Earth Day 2012

Acadia National Park

April 22, 2012 is the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. Many consider the founding of Earth Day in 1970 as marking the beginning of the environmental movement, it is celebrated every year to bring environmental issues into the forefront.  On the eve of Earth Day, Orion Magazine announces the finalists for its Book Award which is “given annually to a book that addresses the human relationship with the natural world in a fresh, thought provoking, and engaging manner.” Newton library subscribes to Orion and has issues available in the periodical section on the first floor. Orion’s mission is to inform, inspire, and engage individuals and grassroots organizations in becoming a significant cultural force for healing nature and community. The finalists are listed below along with links to their catalog records in the Minuteman Library Catalog.

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors (Ecco)

The author discusses his time spent ten thousand feet above ground as a fire lookout in a remote part of New Mexico, a job where he witnessed some of the most amazing phenomena nature has to offer.

Oil on Water by Helon Habila (W.W. Norton & Co.)

In the oil-rich and environmentally devastated Nigerian Delta, the wife of a British oil executive has been kidnapped. Two journalists-a young upstart, Rufus, and a once-great, now disillusioned veteran, Zaq-are sent to find her. In a story rich with atmosphere and taut with suspense, Oil on Water explores the conflict between idealism and cynical disillusionment in a journey full of danger and unintended consequences.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Vintage)

Against a backdrop of hauntingly fecund plant life animated by ancient lizards and lawless hungers, Karen Russell has written an utterly singular novel about a family’s struggle to stay afloat in a world that is inexorably sinking. An arrestingly beautiful and inventive work from a vibrant new voice in fiction.

The View from Lazy Point by Carl Safina (Picador)

Beginning in his kayak in his home waters of eastern Long Island, Carl Safina’s The View from Lazy Point takes us through the four seasons to the four points of the compass, from the high Arctic south to Antarctica, across the warm belly of the tropics from the Caribbean to the west Pacific, then home again.

Raising Elijah: Raising our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis by Sandra Steingraber (De Capo)

Biologist and poet Steingraber has written previous books for general readers, approaching environmental issues from the perspective of family relationships: Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood and Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment. Here, she offers a conversational memoir about the environmental threats our children face. Each chapter focuses on one of the universals of childhood, such as milk, pizza, and homework, and explores the hidden social, political, and historical forces behind it.


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