The eight Drummond Girls first met in 1991 at Peegeo's Food & Spirits in northern Michigan where, at the time, they were all waitresses, bartenders, or regular customers. When one of them got engaged, they celebrated with a trip to Drummond Island--their first trip together to the remote 36-mile chunk of rock, dive bars, dirt roads, and beautiful forests--and it's where they became bonded forever. They've made this voyage every year since then as a way to retain a piece of their wild youth, despite the taming influence of marriage, motherhood, and management. This year, their focus is Beverly, oldest of the Drummond Girls at 65, whose memory is beginning to lapse. Undaunted, the other women intend to help Beverly remember all they've shared--every campfire, every late night talk, every secret confided.
The true story of one family, caught between America’s two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun run a house-painting business in New Orleans. In August of 2005, as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Kathy evacuates with their four young children, leaving Zeitoun to watch over the business. In the days following the storm he travels the city by canoe, feeding abandoned animals and helping elderly neighbors. Then, on September 6th, police officers armed with M-16s arrest Zeitoun in his home. Told with eloquence and compassion, Zeitoun is a riveting account of one family’s unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water.
A New York Times Notable Book
An O, The Oprah Magazine Terrific Read of the Year
A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year
A New Yorker Favorite Book of the Year
A Chicago Tribune Favorite Nonfiction Book of the Year
A Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Decade
The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river.
In an astonishing feat of investigative reporting, prize-winning journalist Dan Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China. He tells the stories of the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and brings to life the everyday heroes in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn’t want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change.
A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND KIRKUS REVIEWS
“A thrilling journey full of twists and turns, Toms River is essential reading for our times. Dan Fagin handles topics of great complexity with the dexterity of a scholar, the honesty of a journalist, and the dramatic skill of a novelist.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Emperor of All Maladies
“A complex tale of powerful industry, local politics, water rights, epidemiology, public health and cancer in a gripping, page-turning environmental thriller.”—NPR
“Unstoppable reading.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Meticulously researched and compellingly recounted . . . It’s every bit as important—and as well-written—as A Civil Action and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”—The Star-Ledger
“Fascinating . . . a gripping environmental thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An honest, thoroughly researched, intelligently written book.”—Slate
“[A] hard-hitting account . . . a triumph.”—Nature
“Absorbing and thoughtful.”—USA Today
From the Hardcover edition.
NATIONAL BEST SELLER
One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The James Wright Award for Nature Writing, the Costa Biography Award, the Royal Geographic Society's Ness Award, the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award
Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Kirkus Prize Prize for Nonfiction, the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award
A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Economist, Nature, Jezebel, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, New Scientist, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard, The Spectator
Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces four counties, thirteen towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia or translating his research into bestselling publications that changed science and thinking. Among Humboldt’s most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature, that it is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone.
Now Andrea Wulf brings the man and his achievements back into focus: his daring expeditions and investigation of wild environments around the world and his discoveries of similarities between climate and vegetation zones on different continents. She also discusses his prediction of human-induced climate change, his remarkable ability to fashion poetic narrative out of scientific observation, and his relationships with iconic figures such as Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson. Wulf examines how Humboldt’s writings inspired other naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth, and Goethe, and she makes the compelling case that it was Humboldt’s influence that led John Muir to his ideas of natural preservation and that shaped Thoreau’s Walden.
With this brilliantly researched and compellingly written book, Andrea Wulf shows the myriad fundamental ways in which Humboldt created our understanding of the natural world, and she champions a renewed interest in this vital and lost player in environmental history and science.
From the Hardcover edition.
Early on in his life, Matt craved a return to nature. When he became an adult, he set aside his comfortable urban life and lived entirely off the land to learn from the smallest and grandest of all things. In this riveting narrative that brings together epic adventure and spiritual quest, he shows us what extraordinary things the human body is capable of when pushed to its limits.
In Epic Survival, written with Josh Young, coauthor of five New York Times bestsellers, Matt relays captivating stories from his life to show just how terrifying—and gratifying—living off the grid can be. He learns the secrets of the Tarahumara Indians that helped him run the 1,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail in just fifty-eight days and endure temperature swings of 100 degrees. He takes us with him as he treks into the wilderness to live alone for half a year, armed with nothing but a loincloth, a pair of sandals, a stone knife, and chia seeds. He recounts near-death experiences of hiking alone through the snowdrifts at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and tells us about the time he entered a three-day Arabian horse race on foot—and finished third.
