Staff Pick

As O'Connell notes, the end of the world has been prematurely announced many times. But now, with extreme weather events, the sixth extinction, and novel viruses, will this be the real thing? To appease, inform, and perhaps indulge his "obsession" with today's end times, O'Connell sought out others similarly--and not so similarly--concerned. These eight essays recount his meetings with "preppers" for the collapse of life as we know it, specialized entrepreneurs selling bunkers to survivalists, advocates for relocating humanity to Mars, and fellow connoisseurs of catastrophe on a guided tour to Chernobyl. Interspersing travel narrative with reflections on the meaning of civilization and its ruin, he also meditates on the ethics--and the sheer possibility--of raising children at this fraught moment. Ultimately, invoking philosophers from Beckett and Kierkegaard to Arendt and Dr. Seuss—along with watching young climate strikers and witnessing his infant daughter's sheer joy in life—he decides that it's worth being part of the world, even one in such dire straits, and relinquishes some of his anxiety to enjoy the gifts Earth still gives us. If he can do it, we can too.  

Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780385543002
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 14th, 2020

Staff Pick

A dual citizen of Britain and Canada and now a resident of Berlin, Lee is descended from mainland Chinese who were exiled to Taiwan and then relocated to Ontario where her fighter-pilot grandfather mopped floors in a factory. Her deeply reflective memoir combines cultural and political history as well as travel and, perhaps most of all, astute and heartfelt nature writing, for a moving inquiry into “what ought to be simple: articulating who we are.” Who, exactly, is Lee, as the heir to multiple displacements and their attendant losses and gains? The narrative centers on her relationship to Taiwan, a place she knows primarily from her mother’s memories. Compelled by “a longing to remember the things I hadn’t known,” Lee makes repeated visits to the island, exploring it through extensive hikes, linguistic research, and reconstruction of her family’s experiences, including a reunion with forgotten relatives. Throughout, Lee balances the often painful personal discoveries with fascinating details of Taiwan’s natural environment—especially its once magnificent false cypress forests—its cartographic history, and its precarious position along two tectonic plates which has endowed it with more than forty active fault lines. 

Two Trees Make a Forest: In Search of My Family's Past Among Taiwan's Mountains and Coasts Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646220007
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Catapult - August 4th, 2020

Staff Pick

Words like “joy,” and “delight” are thin on the ground in most environmental writing, but they are the raison d'être of Losada’s spirited and practical exploration of ways both to help the planet and to live a more satisfying life. The two go hand-in-hand: if we eat better—more fresh food, more meals with family and friends, metal cutlery rather than plastic—we’ll leave less trash, use fewer resources, and feel better both mentally and physically. If we own less we’ll value more highly what we have, and our lives will be enriched by the meaning these objects hold for us. If we bike to work, we’ll save money, engage more directly with our neighborhoods, and be more physically fit. These aren’t prescriptions, but suggestions, and Losada knows they won’t work for everyone. But even before that, they’re lively, often funny stories. More a friend than a visionary. Losada shares her own experiences (trying to dodge plastic in the supermarket, canvassing for the Green party, demonstrating with Extinction Rebellion) and equips readers with ways to cut through the “greenwash” to what’s authentically eco-friendly. 

The Joyful Environmentalist: How to Practise without Preaching Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781786784704
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Watkins Publishing - July 14th, 2020

Pages