Nature Books

Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home

Pope Francis's encyclical letter ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME: LAUDATO SI brought people to tears as a Mary Evelyn Tucker read from it at the annual Prairie Festival gathering last weekend at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. Because he has a substantial science background coupled with compassion and bravery, his call for humans to address the climate crisis and other ravages of our planet articulates what many other religious and political leaders have neglected to say.

On Care for Our Common Home: Laudato Si' Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781593252830
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Published: Word Among Us Press - July 20th, 2015

Addressed not only to Catholics but to "every person living on this planet," Pope Francis' second encyclical is a challenging call for a "bold cultural revolution" in how we think about technological progress and economic growth.


The Gentle Barn

THE GENTLE BARN, Ellie Laks' memoir, is in part a story of overcoming a difficult childhood through her positive relationship to animals. As an adult, she felt called to rescue animals she found in abusive situations. Her earliest intervention was persuading an uncaring "petting zoo" owner to let Ellie buy a malnourished goat, Mary, after a week of daily visits.

My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780385347662
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Published: Harmony - March 25th, 2014

"My Gentle Barn is a wonderful book. You'll love Ellie Laks and the animals she rescued--and who rescued her back." -Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig


Cat Sense by John Bradshaw

STAFF REVIEW: Hey all you cat lovers out there. Feline scientist John Bradshaw's book CAT SENSE offers not only intriguing new insights into little understood behavior but also excellent natural history about our little charges. You'll never look at them the same way again. Recommended by Kelly.

Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780465031016
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Basic Books (AZ) - September 10th, 2013

Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners.


The Last Season by Eric Blehm

Though an outdoor adventure biography, this book reads very much like a mystery. When veteran emergency rescue ranger Randy Morgensen goes missing himself in Yosemite, no one knows what to think. Blehm's suspenseful writing shows how his fellow rangers, civilian search teams, and park personnel try to piece together the puzzle of his disappearance. A great summer read! Recommended by Kelly.

The Last Season Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060583019
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Published: Harper Perennial - February 1st, 2007

Destined to become a classic of adventure literature, The Last Season examines the extraordinary life of legendary backcountry ranger Randy Morgenson and his mysterious disappearance in California's unforgiving Sierra Nevada—mountains as perilous as they are beautiful.


The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration by Bernd Heinrich

Nature-writer Bernd Heinrich has a new book out, a cause for celebration! THE HOMING
INSTINCT reveals not only the often arduous and mysterious natural history of migration of other species, but, in it, Heinrich draws moving parallels between their visceral pull toward home and ours.

The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780547198484
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin - April 8th, 2014

Acclaimed scientist and author Bernd Heinrich has returned every year since boyhood to a beloved patch of western Maine woods. What is the biology in humans of this deep-in-the-bones pull toward a particular place, and how is it related to animal homing?


Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature by Linda Lear

This fine biography of Rachel Carson should be on every environmentalist's book shelf. Biographer Lear's careful research and respectful prose elucidates Carson's professional and private life with a care I'm sure Carson would have appreciated. Recommended by Kelly. 

Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780547238234
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Published: Mariner Books - April 1st, 2009

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, published in 1962, did more than any other single publication to alert the world to the hazards of environmental poisoning and to inspire a powerful social movement that would alter the course of American history.


Dirt Work

This is a terrific memoir about a small, hesitant woman who, once she learns her "tools," becomes one of the toughest workers on the trail building crew in Glacier National Park, Montana. With the soul of a poet, Byl writes with an ease and beauty you'll quickly warm to. Recommended by Kelly.

Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780807033272
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Published: Beacon Press - March 11th, 2014

A lively and lyrical account of one woman's unlikely apprenticeship on a national-park trail crew and what she discovers about nature, gender, and the value of hard work


Moby Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville

One of the most captivating, bizarre, and wondrous novels I've ever read. Melville really turns prose into poetry...some passages continue to reverberate in me to this day. Plus, who can resist the line: "They are fighting Quakers; they are Quakers with a vengeance." Worth all of the effort...I'm still rereading it years later. Recommended by Chip.

Moby Dick Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062085641
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Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - June 7th, 2011

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

“Call me Ishmael.”


Any Way You Slice It

Senior scientist at Salina Kansas's The Land Institute, Cox broaches a topic few others are willing to: rationing. Not only does he provide an excellent account of rationing in America's past, he offers scenarios for the types of rationing of ever-decreasing essentials like water, food, and fuel that we may face in an uncertain future. An excellent and brave book. Recommended by Kelly.

Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781595588098
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Published: New Press - May 7th, 2013

Rationing: it's a word and an idea that people often loathe and fear. Health care expert Henry Aaron has compared mentioning the possibility of rationing to 'shouting an obscenity in church.' Yet societies in fact ration food, water, medical care and fuel all the time, with those who can pay the most getting the most.


The Emerald Mile

Lisa Grossman--Lawrence landscape painter, board member of Friends of the Kaw, and river rat--has this to say about the book: "A well-told mix of history, mystery, hubris, and extreme adventure make for a grand ride." 

The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781439159859
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Published: Scribner Book Company - May 7th, 2013

From one of Outside magazine's "Literary All-Stars" comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.


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