Above all, Epic Survival is a book about growing closer to the land that nurtures us. No matter how far our modern society takes us from the wilderness, the call remains. Whether you’re an armchair survivalist or have taken the plunge yourself, Matt’s story is both inspiration and invigoration, teaching even the most urbane among us important and breathtaking lessons.
At twenty-eight years old, Krista Schlyer sold almost everything she owned and packed the rest of it in a station wagon bound for the American wild. Her two best friends joined her—one a grumpy, grieving introvert, the other a feisty dog—and together they sought out every national park, historic site, forest, and wilderness they could get to before their money ran out or their minds gave in.
The journey began as a desperate escape from urban isolation, heartbreak, and despair, but became an adventure beyond imagining. Chronicling their colorful escapade, Almost Anywhere explores the courage, cowardice, and heroics that live in all of us, as well as the life of nature and the nature of life.
This eloquent and accessible memoir is at once an immersion in the pain of losing someone particularly close and especially young and a healing journey of a broken life given over to the whimsy and humor of living on the road.
The demand for rhino horns in the Far East has turned poaching into a dangerous black market that threatens the lives of not just these rare beasts, but also the rangers who protect them.
The northern white rhino's last refuge was in an area controlled by the infamous Lord's Resistance Army, one of the most vicious rebel groups in the world. In the face of unmoving government bureaucracy, Anthony made a perilous journey deep into the jungle to try to find and convince them to help save the rhino.
An inspiring story of conservation in the face of brutal war and bureaucratic quagmires, The Last Rhinos will move animal lovers everywhere.
Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. According to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores their newly discovered brilliance and how it came about.
As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent. At once personal yet scientific, richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures.
A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up—fast—and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him.
A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.
Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Alone on a small Missouri farm after a thirty-year marriage, Sue Hubbell found a new love—of the winged, buzzing variety. Left with little but the commercial beekeeping and honey-producing business she started with her husband, Hubbell found solace in the natural world. Then she began to write, challenging herself to tell the absolute truth about her life and the things she cared about.
Describing the ups and downs of beekeeping from one springtime to the next, A Country Year transports readers to a different, simpler place. In a series of exquisite vignettes, Hubbell reveals the joys of a life attuned to nature in this heartfelt memoir about life on the land, and of a woman finding her way in middle age.
“Once in a while there comes along a book so calm, so honest, so beautiful that even the most jaded or cynical readers have to say thank you. . . . This is such a book” (The San Diego Union-Tribune).
Weaving a vivid portrait of her own life and her bees’ lives, author Sue Hubbell lovingly describes the ins and outs of beekeeping on her small Missouri farm, where the end of one honey season is the start of the next. With three hundred hives, Hubbell stays busy year-round tending to the bees and harvesting their honey, a process that is as personally demanding as it is rewarding.
Exploring the progression of both the author and the hive through the seasons, this is “a book about bees to be sure, but it is also about other things: the important difference between loneliness and solitude; the seasonal rhythms inherent in rural living; the achievement of independence; the accommodating of oneself to nature” (The Philadelphia Inquirer). Beautifully written and full of exquisitely rendered details, it is a tribute to Hubbell’s wild hilltop in the Ozarks and of the joys of living a complex life in a simple place.
Forty years later, her death is still steeped in mystery. Did she fall asleep before the accident, or did someone force her off the road? And what happened to the missing plutonium? The Killing of Karen Silkwood meticulously lays out the facts and encourages the readers to decide. Updated with the author’s chilling new introduction that discusses the similarities with Edward Snowden’s recent revelations, Silkwood’s story is as relevant today as it was forty years ago.
For this updated edition, the author has added the latest information as to what happened to the various people involved in the Silkwood case and news of the lasting effects of this underreported piece of the history of the antinuclear movement.
Praise for The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine
“If Jack Kerouac had hung out with Julia Child instead of Neal Cassady, this book might have been written fifty years ago. . . . Steven Rinella brings bohemian flair and flashes of poetic sensibility to his picaresque tale of a man, a cookbook, and the culinary open road.”—The Wall Street Journal
“If you rue the ‘depersonalization of food production,’ or you’re tired of chemical ingredients, [Rinella] will make you howl.”—Los Angeles Times
“A walk on the wild side of hunting and gathering, sure to repel a few professional food sissies but attract many more with its sheer in-your-face energy and fine storytelling.”—Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall
“[A] warped, wonderful memoir of cooking and eating . . . [Rinella] recounts these madcap wilderness adventures with delicious verve and charm.”—Men’s Journal
From the Trade Paperback edition.
