Katelynn (but not Kaitlin, Caitlin, Caitlyn, Katelin, Kaytlan, etc.) is a pretty terrible speller, 1 of 7 siblings, and a big fan of animals everywhere. When reading, she enjoys almost anything concerning nature, poetic prose, quirky families, or "really cute stuff".
"I owe the boldness that I tapped to the poor women in my blood." pg. 59
My grandma, Brenda Joyce, was a big fan of dancing barefoot in the kitchen--especially when Dolly came on. This book felt like talking with her.
Pairs well with too-sweet tea and the song Here You Come Again.
This memoir is definitely chock full of funny animal tales, but it did so much more than make me laugh. The story of Laurie and her mother restored my faith in human kindness--especially in dark times-- and I'm sure it will reignite even the most miniscule passion for animal welfare. A must read across nonfiction genres!
Think "While You Were Sleeping"... but replace the coziness of Christmas with the spookiness of fall; finding a new family with putting an old one back together; a fake engagement with death itself.
Never seen that movie? Then pick this book up just for the buckets of yearning and emotional growth!
Abbi Waxman has done it again! Alongside some of your favorite Bookish Life of Nina Hill characters, Laura & the other residents of Maggie's house will surely encourage all of us "adults" to cut ourselves a break, take a leap of faith, and find (or finally recognize) the people that feel like home.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland meets Vesper Flights in this whimsically melodic collection of animal based essays. Amy Leach and her ensemble will undoubtedly win you over with bouts of incredulous laughter and many moments of awe. If everyone should lend them an ear, we'd all care a little more and learn a lot too.
This book...oh goodness, this book! One second Charons Crossing will lure you in with its quirky characters, slapstick humor and calm contemplation of life (and afterlife) philosophies. You and your curiosity will be content to cozy up by the fire with the perfect cup of tea, watching ghostly mysteries unfold. Then BAM--you'll find yourself crying on the couch, eating a sorrow-baked scone and checking in with loved ones. The power of this story will sneak up on you much like a visit from The Manager, but the importance of the gentle, considerate light it shines on human challenges cannot be overstated.
Feral Creatures--a stupendous sophomore novel for Buxton, and a more sentimental sequel to my favorite adventure story of 2019-- cannot be missed! It's a colorful education in climate change, ecology, and zoology; a tender acknowledgement of the unavoidable "dark tides" we all sink into--especially during disastrous times; a genuine display of the hopeful, hilarious, and often fearful process of building a family; a true odyssey.
Oh, and there are *chilling* new animal/human/zombie hybrids to war against your favorite profane crow, a wild child, and their quirky cast of comrades...so again I say YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS!!
If "every story is the sound of a storyteller begging to stay alive..." as Daniel says, then he and his family deserve to live forever--purely off the crackling energy of these tales and the way they will echo in your mind long after the words have been read. Part musings on truth and memory, part memoir of a young immigrant trying to find his place in midwest America, this book will captivate and resonate with a wide variety of readers.
To anyone who has ever wondered about their history, struggled to understand their family, or been a victim of bureaucracy; to the children of strong mothers, the parents of observant children, and the family members of angry adults that should know better; to lovers of poetry and folklore and far off places; to anyone (so everyone!) with flaws--you will find a kindred spirit here.
These authors filled my imagination with textures and tales I thought I could only experience through extensive travel, and such beautiful prose and dreamlike destinations took my breath away. But most of all, these stories made it clear that all over the world we are asking the same questions: Can we still truly be at home with these earthly elements? Were we ever? And even if we can, will we jointly survive long enough to do so? And the only response I could come up with was to read the collection again, finding solace and wisdom in the convergence of such diverse works.
This book is quietly nuanced in its message and slow to unfold, but never boring. It's a mystery grown from a family drama, which builds on a dust bowl history lesson, all surrounding the Lorax's stump--with drops of irrepressible hope leaking between each regretful and foreboding ring. Christie skillfully draws eerie parallels between generations and environmental catastrophes, but what's even more impressive is how he will simultaneously warm your heart and make it ache with each of the 4 points of view.
