With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, a lot of us are thinking more about the state of the planet. Indeed some people have even gone so far to write entire books around it. Here are some more examples; and to be super eco- friendly you can try downloading them on Kindle. (Or at least getting a copy from the library.)
Yosemite by John Muir (1912) Famous Scottish born naturalist and Sierra Club founder Muir, wrote the timeless account of his travels through the High Sierras, and its majestic beautiful and incredible wildlife. This text was also part of Muir’s successful efforts to preserve the area by establishing Yosemite National Park which would be designated a World Heritage Site in 1984.
Bambi by Felix Salten (1923) Long before there was the classic Disney film there was the book by Austrian writer Salten detailing the coming of age of a young roe deer-and the evils of human hunters. Critics now believe Bambi to be one of the first environmental novels and Salten would publish a sequel, Bambi’s Children in 1939
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (1949) This series of essays by American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist Aldo Leopold that combines natural history, scene painting, and philosophy to advocate for land ethics. The collection was published a year after Leopold’s death by his son and is now considered a landmark of the American conservation movement.
Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith (1999) In 1989, brilliant botanist A.E. Bartram is invited to join a field study in Yellowstone National Park. The study’s leader is shocked to find out that Bartram is a woman but on the advice of his mother he goes ahead with the expedition anyway along with some other colorful characters to catalogue the natural wonders of the park. Smith gives us a scrupulously researched and beautifully written tale told entirely through the epistolary style that deals with the intricacies of science, nature, economics, and human relationships all at once.
Saints at the River by Ron Rash (2004) Saints begins with the tragic drowning of a 12 year old girl in the Tamassee River that marks the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina. From there on told from the point of view of young photographer Maggie Glenn who covers the story. Along the way we see how the broader community becomes split over the environmental issues poised by the question of whether to remove the body or leave it where it is. It won the Weatherford Award for Best Novel and is also assigned summer reading for incoming freshman at Clemson University, Temple University, and University of Central Florida.