Natalie spends her time debating whether to go outside and do something active, or plant herself on the couch and read. So she compromises and reads outside. Among her favorite authors are Kazuo Ishiguro and Leslie Marmon Silko, but she loves to explore indigenous and nature writing, socially conscious fiction, and sci-fi. As a washed up college athlete, she will say yes to any and all opportunities to play sports, and has an unhealthy need for competition. Having gone to school in Southern California, she likes to pretend she’s part Californian / part Arizonan, but the desert will always be her home. Her hobbies include hiking and backpacking, playing sand volleyball, charcoal sketching, and of course reading. Her life goal is to become a sponsored Spikeball athlete.
Richard Powers’ newest novel is every bit as poignant and powerful as one would hope. It follows the story of Theo, an astrobiologist and single parent, struggling to raise his nine-year-old son as he learns to grapple with his fascination of nature's beauty and the despair that comes with climate disaster. The complexity and intimacy of the father-son relationship as they explore the natural world and the marvels of the universe is beautiful and vivid. It raises the question - how do we tell our children about the reality of climate change while nurturing hope and awe for what we can still save? If you enjoyed THE OVERSTORY then you will be blown away by BEWILDERMENT.
In this dark revenge story, a woman comes to terms with the violence of her past and a trauma that leaves her emotionally and brutally scarred. With sharp and insightful writing, Taddeo explores the repercussions of a male-dominated society, in which violence against women is tolerated and men live blameless. ANIMAL is gruesome and heavy and almost makes you want to look away; and yet you just can't stop reading it.
For those who find comfort in the solitude of nature, this unforgettable memoir is breathtaking, deeply moving, and a feat of writing that will alter your perspective of the natural world around you. Isolated in the wilderness of Montana, Raven recounts the unexpected yet indelible bond that forms between her and a lone fox. Their relationship and this story provide an invaluable understanding of our connection to nature, and will inspire even those who feel the most despair about climate change.
There is so much to unpack in this stunning novel—a female-run church, female crusaders, female sexuality and spirituality interwoven; female everything—and it is the most wonderful, empowering story I didn’t know I needed. Set in the Middle Ages during the rule of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Matrix follows the life of Marie de France as she is ruthlessly cast from the royal court to live at an impoverished abbey in England. Only 17 years old and with no help from the crown, she must take on the impossible task of saving a community of nuns from starvation and disease. As Marie learns to accept her fate, she begins to transform the abbey into a powerful fortress, one that will shield her nuns from the patriarchal rule of the outside world and foster a sanctuary for female strength, friendship, and desire. Groff’s writing is vivid and affecting, blurring the lines between spiritual and bodily ecstasy while creating a world devoid of female subjugation—in which a woman’s beauty is not determined by the eyes of men but by the way she shapes the world around her. I am in complete awe of this book and of Lauren Groff.
For fans of Sally Rooney and just talented writers in general?? This book was raw, evocative, and insightful; and an overall relief to the weight of shame associated with female desire that I, and most likely every other woman at some point, has felt suffocated by. Through conversations with multiple women over the span of a decade, Popkey's unnamed character explores the complicated and nuanced reality of relationships - finding that women often do not desire what society believes they should. I absolutely loved Popkey’s style of writing and I loved this book.
This is a beautiful debut novel. A sparsely written, but emotionally layered piece, it follows a woman coping with trauma and loss through raising chickens. Polzin meticulously documents the daily tasks involved in the care of chickens, but avoids overtly addressing the deeper emotions haunting the protagonist; and her balance of this is gorgeous and artful. So much is unsaid, and yet I deeply felt the grief consuming her character - as if through the chickens, both character and reader are able to navigate the pain of the loss.
This book hit me like a Black Mirror episode. It’s incredible and dark and twisted and one of the most convoluted pieces I’ve read. But wow, Patricia Lockwood is a genius at social analysis. In this fragmentary novel, she unwinds the complicated and bizarre relationship that has sprung between humans and technology, and our need to scroll mindlessly and incessantly online. It is an intimate reflection on the humanity we have lost to “the portal,” as she calls it, as well as the connections we may gain from this new and uncontrollable world we’ve created. Please read.
