Monday, February 4, 2008

Winter Reading Roundup

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather this weekend, not up to reading, much less blogging. But my stationary lifestyle allowed me to listen to a couple of excellent nature book-related audio programs. Friday, I heard naturalist Mark Garland, of the Audubon Naturalist Society, recommending a variety of winter reading choices, including works I haven’t read yet by authors I greatly admire—Robert Michael Pyle and David Wilcove. Mark Garland sounds as enthusiastic about Pyle's Sky Time in Gray's River as I usually am about Pyle's books.

I also listened to a superb January 24 interview with Michael Shnayerson on the Diane Rehm show archives about his new book, Coal River. Activists from Coal River Mountain Watch and the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment joined Shnayerson discuss how & why mountaintop coal mining is being allowed to destroy one of the world’s most ancient mountain ranges . Peter Matthiesson’s blurb on the book says, “This damning account of mountaintop beheading and rampant watershed destruction in four states of Appalachia should be obligatory reading for every Congressperson who deserves the name of lawmaker (and the lobby-led political hacks who claim it, too).” Read the first chapter for yourself, then mail a copy to your legislator to help stop this outrage.

Once I’m feeling better, I’m going to catch up on these books and other reading too. One blog-reading (& photo-viewing) destination I’m looking forward to is Ginkgo Dreams for the 20th Festival of Trees. And, thanks to Ivory-bills Live!, I’m also looking forward to a book coming out mid-month--Life of the Skies, by Jonathan Rosen. Scott Weidensaul says, “It is a thoughtful and often unexpected exploration of birding through the lens of history, literature and loss—the process, as author Jonathan Rosen says, of loving a diminished but still seductive world.” I’m planning to order a copy of that one for myself, for some post-flu reading pleasure.


Dave Coulter said...

I don't know if you have ever heard of the writer Tim Robinson? I'm currently reading his book "Connemara." He is a terrific essayist that writes about the west coast of Ireland.

Found your blog via the Nature Blog Network...keep up the good work!

JLB said...

Thanks for the reading suggestions - hope you're feeling better soon. The Festival of the Trees is a good one this month - you're sure to enjoy.

pinenut said...

Hi dave and jlb, Nice to hear from both of you! I haven't heard of Connemara but will check it out. I do indeed love the Festival of Trees and look forward to it every issue.

Thanks for the get well wishes. I'm improving, but two of my kids are on the decline. No new posts 'til all recover. . . .