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AHAB'S ROLLING SEA: A NATURAL HISTORY OF "MOBY-DICK"

AHAB'S ROLLING SEA: A NATURAL HISTORY OF "MOBY-DICK"

Author: KING, RICHARD J.
$30.00
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Although Herman Melville's Moby-Dick is beloved as one of the most profound and enduring works of American fiction, we rarely consider it a work of nature writing--or even a novel of the sea. Yet Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard avers Moby-Dick is the "best book ever written about nature," and nearly the entirety of the story is set on the waves, with scarcely a whiff of land. In fact, Ishmael's sea yarn is in conversation with the nature writing of Emerson and Thoreau, and Melville himself did much more than live for a year in a cabin beside a pond. He set sail: to the far remote Pacific Ocean, spending more than three years at sea before writing his masterpiece in 1851.

A revelation for Moby-Dick devotees and neophytes alike, Ahab's Rolling Sea is a chronological journey through the natural history of Melville's novel. From white whales to whale intelligence, giant squids, barnacles, albatross, and sharks, Richard J. King examines what Melville knew from his own experiences and the sources available to a reader in the mid-1800s, exploring how and why Melville might have twisted what was known to serve his fiction. King then climbs to the crow's nest, setting Melville in the context of the American perception of the ocean in 1851--at the very start of the Industrial Revolution and just before the publication of On the Origin of Species. King compares Ahab's and Ishmael's worldviews to how we see the ocean today: an expanse still immortal and sublime, but also in crisis. And although the concept of stewardship of the sea would have been entirely foreign, if not absurd, to Melville, King argues that Melville's narrator Ishmael reveals his own tendencies toward what we would now call environmentalism.

Featuring a coffer of illustrations and an array of interviews with contemporary scientists, fishers, and whale watch operators, Ahab's Rolling Sea offers new insight not only into a cherished masterwork and its author but also into our evolving relationship with the briny deep--from whale hunters to climate refugees.

AMERICAN BIRDS: A LITERARY COMPANION

AMERICAN BIRDS: A LITERARY COMPANION

Author: RUBENFELD, ANDREW
$24.95
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Featuring some of America's greatest writers and poets, this landmark anthology is a one-of-a-kind field guide to the American literary imagination.

Americans have always been fascinated by birds and from the beginning American writers have captured this keen interest in a variety of genres: poems, journals, memoirs, short stories, essays, and travel accounts. Here literature professor and avid birder Andrew Rubenfeld, in collaboration with acclaimed writer Terry Tempest Williams, who provides a foreword, gathers evocative and surprising writings on birds and our fascination with them from an astonishing array of American poets and writers. The result is a literature of singular depth and beauty, with occasional flights of fancy in the mix.

Experience the exquisite beauty of Native American songs about birds. Accompany Lewis and Clark as they encounter new species, Audubon as he sketches near New Orleans, and Emerson and Thoreau birding together around Walden Pond. Delight in Sarah Orne Jewett's poignant tale of a snowy egret in the Maine woods and Florence Merriam's portrait of a winter wren in Central Park. Join Rachel Carson as she watches skimmers along the Atlantic coast and Roger Tory Peterson observing snail kites in the Everglades. And thrill to an impressive roster of modern and contemporary poets, including Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Sterling A. Brown, Cornelius Eady, Mary Oliver, Linda Hogan, Louise Erdrich, and David Tomas Martinez, as they evoke the magic and haunting beauty of America's birds.

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AN ETERNITY OF EAGLES: THE HUMAN HISTORY OF THE MOST FASCINATING BIRD IN THE WORLD

Author: BODIO, STEPHEN J.
$26.95
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An Eternity of EaglesThe Human History of the Most Fascinating Bird in the World A compulsively readable natural and social history, An Eternity of Eagles is a profusely illustrated celebration of all things eagle, by a naturalist who has kept eagles himself and ridden with the eagle tribes of Central Asia. "His vivid description of an eagle, if it could imagine itself, is of a 'carnivorous Buddhist.' Through Bodio's insights we get a strange glimpse of these other minds that share the earth with us."--Annie Proulx, author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain From one of the foremost author/naturalists in the country, Stephen J. Bodio, comes a compulsively readable natural and social history of the most beautiful bird in the world -- the eagle, with a lengthy and admiring introduction by Annie Proulx.The Eagle's Shadow traces our love-hate relationship to these "living dinosaurs," from Neolithic rock art and Native American religion through the practices of Kazakh falconers who use them to hunt wolves, and to contemporary art and popular culture.Proulx sums up best the heart of this book: "Those of us who are interested in bird behavior beyond the feeder or the identification guide book find meager pickings when it comes to information. I am fortunate that my house faces a cliff with a river at the base where I can watch raptors, water fowl, and a hundred other species. The nests of a pair of bald eagles and another upriver inhabited by golden eagles are in sight from the breakfast table. I have plenty of books on birds, but the information on why the big eagles do what they do is hard to dig out. Eagle behavior is usually lumped together with the general behavior of the Accipitrids, but a single book focused on the rich lore and sweep of eagledom did not seem to exist... . Bodio's beautifully written and authoritative book, Eagles, is a primary source of information as well as an omnium gatherum from literature, film and mythology concerning these large, striking birds."Stephen Bodio was born and educated in Boston and has lived in a rural New Mexico village for over thirty years. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, and Asia and has written five books.
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

Author: GORE AL
$21.95
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An Inconvenient Truth--Gore's groundbreaking, battle cry of a follow-up to the bestselling Earth in the Balance--is being published to tie in with a documentary film of the same name. Both the book and film were inspired by a series of multimedia presentations on global warming that Gore created and delivers to groups around the world. With this book, Gore, who is one of our environmental heroes--and a leading expert--brings together leading-edge research from top scientists around the world; photographs, charts, and other illustrations; and personal anecdotes and observations to document the fast pace and wide scope of global warming. He presents, with alarming clarity and conclusiveness--and with humor, too--that the fact of global warming is not in question and that its consequences for the world we live in will be disastrous if left unchecked. This riveting new book--written in an accessible, entertaining style--will open the eyes of even the most skeptical.

