Staff Pick

Brannen’s account of the five major extinctions of life on Earth is stunning. Going back 445 million years and projecting ahead to the remaining several billion years of Earth’s likely existence, this fantastic story puts the Anthropocene in the largest possible perspective. “The story of planet Earth is not the story of Homo Sapiens,”Brannen says; all of recorded history has occurred in the last 12,000 years or so, during the most recent interglacial, a rare, brief period of life until the next ice age freezes it out again. Before this interglacial, the planet would have been as unrecognizable as it was uninhabitable--a “hellscape” of land often buried miles deep in lava.

Staff Pick
Winton’s fiction has always featured some of the sharpest nature writing around, and in this collection of autobiographical essays, he goes at it full throttle. Proud and humbled to hail  from “the world’s largest island, “ Winton celebrates Australia’s dazzling biodiversity, its often unsettling scale, and shows how these have shaped his life and work. He takes us by car, plane, and on foot through a variety of landscapes—Perth, Cape Range, Waychinicup—and shows us some of the world’s last remaining wild spots. And also, alas, many places ruined by the “colonialist mindset” of economic exploitation, which turned what Europeans perceived as “wastelands” into the real thing. For Winton, an environmental activist as well as a writer, this memoir is also a manifesto and a call to action; he honors the heroic Indigenous people who have never wavered in their dedication to the land’s intrinsic value, and he discusses the long fight to protect the Great Barrier Reef—at one point slated to become a limestone quarry—and hopes the day will come when Australia no longer has the world’s highest rate of mammal extinction.
Island Home: A Landscape Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571311245
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Milkweed Editions - May 9th, 2017

Staff Pick
Lauret Savoy's Trace is an intimate account of remnants of the past visible in our natural surroundings for those willing to look, audible in our language to those able to hear.  A geologist, Savoy describes landscapes with a knowing eye that retains a sense of wonder. And as someone of a mixed racial background, she examines the interactions of people who themselves left traces upon our environment. Her description of how geologic and historical time both leave traces in our present makes this a thoughtful book for those who are looking to expand their horizons.
Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619028258
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 13th, 2016