This book perfectly embodies that feeling of getting a deeply needed hug from the best hugger you know! Mysteriously magical characters and a secluded island setting will draw you in, but the love, patience, activism, and family ties will hold you till the end. It may not be as action packed as some of its fantasy companions, but this slow burn, sappy sweet, charming technicolor tale is truly a comforting adventure all its own!
This is the kind of gentle and lyrical ecotone I wish I could write, and one that everyone on planet Earth should definitely read! The essays on Fireflies and the Southern Cassowary were my personal favorites, but each animal and anecdote left me with something new: A deep nostalgia for my own mud-caked and grass-coated childhood; An urge to protect the places and creatures that help us find such solace, and to defend the people denied that comfort because of prejudice; A plethora of Did-you-know's to break out in random conversations and a heightened appreciation for bright colors--the brighter the better! Without a doubt, I will be returning to this collection for the humor, hope, and understanding elicited by Nezhukumatathil's experiences, but also for Fumi Nakamura's original art (which I honestly want to have printed on my walls)!
A space odyssey, a class and gender struggle, and subtle eco-criticisms are brilliantly melded together in Drayden's latest work. I laughed at weird new phrases and...sticky situations; I cried with each broken heart, abused body, and stolen future; I cheered for certain shifts in power and moves for societal change. More than anything, I want to delve back into these confounding yet relatable characters, and learn as much as I can about the world within this captivating opera (which can probably teach us some much needed information about our own). Plus, I think this book's readability has finally turned me into a budding fan of the sci-fi genre, so yay!
This novella is a moving and necessary addition to every bookshelf. Not only is it a brief and captivating aquatic fantasy (well-suited for a first time dip into the genre), but it's an artistic collaboration; a poignant song that gets stuck in your head and shifts your attention. Within the significant and beautifully dangerous ocean, Solomon shines a light on the joint horror and growth that comes from remembering the people and actions of the past. Only through this is the necessity of moving towards the future as a community realized. (Make sure to listen to the Clipping album of the same name for the full experience).
I have never stayed up late into the night to finish a nonfiction book before, but Helen and her bees has me hooked! The minimal yet poetic attributes prescribed to the friends, locations and actions that intersect with her studies - utterly compelling. The controlled chaos, matriarchy, and environmental significance of a single colony - timely and impactful. Plus, she includes an awesome bibliography that would excite any nature reader!
This is a wonderfully shameless story that I wish was around when I was in school. Period.
The characters are relatable and diverse, the social situations are true to life, and the use of social media formats to share facts from women's history is clever and well done. Schneemann opens up an important discussion here, in many shades of red, and I can't wait to see how her characters will continue to inspire change.
I don't think I could explain the essence of this beautiful book any better than Kimmerer’s own words do: "I lean in close to watch and listen to those who are far wiser than I am. What I share here...are seeds gleaned from the fields of their collective wisdom..." (180). Sweetgrass is her guide, each chapter layered with the same patience, respect, and indigenous knowledge that it takes to sustainably complete the cycle of sweetgrass itself. However, it is with the added help from strawberries, maple trees, cattails, garden vegetables, buffalo and salmon (just to name a few) that Kimmerer teaches readers to live a life led by reciprocity, gratitude, and balance--just as she was taught. Reading the stories is a sweet and slow process, but one that will leave you with a little hope, and much to pass on.
It's difficult to review a memoir like this when the raw act of sharing certain childhood experiences is impactful on its own. However, I will say that this is a book full of lyrical, sensory-based memories; one that will make your heart ache for kids like Meredith and Matthew (and even the kid their mom used to be), but also soar when they succeed; a story that will fill you with gratitude for the family you choose, and for the bees that sustain and educate us along the way.
I love this book because Louv doesn’t lecture the reader. The focus is not on what we might be doing wrong, but on all the ways humans and other animals have done well together—and why. It covers childhood pets, wild encounters, studies of our mutual makeup, ways of communicating, and more! If anything, this combination of diverse anecdotes and research encourages awe and open observation when we connect with nature, and an acknowledgement of the benefits therein.