I loved everything about this book - the quirky characters, the events that somehow seem so outlandish and yet so befitting of a small town, the historic epigraphs that bring each chapter to life. There is something so comforting about Rios' narrative. Each chapter tells individual stories about different characters, but in the end, they all come together to form a complete story of a small town in northern Mexico. Rios wonderfully depicts the singular gift an individual can bring to a community and the beauty that can be found in the ordinary of everyday life - in overcoming even the smallest of hardships and pursuing what you love. This book is unforgettably “loud in its simple quietude” and I hope you read it.
Angel & Hannah tore at my tightly wound heart strings and opened up a soft spot for the courageous love of these two characters. Set in 90's New York City, with a world between their two families and neighborhoods, they fight to bridge the divide and hold onto their love - despite the realities of life thrown at them. Told in blank verse, the magic and desperation of their Romeo and Juliet love is captured beautifully.
As an Arizonan, there is a history that eats at my conscience; Native American stories are often glossed over, and not just those of the past, but those of the present as well. In this incredibly poignant and gripping work of art, Redniss weaves beautiful imagery and prose together, capturing the simultaneous desperation and abounding hope that comes with life on a reservation. She took my breath away with vibrant drawings of the southwestern desert landscape - haunting visuals of what has been plundered and stolen from indigenous people - and l felt the immense loss and injustice of it all. The battle for Oak Flat is happening just an hour outside of Phoenix, and when I came to this realization, I was shocked and devastated. It shouldn’t take being near something for it to feel more real and horrific, but it does - and I urge every Arizonan to read this book and learn what is happening in our own backyard. This book speaks for all those wrongly pushed onto borderlands, confined by unnatural lines drawn by a distant government. These voices need to be heard and Redniss does a remarkable job of illuminating them.
A wonderful tribute to the monumental giants that have been shaping and defining our planet for millions of years. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the fun, lighthearted nature of it. Rather than focus on the negative tenets of climate change discourse in relation to melting ice, Jackson beautifully illuminates the complex influence of glaciers - as sentient beings living in synchrony with us. By featuring human stories centering around glacier movement, she provides insight into how we perceive and make sense of our changing environment. We can always use more uplifting and personal reads about our natural world and this is definitely a good one!
Wow. I think this is such an important read for everyone - I have never experienced a more beautiful approach to understanding the natural sciences and the world around us. A synthesis of indigenous plant wisdom, natural science, and metaphor, this collection of essays focuses on restoring our relationship with nature, not through ownership but through reciprocity. It's easy to despair about climate change when we are constantly being bombarded with an overwhelming amount of negative figures, but learning to see the beauty in how other species provide for us can help us appreciate the need to protect other lives, to choose to work at preserving our ecosystems and living sustainably. Although I am saddened over the disconnect that has formed between humans and nature, this book brought me hope and inspiration to bridge the gap.
An amazing collection of essays. Jamison's writing tugs at those suffocating ropes of loneliness we each think bind us singularly, but in fact - because of our commonality in pain - actually bind us to each other. Although she covers a wide range of subject matter, an underlying examination of relationships weaves throughout as Jamison discovers who she is as a writer, as a wife, and as a woman.
Mutant animals, phosphorescent rivers, deranged humans - in this apocalyptic novel Jeff VanderMeer presents a world corrupted by the results of scientific progress, in which nature has become humans’ play toy, a subject to be altered for profit and gain. Both horrifying and beautiful, this book will leave you stunned and altered as well. VanderMeer’s dark humor and twisted storytelling has you questioning our innate desire as human beings to control and exploit the world around us. If you’re looking for a roller coaster of a read this book is for you.
This book went above and beyond my expectations! Part dystopian, part western, part badass women doing their thing... I enjoyed every minute of it. Though lighthearted and entertaining, this book also touches on issues of gender and identity, and the importance of accepting who you truly are. I finished reading feeling hopeful and inspired.