One-Straw Revolutionary is the first book to look deeply at natural farming and intimately discuss the philosophy and work of Mr. Fukuoka. In addition to giving his personal thoughts about natural farming, Korn broadens the discussion by pointing out natural farming’s kinship with the ways of indigenous cultures and traditional Japanese farming. At the same time, he clearly distinguishes natural farming from other forms of agriculture, including scientific and organic agriculture and permaculture. Korn also clarifies commonly held misconceptions about natural farming in ways Western readers can readily understand. And he explains how natural farming can be used practically in areas other than agriculture, including personal growth and development.
The book follows the author on his travels from one back-to-the-land commune to another in the countryside of 1970s Japan, a journey that eventually led him to Mr. Fukuoka’s natural farm. Korn’s description of his time there, as well as traveling with Mr. Fukuoka during his visits to the United States, offers a rare, inside look at Mr. Fukuoka’s life. Readers will delight in this personal insight into one of the world’s leading agricultural thinkers.
When the HMS Beagle set sail in 1831, the science of biology was not far removed from the Dark Ages. When the ship returned to England nearly five years later, Charles Darwin had the makings of a theory that would revolutionize our understanding of the natural world.
From volcanoes in the Galapagos to the coral reefs of Australia, The Voyage of the Beagle documents the young naturalist’s encounters with some of the earth’s most stunning features. Darwin’s observations of the people, places, and events he experienced make for compelling reading and offer a fascinating window into the intellectual development of his ideas about natural selection.
A brilliant travelogue and a revealing glimpse into the Victorian mindset, The Voyage of the Beagle is an indispensable companion volume to On the Origin of Species.
This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
Buffalo for the Broken Heart is at once a tender account of the buffaloes’ first seasons on the ranch and an engaging lesson in wildlife ecology. Whether he’s describing the grazing pattern of the buffalo, the thrill of watching a falcon home in on its prey, or the comical spectacle of a buffalo bull wallowing in the mud, O’Brien combines a novelist’s eye for detail with a naturalist’s understanding to create an enriching, entertaining narrative.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Writing with his wife and soul mate, Terri Irwin, Steve provides intimate insights into their private life away from the cameras. Learn how they first met, how they successfully translated a shared love of animals into a worldwide message of conservation, and how they built one of the largest private animal refuges in Australia.
HENRY BESTON (1888-1968) was the author of many books, including The Outermost House, White Pine and Blue Water, and The St. Lawrence.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“I believe that I have experienced there one of the oldest satisfactions of man; when as he gazed upon the earth and sky, he sensed the first vague glimmerings of meaning in the universe. I know that while we were born with curiosity and wonder, and our early years are full of the adventure they bring, such inherent joys are often lost. I also know that, being deep within us, their latent glow can be fanned to flame again by awareness and an open mind.
“Listening Point is dedicated to rekindling that flame by capturing this almost forgotten sense of wonder, and learning from rocks and trees and all the life that surrounds them truths that can encompass all.
“I named this place Listening Point because only when one comes to listen, only when one comes sharpens one’s awareness, can one see and hear in the sense in which I use these words. Everyone has a listening point somewhere, some quiet place where he can contemplate the awesome universe. This book is simply the story of what such a place has meant to me. The experiences that have been mine can be known by anyone who will make the effort.”
Thus the author of The Singing Wilderness sets the tone of his new book—a book that not only successfully recaptures the to-be-treasured sense of wonder of which he speaks, but also brings to life, in all its essential grandeur, the unparalleled heritage of lakes and rivers and forests we are so fortunate to be able to call our own. Listening Point is a book that will rekindle spirits wearied by the turmoils of twentieth-century living—that will teach us a new way to look at the world around us and to feel the better for it.
With 28 magnificent black-and-white drawings by Francis Lee Jacques.
Written by a leading authority on living off the grid, this is a fascinating and timely look at one of the fastest growing movements in America. In researching the stories that would become Off the Grid, Nick Rosen traveled from one end of the United States to the other, spending time with all kinds of individuals and families striving to live their lives the way they want to-free from dependence on municipal power and amenities, and free from the inherent dependence on the government and its far-reaching arms. While the people profiled may not have a lot in common in terms of their daily lives or their personal background, what they do share is an understanding of how unique their lives are, and how much effort and determination is required to maintain the lifestyle in the face of modern America's push toward connectivity and development.