AN OCEAN OF AIR

AN OCEAN OF AIR

Author: WALKER G
$14.00
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We don't just live in the air; we live because of it. It's the most miraculous substance on earth, responsible for our food, our weather, our water, and our ability to hear. In this exuberant book, gifted science writer Gabrielle Walker peels back the layers of our atmosphere with the stories of the people who uncovered its secrets:

- A flamboyant Renaissance Italian discovers how heavy our air really is: The air filling Carnegie Hall, for example, weighs seventy thousand pounds.

- A one-eyed barnstorming pilot finds a set of winds that constantly blow five miles above our heads.

- An impoverished American farmer figures out why hurricanes move in a circle by carving equations with his pitchfork on a barn door.

- A well-meaning inventor nearly destroys the ozone layer.

- A reclusive mathematical genius predicts, thirty years before he's proved right, that the sky contains a layer of floating metal fed by the glowing tails of shooting stars.

ANIMAL, MINERAL, RADICAL: A FLOCK OF ESSAYS ON WILDLIFE, FAMILY, AND FOOD

ANIMAL, MINERAL, RADICAL: A FLOCK OF ESSAYS ON WILDLIFE, FAMILY, AND FOOD

Author: LOREN, BK
$16.95
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From the acclaimed author of Theft "A lyrical exploration of the timeless themes of nature, mortality, love, and family" in the American West (Kristen Iverson, author of Full Body Burden).

"Radical, before it meant a person who advocates strong political reform, meant getting to the root of things, the origin. It comes from the Latin radix, radicis, meaning radish, a root vegetable." --BK Loren

These meditative essays range in subject from a transcendental encounter with a pack of coyotes to the irony of a neighbor's claim that nature "has gone out of vogue"; from a mother's slow deterioration from Parkinson's disease to the unexpected way the Loma Prieta earthquake eroded the author's depression by offering her a sense of her small place in our wild and worthwhile world.

Award-winning writer and naturalist BK Loren takes an empathetic and gentle approach to the intricacies of human relationships and the nature of consciousness. Fear of death and time, cooperation born of clashing viewpoints, the beauty of tradition even when it's destructive, a love of language, a sense of loss amid the fast-paced materialistic world--through each of these subjects and more, Loren peels back the layers of her own life, revealing what it means to be a human being in these often inhumane times.

ANIMALS STRIKE CURIOUS POSES

ANIMALS STRIKE CURIOUS POSES

Author: PASSARELLO, ELENA
$19.95
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Beginning with Yuka, a 39,000 year old mummified woolly mammoth recently found in the Siberian permafrost, each of the 16 essays in Animals Strike Curious Poses investigates a different famous animal named and immortalized by humans. Modeled loosely after a medieval bestiary, these witty, playful, whipsmart essays traverse history, myth, science, and more, bringing each beast vibrantly to life.

Elena Passarello is an actor, a writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Fellowship in nonfiction. Her first collection with Sarabande Books, Let Me Clear My Throat, won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon.


ANNALS OF THE FORMER WORLD

ANNALS OF THE FORMER WORLD

Author: MCPHEE, JOHN
$22.00
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years

Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.

Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

ANTHROPOLOGY OF TURQUOISE: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone and Sky

ANTHROPOLOGY OF TURQUOISE: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone and Sky

Author: MELOY, ELLEN
$16.95
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In this invigorating mix of natural history and adventure, artist-naturalist Ellen Meloy uses turquoise--the color and the gem--to probe deeper into our profound human attachment to landscape.

From the Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Bahamas to her home ground on the high plateaus and deep canyons of the Southwest, we journey with Meloy through vistas of both great beauty and great desecration. Her keen vision makes us look anew at ancestral mountains, turquoise seas, and even motel swimming pools. She introduces us to Navajo "velvet grandmothers" whose attire and aesthetics absorb the vivid palette of their homeland, as well as to Persians who consider turquoise the life-saving equivalent of a bullet-proof vest. Throughout, Meloy invites us to appreciate along with her the endless surprises in all of life and celebrates the seduction to be found in our visual surroundings.

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APOCALYPTIC PLANET: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE FUTURE OF THE EARTH

Author: CHILDS, CRAIG
$16.95
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2013 Orion Book Award Winner
2013 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winner

Ours is not a stable planet. It is prone to sudden, violent natural disasters and extremes of climate. In this exhilarating exploration of our globe, Craig Childs goes to where the apocalypse can be seen now. From the driest deserts of Chile, through the genetic wasteland of central Iowa, to the site of the drowned land bridge of the Bering Sea, he uncovers cataclysms that tell us what could be next: forthcoming ice ages, super volcanoes, and the conclusion of planetary life cycles. Childs delivers a sensual feast in his descriptions of the natural world, and undeniable science that reveals both the earth's strengths and frailties. Bearing witness to the planet's sweeping and perilous changes, he shows how we can alter the future, and how the world will live on, though humans may not survive to see it.