Tag Archives: books

Wilderness Essays, John Muir

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Writing: 5/5
Research: I suspect he went on a lot of hikes…
Scale: 4/5
Inspiration A BILLION /5

For those of you who aren’t familiar, John Muir was a Scottish naturalist who fought for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. He was particularly fond of the Yosemite and the Rocky Mountains of the western states. He co-founded the long-running Sierra Club (which now has multiple regional branches full of committed and passionate naturalists), and performed vital geographical, geological, and botanical surveys of various wild places. He also fought to preserve the Yosemite in many ways – the most interesting of which may have been his back-country expedition in the deep mountains with President Theodore Roosevelt, alone. Furthermore, he was a prolific and poetic writer, publishing over 300 articles and 12 books. Some call him the “patron saint of the American wilderness” – I call him my newest hero.

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Muir and Roosevelt at Yosemite, courtesy of the National Park Service

The warm air throbs and wavers, and makes itself felt as a life-giving, energizing ocean embracing all the earth. Filled with ozone, our pulses bound, and we are warmed and quickened into sympathy with everything, taken back into the heart of nature, whence we came. (The Alaska Trip)

I had been wanting to read some of his work for quite a while, so I picked up this volume of collected essays a few days after committing to this whole reading endeavour back in July. While it’s a bit of a departure from the strictly non-fiction, activism-science wave I had been riding (but not as much of a departure as The Creative Habit), it was a welcome breath of inspiration. Essays included are: The Discovery of Glacier Bay, The Alaska Trip, Twenty Hill Hollow, The Snow, A Near View of the High Sierra, Among the Animals of the Yosemite, The Yellowstone National Park, A Great Storm in Utah, Wild Wool, and The Forests of Oregon and Their Inhabitants.

‘Poetic’ doesn’t come close to describing his writing – his use of language borders on the divine. Each word seems simultaneously perfectly chosen yet unexpected. I found myself slowing down to savour the vocabulary, treating each sentence like a sip of fine wine. I now find myself writing sentences like that one – clearly either his style is rubbing off on me or I’m trying way too hard to emulate my new idol (three guesses as to which it probably is…). In all seriousness, his writing style is something I can only aspire to. He brings his reader with him on his journeys physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

Instead of vanishing as suddenly as it had appeared, it spread and spread until the whole range down to the level of the glaciers was filled with the celestial fire. In color it was at first a vivid crimson, with a thick, furred appearance, as fine as the alpenglow, yet indescribably rich and deep – not in the least like a garment of a mere external flush or bloom through which one might expect to see the rocks and snow, but every mountain apparently glowing from the heart like molten metal fresh from a furnace. Beneath the frosty shadows of the fjord we stood hushed and awe-stricken, gazing at the holy vision; and had we seen the heavens open and God made manifest, our attention could not have been more tremendously strained. When the highest peak began to burn, it did not seem to be steeped in sunshine, however glorious, but rather as if it had been thrust into the body of the sun itself. Then the supernal fire slowly descending, with a sharp line of demarcation separating it from the cold, shaded region beneath, peak after peak, with their spires and ridges and cascading glaciers, caught the heavenly glow. (Discovery of Glacier Bay)

This book is ideal for anyone who has lapsed into a state of what I like to call “de-nature-ation”. If you feel disconnected from nature in any way – whether it be dissatisfaction with your ecological research (gee, I wonder where that example came from…) or a general sadness and longing for trees – this book can bring you back to the wonder of the wilderness. It has pushed me out of my front door with my snowshoes on more than one occasion and inspired me to start planning my summer camping adventures, even though it’s only February.

Muir has also – unbeknownst to him – soothed the mental chafing I get from reading apocalyptic climate change and habitat destruction literature for my thesis, by bringing me back to the beauty of nature and re-invigorating my will to fight for it. If you’re suffering from “global warming burnout” (or any other kind of burnout), I’d recommend a soothing afternoon picnic in whatever piece of wilderness you can find, and a copy of this gem. You won’t regret it.

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as the sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. (The Yellowstone National Park)

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Muir at Washington Column, courtesy of Yosemite National Park
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The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp

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Writing: Yes/5, Research: her whole life, so why bother with ratings?, Scale: universal, Inspiration: obviously. I give up these arbitrary numerical ratings. This book exceeds them anyway. 