Frederick and May Rindge, the unlikely couple whose love story propelled Malibu’s transformation from an untamed ranch in the middle of nowhere to a paradise seeded with movie stars, are at the heart of this story of American grit and determinism. He was a Harvard-trained confidant of presidents; she was a poor Midwestern farmer’s daughter raised to be suspicious of the seasons. Yet the bond between them would shape history.
The newly married couple reached Los Angeles in 1887 when it was still a frontier, and within a few years Frederick, the only heir to an immense Boston fortune, became one of the wealthiest men in the state. After his sudden death in 1905, May spent the next thirty years fighting off some of the most powerful men in the country—as well as fissures within her own family—to preserve Malibu as her private kingdom. Her struggle, one of the longest over land in California history, would culminate in a landmark Supreme Court decision and lead to the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway.
The King and Queen of Malibu traces the path of one family as the country around them swept off the last vestiges of the Civil War and moved into what we would recognize as the modern age. The story of Malibu ranges from the halls of Harvard to the Old West in New Mexico to the beginnings of San Francisco’s counter culture amid the Gilded Age, and culminates in the glamour of early Hollywood—all during the brief sliver of history in which the advent of railroads and the automobile traversed a beckoning American frontier and anything seemed possible.
Raymond Ditmars (1876–1942), the first curator of reptiles at New York’s famous Bronx Zoo, brought cold-blooded animals to public attention as never before. Through wildly successful books and movies, he inspired a generation of zoologists with his fascination for snakes, insects, and other misunderstood creatures.
Ditmars was among the most celebrated naturalists in America. His reptile-collecting trips for the zoo spawned newspaper headlines across the world. Although a serpent lover, he was all too aware of the devastating effects of snakebites and was instrumental in the development of antivenom. His films and writings brought him fame, but he remained a devoted zoo employee, doing what he loved most: caring for animals.
Bushmaster tells the story of this remarkable man and what became an obsession with the mysterious bushmaster of the South American rainforest. Measuring up to thirteen feet in length, this is the world’s largest viper, and its scientific name, Lachesis muta, translates as “silent fate.” Despite numerous expeditions to jungles from Honduras to Brazil, Ditmars could never capture a bushmaster for himself.
Now, British author Dan Eatherley follows in Ditmars’s footsteps, revisiting his early haunts in the United States and South America. He attempts to do what Ditmars himself failed to achieve: to find a bushmaster in the wild. But eighty years later, will Dan have any more luck? Through the author’s own quest, Bushmaster reveals the life of a pioneer herpetologist, wildlife filmmaker, and zoo curator.
A captivating account of how Theodore Roosevelt’s lifelong passion for the natural world set the stage for America’s wildlife conservation movement and determined his legacy as a founding father of today’s museum naturalism.
No U.S. president is more popularly associated with nature and wildlife than is Theodore Roosevelt—prodigious hunter, tireless adventurer, and ardent conservationist. We think of him as a larger-than-life original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde has firmly situated Roosevelt’s indomitable curiosity about the natural world in the tradition of museum naturalism.
As a child, Roosevelt actively modeled himself on the men (including John James Audubon and Spencer F. Baird) who pioneered this key branch of biology by developing a taxonomy of the natural world—basing their work on the experiential study of nature. The impact that these scientists and their trailblazing methods had on Roosevelt shaped not only his audacious personality but his entire career, informing his work as a statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans’ relationship to this country’s wilderness.
Drawing on Roosevelt’s diaries and travel journals as well as Lunde’s own role as a leading figure in museum naturalism today, The Naturalist reads Roosevelt through the lens of his love for nature. From his teenage collections of birds and small mammals to his time at Harvard and political rise, Roosevelt’s fascination with wildlife and exploration culminated in his triumphant expedition to Africa, a trip which he himself considered to be the apex of his varied life.
With narrative verve, Lunde brings his singular experience to bear on our twenty-sixth president’s life and constructs a perceptively researched and insightful history that tracks Roosevelt’s maturation from exuberant boyhood hunter to vital champion of serious scientific inquiry.
Born in 1898, Sutton gives us his clearest memories of his boyhood in Nebraska, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, Texas, and West Virginia with his closely knit family. Recognizing birds, identifying them correctly, drawing them, and writing about them became more and more important to him. His intense admiration for Louis Agassiz Fuertes had a good deal to do with his beginning to draw birds in earnest, and his correspondence and his 1916 summer visit with the generous Fuertes taught him to look at birds with the eyes of a professional artist and to consider the possibility of making ornithology his career.
