Staff Pick

A dual citizen of Britain and Canada and now a resident of Berlin, Lee is descended from mainland Chinese who were exiled to Taiwan and then relocated to Ontario where her fighter-pilot grandfather mopped floors in a factory. Her deeply reflective memoir combines cultural and political history as well as travel and, perhaps most of all, astute and heartfelt nature writing, for a moving inquiry into “what ought to be simple: articulating who we are.” Who, exactly, is Lee, as the heir to multiple displacements and their attendant losses and gains? The narrative centers on her relationship to Taiwan, a place she knows primarily from her mother’s memories. Compelled by “a longing to remember the things I hadn’t known,” Lee makes repeated visits to the island, exploring it through extensive hikes, linguistic research, and reconstruction of her family’s experiences, including a reunion with forgotten relatives. Throughout, Lee balances the often painful personal discoveries with fascinating details of Taiwan’s natural environment—especially its once magnificent false cypress forests—its cartographic history, and its precarious position along two tectonic plates which has endowed it with more than forty active fault lines. 

Two Trees Make a Forest: In Search of My Family's Past Among Taiwan's Mountains and Coasts Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646220007
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Catapult - August 4th, 2020

Staff Pick

Words like “joy,” and “delight” are thin on the ground in most environmental writing, but they are the raison d'être of Losada’s spirited and practical exploration of ways both to help the planet and to live a more satisfying life. The two go hand-in-hand: if we eat better—more fresh food, more meals with family and friends, metal cutlery rather than plastic—we’ll leave less trash, use fewer resources, and feel better both mentally and physically. If we own less we’ll value more highly what we have, and our lives will be enriched by the meaning these objects hold for us. If we bike to work, we’ll save money, engage more directly with our neighborhoods, and be more physically fit. These aren’t prescriptions, but suggestions, and Losada knows they won’t work for everyone. But even before that, they’re lively, often funny stories. More a friend than a visionary. Losada shares her own experiences (trying to dodge plastic in the supermarket, canvassing for the Green party, demonstrating with Extinction Rebellion) and equips readers with ways to cut through the “greenwash” to what’s authentically eco-friendly. 

The Joyful Environmentalist: How to Practise without Preaching Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781786784704
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Watkins Publishing - July 14th, 2020

Staff Pick

A prolific novelist, Millet has worked at the NRDC and the Center for Biological Diversity, so the dystopian element of her fiction—massive storms, dengue fever, food shortages, and another round of storms--has more than the average ring of truth. But the climatic drama is only one part of this rich, multi-layered story. Narrated by Evie, a sharp, frustrated, and endearing seventeen-year-old, the book is the younger generation’s indictment of the older one; to Evie, as to countless teens before her—though seldom with stakes as high as they are in the Anthropocene--the parents are “a cautionary tale.” Writing them off, Evie devotes herself to her younger brother, and the bond between her and Jack perhaps serves as a model for nurturing relationships of the future, as does Jack’s determination to save animals. A nine-year-old Noah, he’s also something of a prophet, and in his reading of an illustrated bible, god means nature, Christ means science, and, as Evie speculates, the holy spirit is the human capacity for creation. Given the magnitude of the problems Millet lays out, she doesn’t quite say that art will save us, but she ends this thought-provoking, buoyant novel on the hopeful note that life, if not humans, will go on.

A Children's Bible: A Novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781324005032
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 12th, 2020

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