Staff Pick

Morgan-Grenville pledged to follow the Manx shearwater for a year, from its breeding grounds off the British coast—where he was first enchanted by them during childhood visits to his grandmother, herself something of a force of nature--to its summer digs off Argentina, allow himself “to be changed, or not, by what” he learned, and make the facts available to raise awareness of this extraordinary bird, which, unlike so many others, is not only supremely adapted to its lifestyle, but, so far, is beating the odds of climate change, plastic, rats, and the rest, to thrive. Telling their story with gusto, heart, and humor, Morgan-Grenville revels in the history and habits of this “ultimate flying machine,” a 400-gram creature that doesn't touch land for four years after it leaves its burrow at ten weeks old and makes its way alone to South America, navigating by a keen sense of smell and continuous adjustment to the winds to travel at the rate of roughly 55 kmph and complete the 10,000 or so miles in under two weeks—a feat brought into sharp focus in the comparison with Morgan-Grenville’s own fraught trans-Atlantic airplane flight.   

Shearwater: A Bird, an Ocean, and a Long Way Home Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781785787201
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Icon Books - June 8th, 2021

Staff Pick

Williams puts her stamp on the interlocking-stories genre with a collection of richly language-driven vignettes—most spoken by an unnamed I to or about an unnamed you—in which moments are stopped and spun beyond time and space as the narrator relives her last glimpse of a departing you or overthinks kissing you in public. Leaving out as much as she tells, Williams fills the interstices of traditional narrative with a close focus on words themselves, investigating etymologies, synonyms, and sounds; in a typically sensual description, she loves etcetera for “its spokey consonants and rhythms, its bitedowns.” In another piece, the I chooses an on-line dating candidate because her email “smells like a sea breeze,” while in one of the few non-you-and-I narratives, two boys look closely into each other’s eyes, naming the shifting colors—“Truffle Leather 3,” “Enchanted Eden 2”-- as precisely and inventively as they can—all while one stuffs his friend’s mouth with marshmallows. If it’s only partially true that “this is all absurd,” such playfulness is certainly a large part of “the power of” Williams’s charming, quirky, empathetic and utterly original fiction debut.

Attrib. and Other Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593312353
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Anchor - May 18th, 2021

Staff Pick

At sixteen an internationally recognized wildlife activist, McAnulty is the Northern Irish counterpart of Sweden’s Greta Thunberg. He's also like her in being on the spectrum, and his Diary is an often wrenching account of the anguish he suffers trying to navigate the noise of confusing social demands andhis schoolmates' bullying. But the sensitivity that makes ordinary life painful makes nature a place of solace and wonder. McAnulty experiences the wild thoroughly and deeply—studying a centuries’ old great oak, he feels “our rhythms intertwine”—and evokes its sounds, sights, and smells in language as lyrical as it is scientifically precise; McAnulty is an expert in both the habits of butterflies, otters, and birds ranging from ravens to corncrakes and hen harriers (he was smitten with raptors at age six), and the folklore associated with them. But is this enough to raise awareness of our essential bonds to nature and stop the relentless “growing for growth” that has hurt so many of the creatures McAnulty loves? Is “noticing an act of rebellion, a resistance?” McAnulty’s passion and eloquence—his ability to show us, and make us care about, how “a wall is an entire world to an insect,” for instance—makes the answer a resounding “yes.”

 

Diary of a Young Naturalist Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781571311801
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Milkweed Editions - June 8th, 2021

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