Books

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Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay
5 of 5 stars
My fondness for this book is exceeded only by my renewed fondness – and awe – for the Chesapeake Bay itself, about which the author William Warner has taught me wonderful things. The title derives from the latin name for the Chesapeake B…
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non-fiction
A Short History of Progress
5 of 5 stars
Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine of the Dark Mountain project recommended this book, and I am very glad they did. It has deeply affected the way I view history and our current times. The author tells the stories of four past civilization…
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non-fiction
The MaddAddam Trilogy: Oryx and Crake; The Year of the Flood; MaddAddam
4 of 5 stars
Brilliant storytelling, gripping and highly imaginative. The world she paints is vivid and real, a frightening warning of where we could be headed, if we don’t get our arrogance and materialism in check. The unusual plot structure of “Or…
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fiction
Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything
4 of 5 stars
Since I’m one of the 50% Barbara Ehrenreich cites of people who have had so-called mystical experiences, I was drawn to this book. She is a wonderful writer. I love her dry wit and erudition, not to mention her no-nonsense clarity. I par…
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non-fiction
The Night Circus
4 of 5 stars
A very enjoyable read. Imaginative, well-paced, suspenseful storytelling. I particularly enjoyed the structure, which intercuts descriptions of the circus written in second person. You really feel like you’re there. The details are lovin…
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fiction
The Lacuna
3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed how imaginative this story was, the way it was told and the history it covers. It was slow going for a wide swath in the middle, but I’m glad I stayed with it. There is so much thought and depth in it. And the characters were s…
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fiction
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
5 of 5 stars
I am grateful for this book, which articulates so beautifully the world in which we find ourselves and offers guidance for the road ahead. I have been circling many of these same ideas recently, and it comes as a supreme relief that I am…
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non-fiction and favorites
Coming into the Country
4 of 5 stars
Re-read this just before and after a trip to Alaska last year. McPhee is a master of narrative non-fiction; maybe he invented it. He packs in so much detail and history and never does it drag. The people come to life better than most fic…
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non-fiction
The End of the Affair
4 of 5 stars
Truth time: I actually listened to this, an Audible book of the year recorded by Colin Firth. Of course, he brings it to life as only he can, and indeed the story is brilliant and heartbreaking. I became so obsessed with it, in fact, tha…
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fiction
The Goldfinch
5 of 5 stars
A beautiful book. It’s so dense with ideas that I’m challenged to say much, other than I’m in awe of it. It’s a great story, gripping and suspenseful. It says sophisticated things about beauty, art, mortality, love, death, loss, and frie…
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fiction and favorites
Utopia
3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book for its imagination and humanism. More is clearly a learned man and philosopher. By today’s standards of fiction, it’s a bit of a slog. Luckily its a short book and the details of life and customs in Utopia are wonder…
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fiction
Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse
5 of 5 stars
This is a must-read for anyone who cares (or worries) about our future and those who seek a) a clear-eyed history of where we are and how we got here, and b) inspiration to fuel the work ahead. Orr spares nothing yet he comes out cautiou…
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non-fiction
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
5 of 5 stars
My comments on David Orr’s book apply here. McKibben is unsparing in giving it to us straight in the first half. Despite my long work history in sustainability, I was still stuck in prevention mode. It was very hard for me to face the fa…
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non-fiction
Wild Earth, Wild Soul: A Manual for an Ecstatic Culture
4 of 5 stars
Anyone who cares about his or her own quality of life and worries even a bit about the future needs this book. As you read it, you will feel profound relief and hope and know that you can be a part of an ongoing shift in consciousness an…
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non-fiction
Odds Against Tomorrow
1 of 5 stars
Shock and Awe and a Failure of the ImaginationIn the coming apocalypse, millions will suffer and there’s not much we can do about it. That’s the message of “Odds Against Tomorrow,” Nathaniel Rich’s exquisitely detailed story of the inu…

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fiction
A Tale for the Time Being
5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. It’s masterfully crafted, full of gorgeous detail and fine storytelling. It’s a page-turner and one of the most rewarding reads I’ve had in a long time.
tagged:
fiction and favorites
Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
4 of 5 stars
Beautiful book. I’ve loved all of Anne Lamott’s writing, so I enjoyed getting to spend time with her voice again. My favorite snippet: “Poetry is the palace language of the kingdom Wow.” Not a long book, highly recommended.
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non-fiction
The Dude and the Zen Master
4 of 5 stars
A very enjoyable read, like eavesdropping on a great conversation. So much resonated for me; here are a few nuggets: No system wants to be changed. I’m not talking about utopia; I’m talking about working toward peace — and then letting …
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non-fiction
Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future
5 of 5 stars
Every once in a while, a book comes along and vaults you into a new perspective. This is such a book. I’ve long been a fan of storytelling and had begun using it in my work just a little bit. No more! Now I have both the inspiration and …
tagged:
non-fiction and favorites
Messages from Mother.... Earth Mother
4 of 5 stars
This book has the tone of a great fairy tale and the authority of the great teachers from the world’s many wisdom traditions. It’s a joy to read – humorous, fascinating without being demanding, and — best of all — very upbeat and hopef…
tagged:
non-fiction

 


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