World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781571313652
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 8th, 2020

This is the kind of gentle and lyrical ecotone I wish I could write, and one that everyone on planet Earth should definitely read!  The essays on Fireflies and the Southern Cassowary were my personal favorites, but each animal and anecdote left me with something new: A deep nostalgia for my own mud-caked and grass-coated childhood; An urge to protect the places and creatures that help us find such solace, and to defend the people denied that comfort because of prejudice; A plethora of  Did-you-know's to break out in random conversations and a heightened appreciation for bright colors--the brighter the better! Without a doubt, I will be returning to this collection for the humor, hope, and understanding elicited by Nezhukumatathil's experiences, but also for Fumi Nakamura's original art (which I honestly want to have printed on my walls)!   



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Escaping Exodus: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062867735
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Voyager - October 15th, 2019

A space odyssey, a class and gender struggle, and subtle eco-criticisms are brilliantly melded together in Drayden's latest work. I laughed at weird new phrases and...sticky situations; I cried with each broken heart, abused body, and stolen future; I cheered for certain shifts in power and moves for societal change. More than anything, I want to delve back into these confounding yet relatable characters, and learn as much as I can about the world within this captivating opera (which can probably teach us some much needed information about our own). Plus, I think this book's readability has finally turned me into a budding fan of the sci-fi genre, so yay!



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The Deep Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534439863
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - November 5th, 2019

This novella is a moving and necessary addition to every bookshelf.  Not only is it a brief and captivating aquatic fantasy (well-suited for a first time dip into the genre), but it's an artistic collaboration; a poignant song that gets stuck in your head and shifts your attention. Within the significant and beautifully dangerous ocean, Solomon shines a light on the joint horror and growth that comes from remembering the people and actions of the past. Only through this is the necessity of moving towards the future as a community realized. (Make sure to listen to the Clipping album of the same name for the full experience). 



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A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A Year of Keeping Bees Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524747862
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pantheon - May 5th, 2020

I have never stayed up late into the night to finish a nonfiction book before, but Helen and her bees has me hooked! The minimal yet poetic attributes prescribed to the friends, locations and actions that intersect with her studies - utterly compelling. The controlled chaos, matriarchy, and environmental significance of a single colony - timely and impactful. Plus, she includes an awesome bibliography that would excite any nature reader! 



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Go with the Flow Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250143174
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: First Second - January 14th, 2020

This is a wonderfully shameless story that I wish was around when I was in school. Period. 

The characters are relatable and diverse, the social situations are true to life, and the use of social media formats to share facts from women's history is clever and well done. Schneemann opens up an important discussion here, in many shades of red, and I can't wait to see how her characters will continue to inspire change. 



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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. 



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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. 



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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. 



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Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780358023937
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 8th, 2019

This is the perfect autumn read. Not only is it set in Boston during October, but there are costumes; there are ghosts; there are old houses, scavenger hunts, gothic writers, and family mysteries!  But more than that, these unabashedly REAL characters will stay with you like crisp fall air -- their secret sorrows, humorous quirks, and brilliant wisdom permeating your days. So, as you read (whether under a cozy blanket or on a street strewn with leaves), let your imagination run wild in a way that would be pleasing to the stories eccentric, deceased billionaire. Then, ask yourself the book's ever-present question: how will you play the ultimate game?



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The Last True Poets of the Sea Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368048088
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 1st, 2019

I wanted to hug these characters and never let go; live out my life on these salty shores, in the tiny shops; claim the metaphors as my own, never thinking of happy moments as anything other than pebbles on my own beach.  Julia Drake expertly captures the precious and painful experiences of family, friendship, and love in a net of small town lore, diverse journeys toward mental health, and some of the most beautifully poetic lines I've ever read. Simply put, The Last True Poets of the Sea made me ache for an understanding I didn’t know I needed.



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Coyote Stories Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780803281691
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Bison Books - April 1st, 1990

Although it’s been awhile since this collection was recommended to me, I can’t get these creation stories out of my head. During a time of erasure, they were shared by some NW indigenous communities with the goal of preservation because “These stories are valuable.” Tribe members have performed them for generations; Mourning Dove (Quintasket) spent much of her life trying to record them; New audiences might want to hear another culture’s representation of a certain creature and the history of the land. Even in this adapted form, some of the legends here are violent and abrupt, others humorous and hopeful, many of them either surprising or somehow familiar, but they all double as a captivating and complex example of morals and aspects of tradition.



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Hollow Kingdom Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781538745823
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grand Central Publishing - August 6th, 2019

Is it absurd to use a domesticated crow and his blood hound sidekick to tell the story of a zombie apocalypse? Or just absurd that no one has ever thought to create such a hilariously profane avian hero, in the midst of an identity crisis and spurred on by a love for Cheetos? Either way, "Hollow Kingdom" is a glorious Seattle receptacle where “Zombieland”,“Happy Feet”, and “The Truth About Animals” are tossed together with the anthropomorphized voices of the urban animal kingdom. Now, my only hope is that this clever cast of characters will rescue my cat when I succumb to the pull of my phone and the audiobook read in the many voices of Robert Petkoff.



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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451491879
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Berkley - July 9th, 2019

With my own cozy reading chair and judgmental cat, I spent most of this book believing Abbi Waxman had probed my brain while I was sleeping. Frankly, I’d be surprised if other bookish folks, general nerds, or organization enthusiasts didn’t feel the same way. It’s a perfectly weird combination of rampant thoughts, happy places, and anxious social encounters; the frustration and comfort of a crazy family; a thoughtful love letter to booksellers and bookstore patrons. Add the sassy narrator, scents of pine and flavors of ice cream, and sickeningly cute romance--and I'm sure it’d pair well with summer itself.



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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.



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The Sun Is a Compass: My 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316414449
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Spark - February 25th, 2020

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.  



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Future Home of the Living God: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062694065
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - November 13th, 2018

I’ve been struggling with how to describe this novel, other than it’s often pensive and irregularly balanced for a “dystopian” story. Finally, I came to the conclusion (after 3 pages of notes) that it needs to be read because of the struggle it shows and invokes in us. That may not be very helpful, but as stubborn and intellectual Cedar says at the start, “...maybe you’ll understand. Or not. I’ll write this anyway…” I mean...what do you record for a possible life in a world unknown to you?