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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In Floating Coast, stories of survival, sadness and madness

The Bering Strait is probably best known these days for the 50-mile thin stretch of Pacific Ocean that separates Russia from the United States. But it is also one of the most ecologically abundant waters in the world, attracting whales and seabirds from around the world. As well as people who come to hunt these …

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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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In Animal City our painful past is still painfully present

If I asked you to picture a “cow town,” you would probably picture a small town, surrounded by pasture, set far away from the big city. Yet in the 1800s, cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco were also cow towns. It was not unusual to see herds of cows squeezed through downtown streets, …

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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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Review: Building a Better World in Your Backyard

When it comes to nonfiction environmental books these days, I feel that we’re reaching “peek dystopia.” Or, at least I hope we are. Because it seems that between books about our warming planet, animal extinction, water shortages and wars, I’m sufficiently enlightened and depressed. What we don’t have enough of these days are hands-on books …

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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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