Book Review: Invisible Beasts by Sharona Muir

Sharona Muir’s Invisible Beasts is an absolute delight, and not only for animal lovers. This smart, whimsical novel takes readers not only into a world of “invisible beasts” but into the mind of a charmingly quirky character. The novel is written in a nonfiction style, as a personal bestiary by a woman with a genetic …

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Book Review: We Are All Crew by Bill Landauer

I have to make a confession. In writing circles, there are certain types of books one is supposed to hold dearer than all others. Important books. Literary books. Books that bravely ponder the desperate squalor of the human condition. I hate these books. The truth is I’m a complete plot junkie. I want to read …

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The Chain picks up where The Jungle leaves off

The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food, by Ted Genoways, is an important work of reporting. Based on years of interviews and tireless research, the book spans the length of our food system, focused largely on Hormel Foods, the makers of Spam. It covers the tragically interconnected plight of the workers and of the animals. …

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Book Review: Deep River Burning by Donelle Dreese

Deep River Burning by Donelle Dreese

“Memory is an unfolding force tucked away in the leaves of summer trees. With the slightest breeze of provocation, memories stir and reveal themselves, become more wide open and exposed. The world, tight and locked from the grip of winter relaxes fully in the heat, sits still with its memory, almost stagnates, and when life …

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Book Review: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

The planet has survived five mass extinctions, but it’s the sixth that we should be worried about. Elizabeth Kolbert’s wonderful book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History outlines the human impact on the globe by following researchers who are studying not only the past but today’s resources and species currently at risk, from the oceans …

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Book Review: An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar

An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar

Expect to learn a bit about the history of species conservation as Alan Rabinowitz, CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit dedicated to big cat conservation, tells the story of his work to protect the jaguar in An Indomitable Beast (2014, Island Press). Along the way, the book presents numerous ideas of interest to anyone interested in …

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Book review: Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust

Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit

Reading Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust: A History of Walking (2000) is a lot like talking a hike. It can be a strenuous journey. At times, you may wonder what you have gotten yourself into, but you happily trek on. Along the way, the book catches your attention with a beautiful point of insight or takes you to …

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Book Review: Trash Animals

How we live with nature’s filthy, feral, invasive, and unwanted species

Kelsi Nagy and Phillip David Johnson II, editors

University of Minnesota Press, 2013

TrashAnimals

In this collected cross-section of stories and essays about trash animals — the loathed species we deem dirty or dangerous nuisances, such as pigeons and coyotes — the authors differ in subject matter and narrative focus, but they all have one thing in common. They ask that we see these animals in a new light.

Why is that so difficult? Mostly, as the authors argue, because we hate species who survive on our sloth, such as cockroaches and rats, who clean up after us. And we don’t much like animals who invade environments we have created for our own enjoyment, such as Canada Geese on golf courses, or coyotes in suburban yards. They can alter the landscape! They can destroy the land and the water!

What invasive, destructive species does that remind you of?

Unknown

Reading these pieces, I know I am as prejudice or blind as most. In the essay “See Gull,”

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Book Review: Ruby Roth’s Young Activist 3-Book Gift Pack

Ruby Roth's Vegan is Love

Here’s a great gift for your favorite young activist, vegan household, to celebrate your Veganuary, or for your local or little free library. Ruby Roth’s delightful and inspiring children’s picture books are a must have for the vegan bookshelf. No children required. Adults will appreciate the beautiful illustrations and straightforward explanations of the vegan lifestyle, …

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