You Are Here (Harper One, $25.95) is seasoned environmental writer Thomas Kostigen’s tour of global climate change. As he examines how local activities can have a global impact, he moves beyond vague platitudes and green trends to link environmental degradation to our own actions. Beginning with Jerusalem and moving on to Mumbai—and a particularly prescient primer on electronic waste—Kostigen’s survey plots human environmental impact, from illicit gangster logging in Borneo to “the largest man-made structure on earth”: a landfill outside of New York City. Kostigen’s compilation is a timely travelogue of the marvels and morals of globalization.

You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061580376
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: HarperOne - January 19th, 2010

Our relationship with the environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams dates back to her reading from Refuge, a lyrical essay about the deaths of her mother and grandmother, the radiation emitted from nuclear testing in Nevada, and shattered eggs in bird sanctuaries. Terry continues to practice her unique and beautiful skill of connecting disparate things, and with Finding Beauty In A Broken World (Pantheon, $26), she makes associations between her apprenticeship in a mosaic workshop in Ravenna, Italy;  the ecosystem of the grasslands and Colorado plateau, in which she discovers metaphorical and ecological mosaics, along with the threatened extinction of prairie dogs; and Rwanda, where she works with a Chinese-American artist to make a Tree of Life memorial mosaic on the one wall left standing in a village destroyed in 1993.  For Williams the mosaic images, fashioned from shards of shattered glass, resurrect beauty from brokenness.

Finding Beauty in a Broken World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375725197
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - October 6th, 2009

The elegant meditative essays in Stirring the Mud five years ago introduced me to Barbara Hurd, a naturalist and poet.  Walking The Wrack Line (Univ. of Georgia, $22.95) is a beautiful addition to Hurd’s naturalist writings. A wrack line is the odd assortment of seaweed, shell fragments, driftwood, and plastic detritus left behind by a high tide.  Combing beaches from New England to Morocco, Hurd “begins to listen for rhythms and repetitions” in seemingly disconnected fragments.  Like Terry Tempest Williams, she searches for pattern, convergence, and coherence in the random shoreline tidal debris.  In childhood she cherished the perfectly preserved shells on her dresser, but Hurd’s adult passion is for the salvageable and transformable: “I’m more interested these days in what might be rescued from near destruction, from invisibility, from silence.”

Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains Cover Image
ISBN: 9780820331027
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Georgia Press - June 1st, 2008