Staff Pick

At sixteen an internationally recognized wildlife activist, McAnulty is the Northern Irish counterpart of Sweden’s Greta Thunberg. He's also like her in being on the spectrum, and his Diary is an often wrenching account of the anguish he suffers trying to navigate the noise of confusing social demands andhis schoolmates' bullying. But the sensitivity that makes ordinary life painful makes nature a place of solace and wonder. McAnulty experiences the wild thoroughly and deeply—studying a centuries’ old great oak, he feels “our rhythms intertwine”—and evokes its sounds, sights, and smells in language as lyrical as it is scientifically precise; McAnulty is an expert in both the habits of butterflies, otters, and birds ranging from ravens to corncrakes and hen harriers (he was smitten with raptors at age six), and the folklore associated with them. But is this enough to raise awareness of our essential bonds to nature and stop the relentless “growing for growth” that has hurt so many of the creatures McAnulty loves? Is “noticing an act of rebellion, a resistance?” McAnulty’s passion and eloquence—his ability to show us, and make us care about, how “a wall is an entire world to an insect,” for instance—makes the answer a resounding “yes.”

 

Diary of a Young Naturalist Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781571311801
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Milkweed Editions - June 8th, 2021

Staff Pick

The eponymous phone booth here is an actual disconnected black rotary in Otsuchi, Japan, where mourners speak to their lost loved ones. In her gem of a novel, Messina tells the stories of two strangers who visit this kaze no denwa or “wind phone”; hoping “to get our shadows back,” Yui—whose daughter and mother perished in the 2011 tsunami, and Takeshi, whose wife died of cancer—instead find each other. That Messina has created a thoroughly charming work from the pair’s long, painful path to healing –which includes both touches of whimsy and philosophical reflections on connections, parenthood, luck, and much else—testifies to the power of both her spare, empathetic prose and the miracle of the kaze no denwa itself, where even “death…felt like a beautiful thing,” and where grief and joy do indeed go hand in hand.

The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781419754302
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 9th, 2021

Staff Pick

“In the end, all we are is our attention, there is nothing else,” Hamer notes. As his rich second book moves month by month through the year of a working gardener, his attention is alternately on the mechanics of how ferns unfurl; the process of sowing cosmos seeds; the whys, whens, and hows of pruning and deadheading; issues of class and masculinity; the lives of poets and stoic philosophers; thoughts on his long, warm, marriage; and observations of the well-heeled, kind, but often opaque Miss Cashmere, whose garden he tends. As readers of Hamer’s unforgettable How to Catch a Mole know, he’s a real character, and the journal format here allows full-play for his humor, wisdom, irrepressible childlike wonder, and (mostly faux) curmudgeonliness. There is much to savor and treasure on every page, from hard-won lessons such as how “nature doesn’t require individuals; they are disposable as long as there are enough of them,” to vivid descriptions of the natural and human lives of “this ever changing here and now,” where “twilight lets the shadows out and transforms the mundane into the magical.”  

Seed to Dust: Life, Nature, and a Country Garden Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781771647687
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Greystone Books - May 4th, 2021

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