By 1918, Sutton had talked himself into a job at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, which gave him fresh opportunities to learn and travel, and his 1920 field trip to the Labrador Peninsula stimulated his lifelong interest in arctic birds. Further expeditions to James Bay, the east coast of Hudson Bay—on leave from his job as state ornithologist of Pennsylvania—and Southampton Island at the north end of Hudson Bay, in search of the elusive blue goose and its nesting grounds, give us glimpses of field methods before the days of sophisticated equipment. Sutton ends his autobiography in 1935, with an account of his graduate days at Cornell University and his position as curator of the Fuertes Memorial Collection of Birds.
Bird Student is about raising young roadrunners and owls and prairie dogs, sailing (and being stranded) in arctic waters, preparing specimens in the hold of a ship, hunting birds and caribou and bears in almost inaccessible regions, canoeing in the Far North, camping in Florida, and delivering speeches in Pennsylvania. Sutton's gift for mixing facts and philosophy lets us see the evolution of a naturalist, as his inherent curiosity and innocent enjoyment of beauty led to a permanent desire to preserve this beauty.
In this gripping memoir of a young man, a wolf, their parallel lives and ultimate collision, Bryce Andrews describes life on the remote, windswept Sun Ranch in southwest Montana. The Sun’s twenty thousand acres of rangeland occupy a still-wild corner of southwest Montana—a high valley surrounded by mountain ranges and steep creeks with portentous names like Grizzly and Bad Luck. Just over the border from Yellowstone National Park, the Sun holds giant herds of cattle and elk amid many predators—bears, mountain lions, and wolves.
In lyrical, haunting language, Andrews recounts marathon days and nights of building fences, riding, roping, and otherwise learning the hard business of caring for cattle, an initiation that changes him from an idealistic city kid into a skilled ranch hand. But when wolves suddenly begin killing the ranch’s cattle, Andrews has to shoulder a rifle, chase the pack, and do what he’d hoped he would never have to do.
Called “an elegant memoir” by the Great Falls Tribune, Badluck Way is about transformation and complications, about living with dirty hands every day. It is about the hard choices that wake us at night and take a lifetime to reconcile. Above all, Badluck Way celebrates the breathtaking beauty of wilderness and the satisfaction of hard work on some of the harshest, most beautiful land in the world.
—J.R. Moehringer, author of The Tender Bar
“[Connors’s] adventures in radical solitude make for profoundly absorbing, restorative reading.”
—Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air
Phillip Connors is a major new voice in American nonfiction, and his remarkable debut, Fire Season, is destined to become a modern classic. An absorbing chronicle of the days and nights of one of the last fire lookouts in the American West, Fire Season is a marvel of a book, as rugged and soulful as Matthew Crawford’s bestselling Shop Class as Soulcraft, and it immediately places Connors in the august company of Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, Aldo Leopold, Barry Lopez, and others in the respected fraternity of hard-boiled nature writers.
Cumberland, the country’s largest and most biologically diverse barrier island, is celebrated for its windswept dunes and feral horses. Steel magnate Thomas Carnegie once owned much of the island, and in recent years, Carnegie heirs and the National Park Service have clashed with Carol over the island’s future. What happens when a dirt-poor naturalist with only a high school diploma becomes an outspoken advocate on a celebrated but divisive island? Untamed is the story of an American original standing her ground and fighting for what she believes in, no matter the cost.
The Carry Home is both a moving celebration of the outdoor life shared between Ferguson and his wife Jane, who died tragically in a canoeing accident in northern Ontario in 2005, and a chronicle of the mending, uplifting power of nature. Confronting his unthinkable loss, Ferguson set out to fulfill Jane’s final wish: the scattering of her ashes in five remote, wild locations they loved and shared. The act of the carry home allows Ferguson the opportunity to ruminate on their life together as well as explore deeply the impactful presence of nature in all of our lives.
Theirs was a love borne of wild places, and The Carry Home offers a powerful glimpse into how the natural world can be a critical prompt for moving through cycles of immeasurable grief, how bereavement can turn to wonder, and how one man rediscovered himself in the process of saying goodbye.
Peterson, a longtime Goodall collaborator, has a unique knowledge of his subject. Candid and illuminating, this work will be a revelation even to readers who are familiar with the public Goodall as presented in her own writing.
