Today we unveil yet another Book Bingo category: nature. As someone who loves the outdoors as much as I love reading, I’m very excited for this square! Whether you’re a nature lover or not, here are some different ways to find a book that best suits your reading interests:
Think Local: If you’re taking daily walks around your neighborhood, you may be noticing local plants and animals more. Learn more about Emerald City wildlife with books from Seattle authors. Kelly Brenner’s fantastic Nature Obscura highlights creatures and plants in our urban environment that most of us overlook, from musk rats to lichens to dragonflies. Have you become an armchair birder during quarantine? Check out Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s thoughtful observations on ordinary birds like starlings and crows. UW wildlife professor John Marzluff has also written a modern classic on corvid behavior. And if you’re wondering how we’ll survive when the grocery stores run out of food, urban forager Langdon Cook has got some hot tips for you.
Biography & Memoir: With the success of Helen Macdonald’s moving memoir H is For Hawk, more and more folks are publishing deeply personal accounts about their relationship with the natural world. If you loved Macdonald’s book, try The Way Through the Woods, a Malaysian-Norwegian woman’s tale of finding hope and healing through mushroom-hunting. Other recent nature-related memoirs of note include The Shepherd’s Life, Deep Creek, The Outrun and Upstream.
Read a Classic: Been meaning to (re)read Walden since high school? Now is your chance! Wondering what’s all the fuss about Silent Spring? Check it out! Other time-honored nature titles include Gift from the Sea, Encounters with the Archdruid, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, My Family and Other Animals, A Sand County Almanac, and Travels in Alaska.
Fictional Nature: Not a nonfiction fan? No problem! There are many novels that feature the natural world prominently. Richard Powers’ The Overstory is an impassioned ode to the power of trees. Learn about the intricate social hierarchy of bees in Laline Paull’s The Bees, a book I like to describe as The Handmaid’s Tale set in a beehive. Pretty much anything by Barbara Kingsolver should fit the bill, as well as Edward Abbey or Leslie Marmon Silko. You can find even more ideas by perusing the “Nature Fiction” subject heading in the Library’s catalog.
You can find several of the titles I’ve mentioned above and a few more available now in digital format on this list. But if none of these sound like they’re quite up your alley, you can always ask a librarian for a personalized list of suggestions via Your Next Five Books.
If you only read print, you can plan for the future by placing titles on your “For Later Shelf” in the Library catalog. (To do this, go to the item’s catalog listing, click on “For Later” which is on the right side of the screen, and enter your library card number when prompted.)
You may also want to consider supporting a local bookstore while the Library is closed to the public. This blog post from Humanities Washington lists websites for lots of local independent bookstores (many of which now offer direct shipping). The Indie Bound website also provides an easy way to search for local bookstores.
For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2020 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2020 on social media. Book Bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures .
~ posted by Abby