The best environmental books we’ve read in 2016

I polled our contributors to see what books they’ll remember best from 2016. And here we have it — some of which we’ve reviewed and some of which we hope to still… Anna Monders Last of the Giants: The Rise and Fall of Earth’s Most Dominant Species by Jeff Campbell Midge Raymond The Invention of …

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Book Review: The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf examines the life of the oft-forgotten founder of the modern environmentalist movement. Alexander von Humboldt was a German naturalist and explorer who, despite having his name attached to natural wonders across the globe, is far less well known than those who drew their …

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Story Magazine accepting submissions for Un/Natural World issue

Story Magazine is accepting submissions of prose for a new issue devoted to the environment: Climate change is one of the most significant issues of our time. How do we tell stories of it? How do its stories inform us? For Issue #4, send your best work in any form that explores the natural and built worlds here …

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Film Review: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Okay, so this isn’t a book review — but it’s such an important documentary that I wanted to review it here on EcoLit Books. (The book connection: As you watch the film, you’ll learn about a few books to add to your reading list, including Comfortably Unaware and The World Peace Diet.) Cowspiracy (which is currently still available for …

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Book Review: Lost Antarctica by James McClintock

As James McClintock points out in his enlightening book, Antarctica is often referred to as “the poster child” for global warming, a bellwether of climate change, the place where we see the most drastic results of a warming planet. McClintock’s Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land offers a firsthand view of the challenges facing …

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Book Review: The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Read this in the heat of August — languorous, sweltering, submerged. It begins, “Soon it would be too hot.” J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World is a classic in the growing genre of climate fiction — fiction that brings attention to climate change. It’s not about the cause of a manmade global catastrophe (For this, Martin …

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Book Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior does all that a great work of eco-fiction should, addressing the issues (climate change) without sacrificing the story (a woman whose small-town world is broken wide open by a mysterious act of nature). Dellarobia Turnbow, married at seventeen due to a pregnancy in which she lost the baby, is a decade later …

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Book Review: Oceana, by Ted Danson

Cheers

“Sam Writes a Book”

FADE IN:

INT. BAR – HAPPY HOUR

IT’S AN AVERAGE NIGHT. USUAL CUSTOMERS PLUS REGULARS. SAM IS POURING A BEER FROM THE TAP AND CARLA AND COACH ARE TIDYING UP THE ROOM. FRASIER SITS AT THE BAR AND SAM PUTS THE BEER DOWN IN FRONT OF HIM.

 FRASIER

Well, I hear congratulations are in order, Sam. You, an author. Will wonders never cease?

 SAM

Thank you, Frasier. Coming from you, that’s quite a compliment.

 CARLA

A book? Your life in the Red Sox?

CLIFF

Your life as a drunk?

SAM

PICKS UP A GLASS AND STARTS CLEANING IT

Neither. It’s about how to save the oceans. I didn’t want to become a vain jerk who just thought about myself. So I started thinking about the sea.

 FRASIER

That’s commendable, Sam. There’s nothing worse than a vain jerk.

 COACH AND SAM ROLL THEIR EYES

 CARLA

Commendable? The only thing Sam could find bigger than himself was the sea? Isn’t that the thing that covers 75% of the world? What an ego!

 COACH

Leave him alone, Carla. It’s not easy being Sam Malone. What’s your book called, Sammy?

 SAM

Oceana. And for your information Carla, for modesty’s sake I use a pseudo.. pseudo ..

 FRASIER

Nym. Pseudonym.

SAM

Yeah, that’s right. As far as the world is concerned, I’m Ted Danson. Michael D’Orso wrote it with me, and the good folks at Rodale Press published it, and you know they don’t do any trash.

 FRASIER

I’ll be the judge of that.

 CARLA

Oh come on, snooty pants. Give him a chance. Tell us what it’s about, boss! Are there pirates and sea monsters?

 NORM

Is there seafood?

 WOODY

What about boats and surfing? I used to surf when I was a kid. I hit my head on rocks a lot.

 THEY ALL GIVE ONE ANOTHER A KNOWING LOOK

 SAM

It’s about all those things and more. It’s about what we’re doing to the oceans, with oil spills, climate change, plastic trash, acidification, over-fishing…

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Book Review: The Revenge of GAIA

The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity by James Lovelock I began reading about Gaia after editing the second book in Blair Richmond’s Lithia Trilogy, The Ghost Runner, in which an environmental studies professor brings up the Gaia hypothesis in class. I was intrigued by the idea that the earth …

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