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a book, even though I have three very-nearly-complete reviews sitting idle in my “Drafts” folder. I keep telling myself that I’ll get to them eventually… And I might. However, this book made me open up a blank screen and start typing – which is certainly saying something given my writing schedule of late. It’s not a book that I set out to review (i.e. it’s not science-related and directly contributing to my development as a scientist/writer), however it’s a book that I feel very strongly about sharing with my fellow humans. So, I’m going to wax on about it for the next couple paragraphs, in the hopes that I might convince you to pick up a book you may not have otherwise considered.

The Creative Habit was recommended to me by Natalie Sopinka, a postdoc at U Windsor and a fellow fisheries biologist. She gave a talk during CCFFR 2016’s science communication session about the role of creativity in science communication, which managed to synthesize some scattered thoughts I had been having into something really convincing. What struck me most was twofold:

1) She pointed out the obvious but often overlooked fact that, until the word “scientist” was coined in 1833 (by William Whewell), the people we think of as the greatest “scientists” we also quite often great (or at least moderately talented) artists.

2) She described creativity as a skill that can be developed through regular practice.

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Image courtesy of Psychology Today

I don’t think I need to convince anyone who is reading this that science involves a lot of creativity (see here and here for some self-serving links), but the idea that practicing your creativity outside of science could enhance your creative abilities was a new (but welcome) idea to me. So, having been thoroughly intrigued, I picked up a copy of The Creative Habit.

I have to admit that the fact that it was written by one of my idols, Twyla Tharp, made it easy to convince me of its worth. Those who have been strictly labelled as scientists their whole lives may not know her but, as a one-time hopeful (but tragically gangly and giraffe-like) ballerina, I was all too aware of her choreographic prowess. Pieces like “In the Upper Room” always spring to my mind whenever someone asks me why I love dance. So naturally, I was drawn to a book that might let me inside – even for a moment – her brilliant brain.

She writes the book like a map for creativity; from setting up your environment to promote inspiration to fostering it throughout a lifetime. She takes you through her creative process (my dream come true) using examples from her expansive body of work. However, while she uses dance and choreography to illustrate her points, the principles she teaches are universal. I knew that the moment I read the first set of “exercises”.

At the end of each chapter, Tharp gives her readers a small collection of exercises to reinforce the chapter’s ideas, spark inspiration or develop new skills. These aren’t boring back-of-the-textbook exercises though – they make you think long and hard about what you’ve just read, how you can use it in your everyday life, and how this book is slowly changing your life, sometimes by forcing you to throw a handful of coins on a table. I found that a lot of her ideas resonated deeply with the scientist in me, especially since I’ve recently found myself in a thesis rut. I’ve been desperately seeking new ways of attacking my research, even if only to get chunks of it out of the way. In her chapter on the rituals of preparation (or, getting ready to be creative), she lists her five biggest fears:

1) People will laugh at me
2) Someone has done it before
3) I have nothing to say
4) I will upset someone I love
5) Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind

I took extreme solace in the fact that a lot of my biggest fears, especially the ones preventing me from confronting my thesis, are the same as hers. I suspect that a lot of my fellow scientists’ biggest fears are also suspiciously similar – it just so happens that we call this collection of fears “imposter syndrome” in the biz. Knowing that artists and creatives shared my fears started to open my mind to the idea that maybe we aren’t so different after all. But more on that later…

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Graphic courtesy of David Whittaker (@rundavidrun)

The most life-changing chapter I’ve read so far is her chapter on boxes (you’ll understand when you read it), where the only exercise she leaves the reader with is called “Begin!” After ten pages on researching and storing ideas, she drops the ‘scientific’ approach and, in three short paragraphs, forces you to stop making excuses for yourself. She tells a brief anecdote about Chekhov, who was asked by his nephew how he knew where to start. His response was: “Take your blue book and tear it in half. Begin there.” Then, she briefly describes how she choreographed “The Fugue” (a piece performed in silence, save for the sound of the dancers’ feet) by walking into a studio, stomping her foot, and shouting “Begin!” While tackling my thesis the next day, I opened a new Word document and “Began!” to work on a completely different part of my research. The work flew out of me, and I spent the next three days absorbed in literature about fine sediments and salmon eggs. I rode my productivity like a wave, right into the next section about water levels in winter. It was then that I realized that The Creative Habit isn’t just for artists. It’s not even for people who are creating things in general. It’s for anyone who needs motivation, inspiration, or assurance. The principles are universally helpful.