From this, he builds a goat exoskeleton—artificial legs, helmet, chest protector, raincoat from his mum, and a prosthetic goat stomach to digest grass (with help from a pressure cooker and campfire)—before setting off across the Alps on four legs with a herd of his fellow creatures. Will he make it? Do Thwaites and his readers discover what it truly means to be human?
GoatMan tells all in Thwaites's inimitable style, which NPR extols as "a laugh-out- loud-funny but thoughtful guide through his own adventures."
Hunting squirrels on an autumn morning, probing the woods, rifle in hand, Jackson reveals an attention to nature too often neglected. Following a bird dog into the damp and mysterious places where woodcock settle on their southbound migrations; chasing hounds on the trail of raccoons on a frosty winter night; stalking deer in a quiet corner of a small farm; fishing for carp in a creek, bass and bluegill in ponds, catfish in a murky river, and reef fish in the Gulf, Jackson reminds that we are stewards of not only resources but also a past that defines us as hunters and fishers. We must pass this legacy along to the generations that follow.
In Deeper Currents, tractors and old barns find a place in the reader's heart. Boats and canoes navigate realms of danger and dreams. Jackson shares outdoor pilgrimages with good friends in cabins, tents, camps, and old trailers tucked beyond the reach of a rushing world. He rejoices in the whisper of stiff wings as ducks come to decoys, the call of geese and cranes over tidal flats, the hush before a storm, the muffled snap of a twig at twilight, a drop of dew falling on the surface of a pond, and the clicking of caribou hooves on an Alaskan gravel bar. Jackson finds these natural moments fill us with energy. They remind us that we are taking part in a sacred heritage and that creation is unfolding all around us.
In Traplines, Rember recounts his experiences of growing up in a time when the fish were wild in the rivers, horses were brought into the valley each spring from their winter pasture, and electric light still seemed magical. Today those same experiences no longer seem to possess the authenticity they once did. In his journey home, Rember discovers how the West, both as a place in which to live and as a terrain of the imagination, has been transformed. And he wonders whether his recollections of what once was prevent him from understanding his past and appreciating what he found when he returned home. In Traplines, Rember excavates the hidden desires that color memory and shows us how, once revealed, they can allow us to understand anew the stories we tell ourselves.
Mark Bittner was down on his luck. He’d gone to San Francisco at the age of twenty-one to take a stab at a music career, but he hadn’t had much success. After many years as an odd-jobber in the area, he accepted work as a housekeeper for an elderly woman. The gig came with a rent-free studio apartment on the city’s famed Telegraph Hill, which had somehow become home to a flock of brilliantly colored wild parrots.
In this unforgettable story, Bittner recounts how he became fascinated by the birds and made up his mind to get to know them and gain their trust. He succeeds to such a degree that he becomes the local wild parrot expert and a tourist attraction. People can’t help gawking at the man who, during daily feedings, stands with parrots perched along both arms and atop his head. When a documentary filmmaker comes along to capture the phenomenon on film, the story takes a surprising turn, and Bittner’s life truly takes flight.
From the Hardcover edition.
In this groundbreaking epic biography, Douglas Brinkley draws on never-before-published materials to examine the life and achievements of our “naturalist president.” By setting aside more than 230 million acres of wild America for posterity between 1901 and 1909, Theodore Roosevelt made conservation a universal endeavor. This crusade for the American wilderness was perhaps the greatest U.S. presidential initiative between the Civil War and World War I. Roosevelt’s most important legacies led to the creation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and passage of the Antiquities Act in 1906. His executive orders saved such treasures as Devils Tower, the Grand Canyon, and the Petrified Forest.
This compelling, masterfully written tale follows Dylan Tomine and his family through four seasons as they hunt chanterelles, fish for salmon, dig clams and gather at the kitchen table, mouths watering, to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Closer to the Ground captures the beauty and surprise of the natural world—and the ways it teaches us how to live—with humor, gratitude and a nose for adventure as keen as a child’s. It is a book filled with weather, natural history and many delicious meals.
In Snakemaster, Austin Stevens tells incredible stories of his many run-ins with dangerous animals and reptiles. From wrestling with a reticulated python to panicking after being bitten by the infamous Gaboon viper, Stevens brings you into his world of wildlife and tells the story of how a boy from Pretoria, South Africa, became one of the most widely known herpetologists in the world.
