Staff Picks by Tag

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Braiding Sweetgrass Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781571313560
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 1st, 2014

I don't think I could explain the essence of this beautiful book any better than Kimmerer’s own words do: "I lean in close to watch and listen to those who are far wiser than I am. What I share here...are seeds gleaned from the fields of their collective wisdom..." (180). Sweetgrass is her guide, each chapter layered with the same patience, respect, and indigenous knowledge that it takes to sustainably complete the cycle of sweetgrass itself. However, it is with the added help from strawberries, maple trees, cattails, garden vegetables, buffalo and salmon (just to name a few) that Kimmerer teaches readers to live a life led by reciprocity, gratitude, and balance--just as she was taught. Reading the stories is a sweet and slow process, but one that will leave you with a little hope, and much to pass on. 


Review by Katelynn

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The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780778307785
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Park Row - April 2nd, 2019

It's difficult to review a memoir like this when the raw act of sharing certain childhood experiences is impactful on its own. However, I will say that this is a book full of lyrical, sensory-based memories; one that will make your heart ache for kids like Meredith and Matthew (and even the kid their mom used to be), but also soar when they succeed; a story that will fill you with gratitude for the family you choose, and for the bees that sustain and educate us along the way. 


Review by Katelynn

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Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives—and Save Theirs Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781616205607
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Algonquin Books - November 5th, 2019

I love this book because Louv doesn’t lecture the reader. The focus is not on what we might be doing wrong, but on all the ways humans and other animals have done well together—and why. It covers childhood pets, wild encounters, studies of our mutual makeup, ways of communicating, and more! If anything, this combination of diverse anecdotes and research encourages awe  and open observation when we connect with nature, and an acknowledgement of the benefits therein. 


Review by Katelynn

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Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781571313782
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Milkweed Editions - July 9th, 2019

Part memoir, part backyard natural history Late Migrations packs a wallop in a tiny package. Renkl treats the lives and deaths she sees in her backyard with the same deference and respect as that of her family. A beautiful study on grief and loss and the importance of living a full life. 


Review by Erin

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The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101911532
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - January 30th, 2018

Chris Knight walked into the central Maine woods in 1986 at the age of 20, and didn't talk to another human for 27 years. He survived by stealing whatever he needed from nearby cabins, and by developing some of the most impressive stealth bush-craft skills I've ever read about. He found a niche, and he occupied it. Comprised largely of interviews conducted in jail after Knight's arrest, this book is a fascinating and compelling rumination on what it means to crave solitude in a world that won't leave you alone.


Review by Anje

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The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781541674080
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Basic Books - April 30th, 2019

 

With suggestive humor and a bit of orneriness, Cooke clears up crazy misconceptions about some of the world’s more mysterious and underappreciated species. Throughout, she dissects these past theories for signs of human superiority, a binary physical understanding, and a little too much of the woodsy musk from a beaver's “gonads.” What’s left: Hyenas are avid feminists, Eels keep their coitus quiet, and Sloths are pretty much the ultimate survivalists. You can devour this all at once or savor each chapter as an individual essay, but you will be amazed by the truth (and bestiary sketches) either way.


Review by Katelynn

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The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316414425
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Spark - March 19th, 2019

This book is a local wanderlust machine! Caroline (a passionate Alaskan biologist) expertly catalogs her post-grad coming of age as she undertakes a human-powered trip to the Arctic Circle with her husband Pat (a self-taught builder from Bellingham).  In the midst of decisions about family, work, and one's place in the natural world, there are raging rapids and cold winds, whales and chickadees, snow and sunlight. Hopefully it will teach you something new about the PNW, and comfort you with the knowledge that it's okay to change course.  


Review by Katelynn

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Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393241020
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 29th, 2019

I finished Pam Houston's Deep Creek in late November, the holiday season was in full swing, and my reading time was at a premium. Thank you Pam for this book. I read it swiftly and by the end I desired to flee to the mountains with Irish wolfhounds of mine own.


Review by Alex

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Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250132215
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - July 3rd, 2017

The premise is as misleading as it is wacky; but beneath the surface, this series of philosophical essays represents nature writing of the highest order: probing, intellectual, alert, funny, and astonishing. His tone is blithe, his style loose and poetic. He doesn't write sentences so much as created little idea nests. 

 

It's  not for everyone - just someone a little eccentric, and full of wonder.


Review by Zak

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Upstream: Selected Essays Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781594206702
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Press - October 11th, 2016

"Teach the children...stand them in the stream, head them upstream, rejoice as they learn to love this green space they live in, its sticks and leaves and then the silent, beautiful blossoms. Attention is the beginning of devotion." Mary Oliver is the only writer that makes me second-guess killing any rogue spider that comes near me, because her reverence for nature is more than mere observation - her writing becomes a spiritual experience in these essays.


Review by Sarah C.