Staff Picks by Tag

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Thin Skin: Essays By Jenn Shapland Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593317457
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pantheon - August 15th, 2023

You know that thing when you learn a new word and then suddenly you see it everywhere? Like it had been there all along you just skipped over it because you didn't know what it meant.  That's what this collection was like for me.  Explorations and musings on many issues that touch my life: what is love, loss? what is home?, how do we define work as women?, how do we find meaning for our lives?, what can we do to be better stewards of our planet? 

Thoughtful, readable and relatable.


Review by Charlotte

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The Peregrine By J. A. Baker, Robert Macfarlane (Introduction by) Cover Image
By J. A. Baker, Robert Macfarlane (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590171332
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: NYRB Classics - December 31st, 2004

A bookseller once told me he stopped on page 190 of this book, so he could claim he was always reading The Peregrine. It's a clear impulse, to want to live within J.A. Baker's fenlands of England, completely void of people—only birds, who "know suffering and joy in simple states not possible for us." There are books that change the way you read, and then there are books that alter the way you want to live, walk, pay attention. The Peregrine is both.


Review by Spencer R.

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Fen, Bog and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis By Annie Proulx Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982173364
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - June 27th, 2023

Sure, you know that swamps are cool, but did you know just how cool? Pulitzer Prize-winner Proulx has delivered an excellent assessment of how these three title ecosystems impact not only our planet, but our culture and daily lives. Beyond wetlands, it’s also a book about conservation, moss, birds, time, archaeology, labor, literature, and more. You will learn way more than you expect.


Review by Connor

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Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the Birds in Your Own Backyard  By Joan E. Strassmann Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593329924
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: TarcherPerigee - October 25th, 2022

Perfect book for those who are curious about the birdwatching world. Birdwatching as a hobby entails patience and time, waiting for the sounds of rustling leaves and whisper songs. And though it’s already a mindful hobby, Joan argues that we can be slower when it comes to observing birds, either from your backyard or walking in your neighborhood. She dedicates a chapter per bird, giving us insight and information from the bird expert themselves. Then comes the ‘slow birding’ itself, with reflection questions and activities to hone in on your observational skills when watching birds and how they behave. It’s been my favorite companion while I birdwatch from my balcony or at my local park.


Review by Javi

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Dinosaurs: A Novel By Lydia Millet Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781324066125
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 22nd, 2023

What a wonderful novel. After a bad break up, lonely, heartbroken, middle-aged Gil moves to Arizona to begin again. His new neighbors live in a glass walled house and Gil studies them as he studies the local flora and fauna, eventually becoming much more than a mere spectator. In this look and ordinary life, Millet somehow delivers a novel that is at once foreboding and comforting. 

And Gil. Gil will restore your faith (or at least begin to) in humanity and maybe even straight, white men. 

In a word, captivating.


Review by Erin

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The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed By John Vaillant Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393328646
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2006

This book is a must read for your Pacific Northwest history shelf. Its an amazing and complex adventure story that dives deep into the hidden histories of logging and its disruptive intersection with indigenous cultures in our region. 

I've been a huge fan of this authors The Tiger for some time and am so glad I finally made time for this incredible book.  


Review by Robert

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Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World By Marcia Bjornerud Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780691202631
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Princeton University Press - February 11th, 2020

Timefulness includes a feeling for distances and proximities in the geography of deep time. Focusing simply on the age of the Earth is like describing a symphony in terms of its total measure count. Without time, a symphony is a heap of sounds; the duration of notes and re-occurrence of themes gives it shape. Similarly, the grandeur of Earth’s story lies in the gradually unfolding, interwoven, rhythms of its many movements, with short motifs scampering over tones that resonate across the entire span of the planet’s history.' (Marcia Bjornerud)

This is the book that solidified my obsessive interest in geology. Marcia Bjornerud's book is a gift to the amateur, a blessing for anyone in the philosophical and scientific study of our 4.6 billion year old planet. Existential, accessible, and framed within deep time and climate change, this book changed my life and opened my days to a new preoccupation (rocks).


Review by Spencer R.

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The High Sierra: A Love Story By Kim Stanley Robinson Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780316593014
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 10th, 2022

Science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson calls his time in the mountains 'hours stolen from the gods.' For me, this book was a touchstone for what I suspect will be a lifetime's interest in geology. Robinson turns out to be an enthusiastic amateur-expert on psychogeology, alpenglow, and traversing tallus and scree. A gold mine for any hiker, mountaineer, or reader of John Muir or Gary Snyder—and if you're at the intersection of any of those things, this book is a no-brainer. Buy in hardcover. Appreciate the stunning color photographs.


Review by Spencer R.

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Aerial Geology: A High-Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks By Mary Caperton Morton Cover Image
$34.95
ISBN: 9781604697629
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Timber Press - October 4th, 2017

This deceptive, beautiful tome is a captivating Geology 101 course disguised as a coffee table decoration. Stalwart PNW highlights include: the Olympic Peninsula, the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Saint Helens, Crater Lake, and Hells Canyon (where my grandmother famously developed pancreatitis in the middle of a rafting trip).

 


Review by Spencer R.

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A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds By Scott Weidensaul Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780393882414
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 15th, 2022

It's been over 20 years since Weidensaul's previous work on migration,and it's hard to think much more can be added. Well, he does, and he does it in that evocative and immersive way that us bird lovers know Weidensaul for. The past two decades of technology have deepened our understanding of migration and, even moreso, how our species' impact on the planet puts the avian world in peril.


Review by Zack

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