Staff Pick

Rich’s heartbreaking book is the story of a window opening and closing. It covers the decade between 1979, when the EPA published a report on the effects of carbon emissions, and 1989, when world leaders meeting in Noordwijk failed to sign a binding global resolution to stabilize those emissions. But what might have been an exercise in outrage or a dry account of meetings, hearings, debates, and reports is a gracefully written narrative that lets us get to know the key figures involved and that offers real insights into why we’ve failed to summon the political will to act in a coordinated, meaningful way on a deadly serious issue. And there are surprises: petroleum companies haven’t always been deniers. Initially, they accepted the science of climate change and, understanding that “the longer the industry waited to act the worse it would go for them,” were ready to change.  So what happened? It’s tempting to blame Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and John Sununu. But as Rich shows, if it was so easy for other government leaders to back down in the face of America’s reservations, they were never fully committed in the first place. Unlike a local environmental crisis or even the catchily phrased “ozone hole,” the future is large and abstract and we won’t be there to see what it’s really like.

Losing Earth: A Recent History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374191337
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: MCD - April 9th, 2019

Staff Pick

Readers already attuned to the pleasures of walking will find Kagge’s brief and graceful book a pure delight. For others, the evocations of walking’s power to slow time, clear the mind, and show us the world in detail may be revelatory. Citing Sanskrit, the wisdom of Inuit traditions, and Hippocrates, Kagge shows that we haven’t evolved in order to walk, but that “the ability to walk…invented us.” It’s made us curious and sent us out to explore the world, as Kagge has done by walking to both poles; but as he shows in his fine and eloquent accounts of everyday walks around Oslo, walking is a profoundly meaningful experience wherever it happens—and in today’s rushing world, it’s also a radical act.

Walking: One Step At a Time Cover Image
By Erling Kagge, Becky L. Crook (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781524747848
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Pantheon - April 23rd, 2019

Staff Pick

Writing from the Utah desert, Meloy broached subjects as diverse as elections, the dietary habits of snakes, lawn maintenance, the effect of Mozart on sheep, and lost city slickers as terrified of the wild as she would be if “lost at night in Brooklyn.”  She presents every subject with both a wry wit and an uncommon common sense, crafting pieces that make you laugh, think, and feel in equal measure.  It’s impossible not to be charmed by her description of the cricket in a closet singing nightly “love songs” to her husband’s boots or to regret the romanticism that makes visitors miss the best of Montana’s complicated, feral beauty. And her report that “the nightly news dumps an avalanche of misery and terror into my living room but says nothing about how I am to endure it,” is as true today as it was in 1996. But unlike the news, Meloy does tell us how to endure: recognize that “relation to the land is the core of home,” be attentive to “the contours that make the place somewhere, not just anywhere,” and “don’t carry a map to the mall, carry a bird book.”

Seasons: Desert Sketches Cover Image
By Ellen Meloy, Annie Proulx (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781948814010
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Torrey House Press - April 16th, 2019