I finished a book over the weekend so I thought it worthwhile to get a March book report in.
Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason: Finally, a wildflower book for Texas that is a bit more comprehensive than what is currently out there. Texas is such a big state with many eco regions and each side of the opposite ends, north-south and east-west are such drastic differences in habitat. I read this one via Net Galley and loved it and knew it had to go on my purchase list—so I bought it this morning and it will arrive from Amazon on Wednesday! Not only will it be valuable for us to use at home and when we hike but it will definitely come in handy when identifying plants for field work. I saw several plants in there that I hadn’t been able to identify which really sealed the deal with wanting to purchase the book.
Crossing Open Ground by Barry Lopez: This was an easy audio book listen as it contained a series of essays written by the author over the course of a few decades. I had never heard of the author before but apparently he is a well known environmental essayist and fiction writer. The audio book was read by the author and he has a good, slow paced voice. I did not speed this audio up which worked well because it was just a series of essays and not a connected story so it didn’t feel like the pace dragged along. The essays cover different regions of the country, primarily the desert southwest and Alaska, but also at least one focusing on the eastern region of the US. As he talks about certain regions of the desert he mentions places talked about in Finding Everett Ruess and it took me back to that story. One story in particular talks about a scientific research study he was a part of in Alaska which required killing seals to find out their diet so that, ironically, they could be better protected. I will definitely seek out other works by Lopez in the future.
Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg: If you’ve been around the internet since the early to mid 00’s you’ve probably read Molly’s Orangette at some point in time. And you may have even visited the namesake of the book, the Delancey pizza restaurant in Seattle. It was on my aspiration to-visit list when we were in Seattle in 2012 but we did not make it there. I abandoned this book. I was listening to it on audio and it just lagged. The story wasn’t intriguing and it felt self indulgent at times. Which was disappointing because I had high hopes for the book. Maybe some day I will pick it up as a paper book and try again.
The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid: Another Net Galley read, this book is actually why I signed up for Net Galley. I saw it on Goodreads and almost had a fit because, hello, Anne of Green Gables! I *had* to read it! Being as I read this digitally, I could tell in the PDF version I read that the paper copy of this was going to be delectable! The art and photography in the book is spectacular and really enticed me to get up to PEI some day….not that it wasn’t already on my places to travel. The author works to weave in the differences and similarities between LMM and Anne’s landscapes in relation to PEI, how Maud concocted a mix of real-life places to represent some of the places that show up in Anne’s world. It also made me realize I need to get back and re-read her journals and the books themselves. It’s a gorgeous book and I can’t wait to check it out in print!
The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species by Carlos Magdelena: I devoured this book over the weekend—it was instantly captivating! Magdelena, a horticulturist at Kew in England begins the book by documenting his early days in Spain of being interested in plants. He also covered some of the recent history of the destruction of Spain’s natural resources around the time of Franco and how that has impacted species diversity in his own country. At Kew he becomes a sort of plant propagation specialist and later becomes known as a ‘plant messiah’ because of his ability to germinate and propagate species on the brink, so close to extinction that without help from humans they would cease to exist. He covers trips to the Mascarene Islands, South America, and Australia and all it made me do is want to go travel and look at plants! The book reminded me a lot about Florida’s own work to track down extirpated and potentially extinct species as well as the reintroduction of some of those species to south Florida that is already occurring. And of course it reminded me of when Chris found a thought to be extirpated orchid, the Cyclopogon elatus back in 2009. So far this is going down as one of my favorite books of the year! This was also a Net Galley book.
What are you reading? I’m currently excited about Jennifer Pharr Davis and Scott Jurek’s books which are due out soon!