In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Tova Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her encounter with a Neohelix albolabris—a common woodland snail. While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater understanding of her own place in the world. Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, offering a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world can illuminate our own human existence, while providing an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.
It all started with Nathanael Johnson's decision to teach his daughter, Josephine, the names of every tree they passed as they walked up the hill to daycare in San Francisco, CA. it was a ridiculous project, not just because she couldn't even say the word "tree" yet, but also because he couldn't name a single one of them. When confronted with the futility of his mission, his instinctive response was to expand it, Don Quixote-style, until its audacity obscured its stupidity. And so the project expanded to include an expertise in city-dwelling birds (the raptors, the shockingly shrewd crows, the gulls, the misunderstood pigeons), rodents (raccoons, rats, squirrels), and tiny crawling things (the superpowers of snails, the vast intercontinental warfare of ants). There's an unseen world all around us. There are wonders that we walk past every day without noticing. Johnson has written a book that will widen the pinhole through which we see the world. What does the world look like through the eyes of a peregrine falcon, or a raccoon, or an ant? What does a sidewalk Gingko balboa "see?" What would you learn each morning if you understood how to speak pigeon? If we look closely enough, Johnson believes that the walk to the subway can be just as entrancing as a walk through the forest. Follow along as the author and his family search for the beauty and meaning of nature in an urban jungle.
Author: Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2013-04-09
Genre: Family & Relationships
Everyone knows someone who's sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope. Throughout her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became fascinated by her friends' and family's diverse reactions to her and her illness: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how some misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful it was when people read her right. She began talking to her fellow patients and dozens of other veterans of serious illness, seeking to discover what sick people wished their friends knew about how best to comfort, help, and even simply talk to them. Now Pogrebin has distilled their collective stories and opinions into this wide-ranging compendium of pragmatic guidance and usable wisdom. Her advice is always infused with sensitivity, warmth, and humor. It is embedded in candid stories from her own and others' journeys, and their sometimes imperfect interactions with well-meaning friends. How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick is an invaluable guidebook for anyone hoping to rise to the challenges of this most important and demanding passage of friendship.
Author: Edward L. Boye
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2014-09-08
Musings is a collection of short, easy-reading essays dealing with the challenges of life. Do we take certain beliefs for granted? Are our beliefs distorted by hand-me-down thinking? How can we respond to others with love, acceptance, and compassion? Poetry and humor are interspersed throughout this book's invitation to contemplate a deeper spiritual awareness. If the Beatitudes in the Bible were rewritten today, would we find this one: "Blessed are they whose plans have been foiled, for they shall be given the opportunity to see the world anew"? Readers are suggested to pick one essay a day. Reflect on the deeper messages and chuckle with the lighter moments while you consider choices that can lighten the load of living.
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can an orchid get jet lag? Does a tomato plant feel pain when you pluck a fruit from its vines? And does your favourite fern care whether you play Bach or the Beatles? Combining cutting-edge research with lively storytelling, biologist Daniel Chamovitz explores how plants experience our shared Earth – through sight, smell, touch, hearing, memory, and even awareness. Whether you are a green thumb, a science buff, a vegetarian, or simply a nature lover, this rare inside look at the life of plants will surprise and delight.
Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them. In order to survive, the Igibys must flee to the safety of the Ice Prairies, where the lizardlike Fangs of Dang cannot follow. First, however, they have to escape the monsters of Glipwood Forest,1 the thieving Stranders of the East Bend,2 and the dreaded Fork Factory.3 But even more dangerous are the jealousies and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart, and Janner and his siblings must learn the hard way that the love of a family is more important than anything else. 1. All possessing very sharp teeth. 2. Murderous scoundrels, the lot. 3. Woe!
To be alienated from animals is to live a life that is not quite whole, contends nature writer Tai Moses in Zooburbia: Meditations On The Wild Animals Among Us. Urban and suburban residents share their environment with many types of wildlife: squirrels, birds, spiders, and increasingly lizards, deer, and coyote. Many of us crave more contact with wild creatures, and recognize the small and large ways animals enrich our lives, yet don’t notice the animals already around us. Zooburbia reveals the reverence that can be felt in the presence of animals and shows how that reverence connects us to a deeper, better part of ourselves. A lively blend of memoir, natural history, and mindfulness practices, Zooburbia makes the case for being mindful and compassionate stewards—and students—of the wildlife with whom we coexist. With lessons on industriousness, perseverance, presence, exuberance, gratitude, aging, how to let go, and much more, Tai's vignettes share the happy fact that none of us is alone and separate, and that our teachers are right in front of us. We need only go outdoors with our eyes and ears open to find a rapport with the animal kingdom. Zooburbia is a magnifying lens turned to our everyday environment, reminding us that we, as individuals and as a species, are not alone. Illustrated by Dave Buchen with original black and white wildlife linocuts.