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.

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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What I’m reading in the New York Times

A few articles that I bookmarked in the Times over the past two weeks… How Do the New Plant-Based Burgers Stack Up? We Taste-Tested Them I agree that Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat rank highest, though I’ve also been a long-time fan of Field Roast. But I always find it odd when taste tests include …

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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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Review: Edge of Awe: Experiences of the Malheur-Steens Country

Funny how a word can change on you. When I moved to Oregon nearly a decade ago, I first heard about the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about the Steens mountain range, and the diversity of bird species that migrate through this region. Back then, Malheur meant wilderness. But in 2016, after group of armed men …

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“Penguins are in trouble”

This from a sobering research report published last week by some of the world’s leading experts on penguins. The report notes that “more than half of the world’s 18 penguin species are declining.” The three species most in danger are: African penguin Galápagos penguin Yellow-eyed penguin (seen below in New Zealand) The report notes that …

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Book Review: The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

Dahr Jamail’s The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption is at once a memoir of the author’s experiences in nature and a report of the state of the planet amid rapid climate change. This well-researched, passionate book is about the end of more than ice—Jamail takes us …

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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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