As a boy in Colorado, the author fell in love with alpine heights and the butterflies that float above the tree line. This early passion sparked a career in conservation that took him across the globe—until he realized that he was no longer as intimate with the natural world that first spurred him to action.
Arranged by letter of the alphabet, with at least one entry per letter, these short pieces capture the variety of daily life in contemporary China. Here, one learns what it is like to travel by “hard-seat” train to a remote village, to smuggle Chinese classics back into China, and to experience Mickey Mouse-mania in the Middle Kingdom.
On Hell’s Bottom Ranch, a section of land below the Front Range, there are women like Renny, who prefer a “little Hell swirled with their Heaven,” and men like Ben, her husband, who’s “gotten used to smoothing over Renny’s excesses.” This work of fiction enters the lives of this extended ranching family, giving flesh and blood to the mythical West.
Andy Fleck doesn’t have much of a family. A kid with Attention Deficit Disorder, he can’t keep himself from challenging every limit that is set by his adoptive parents Jeff and Laurie. It’s easy to see that Andy is a good kid dealing with his own tangle of emotions. But will his antics go too far?
Known for beautifully observed and illustrated books about the rivers, deserts, and mountains of the West, the author here focuses on the guiding principles of her life as naturalist. She moves from details to the larger patterns that link them to the entire world, finding in the filaments of mushrooms access to the essential connectedness of life.
Part traveler’s journal, part philosophical exploration, this book considers the idea of islands and asks whether they encourage eccentricity and grandeur in human beings. Along the way, it introduces beguiling characters and cultures, from the well-read radio man on an Icelandic freighter to the Robert Johnson of Madagascar and his instrument, the valiha.
It’s the summer of 1955, and teenagers George, Esther, and Bennett spend their time roaming the countryside together, fishing and searching for outlaw treasure. But when a current of racism ruptures their idyllic summer, the three friends are forced to confront the hate that surrounds them.
Deciding that her life was insufficiently grounded in real-world experience, the author, a Quaker reared as a Catholic, embarked on a year of tending sheep. In this often hilarious book, she describes her time in the barn as well as an extended visit to a Buddhist monastery in France.
In January 2001, the editors, responding to proposals to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, sent a call to writers across the country. With testimonies by President Jimmy Carter, Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, Bill McKibben, and Terry Tempest Williams, this is an ideal introduction to the Refuge and issues surrounding our use of energy and public lands.