This is the perfect autumn read. Not only is it set in Boston during October, but there are costumes; there are ghosts; there are old houses, scavenger hunts, gothic writers, and family mysteries! But more than that, these unabashedly REAL characters will stay with you like crisp fall air -- their secret sorrows, humorous quirks, and brilliant wisdom permeating your days. So, as you read (whether under a cozy blanket or on a street strewn with leaves), let your imagination run wild in a way that would be pleasing to the story's eccentric, deceased billionaire. Then ask yourself the book's ever-present question: how will you play the ultimate game?
I wanted to hug these characters and never let go; live out my life on these salty shores, in the tiny shops; claim the metaphors as my own, never thinking of happy moments as anything other than pebbles on my own beach. Julia Drake expertly captures the precious and painful experiences of family, friendship, and love in a net of small town lore, diverse journeys toward mental health, and some of the most beautifully poetic lines I've ever read. Simply put, The Last True Poets of the Sea made me ache for an understanding I didn’t know I needed.
Although it’s been awhile since this collection was recommended to me, I can’t get these creation stories out of my head. During a time of erasure, they were shared by some NW indigenous communities with the goal of preservation because “These stories are valuable.” Tribe members have performed them for generations; Mourning Dove (Quintasket) spent much of her life trying to record them; New audiences might want to hear another culture’s representation of a certain creature and the history of the land. Even in this adapted form, some of the legends here are violent and abrupt, others humorous and hopeful, many of them either surprising or somehow familiar, but they all double as a captivating and complex example of morals and aspects of tradition.
Is it absurd to use a domesticated crow and his blood hound sidekick to tell the story of a zombie apocalypse? Or just absurd that no one has ever thought to create such a hilariously profane avian hero, in the midst of an identity crisis and spurred on by a love for Cheetos? Either way, "Hollow Kingdom" is a glorious Seattle receptacle where the movie “Zombieland” and the book “The Truth About Animals” are tossed together with the anthropomorphized voices of the urban animal kingdom. Now, my only hope is that this clever cast of characters will rescue my cat when I succumb to the pull of my phone and the audiobook read in the many voices of Robert Petkoff.
With my own cozy reading chair and judgmental cat, I spent most of this book believing Abbi Waxman had probed my brain while I was sleeping. Frankly, I’d be surprised if other bookish folks, general nerds, or organization enthusiasts didn’t feel the same way. It’s a perfectly weird combination of rampant thoughts, happy places, and anxious social encounters; the frustration and comfort of a crazy family; a thoughtful love letter to booksellers and bookstore patrons. Add the sassy narrator, scents of pine and flavors of ice cream, and sickeningly cute romance--and I'm sure it’d pair well with summer itself.
With suggestive humor and a bit of orneriness, Cooke clears up crazy misconceptions about some of the world’s more mysterious and underappreciated species. Throughout, she dissects these past theories for signs of human superiority, a binary physical understanding, and a little too much of the woodsy musk from a beaver's “gonads.” What’s left: Hyenas are avid feminists, Eels keep their coitus quiet, and Sloths are pretty much the ultimate survivalists. You can devour this all at once or savor each chapter as an individual essay, but you will be amazed by the truth (and bestiary sketches) either way.
This book is a local wanderlust machine! Caroline (a passionate Alaskan biologist) expertly catalogs her post-grad coming of age as she undertakes a human-powered trip to the Arctic Circle with her husband Pat (a self-taught builder from Bellingham). In the midst of decisions about family, work, and one's place in the natural world, there are raging rapids and cold winds, whales and chickadees, snow and sunlight. Hopefully it will teach you something new about the PNW, and comfort you with the knowledge that it's okay to change course.
I’ve been struggling with how to describe this novel, other than it’s often pensive and irregularly balanced for a “dystopian” story. Finally, I came to the conclusion (after 3 pages of notes) that it needs to be read because of the struggle it shows and invokes in us. That may not be very helpful, but as stubborn and intellectual Cedar says at the start, “...maybe you’ll understand. Or not. I’ll write this anyway…” I mean...what do you record for a possible life in a world unknown to you?