Book Review: The Humane Gardener

What in the world could be inhumane about gardening? Plenty, it turns out, thanks to this beautifully produced and incredibly important book by Nancy Lawson: The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife. The Humane Gardener makes a persuasive case for rethinking conventional knowledge about what a garden or yard should look like and …

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LitHub’s climate change library

If we lived on this planet only one day a year then perhaps celebrating one “Earth Day” a year would make more sense. But as LitHub points out, every day is earth day. And they are assembling an ambitious list of 365 books for your climate change library, beginning with the classics. It’s nice to …

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Happy World Penguin Day

Today is World Penguin Day— not that we need a reason to celebrate these amazing little creatures, but it’s great to have a designated day on which everyone thinks about these birds and how they’re faring in such a rapidly changing world. So, how exactly are the penguins doing? According to the International Union for Conservation of …

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The Sexual Politics of Meat, 20 Years Later

The other day I saw an ad for a new model of Audi. In it, a woman enters a butcher shop, and the butcher, a female, knowing that this woman is looking for something more “red blooded,” ushers her into the back room, where we find the new Audi Q8. “Dig in,” the butcher says. …

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Book Review: Through a Vegan Studies Lens

Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism, edited by Laura Wright, is part of the series “Cultural Ecologies of Food in the 21st Century” from the University of Nevada Press, bringing attention to the ways in which our food choices “produce ecologies of effects, environmentally and otherwise.”   I am thrilled to see …

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Book Review: The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds by Gavin Van Horn

Reviewed by James Ballowe, Distinguished Professor English Emeritus from Bradley University In his “Prologue” to The Way of Coyote, Gavin Van Horn, Director of Cultures of Conservation at the Center for Humans and Nature, leaves no doubt as to what his book is about. Before coming to Chicago, his “Plan A” was to inhabit a cabin …

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Where Song Began

What I most missed after a trip to Australia last year wasn’t the beaches or the local accents. It was the sounds of the birds. The plaintive cries of the Australian ravens, the laughing kookaburras, and the screeching cockatoos. I realized after I returned home that I never had associated Australia with exotic birds. This …

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