In short, I would highly recommend this as required reading for all humans. The principles and exercises I’ve engaged with have put me back in touch with myself, my work, and my relationship with others. Go and get this book from your local library and take notes on it. Seriously – you’ll thank me (but mostly Twyla) later.

The greatest scientists are artists as well.
Albert Einstein

Disclaimer: I’m writing this review without actually having finished the book. I couldn’t hold in my excitement long enough for my thoughts to coalesce properly. You’ll probably be hearing more about Tharp’s brilliance in the future…

The World Without Us, Alan Weisman

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Writing: 5/5, Research:
5/5, Scale: 5/5, Inspiration: 3.5/5

Although this book was
gifted to me several years ago, it has sat idle on my bookshelf for fear of the
grisly visions I thought were contained within it’s pages. However, after
reading through my past three books, this came as a surprising, but mildly
troubling sigh of relief. Carson, Flannery and MacKinnon wrote beautifully, but
their messages left similarly difficult and uncomfortable feelings in the pit
of my stomach. I thought this book would do the same thing (but worse), however
it countered the feeling in my stomach with a weird lightness in my shoulders.

Once I finished the first
three pages, I was hooked. This has been, by far, the easiest read of the
bunch. Weisman writes fantastically and, given the enormity of
his “thought experiment”, he synthesizes information briefly and
informatively. That “thought experiment” is the driving force behind the
book – what if all humans disappeared from Earth tomorrow? He covers everything
you could think of; from what parts of our houses would remain, what would
happen to our wastes, which pieces of art and culture would stand the tests of
time, to where would our bodies go, if they remained behind? Through
conversations with researchers in almost every field and visits to far-off places like the Korean DMZ, Weisman explores how long Mother Nature would let
our signature remain on Earth. 

Furthermore, Weisman is a
natural storyteller. His prose flows effortlessly, and the facts and figures
are woven in flawlessly. He tells stories of tribal heartache, militant
occupation, and tragic abandonment with humanity and compassion. He also writes
of the joyous reappearance of nature among skyscrapers, wildlife re-wilding our
farms, and critters fighting back against habitat destruction. You’ll be hooked
from the start, and won’t be able to put the book down for awhile.

However, since I’ve recently
begun reading Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything”, I’ve been reflecting on the
weird feeling of relief I was left with at the end of this book. A lot of what
Weisman presents in his “thought experiment” could be mistakenly interpreted into
an overarching sense of numbness toward the immediacy of the climate moment. A casual, passive, and frankly lazy argument I often hear against climate action is that “the planet will continue no
matter what, Mother Nature will be just fine”. While Weisman goes into gruesome
detail about the long half-lives of our radioactive waste, the detrimental and
poisonous effects of bio-accumulating pesticides, and the disturbing staying
power of plastics, he also describes the incredible ability of nature to
reclaim our cities, our culture, and our bodies. That ability is what I found
to stick out the most, and it’s what I think could potentially lull certain individuals further into a false sense of security that Mother Nature will take of our mess
eventually. What I’m realizing from my other readings is that she won’t – that is,
she won’t take care of the mess without eradicating us first. And that’s what we have
to keep in mind when reading Weisman’s book. What I’m trying to say is – pay attention to the title before extracting any feelings of relief from the final chapters… 

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson

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Writing: 5/5, Research: 5/5, Scale: 5/5, Inspiration: 2/5

Since I became interested in environmental issues, I have heard about this book. This book is to environmentalism what On the Origin of Species is to biology. It jolted us awake and launched us into a new way of thinking. Since it’s publication in 1963, the momentum Carson gave to the cause has cascaded and coalesced and evolved into something much greater than she could have ever imagined. 

