If it's Wednesday, I must be at The Bookloft - not the greenhouse, not leading a field trip, 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:
Title: Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future
Comments: What we don't know about our environment today is bizarre. Kolbert travels around the world to uncover a few of those issues.
What is Chicago doing about the Asian Carp? TOO MANY!
Louisiana is disappearing foot by foot because of the manipulation of the Mississippi River.
And there are desert pupfish living on the edge-small bodies of water, disappearing...
Carbon. what can we do to capture it? Store it? De-construct it?
Science is out there with some strange proposals with genetic engineering, astro physic techniques and other methods beyond comprehension.
But what to do? We have been trying to manage nature since we became hunter/gatherers. And it has caused problems.
There are also moral issues and what happens in the future from any action we take. Do we risk making more problems????
There is no answer here...what to do?
Engaging & eye opening read!!!
Title: The Doctors Blackwell
Comments: Two sisters who were very determined to become doctors from the 1830s & continued thru schools in the United States, Paris, London & Scotland. And they each had a different vision of what they should strive for.
Nimura does a fantastic job of bringing all the family history, medical field treatments & limitations for women. This also includes international problems with public health and combines all in an engaging & accurate picture of the times.
There are many personal dramas. The struggles the sisters went through and the changes THEY made for women's health & safety are still seen today.
Highly recommended for the wonderful narrative, history & emotions of these two women.
Title: The Eagles of Heart Mountain
Comments: Panic? Fear? Why did we remove all the Japanese American citizens from their homes, farms and "life"?
Internment camps, detention facilities, barracks-prison, all the same.
These innocent citizens and their children who were born in America, suffered after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Pearson delves into the personal lives of some detainees, what was life like, how could they justify their treatment and still keep their heritage and love of 'their' America.
Sports played a role in keeping the youth active-and it became a life line for some. But the prejudice they experienced was heartbreaking.
A very enlightening read of a tragic part of American history.
Title: A Solitude of Wolverines
Comments: Alex Carter, a biologist, was brave from the beginning of this story. Just up & left Boston, a relationship and went to Montana to live in an old, closed ski lodge.
although she wasn't welcome since locals felt the land trust (who sent her, wouldn't let them hunt on the land. But she did make a few friends which put some changes in her life.
Her job was to set up game cameras & other devices to find wolverines, an endangered species in those mountains.
she is adjusting but WHO was really a friend and why was someone out there to kill her! and is there a Sasquatch???
Natural history, illegal transporting & hunting of 'non native animals'-and the drama of local law enforcement make this a challenge.
Lots of action & information and the setting is definitely rough. Good to read from a chair-by the fire!
Title: Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells
Comments: That flexible appendage in the middle of our faces has an extraordinary job.
You don't see all those flying molecules of scents BUT the nose knows!
McGee combines his humor, scientific research, and narrative to show us what is out there; why things (food and 'other') smell the way they do, and tries to answer WHY and HOW!
There is history -- evolution and creation all combined. His term for this study is "osmocom". There are formulas to study here (but not necessary) but the 'WHY' is divided into sections and THAT is FASCINATING!
Why does parmesan cheese smell like pineapple??? which came first??? these molecules were here before anyone with a nose evolved!
Take your time & just pick your food, herb, flower or stinky thing and maybe find out why it smells that way.
Great fun for gardeners, cooks-and public health people...
Title: Voyage of Mercy
Comments: The potato famine in Ireland was causing massive starvation for millions. And there was no help from England.
At this time, 1847, US was at war with Mexico BUT because so many Irish immigrants came to the US, everyone learned of the tragic times.
And then, Young America came together-all peoples, all areas, rich & poor-to start shipping food & supplies to Ireland. It was our first humanitarian effort supported by all!!
Author Puleo gives the background, the personalities and describes the harshest conditions known.
US and Ireland, to this day, share a special bond.
Great history & extremely moving action packed voyages...
Title: No Man's Land
Comments: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. In this case-WW1 in Europe & the suffragette movement. Two women doctors decided to do their part AND prove a point: women doctors CAN handle war injuries & trauma. Flora Murray & Louisa Anderson set up the first hospital in France taking in all kinds of injuries. Many of these were new German weapons like chlorine gas & shrapnel wounds.
Their success continued into more facilities-the latest & biggest was Endell Street Hospital in London.
AND these hospitals were TOTALLY run by women.
This book is their story. But very much part of WW1 damage in France & London, military politics and the nature of war affecting everyone...
Title: Deep River
Comments: The Deep River, the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, MADE the businesses AND people!
Early 1900's, Swedish & Finns came to escape the changes in Europe. Men & women survived by hard work, sharing, not giving up-to make a new life.
This book is a total immersion into the day to day life-of wet wool, loggers boots, huge salmon, massive trees & the struggles with workers rights, big corporations, strikes & bargaining.
And yet there was life-births & midwifery and deaths...
This will take YOU inside the life with such details, I am shocked to have learned so much!
An absolute emotional experience you want to follow. the author must have spent years researching to tell this amazing history.
And yet, its the same thing today-immigrants, workers, unions & wanting to have freedom to live...