June 2022–February 2023 Book Club Selections

June 27, 2022.
Beloved Beasts:  Fighting for Life in An Age of Extinction by Michelle Nijhuis.  In the late nineteenth century, humans came at long last to a devastating realization: their rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving scores of animal species to extinction. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the history of the movement to protect and conserve other forms of life. From early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale, Nijhuis’s “spirited and engaging” account documents “the changes of heart that changed history” (Dan Cryer, Boston Globe). Discussion led by Holly Hughes.

July 25.  Fastest Things on Wings: rescuing hummingbirds in Hollywood by Terry Masear.  One of the busiest hummingbird rescuers describes her experiences with Gabriel, an Anna’s hummingbird, who was in her rehab for 4 months, during which 160 other hummingbirds were also treated by her.  A heartwarming story.  Discussion led by Jackie Canterbury.

August 22.  Fox and I: an uncommon friendship by Catherine Raven.  Catherine Raven’s tale of an intentional friendship with a wild red fox in an isolated part of Montana, and how it indelibly changed her is a kaleidoscopic meld of quiet observation, sharp reflection, wry humor and poetry.  Discussion led by John Goldwood.

September 26.   A World on the Wing: the global odyssey of migratory birds by Scott Weidensaul.  “In vivid prose that conjures up the rich spell of each landscape, Scott Weidensaul takes us on exhilarating expeditions that crisscross the globe and travel deep into the heart of nature. For lifelong experts and backyard birders alike, he’s a superb guide to the winged marvels that share our planet and our lives.” (Diane Ackerman).  Discussion led by Diane McDade.

October 24.  Not on my Watch: how a renegade whale biologist took on governments and industry to save wild salmon by Alexandra Morton.    Morton has been called “the Jane Goodall of Canada” because of her passionate thirty-year fight to save British Columbia’s wild salmon.  Her account of that fight is both inspiring in its own right and a roadmap of resistance.  Discussion led by Oma Landstra.

November 28.  Spineless, the science of jellyfish and the art of growing a backbone by Juli Berwald.  “Berwald’s engaging book is part memoir, part pop science, weaving together stories of her own twisting academic path along with fascinating, vivid details about the delicate creatures.”  NY Times.  Discussion led by Nan Evans.

December 26.  Walking in the Beauty of the World by Joe Arnett. Joe has been a professional botanist and teacher in the Northwest for over twenty years. This collection of 24 essays describes wild – and not so wild – places, personal knowledge of the plants, and wider topics of a human relationship with nature.  Discussion led by Kathy Darrow.   

Note:  this book is not available in local libraries.  Kathy is organizing a bulk order to minimize shipping costs.  Cost is $8 which includes tax but doesn’t include shipping, and all net proceeds are donated by Joe to the Native Plant Society. Contact katherine.darrow@outlook.com

January 23, 2023. The Treeline: the last forest and the future of life on Earth by Ben Rawlence.  Rawlence visits various locations in the North to report on the state of forests, the predicament of the indigenous locals in the face of climate change, and much more. His grasp of the science relevant to his tale is amazingly strong and broad.  He spends extended time with visionary bio scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger.  Discussion led by Noreen Parks.

February 27, 2023.  The End of Ice: bearing witness and finding meaning in the path of climate disruption by Dahr Jamail.  Finalist for the 2020 PEN / E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.  “Filled with vivid evocations of the natural world, Jamail’s deep love of nature blazes through his crisp, elegant prose, and he ably illuminates less-discussed aspects of climate disruption.” Kirkus Reviews.  Discussion led by Linda Rhines.


All meetings will be via Zoom from 3:30-5:00 pm until the public health protocols change. Please contact Linda Rhines at linda.rhines@gmail.com for details if you would like to join in. 

We hope to meet in person again at Illahee Preserve as soon as it is deemed safe to practice social distancing and enjoy being outdoors together. During colder winter months, we’ll meet at the Pink House next to PT Library, or schedule a Zoom meeting, depending on the public health situation.