If you, like me, consider yourself an tree-hugger environmentalist (or even just an eco-friendly human), I recommend this book. You should read it, in the same way an English major should read MacBeth. It is a far-reaching, all-encompassing, and barrier-breaking synthesis of research from all walks of science on pesticide and herbicide use in the 1950s. Hindsight is 20/20, and looking back some of the situations she recounts seem unimaginable. However, at the time of it’s publication, this was ground-breaking work. Silent Spring is said to have been the defining influence on Kennedy’s decision to ban DDT and it’s derivatives. Furthermore, it tore the North American populous from it’s “better living through chemistry”-induced slumber and forced it to face the consequences head on. We were senselessly murdering the organisms we held most dear – those songbirds outside our windows and the precious fish we caught in our rivers – all while poisoning ourselves simultaneously. We had to be stopped.

Carson writes with equal parts passion and reason, and provides her readers with crystal clear explanations of complex organic chemicals, trophic food-web interactions, and human physiological processes. She also writes with conviction, despite facing brutal criticism and backlash from the chemical producers and their lobby at the time. This book cannot have been an easy endeavour. According to Linda Lear, author of the Introduction, Carson was also suffering from a soon-to-be fatal breast cancer at the time of writing – she did not survive to see her book’s one-year anniversary. Given the author’s challenges both internally and externally, this book deserves to be called a literary classic. Heart-breakingly poetic at times, it will move any reader who has enjoyed the birdsong of the spring. It will make you incredibly grateful for our anti-DDT legislation. You should read it. 

Despite this sparkling review, you may have noticed that I was only capable of managing a 2/5 in the relatively arbitrary “Inspiration” category. It’s because, although the gift of hindsight may give other readers a kind of inspiration upon finishing this book, I had an unfortunate timetravelling experience recently… 

Little did I know that, after reading Silent Spring, I would suddenly find myself in the 1950s. Not three hours after finishing E.O. Wilson’s Afterword, I heard about NB Power’s herbicide spraying along powerlines in the Wirral/Hoyt area of New Brunswick. The Crown corporation has apologized, since the Monsanto defoliant VisionMAX contains glyphosate. Recently suspected to be “probably carcinogenic”, VisionMAX’s MSDS sheet also warns that glyphosate is “moderately toxic” to rainbow trout, and “no more than slightly toxic” to bobwhite quail and mallard ducks. Reassuring, I guess… Oh, and did I mention that the herbicide has apparently been sprayed too close to waterways as well? (video here). While listening to the radio, resident Wayne Webb was concerned about how long he should wait before eating his VisionMAX-sprayed blueberries. He was told (by NB Power) that 24 hours would do, however he’s found other sources that say a year would be a safer bet. But what about the birds and the bears who don’t know what VisionMAX is? And how long has NB Power gotten away with spraying it along powerlines concealed by miles and miles of thick boreal forest? 

More importantly, have we learned anything since 1963? 

Here On Earth, Tim Flannery

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Writing: 4.5/5, Research: 5/5, Scale: 5/5, Inspiration: 4.5/5

Awhile back, I had been hearing Tim Flannery’s name thrown around as one of the
key climate change authors of our time. The
Weathermakers
 supposedly changed the game à la Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. So, while wandering
around Halifax a few years ago, I picked up this title at a used bookstore. It
wasn’t his most well-known work, but the premise intrigued me – a natural history of the planet? I’m
in. 

I tend to take things more literally than they are intended,
so let’s begin by clearing up something that had confused me as a young biologist. In this book, Flannery did not plan to painstakingly take us through the history of
the creation of the world, the evolution of the species, etc. – that would just
be a ‘history’ of the planet (and a serious undertaking). According to Google Definitions, ‘natural history’ is “the research and study of organisms including plants or animals in their environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study”. So, a ‘natural history’ of the planet entails a
holistic study of the planet in situ. 

Keeping this in mind, Flannery’s approach combines a little history with natural history, beginning with the basic concepts and ideas surrounding evolution, thus placing our species in context. The first few chapters deal with the rather nihilistic “selfish gene” concept of evolution as championed by Dawkins. However, Flannery finesses his way around Dawkins by explaining that this vaguely depressing concept is the mechanism which drives the legacy of evolution – cooperation and cohesiveness between species and among ecosystems. With passages incurring incredible moments of clarity on co-evolution, reproduction, etc. occurring regularly, Flannery opens his sweeping endeavour with success.  

Co-evolution explains why Africa alone among the continents retains its full diversity of large mammals. They have got to know us as predators, and as part of an evolutionary arms race they’ve evolved means to avoid us, which is very different from what has happened on other continents.

In the following chapters regarding the “turbulent youth” of our species, I found many passages echoing the sentiments of MacKinnon in The Once and Future World. There is much discussion on “man the disrupter”, and our incredible impact on biota around the world. However, I found a bit more compassion for us in Flannery’s approach. I didn’t find myself in tears, but instead in a state of disappointment and heaviness. 

Those who killed the last mammoth, or the last hobbit, had no idea that they were extinguishing a species, much less altering ecosystems, for their world view extended only as far as their clan boundaries. To concentrate only on the destruction they wrought is a bit like understanding evolution’s cruel mechanism without acknowledging its legacy.

In further chapters, Flannery guides us through the development of agriculture and the “human superorganism” – all the while likening us to ants and other insect colonies. However, the book takes a darker turn when we begin to learn about the various strategies of horrific destruction the superorganism has been enacting since modern times. Finally, we reach an examination of our present state – one of war and inequality. Not altogether inspiring, however I found it respectable that Flannery doesn’t pull punches. 

…We’ve been very good at living as if our family, our clan or our nation is the only truly civilised and ‘proper’ group of people on Earth, and believing this has enabled us to kill and rob and maim each other without seeing that we are thus damaging ourselves. Nothing is as challenging to such a belief as meeting the ‘other’ on an equal footing.

In this portion, Flannery makes a brilliant case for the eradication of poverty and inequality, through a study of “discount factors” – or, the ways in which vulnerable people give up on their own futures for a variety of tragic reasons. 

The tendency to discount the future helps explain why people sometimes act to destroy their environment, whether by cutting down rainforests, continuing to pollute the atmosphere or destroying biodiversity. And people without prospects are created in a number of ways – through grinding poverty, through greatly unequal societies and through war, famine or other misfortunes. If you’re concerned about our future, it’s not just desirable that we eradicate poverty in the developing world, create more equal societies and never let ourselves fight another way; it’s imperative, for the discount factor tells us that failure to do so may cost us the Earth.

Finally, Flannery brings us to a close with his own discussion about what the future may hold. From rewilding to space exploration to ‘ecocide’, Flannery attempts to cover a lot in his last ten pages. It’s a beautiful, but scattered ending to his all-encompassing work. Will we live in a Gaian, harmonious society rich with nature? Or will we take the more Medean, self-destructive turn and wait for our own cruelty and greed consume us? He leaves us with hope, but a hope that is tinged with deep, dark warnings. 

When profiteering at Gaia’s expense is regarded and punished as the gravest of crimes – both because it represents a theft from the whole world, present and future, and because it may not remain mere theft but, as its consequences ramify, may become murder or genocide as well – then a sustainable future will be ours.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in, but nervous about delving deeper. Flannery provides an extensive and impressive list of references which include many of the great classics in a wide variety of fields. He gives a clear and fresh perspective, but casts a wide net. I read this with a pencil in my hand, and my copy is now full of notes in the margins and stars beside key titles I will be collecting for my library. The number of lines you’ll want to underline is seemingly infinite, so some sort of writing utensil is probably a good idea. I can completely understand why Flannery has become such a rockstar of the environmental movement. 

There is something magnificent about the idea of a wild and free planet, one whose functioning is maintained principally by that commonwealth of virtue form from all biodiversity. 

The Once and Future World, J.B. MacKinnon

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Writing: 5/5, Research: 4.5/5, Scale: 4/5, Inspiration: 5/5

“The planet’s other life forms reveal so many ways of being that we could never imagine them if they didn’t already exist in reality. In this sense, other species don’t only have the capacity to inspire our imaginations, they are a form of imagination. They are the genius of life arrayed against an always uncertain future, and to allow that brilliance to wane out of negligence is to passively embrace the death of our own minds.”

I began reading this gem while I was attending a field course in Kananaskis Country. Surrounded by imposing mountains and a wilderness full of grizzlies and elk, it seemed like the perfect way to end a long day while curled up in a sleeping bag and reading by the light of my headlamp. I was so in awe of the wildness of the mountains that the thrust of this book came as a bit of a shock.

