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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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Beyond The Human Realm

Beyond the Human Realm, A Novel by Gene Helfman (Luminare Press, July, 2021 Review by JoeAnn Hart             It’s not an easy feat to write in an animal POV without the voice seeming weird or childish, but Gene Helfman pulls it off. Do I want to read an entire novel in an orca POV? Probably not. …

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Book Review: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Charlotte McConaghy’s Once There Were Wolves shares much in common with her previous novel, Migrations — the journey of a troubled young woman hoping to save the animals she loves, while also fighting the demons of her past. Yet despite these echoes, Once There Were Wolves is entirely unique in its story of biologist Inti Flynn, who …

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