With incredible photographs taken by Stevens himself, you’ll be able to place yourself in his world—from the deserts of Africa to the jungles of Borneo. Sharing incredible stories of his love of animals and nature, this one-of-a-kind collection of stories will make you laugh, cry, and shiver with fear!
Each morning at first light, Michele Raffin awakens to the bewitching music that heralds another day at Pandemonium Aviaries—a symphony that swells from the most vocal of over 350 avian throats representing over 40 species. “It knocks me out, every day,” she admits.
Pandemonium Aviaries is a conservation organization dedicated to saving and breeding birds at the edge of extinction, including some of the largest populations of rare species in the world. And their behavior is even more fascinating than their glorious plumage or their songs. They fall in love, they mourn, they rejoice, they sacrifice, they have a sense of humor, they feel jealous, they invent, plot, cope, and sometimes they murder each other. As Raffin says, “They teach us volumes about the interrelationships of humans and animals.”
Their stories make up the heart of this book. There’s Sweetie, a tiny quail with an outsize personality; the inspiring Oscar, a Lady Gouldian finch who can’t fly but finds a way to reach the highest perches of his aviary to roost. The ecstatic reunion of a disabled Victoria crowned pigeon, Wing, and her brother, Coffee, is as wondrous as the silent kinship that develops between Amadeus, a one-legged turaco, and an autistic young visitor.
Ultimately, The Birds of Pandemonium is about one woman’s crusade to save precious lives, bird by bird, and offers insights into how following a passion can transform not only oneself but also the world.
“Delightful . . . full of wonderful accounts of bird behavior, demonstrating caring, learning, sociability, adaptability, and a will to live. Its appeal is ageless, her descriptions riveting, and her devotion to the birds remarkable.” —Joanna Burger, author of The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship
“A remarkable book. Reading about the birds of Pandemonium will make you laugh and cry; it will make you see more clearly the need to take care of our planet; and it will confirm that one person with a passion can make a difference.” —Jeff Corwin, nature conservationist and host, Animal Planet
“The Birds of Pandemonium touched me deeply . . . This book is about reconnecting with the nature of birds, and the nature of ourselves.” —Jon Young, author of What the Robin Knows
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.
In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.
A bestselling book that is inspiring the nation: “We have written here about terrible things that we never wanted to think about again . . . Now we want the world to know: we survived, we are free, we love life.”
Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape
On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”
A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry had a daughter—Jocelyn—by their captor.
Drawing upon their recollections and the diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe a tale of unimaginable torment, and Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines—including details never previously released on Castro’s life and motivations—Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.
From the Hardcover edition.
Originally a commercial artist, Thomson fell in love with the forests and lakes of Ontario’s Algonquin Park and devoted himself to rendering the north country’s changing seasons in a series of colourful sketches and canvases. Dividing his time between his beloved wilderness and a shack behind the Studio Building near downtown Toronto, Thomson was a major inspiration to his painter friends who, not long after his death, went on to change the course of Canadian art as the influential - and equally controversial - Group of Seven.
In 1941, Professor Richard Evan Schultes took a leave from Harvard and disappeared into the Amazon, where he spent the next twelve years mapping uncharted rivers and living among dozens of Indian tribes. In the 1970s, he sent two prize students, Tim Plowman and Wade Davis, to follow in his footsteps and unveil the botanical secrets of coca, the notorious source of cocaine, a sacred plant known to the Inca as the Divine Leaf of Immortality.
A stunning account of adventure and discovery, betrayal and destruction, One River is a story of two generations of explorers drawn together by the transcendent knowledge of Indian peoples, the visionary realms of the shaman, and the extraordinary plants that sustain all life in a forest that once stood immense and inviolable.
For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse.
For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.
On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim. I survived.
A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.
The pine cone is a symbol that represents the seed of a new beginning for me. To help facilitate new beginnings, with the support of animal-assisted therapy, the J A Y C Foundation provides support and services for the timely treatment of families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences—families like my own who need to learn how to heal. In addition, the J A Y C Foundation hopes to facilitate awareness in schools about the important need to care for one another.
Our motto is “Just Ask Yourself to . . . Care!”
A portion of my proceeds from this memoir will be donated to The J A Y C Foundation Inc.
Now Elizabeth Hess’s unforgettable biography is the inspiration for Project Nim, a riveting new documentary directed by James Marsh and produced by Simon Chinn, the Oscar-winning team known for Man on Wire. Hess, a consultant on the film, says, “Getting a call from James Marsh and Simon Chinn is an author’s dream. Project Nim is nothing short of amazing.”
