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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Eating meat in third person: The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Published in 1969, The Edible Woman is Margaret Atwood’s first novel. As a vegan, I was curious to read this book because it features a protagonist, Marian, who discovers one day that she can no longer eat meat. While at a fancy restaurant with her fiancé… She looked down at her own half-eaten steak and …

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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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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2019

Looking back on the year, I’m happy to see that a novel that made our best books list in 2018 won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize: The Overstory by Richard Powers (and deservedly so). Looking ahead, I believe more and more readers are going to be seeking out the stories and insights that can only be …

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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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