An award-winning writer even before publishing a book, Amy Leach has a fresh, vital approach to nonfiction in general and to the natural world in particular. Her debut collection of essays, Things That Are (Milkweed, $15), immediately evokes Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek in its wide-eyed ebullience and genre-pushing meditations on flora and fauna. Rife with humor, and treating scientific fact with a playful spirit, Leach infuses her poetic prose with a whimsical effervescence that lends buoyancy to her thoughts and conjectures. Leach’s essays range among pea plants and panda bears, sea cucumbers and lilies, to consider the expanses of the cosmos. You’ll find yourself snorting with delight, reaching for the dictionary, and seeing the wild world anew.
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