Category Archives: Book club selections

January 2020 Book Club selection

What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World by Jon Young 

Deep bird language is an ancient discipline, perfected by Native peoples the world over. Finally, science is catching up. This groundbreaking book unites the indigenous knowledge, the latest research, and the author’s own experience of four decades in the field to lead us toward a deeper connection to the animals and, in the end, ourselves.

If you’ve participated in the Jefferson Land Trust Natural History course, you’ve been introduced to the idea of a “sit spot,” a special place outdoors that you regularly spend time just watching and listening. That concept is derived from the teachings of this author, Jon Young, and is discussed in more detail in this book.

Please join us at the Pink House next to Port Townsend Public Library on Monday, January 27th, 3:30-5:00 p.m. to talk about what we learned from the book and to share your experiences with listening to birds. We’ll also share with everyone some news from our special “sit spot.”

December 2019 Book Club Selection

Our December 2019 natural history book club selection is Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape by Barry Lopez. Originally published in 1986, Arctic Dreams won the National Book Award and remains a classic in natural history literature. Lopez offers a thorough examination of this obscure world-its terrain, its wildlife, its history of Eskimo natives and intrepid explorers who have arrived on their icy shores. But what turns this marvelous work of natural history into a breathtaking study of profound originality is his unique meditation on how the landscape can shape our imagination, desires, and dreams. Its prose as hauntingly pure as the land it describes, Arctic Dreams is nothing less than an indelible classic of modern literature. Please join us to share in discussion and your personal experiences in arctic wildlands.

We’ll be meeting at the Pink House next to the Port Townsend Public Library on Monday, December 9th, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. After the discussion, we’ll be making a list of suggested reading for February-July 2020. We’ll be e-mailing the list to all book club participants to vote for their top 6. If you have any titles you’d like us to consider, please e-mail Kathy at katherine.darrow@outlook.com and I’ll add it to the list. Keep in mind that we prefer books on natural history topics that are related to the Pacific Northwest.

Arctic Dreams

September-October 2019 Book Selection

The September 2019 selection for Jefferson Land Trust Natural History Society book club is Wintergreen by Robert Michael Pyle.  We are honored to have the opportunity to meet with the author for our book discussion on Monday, October 7, from 3:30 – 5:00.  Please RSVP to Jean at indexmann@gmail.com for information, including directions, about the location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naturalist, scientist, and poet Robert Michael Pyle describes the land, animals, plants, and people of the Willapa Hills area of southwest Washington State.  In spite of the obvious disruption caused by widespread logging, Pyle moved to the little town of Gray’s River, Washington, in the 1970s and continued his career as a writer and naturalist.  His explorations of the area are recounted in Wintergreen, winner of the 1987 John Burroughs Medal for the best natural history book of the year.  Although originally written in the 1980s and republished with a new preface in 1996, the well-written book has valuable insights and lessons for today.

 

August 2019 Book Selection

The Jefferson Land Trust Natural History Society book club will meet on Monday, August 26, 2019, 3:30 – 5:00, to discuss Mountain in the Clouds by Bruce Brown.  Let’s gather at 3:15 at the lot across from San Juan Taqueria; from there we can carpool to Ilahee Preserve.

Called “profound and moving” by the Washington Post, this environmental classic launched the wild salmon movement and inspired the removal of the dams on the Elwha River, the largest dam removal project in human history. The book centers on the rivers of the Olympic Peninsula, and although written in the 1980s, is as timely as when it was first written. A new preface was included in the 1995 publication.

If you’ve ever wondered “where did all the wild salmon go?” then this is a must-read for you.