Category Archives: Book club selections

September-October 2019 Book Selection

The Jefferson Land Trust Natural History Society book club will read Wintergreen by Robert Pyle in September.  In order to take advantage of the author being in Port Townsend and agreeing to join us, we will discuss the book on Monday, October 7, from 3:30 – 5:00. Let’s congregate at the parking lot across from San Juan Taqueria (at corner of Hwy 19 and Prospect) at 3:15, so we can carpool to the nearby Ilahee Preserve.

 

Naturalist, scientist, and poet Robert 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.

July 2019 Book Selection

The Jefferson Land Trust Natural History Society Book Club will meet on Monday, July 22, 2019, 3:30 – 5:00, to discuss The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.  We will meet at the shelter at Ilahee Preserve, gathering at the parking lot near San Juan Taqueria at 3:15 to carpool to the limited parking at Ilahee.

Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus and the remarkable connections they make with humans. Scientists are now establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus. and  reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.

June 2019 Book Selection

On Monday, June 24, 2019, the JLT Natural History Society book club will discuss Pilgrim on the Great Bird  Continent by Lyanda Lynn Haupt.  We will meet in the gazebo at Ilahee Preserve from 3:30-5:00.  Let’s gather at 3:15  in the parking lot across from San Juan Taqueria on Prospect Avenue (where you turn off Hwy 19 to go to Kala Point) so we can carpool to Ilahee.

The complete title of June’s book is Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks.  Author Lyanda Lynn Haupt is familiar to book club members, as we have read other books by her – Mozart’s Starling, Urban Bestiary, and Crow Planet. 

Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent combines observations on nature, a poetic sense, and wonderful detail on Charles Darwin. Haupt focuses mostly on the birds Darwin observed, having researched meticulously some of his lesser-known writings. She describes Darwin’s transformation into a “true naturalist” while helping us understand the human relationship to the natural world.

 

May 2019 Book Selection

On Monday, May 20, the JLT Natural History Society book club will discuss Eager by Ben Goldfarb.

We will meet at the Ilahee Preserve from 3:30 – 5:00. Let’s congregate at the parking lot across from San Juan Taqueria on Prospect Avenue at 3:15, carpooling from there to the Ilahee.  (Jefferson Land Trust is doing what it can to minimize the number of cars on the road and in the parking lot at Ilahee.)

 

 

 

Ben Goldfarb, Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter (2018) is the story of one of the world’s most influential species and the ecological consequences when that species is lost.  This book reveals how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction, and the ravages of climate change. Habitat for species from salmon to swans can be restored by returning beavers to the landscape. There is a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers”―including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens―who recognize that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. This book describes both the elimination of beavers as well as current efforts to reintroduce them in various geographic regions.