Books

August 2018:  Braiding Sweetgrass By Robin Wall Kimmerer

August 2018: Braiding Sweetgrass By Robin Wall Kimmerer

I am attracted to books that make me look at the world and my place in it from a different angle.  This shift in perspective translates so easily into inspiration and new avenues in artwork, which is why I am moved to share books like this with you.
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July 2018:  Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod

July 2018: Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod

This book is my kind of beach read.  It's fun, humorous, and inspiring - it might even give you wanderlust.  MacLeod has a way of making unusual connections that cut straight through the bull and leave you giggling - like the wisdom she finds while sorting through her underwear drawer.  
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June 2018:  Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

June 2018: Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

I found myself artistically inspired by the connections she drew between Nature & Music.  The idea that this common bird, viewed by most as a pest, played some part in the timeless melodies of one of history's most celebrated geniuses is enthralling - and has left me looking excitedly to new sources of inspiration as a result.
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May 2018:  Second Nature by Michael Pollan

May 2018: Second Nature by Michael Pollan

After reading this book I cannot untangle Pollan's name from the great nature writers of past generations.  In fact, I think he is much better.  As he did with food, his writing has reshaped the way I think about wilderness and my relationship to it.  BUT, unlike Muir, Thoreau, and all the rest, he doesn't consider our relationship with Nature from the perspective of man immersed in the wilderness; he does it from the standpoint of a humble gardener - which I found fascinating, patently more revealing, and representative of the nuances that riddle contemporary wilderness and development issues.
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April 2018:  Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris

April 2018: Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris

You may know Joanne Harris as the author of Chocolat, the inspiration for the intoxicating hit film of the same name.  It was that book that first introduced me to Harris and made me hungry to read more of her books, of which Blackberry Wine is undoubtedly my favorite.
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March 2018:  The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

March 2018: The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

I disagree with almost every cover review of this book.  It seems the publishers tried to bill this as a story of intrigue, adventure, and intense passion.  I thought it was a story chronicling a history of botanical greed.
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February 2018:  Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

February 2018: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

This memoir follows the scientist Hope Jahren from childhood, through school, and into her professional career.  What struck me most was how appealing it made scientific academia sound - it came across as rogue, campy, and heroic.  Her words and stories are infused with such passion, curiosity, and rather outlandish humor at times.  It made cataloging 1000 seedlings sound fascinating.
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January 2018:  The Anthropology of Turquoise by Ellen Meloy

January 2018: The Anthropology of Turquoise by Ellen Meloy

In essence, this is a book of nature writing, which, I must admit - I don't usually like.  I know it's something like sacrilege, but I'm excruciatingly bored by Thoreau and I have no patience for Muir.  Reading about nature tends to make me feel restless and exasperated that I'm not out enjoying it myself.  So I was initially skeptical about this book, despite its intriguing cover.
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