If it's Wednesday, I must be at The Bookloft - not the greenhouse, not leading a field trip, not at Naumkeag and not doing trail work on the AT! So many interests, like so many books, and so little time! That's why non-fiction books are usually my picks, because I try to keep up with my favorite subjects. As I heard once, "Act your shoe size!" We all need to slow down and see what there is to see. We need to reread some books, like Silent Spring. Sometimes it's children who help us grown-ups marvel at the wonders of the natural world, right in our own backyards. Stop and smell the flowers!

Find more of my archived Staff Picks here!

Linda's Staff Picks:

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The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594205149
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - September 25th, 2018

Bookseller: Linda
Title: The Poison Squad

Food & Drug Safety -- the same today as it was back in 1900! WHY? Follow the money & the politics...
So follow Blum's story as she brings all the past situations of adulterations & unsanitary conditions regarding food & drugs RIGHT in your face!
UGH, how could we continue with poison dyes in candy (and more) but legislation was just not happening.
You'll be shocked and disappointed but be cheering the few scientists who worked for YEARS trying to protect the public.
And today, we are still confronted by additives and new chemicals AND more data. READ YOUR LABELS!!!!

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Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313812
Availability: Backordered
Published: Milkweed Editions - March 12th, 2019

Bookseller: Linda
Title: Rising

Comments:Yes, climate change AND the rising waters. But have we really looked, personally, at the consequences of all the world's coastlines?
The author takes you up close and personal to the people who are suffering with the loss of their land, the fish, the vegetation. From Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, and beyond, it's not just the water, but the SALT moving in that is a critical factor. Everything from microorganisms to megafauna that evolved together are now challenged. How will they adapt? Can we adapt? This becomes destruction in a physical sense and mental sense.
Rush takes us to the edge, to see for ourselves. To understand the science, social interaction, the political forces of the past (and now future) and even more... of what we can do. Or can we?

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Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544702486
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - January 15th, 2019

Bookseller: Linda
Title: Silence

Silence is communication. Think of a monastery. The quiet where there is serenity, to make your mind more open, to think, to be aware, peace and prayer.
But, silence or isolation can be torture, darkness, and unnerving. Think of prisons, the gulag.
The author has studied the various forms of silence. The institution of prison - even before America's idea of incarceration in the 1830s - has undergone many changes. Currently there is still debate of what to do. The human mind needs stimulation, needs communication, needs meaningful work and needs light!
Thomas Merton needed the monastery to develop his thoughts in silence. But he understood: we must change, reach out, communicate (as he did by his writing) to the current times.
Brox explores it all. And makes you think: is there too much noise today? Can we enjoy some silence to let our minds - and hearts - wander??

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Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374306120
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - October 23rd, 2018

Bookseller: Linda
Title: Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City

This is a wonderful & timely book which reads like a play-by-play event. BASKETBALL.
Anyone could play with any "basketball" & have a game with anyone. Sounds like fun?
But in the 1950s, even Indiana had its racial issues. Times were changing across the country but no full civil rights anywhere.
Here was a team with an inspiring coach who beat the odds, opened minds & integrated schools. This was a time the KKK existed and the "great migration" of Blacks from the south going north and west.
The power was in the people, the common man and others who opened their eyes & felt the joy of being together -- for basketball and humanity.

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Seaweed Chronicles: A World at the Water’s Edge Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616205744
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - August 7th, 2018

Bookseller: Linda
Title: Seaweed Chronicles

Seaweed: SEA - the area that sustains some of our food; WEED - the plant that can nourish us. Seems simple?
But it is a complex system and becoming more mainstream (no pun intended!). It is worthy for humans to add it to their grocery list.
There are many varieties of seaweed and they do taste different. Very popular in the Far East, but also, Maine, Alaska, California, Ireland and well, almost anywhere!
The concern today is: clean water, right balance of the whole ecological niche and the dreadful commercial, rather than small farmers/aquaculture harvesting of a nutrient rich food source.
Here is where one species that needs monitoring with a hands on knowledge of its growth, development and interconnectedness to the sea, is critical.
And this critical part, the sea & earth, have been exploited where we can see the destruction.
Perhaps we can be moved to care for our caretakers-and use our resources wisely...
Nice details about seaweed growth which I never thought of before!