Staff Pick

Richard Louv struck a nerve with his Last Child in the Woods, which diagnosed a host of physical and psychological ills as symptoms of nature-defi cit disorder. Simply put: if we get outside more, we’ll feel better. We’ll feel even better—and treat the planet better—Louv shows in Our Wild Calling (Algonquin, $27.95) if we cultivate relationships with animals. Making his case with stories buttressed by studies, Louv shows how bonds with animals have changed people’s lives, and often that of the animals as well. Moving and thought-provoking, these accounts—featuring dogs, foxes, crickets, turtles, elk, wounded birds, and others—illustrate how relationships with animals ease loneliness, connect us to something larger than ourselves, and stimulate empathy and generosity. This “magic” lies behind the increase in service and emotional support animals, and it will also serve as the foundation for new kinds of relationships with wild animals—to the point that we can stop  the crises of the Anthropocene and move instead into an era “where we advance through a deep sense of shared connection with other living things.” As reflected in new accommodations to animals in urban spaces, such as wildlife corridors and biophilic architecture, and even granting legal rights to rivers and land, we’re already taking the first steps.

 

Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives—and Save Theirs Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781616205607
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - November 5th, 2019

Staff Pick

Since discovering that “traveling…assuaged something in me,” Barry Lopez has gone all over the world; in his extraordinary Horizon (Knopf, $30) he revisits places that have meant the most to him in North and South America, Africa, Australia, and both poles. As he’s done in previous work, notably his classic Arctic Dreams, Lopez not only writes brilliantly about the natural world, he also refl ects on what life really means in particular locales. He considers things from an anthropological perspective, asking how the earliest native peoples might have experienced their land, sky, and sea, then struggles to do likewise. He combines insatiable curiosity with a profoundly moral sensibility, looking to ancient cultures for answers to today’s challenges, especially climate change, violence, and human rights. He deeply believes that the answers are there, and that if we listen carefully to our own and the planet’s past, we can rediscover what the elders of traditional cultures knew: “the wisdom of what works.” If this sounds naïve or superficial, read this book. Lopez grounds his ideas in specific places, and his descriptions of these deserts, seas, jungles, and coasts—and especially his near-mystical experiences while watching flamingos on the Galápagos and penguins on the Ross Ice Shelf--are heartstoppingly lucid and beautiful, and there’s no better definition of truth than that.

Horizon Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780394585826
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - March 19th, 2019

Staff Pick

Profoundly rooted in the landscape and spiritual traditions of the American West, Terry Tempest Williams has long been one of our most passionate and eloquent advocates of the natural world. In forums ranging from children’s books and memoirs to congressional testimony and acts of civil disobedience, she’s mounted a tireless campaign to redirect our priorities from exploiting natural resources to appreciating natural beauty, urging us to understand that “the outer wilderness mirrors our inner wilderness”—if we destroy one, we destroy the other. Written since 2012, the essays of Erosion (Sarah Crichton, $27) redouble the urgency of this message, showing how much we’re losing as the Trump administration cedes public lands to oil companies and cuts the Bears Ears National Monument by 85%. As she witnesses the immense damage of these policies, Williams doesn’t despair but continues to draw strength from the land itself. While statements like “we are one with the land” and “What if the survival of the fittest is the survival of compassion?” may sound like platitudes, over and over, Williams demonstrates their substance. In one of the most moving parts of this affecting book, as Williams mourns her late brother, she takes her grief to the Utah desert that formed her, finding in its red sandstone consolation and even a measure of hope.

Erosion: Essays of Undoing Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374280062
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - October 8th, 2019

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