J.B. MacKinnon begins the book with a revealing and depressing examination of the ways in which humanity has changed the ecosystems of the world. He goes beyond the typical view of Europeans as disturbers, and instead synthesizes the growing body of literature on “historical ecology”. Demonstrating that the advent of humans (not Europeans) in North America completely altered the megafaunal assemblage, he changes the reader’s perspective on the popular notion that Aboriginal peoples lived in harmony with their surroundings. He discusses the buffalo hunt, the archaeological discovery of mammoth and sabre-tooth tiger bones in pre-historic trash piles, and other examples of humanity’s universal ability to alter nature. 

Continuing with his examination of anthropogenic alterations, personal anecdotes and deeply emotional revelations pepper the science he reports. He presents the somewhat controversial idea of rewilding with such poetry and emotion that it captivates the reader for the rest of the book. The rewilding strategies he suggests are not complete reintroductions, and not returns to historical wildness (since complete Pleistocene rewilding would be virtually impossible at this point). Instead, he presents the recent plains bison reintroduction plan in Banff National Park as a prime example of responsible rewilding. 

Additionally, he speaks with passion about the potential benefits of a wilder world. Humans long for a connection with nature, he argues, and bringing wildlife into the urban landscape through thoughtful architecture and urban planning will enhance the oft-barren urban experience while providing valuable habitat for struggling species. Though rewilded wilderness hikes would require a “an armed party of five or more”, MacKinnon argues that we may be able to find a harmonious way of living with nature, rather than fighting against it. 

Finally, his most hopeful message is one of co-existence. He argues that even at our current population, sustainable harmony with nature may be possible. Citing the example of the secluded Hawaiians, he demonstrates that their relatively successful co-existence occurred at remarkably similar population densities to current global ones. Though our planet is not entirely made up of fertile, tropical habitat as Hawaii once was, he suggests that with cooperation and drastic change, it may be possible to achieve such a harmonious relationship with our surroundings. 

After reading about our destructive abilities among what I had previously thought were “pristine” mountains in “wild” Kananaskis country, I might have taken a much more pessimistic look at our current situation. However upon finishing this book, I found that MacKinnon’s passion is infectious. The cover includes praise from The Globe and Mail: “One of those rare reading experiences that can change the way you see everything around you, recommended for anyone interested in anything that lives and breathes.” I wholeheartedly agree – this book has definitely enhanced and altered my view of so-called “wild” places, and given me inspiration to read further into how we can rewild our lives. 

“…When we choose the kind of nature we will live with, we are also choosing the kind of human beings we will be. We shape the world, and it shapes us in return. We are the creator and the created, the maker and the made.”

I’ll end this post with a completely uninhibited recommendation of this book – it’s profoundly emotional and incredibly well-researched. MacKinnon’s writing style is impeccable and poetic, so be prepared to be completely absorbed until the epilogue. (Plus, his thoughtfully-chosen references give you more to read about, even after you’ve finished the book!)

New Goal! (Or, New Procrastination Tactic!)

I’ve amassed quite the collection of non-fiction books about nature, ecosystems, the earth, and environmental issues, however, I’ve never really committed to reading them. They’ve been consistently left on the shelf, staring down at me with disdain and judgement while I read meaningless Buzzfeed “articles” online and watch Netflix at all hours of the day. 

So let’s change that, because reading up seems like an easy and rationalize-able way to relax at the end of long thesis-writing days (and in the middle of those days, and at the beginning of them too…). I’m going to start loosely reviewing my collection here (which, obviously, will require me to read my collection). Some titles you might hear about in the next months include: 

The Once and Future World, by J.B. MacKinnon
Here On Earth, by Tim Flannery
Sea Sick, by Alanna Mitchell
Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time, by Richard Conniff
Wilderness Essays, by John Muir
The Ocean of Life, by Callum Roberts
Four Fish, by Paul Greenberg
The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman
Bringing Back the Dodo, by Wayne Grady
The Weather Makers, by Tim Flannery
This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein

Looking forward to having a reason to read these, and looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you! 

You’ll be able to find the whole procrastination-heavy series here or in the “Books” section at the top of the page. 


P.S. I am aware that I still have a month’s-worth of adventures to write up. Don’t you worry. They’re coming. IN FOUR PARTS!