Dark Emu: Rethinking Australian history (and our own)

Who were the first humans to bake bread? If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have probably guessed the Egyptians. But what if it was the Aboriginal Australians? And not by any small margin. There is evidence to suggest that Australians were cultivating grains and baking bread more than 30,000 years …

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Maverick: A life among animals, reconsidered

At the opening of the essay collection Maverick, Laura Jean Schneider writes: I’m in the third generation of butchers in my family. As a family, we slaughtered and butchered most of the meat we eat ourselves. While this was not without conflict it seemed that once animals flesh was cooked, we were absolved of the …

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Building Reuse: Why your old house may be more environmental than you think

I live in an old house. So old that it tilts off to one side and you can feel a winter breeze coming up through the floorboards. When we had it renovated several years ago, I wondered if it would have made more sense, environmentally, to tear it down and build a LEED-certified (whatever exactly …

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Book Review: World of Wonders; In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

No one sees nature quite like a poet and Aimee Nezhukumatathil proves that in World of Wonders, her first book of prose. This collection of essays centers around Nezhukumatathil’s lifelong interactions with and observations of the natural world. Born to a Filipina mother and a father from South India, Nezhukumatathil grew up all over the United States due to the demands of her mother’s job as a psychiatrist, and was immersed in landscapes from New York to Arizona. She writes from both the poet’s perspective and as a person of color in a white-privileged world.

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: Dark Side of the Ocean

If you are one of those for whom solid scientific information is a balm for environmental anxiety, Dark Side of the Ocean is the book for you. Albert Bates, the author of 18 books on climate, history, and ecology, provides a torrent of information in easy to understand language. It is technical but not thick. It …

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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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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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