TreeSong’s Nature Book Group meets once a month on the third Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Our focus will be nature-inspired books that the group chooses.  If you are interested in joining us, please Contact us.

The book group is full.
Let us know if you’d like to be added to the waiting list.


 

Current Read

John Muir and the Ice that Started a Fire

by Kim Heacox

 
 


A dual biography of two of the most compelling elements in the narrative of wild America, John Muir and Alaska.

John Muir was a fascinating man who was many things: inventor, scientist, revolutionary, druid (a modern day Celtic priest), husband, son, father and friend, and a shining son of the Scottish Enlightenment -- both in temperament and intellect.  Kim Heacox, author of The Only Kayak, bring us a story that evolves as Muir’s life did, from one of outdoor adventure into one of ecological guardianship---Muir went from impassioned author to leading activist. The book is not just an engaging and dramatic profile of Muir, but an expose on glaciers, and their importance in the world today. Muir shows us how one person changed America, helped it embrace its wilderness, and in turn, gave us a better world.

December 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of Muirs death. Muir died of a broken heart, some say, when Congress voted to approve the building of Hetch Hetchy Dam in Yosemite National Park. Perhaps in the greatest piece of environmental symbolism in the U.S. in a long time, on the California ballot this November is a measure to dismantle the Hetch Hetchy Dam.

Muirs legacy is that he reordered our priorities and contributed to a new scientific revolution that was picked up a generation later by Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, and is championed today by influential writers like E.O. Wilson and Jared Diamond. Heacox will take us into how Muir changed our world, advanced the science of glaciology and popularized geology. How he got people out there. How he gave America a new vision of Alaska, and of itself.

 
 

Upcoming Reads

JUly

Gathering Moss
by Robin Wall Kilmmerer

august

Hermit’s Story
by Rick Bass

september

Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

october

Sastun
by Rosita Arvigo

 

Past Reads

The Overstory

by Richard Powers

In his twelfth novel, National Book Award winner Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet: the one taking place between humans and nonhumans. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

The Overstory is a book for all readers who despair of humanity’s self-imposed separation from the rest of creation and who hope for the transformative, regenerating possibility of a homecoming. If the trees of this earth could speak, what would they tell us? “Listen. There’s something you need to hear.”

 

The River Why

by David Duncan

This captivating and exuberant tale is told by Gus Orviston, an irreverent young fly fisherman and one of the most appealing heroes in contemporary American fiction. Leaving behind a madcap, fishing-obsessed family, Gus decides to strike out on his own, taking refuge in a secluded cabin on a remote riverbank to pursue his own fly-fishing passion with unrelenting zeal. But instead of finding fishing bliss, Gus becomes increasingly troubled by the degradation of the natural world around him and by the spiritual barrenness of his own life. His desolation drives him on a reluctant quest for self-discovery and meaning, ultimately fruitful beyond his wildest dreams.

Here, then, is a funny, sensitive, unforgettable story about the relationships among men, women, the environment, and the human soul.

 
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Following Atticus

by Tom Ryan

Following Atticus is an unforgettable true saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family, as one remarkable animal opens the eyes and heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman to the world’s beauty and its possibilities.

After a close friend died of cancer, middle-aged, overweight, acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan decided to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox manner. Ryan and his friend, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch, would attempt to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. At the heart of the amazing journey was the extraordinary relationship they shared, one that blurred the line between man and dog.

 
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Lab Girl

by Hope Jahren

In Lab Girl, Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.

“Lab Girl” is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

 

Your Guide to Forest Bathing

by M. Amos Clifford

In Your Guide to Forest Bathing, M. Amos Clifford draws on four decades of wilderness experience to introduce readers to the medicine of being in the forest. Forest bathing is a gentle, meditative practice that inspires us to connect with nature as a way to help heal ourselves as well as the planet and humanity.

Forest Therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. In Japan, forest bathing is known as shinrin-yoku. Studies there have demonstrated a wide variety of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition. Learn about the roots of the practice, how to deepen your relationship to nature, and how to begin a practice of your own. Practical matters such as finding a suitable trail and what to bring are also included.

 

My Story as Told by Water

by David James Duncan

David James Duncan, award-winning author of “The River Why,” braids his contemplative, activist, and rhapsodic voices together into a potently distinctive whole, speaking with power and urgency about the vital connections between our water-filled bodies and this water-covered planet. The twenty-two essays in this collection swirl and eddy around the author’s early-forged bond with the rivers of the Pacific Northwest and their endangered native salmon. With a bracing blend of story, logic, science, and humor, Duncan relates mystical, life-changing fishing adventures; draws incisive portraits of the humans and wild creatures who shaped his destiny… and meditates on the spiritual and practical necessity of acknowledging our dependence on water in its primal state.

 
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A Wolf Called Romeo 

by Gerald Durrell

The unlikely true story of a six-year friendship between a wild, oddly gentle black wolf and the people and dogs of Juneau, Alaska.  No stranger to wildlife, Nick Jans had lived in Alaska for nearly thirty years. But when one evening at twilight a lone black wolf ambled into view not far from his doorstep, Nick would finally come to know this mystical species—up close as never before. “A Wolf Called Romeo” is the remarkable story of a wolf who returned again and again to interact with the people and dogs of Juneau, living on the edges of their community, engaging in an improbable, awe-inspiring interspecies dance and bringing the wild into sharp focus.

 

More Past Reads

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram

Mink River by Brian Doyle.

The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky by Ellen Meloy

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal

Sandy, the Sandhill Crane Who Joined Our Family by Dayton O. Hyde

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohllenben.

In The Bears House by N. Scott Momaday

The Sacred Balance by David Suzuki

The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Refuge and Unnatural by Terry Tempest Williams

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver