How water moves through the global ecosystem and shapes our landscapes is the subject of a must-read new book by writer Erica Gies, according to BookShelf editor Tom Henry. A significant part of water’s story is how humanity invariably fails when trying to manipulate it. But hope may reside with Gies’ various “water detectives,” who explore how to “let water go where it wants to go.”
As a young man, Rodney Stotts knew plenty about drugs, guns and poverty and little about the other kinds of wildlife in his hometown. A chance offer of a job cleaning up Washington, D.C.’s Anacostia River set him on the path to becoming a master falconer — despite racist resistance — and a mentor to others who share his inner-city roots. BookShelf’s Jennifer Weeks reviews Stotts’ memoir, “Bird Brother.”
The historic discovery of the Clotilda — America’s “Last Slave Ship” — is only part of the story told in a new book by Alabama-based journalist Ben Raines, which tells the far larger tale about the ship’s survivors, the remarkable Jim Crow-era community they created and its ultimate erosion when faced by decades of environmental racism. A review by BookShelf Editor Tom Henry.
There was a moment within living memory when Democrats and Republicans came together — in a time of extraordinary political turmoil — to pass landmark legislation to clean U.S. waters, limit toxic substances and pesticides, and empower the government to protect the environment. BookShelf’s Nano Riley reviews a new book that explores that time, and which speculates on why things have changed.
Environmental writer Allison Cobb, in “Plastic: An Autobiography,” tells the story of the ubiquitous material through a series of interwoven narratives that range from her own experiences with it (including a discarded plastic car bumper), to the corporate origins of its spread and the way it’s now dangerously carpeting nature and damaging human communities. Contributor Nano Riley has a review in our new BookShelf.
A historical look at how profit and capitalism have ravaged the natural world is the subject of our new BookShelf review. Contributor Melody Kemp offers her take on award-winning Australian journalist Jeff Sparrow’s forthcoming volume, which explores the damage wrought by cars, roads and PR spin, as well as solutions suggested by models of Indigenous land management.
Cynthia Barnett’s deeply researched and engagingly written new book, “The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans,” brilliantly weaves together mollusk anecdotes, ocean science and human history as it takes a deep dive into the nature of seashells and the story of their connection to us. Read Tom Henry’s review in the new BookShelf.
What does wildness mean when humans interfere with the lives of wild animals in order to protect them? A new volume, “Wild Souls,” explores that dilemma, whether arising through captive breeding programs to reintroduce the California condor and the gray wolf, by allowing hybridization or through the use of gene-editing tools. A review from BookShelf contributor Jenny Weeks.
A new volume by renowned climate communicator Katharine Hayhoe argues for a new way of talking about climate change that seeks common ground, greater respect and an effort to show how nearly everyone is affected. BookShelf editor Tom Henry reviews Hayhoe’s “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World” and its hopeful message.
How did Florida go from an uncrowded home of pine forests, wetlands and ranches to today’s sprawling subdivisions spawning environmental disaster? A new volume gains praise from BookShelf reviewer Nano Riley for its well-researched look at the unscrupulous developers who in a matter of decades carved the state’s ecosystems into lots for sale, trading its pristine beauty for an easy buck.