Could an adorable chimpanzee raised from infancy by a human family bridge the gap between species—and change the way we think about the boundaries between the animal and human worlds? Here is the strange and moving account of an experiment intended to answer just those questions, and the astonishing biography of the chimp who was chosen to see it through.
Dubbed Project Nim, the experiment was the brainchild of Herbert S. Terrace, a psychologist at Columbia University. His goal was to teach a chimpanzee American Sign Language in order to refute Noam Chomsky’s assertion that language is an exclusively human trait. Nim Chimpsky, the baby chimp at the center of this ambitious, potentially groundbreaking study, was “adopted” by one of Dr. Terrace’s graduate students and brought home to live with her and her large family in their elegant brownstone on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
At first Nim’s progress in learning ASL and adapting to his new environment exceeded all expectations. His charm, mischievous sense of humor, and keen, sometimes shrewdly manipulative understanding of human nature endeared him to everyone he met, and even led to guest appearances on Sesame Street, where he was meant to model good behavior for toddlers. But no one had thought through the long-term consequences of raising a chimp in the human world, and when funding for the study ran out, Nim’s problems began.
Over the next two decades, exiled from the people he loved, Nim was rotated in and out of various facilities. It would be a long time before this chimp who had been brought up to identify with his human caretakers had another opportunity to blow out the candles on a cake celebrating his birthday. No matter where he was sent, however, Nim’s hard-earned ability to converse with humans would prove to be his salvation, protecting him from the fate of many of his peers.
Drawing on interviews with the people who lived with Nim, diapered him, dressed him, taught him, and loved him, Elizabeth Hess weaves an unforgettable tale of an extraordinary and charismatic creature. His story will move and entertain at the same time that it challenges us to ask what it means to be human, and what we owe to the animals who so enrich our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
For many years I had wanted to start a zoo. . . . Any reasonable person smitten with an ambition of this sort would have secured the zoo first and obtained the animals afterwards. But throughout my life I have rarely if ever achieved what I wanted by tackling it in a logical fashion.
After a decade of supplying creatures for other people’s zoos, in 1957 Gerald Durrell and his wife set off on an adventurous journey to the Cameroons in West Africa, where they collected numerous mammals, birds, and reptiles.
The wild nature of the animals created quite a bit of chaos, but the Durrells’ problems really began when they attempted to return to Britain with their exotic new friends. Not only did they have to get them safely home, they also had to find somewhere able and—more importantly—willing to house them.
Told with wit and a zest for all things furry and feathered, Durrell’s A Zoo in My Luggage is a brilliant account of how a pioneer of wildlife preservation came to found a new type of zoo.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Gerald Durrell including rare photos from the author’s estate.
Gretel Ehrlich’s world is one of solitude and wonder, pain and beauty, and these elements give life to her stunning prose. Ever since her acclaimed debut, The Solace of Open Spaces, she has illuminated the particular qualities of nature and the self with graceful precision.
In Islands, the Universe, Home, Ehrlich expands her explorations, traveling to the remote reaches of the earth and deep into her soul. She tells of a voyage of discovery in northern Japan, where she finds her “bridge to heaven.” She captures a “light moving down a mountain slope.” She sees a ruined city in the face of a fire-scarred mountain. Above all, she recalls what a painter once told her about art when she was twelve years old, as she sat for her portrait: “You have to mix death into everything. Then you have to mix life into that.”
In this unforgettable collection, Ehrlich mixes life and death, real and sacred, to offer a stunning vision of our world that is both achingly familiar and miraculously strange. According to National Book Award–winning author Andrea Barrett, these essays are “as spare and beautiful as the landscape from which they’ve grown. . . . Each one is a pilgrimage into the secrets of the heart.”
While still in high school, Tovar Cerulli experimented with vegetarianism and by the age of twenty, he was a vegan. Ten years later, in the face of declining health, he would find himself picking up a rifle and heading into the woods.
Through his personal quest, Tovar Cerulli bridges disparate worldviews and questions moral certainties, challenging both the behavior of many hunters and the illusion of blamelessness maintained by many vegetarians. In this time of intensifying concern over ecological degradation, how do we make peace with the fact that, even in growing organic vegetables, life is sustained by death? Drawing on personal anecdotes, philosophy, history and religion, Cerulli shows how America’s overly sanitized habits of consumption and disconnection with our food have resulted in so many of the health and environmental crises we now face.
Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.”
By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.