Staff Pick

The protagonist of Modick’s quietly stunning novel is a renowned botanist who only in the last nine months of his long life truly understands the lessons of his obsession with moss. Secluded in his childhood home, he prepares for his ultimate field study by recalling key moments of his career and marveling at the habits of myriad varieties of moss—all the while feeling himself grow colder and “softer,” as if turning to moss himself. Nudged by his reflections, as well as by direct communication from the vegetation, the professor rejects the “fixed concepts” of science he’d previously championed as the only path to the truth in favor of a child-like intuition that, flying in the face of objectivity and analysis, allows him to experience--not just study--nature’s great beauty and mystery. Presented as an addendum to the professor’s magnum opus, this diary-like narrative operates with the slow power and lyricism of true discovery.

Moss Cover Image
By Klaus Modick, David Herman (Translator)
ISBN: 9781942658726
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Bellevue Literary Press - August 25th, 2020

Staff Pick

I picked up this book to learn about bees, but before they came up, I was hooked by Jukes herself. Warm, honest, questioning, she’s a thoroughly engaging narrator of both her own life and those of the insects. Living in Oxford and working a job that’s more stressful than satisfying, she keeps thinking about her brief experience helping a beekeeper friend. Though she has no confidence she can do it on her own, she can’t resist trying and soon has a hive in her urban backyard. Worrying constantly about the needs of the bees, she does extensive research on their habits and the history of beekeeping, and her reports—on the differences between workers and drones, the various kinds of hives, the practice of the waggle dance, the intricacies of swarming—are vivid, succinct, and slightly wonder-struck. Jukes is especially interested in the evolution of the relationship between keepers and bees and her attachment to her own colony  gradually deepens to a thing of beauty and resonance; for everything she learns about the bees, they teach her as much about herself.

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A Year of Keeping Bees Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524747862
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Pantheon - May 5th, 2020

Staff Pick

As O'Connell notes, the end of the world has been prematurely announced many times. But now, with extreme weather events, the sixth extinction, and novel viruses, will this be the real thing? To appease, inform, and perhaps indulge his "obsession" with today's end times, O'Connell sought out others similarly--and not so similarly--concerned. These eight essays recount his meetings with "preppers" for the collapse of life as we know it, specialized entrepreneurs selling bunkers to survivalists, advocates for relocating humanity to Mars, and fellow connoisseurs of catastrophe on a guided tour to Chernobyl. Interspersing travel narrative with reflections on the meaning of civilization and its ruin, he also meditates on the ethics--and the sheer possibility--of raising children at this fraught moment. Ultimately, invoking philosophers from Beckett and Kierkegaard to Arendt and Dr. Seuss—along with watching young climate strikers and witnessing his infant daughter's sheer joy in life—he decides that it's worth being part of the world, even one in such dire straits, and relinquishes some of his anxiety to enjoy the gifts Earth still gives us. If he can do it, we can too.  

Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385543002
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 14th, 2020