Published March 11, 2020

These authors are inspired by the beauty of nature and more concerned than ever about taking steps to protect it. The following books, which were slated to be featured in the 2020 Festival, consider the environment (and our relation to it) in illuminating and surprising ways. Read one or read them all and you’re sure to come away with a new perspective on how science, art, philosophy, and public policy intersect to shape our climate. Keep reading for suggested reading for environmentalists and nature lovers…

  • A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration by Kenn Kaufman 
    “In A Season on the Wind, Kenn Kaufman soars above his Ohio home place and artfully shares the world of birds and the miraculous feats of migration that persist amidst constant conservation struggles and hard-won successes. It’s a wondrous compendium of stories about birds and humans that compels us to be more in nature and work ever harder to protect it. The message within to love and conserve is as clear as a Swainson’s thrush’s flight call in a spring night sky. What A Season on the Wind does is so much more than inform, it inspires.” —J. Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place 

  • The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy by Anna Clark
    “Gripping and packed with meticulously sourced reportage… Clark’s rich account intersperses policy and environmental science with vivid portraits of Flint and its citizens, ramping up the tension as the horror unfolds.”―Nature

  • A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind by Harriet Washington 
    “In her groundbreaking new book, A Terrible Thing to Waste, award-winning science writer and bioethicist Harriet Washington explores how environmental racism damages young minds, particularly the minds of impoverished African American children who are exposed inordinately to toxins and pathogens in marginalized communities. She writes lucidly of how pollutants such as heavy metals and neurotoxins injure developing brains and recounts vividly case after case of the devastating cost to human brains and bodies. As she demolishes racist notions of inherited intelligence, she describes the medical consequences of horrific environmental catastrophes that have largely been forgotten or overlooked. Revelatory and compelling, Harriet Washington’s, A Terrible Thing to Waste, is the Silent Spring for the 21st century.”―Robin Lindley, JD, Features Editor, History News Network

  • Pigs by Johanna Stoberock
    “In luminous prose, Stoberock has crafted a parable for our time, one in which the environment, community, and human empathy are central to understanding our world. It’s dark and creepy, but beyond the mud-caked veneer, the book shines like a verdant island of its own.”—Sarah Neilson, Literary Hub

  • Down by the Eno, Down by the Haw by Thorpe Moeckel
    “The naturalist’s month-by-month account of the year he lived on the watershed of two North Carolina rivers, the Eno and Haw, is a needed invitation to regard nature with new eyes and be transformed by it. Its personal, in-the-moment viewpoints make it feel possible to walk into the woods and leave the fray behind.”—Melissa Wuske, Foreward Reviews

  • Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl
    “[Renkl] guides us through a South lush with bluebirds, pecan orchards, and glasses of whiskey shared at dusk in this collection of prose in poetry-size bits; as it celebrates bounty, it also mourns the profound losses we face every day.”―O, the Oprah Magazine

  • A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia edited by Laura-Gray Street
    “Stunning images by seven Southern Appalachian artists and conversationally written natural history information complement contemporary poems from writers such as Ellen Bryant Voigt, Wendell Berry, Janisse Ray, Sean Hill, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Deborah A. Miranda, Ron Rash, and Mary Oliver. Their insights illuminate the wonders of the mountain South, fostering intimate connections. The guide is an invitation to get to know Appalachia in the broadest, most poetic sense.”—University of Georgia Press

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