Spring has sprung and with it, a desire to sit outside in the warm weather and read. If you are looking for a book to read this spring, we’ve got you covered. We complied a list of books about gardens, trees, and eco-justice for you. For more information on books that we’re publishing this season, check out our Spring 2018 catalog.
Ghost Fishing is the first anthology to focus solely on poetry with an eco-justice bent. A culturally diverse collection entering a field where nature poetry anthologies have historically lacked diversity, this book presents a rich terrain of contemporary environmental poetry with roots in many cultural traditions.
Eco-justice poetry is poetry born of deep cultural attachment to the land and poetry born of crisis. Aligned with environmental justice activism and thought, eco-justice poetry defines environment as “the place we work, live, play, and worship.” This is a shift from romantic notions of nature as a pristine wilderness outside ourselves toward recognition of the environment as home: a source of life, health, and livelihood.
Seeking Eden promotes an awareness of, and appreciation for, Georgia’s rich garden heritage. Updated and expanded here are the stories of nearly thirty designed landscapes first identified in the early twentieth-century publication Garden History of Georgia, 1733–1933. Seeking Eden records each garden’s evolution and history as well as each garden’s current early twenty-first-century appearance, as beautifully documented in photographs. Dating from the mid-eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, these publicly and privately owned gardens include nineteenth-century parterres, Colonial Revival gardens, Country Place-era landscapes, rock gardens, historic town squares, college campuses, and an urban conservation garden.
With the growth of the garden club movement in the South during the early years of the twentieth century, interest also developed in identifying and recording the region’s important gardens and landscapes. In 1933 Atlanta’s Peachtree Garden Club produced Garden History of Georgia, 1733–1933 in recognition of the state’s bicentennial.
In this collection of natural-history essays, biologist Joan Maloof embarks on a series of lively, fact-filled expeditions into forests of the eastern United States. Through Maloof’s engaging, conversational style, each essay offers a lesson in stewardship as it explores the interwoven connections between a tree species and the animals and insects whose lives depend on it—and who, in turn, work to ensure the tree’s survival.
Never really at home in a laboratory, Maloof took to the woods early in her career. Her enthusiasm for firsthand observation in the wild spills over into her writing, whether the subject is the composition of forest air, the eagle’s preference for nesting in loblolly pines, the growth rings of the bald cypress, or the gray squirrel’s fondness for weevil-infested acorns. With a storyteller’s instinct for intriguing particulars, Maloof expands our notions about what a tree “is” through her many asides—about the six species of leafhoppers who eat only sycamore leaves or the midges who live inside holly berries and somehow prevent them from turning red.
Inspired Georgia is a unique collection of Georgia’s contemporary poets and photographers that engages the history and culture of the state, while serving as a document of some of the best and most powerful pieces penned by Georgia poets and images shot by Georgia photographers in recent years. Representing a wide range of styles, attitudes, and backgrounds, the poets either hail from Georgia or have spent a considerable amount of time in their adopted state. Chosen from previously published collections, representing various stages of the poets’ careers, these poems exemplify the great talent, insight, and creativity present in Georgia letters.
In Ellen Shipman and the American Garden author Judith B. Tankard describes Shipman’s remarkable life and discusses her major works, including the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida; Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio; Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans, and Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University. Richly illustrated with plans and photographs, the book explores Shipman’s ability to create intimate spaces through dense plantings, evocative water features, and classical ornament. Tankard also examines Shipman’s unusual life, which was enriched by her years in the artists’ colony of Cornish, New Hampshire, and her association with the architect Charles A. Platt. Shipman was notable for establishing a thriving New York City practice and mentoring women in the profession. Many of the assistants she trained in her all-female office went on to become successful designers in other parts of the country.
In 1773 the naturalist and writer William Bartram set out from Philadelphia on a four-year journey ranging from the Carolinas to Florida and Mississippi. For Bartram it was the perfect opportunity to pursue his interest in observing and drawing plants and birds. Combining precise and detailed scientific observations with a profound appreciation of nature, he produced a written account of his journey that would later influence both scientists and poets, including Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Bartram was among the first to integrate scientific observations and personal commentary. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he condemned the idea that nature was simply a resource to be consumed. Instead, he championed the aesthetic and scientific values of an “infinite variety of animated scenes, inexpressibly beautiful and pleasing.” From his field journals he prepared a report for his benefactor and a larger report for the public. The former was rediscovered much later and published in 1943; the latter was published in 1791 and became the basis for the modern Bartram’s Travels.
Learning from Thoreau is an intimate intellectual walk with America’s most edgy and original environmentalist. The thrust of the book consists not in learning “about” Thoreau from an intermediary but, as the title suggests, in learning “from” Thoreau along with the author—whose lifelong engagement with this “genius of the natural world” leads him to examine the process of learning from an admired model.
Using both images and text, Andrew Menard offers a personal meditation on Thoreau’s thought, its originality, and its influence on the modern environmental movement. He places Thoreau in dialogue with contemporary artists and thinkers and associates him with a rich variety of places: Walden Pond, the Museum of Modern Art, the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in upstate New York, Mormon Mesa northeast of Las Vegas, and the old town of Königsberg, Prussia. Each place, each experience, each writer, and each work of art provides a different line of approach. The author also leads us through an expanding and deepening series of keywords that trigger fresh occasions to learn from Thoreau: Concord, Walden, walking, seeing, nature, wildness, beauty. The result is a deeply nuanced and informed portrait of Thoreau’s inner and outer landscape.
Pandora’s Garden profiles invasive or unwanted species in the natural world and examines how our treatment of these creatures sometimes parallels in surprising ways how we treat each other. Part essay, part nature writing, part narrative nonfiction, the chapters in Pandora’s Garden are like the biospheres of the globe; as the successive chapters unfold, they blend together like ecotones, creating a microcosm of the world in which we sustain nonhuman lives but also contain them.
There are many reasons particular flora and fauna may be unwanted, from the physical to the psychological. Sometimes they may possess inherent qualities that when revealed help us to interrogate human perception and our relationship to an unwanted other. Pandora’s Garden is primarily about creatures that humans don’t get along with, such as rattlesnakes and sharks, but the chapters also take on a range of other subjects, including stolen children in Australia, the treatment of illegal immigrants in Texas, and the disgust function of the human limbic system. Peters interweaves these diverse subjects into a whole that mirrors the evolving and interrelated world whose surprises and oddities he delights in revealing.
In this authoritative and entertaining book, first published in 1992, Thomas Palmer introduces us to a community of rattlesnakes nestled in the heart of the urban Northeast, one of several such enclaves found near cities across the United States. Recognizing the unexpected proximity of rattlers in our urban environs, Palmer examines not only Crotalus horridus but also the ecology, evolution, folklore, New England history, and American culture that surrounds this native species.
Landscape with Reptile celebrates the rattlesnake’s survival with a multifaceted journey through nature, literature, and history. It includes a spirited defense of an outlaw species, an investigation of the hazards of snakebite, an account of a multimillion-dollar development project halted by Crotalus, a collection of tall tales, and a meditation on the spectacle of life on earth. Like the best nature writers, Palmer lives and breathes his landscape, but unlike most nature writers, he finds his landscape is his own backyard. Rarely has a book of natural history addressed so many historical and cultural touchstones in such original and unexpected ways. Palmer’s story is as authentic as the woodlands from which it sprang.