Blog Action Day | Poverty Reading Roundup

October 15, 2008


  1. The quality or state of being poor or indigent; want or scarcity of means of subsistence; indigence; need.
  2. Any deficiency of elements or resources that are needed or desired, or that constitute richness; as, poverty of soil; poverty of the blood; poverty of ideas.(courtesy of Wiktionary)

A keyword search of our inventory reveals a list made up almost entirely of books about money, with Muhammad Yunus’s books headlining. In these crazy economic times, that makes a lot of sense. But really, there are all kinds of poverty, not to mention all kinds of portrayals of it. Spiritual poverty and physical poverty; poverty of choice, compassion, finances, opportunity, hope; we could go on and on. And do — I polled the staff for this, and was reminded that that’s part of the job description for bookseller. So, in honor of Blog Action Day, the economy, and curious readers everywhere, here is our Poverty Reading Roundup:

Must Reads You May Not Know: Tobacco Road, Erskine Caldwell; Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich; A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini; Born into Brothels, Zana Briski

Children’s Lit: Out of the Dust, Karen Hesse; Breadwinner, Deborah Ellis; Esperanza Rising & Becoming Naomi Leon, Pam Munoz Ryan; What the World Eats & Material World, Peter Menzel

Classics:A Christmas Carol & Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens; Tess of the D’urbervilles, Thomas Hardy; Mansfield Park, Jane Austen; Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

Blog Action Day | Books, the Environment, and You

October 15, 2007

We’re proud to be a part of something as ambitious and exciting as Blog Action Day! Especially because it gives us a chance to highlight some of the amazing books out there that both celebrate nature and remind us of how easily it could disappear. If you’ve been in the store lately, then you’ve seen some of these books on display; if not, they’re worth a look.

Voices of the Land

Voices of the Land
by Jaimie Purinton, with a foreword from Michael Pollan

A visual and written tribute to our land, Voices of the Land brings together a diverse community of people who speak out for greater stewardship of our well-loved landscape. Each author, whether ecologist, farmer, chef, mushroom gatherer, architect, or writer, share of their own unique relationship to the land. Together with evocative photographs that detail the intricacies of nature, Voices of the Land encourages homeowners to remain responsive to the existing character and ecology of the land is it becomes a home.

Vanishing World

Vanishing World
Published to coincide with the International Polar Year, Vanishing World is an unprecedented visual record of life in the Arctic. Five years in the making, this book is both a celebration of the wildlife that inhabits this harsh and unforgiving climate and a cautionary tale of global warming. Rising temperatures have put areas such as the Artic at risk and the livelihoods of the animals that live there are increasingly threatened.

Set against a dramatic landscape of ice floes and ragged mountains, readers will see the polar bears, foxes, seals, walruses, and reindeers who now struggle to live in this vulnerable climate. Images of a polar bear mother as she takes her newborns out for their first hunt, a seal pup only hours old, the spectacle of the polar night, and the majesty of the glaciers and pack ice are a reminder of what is at risk.

Mireille de la Lez’s stunning photographs are accompanied by text that explains the precarious nature of life in this dramatic climate. No one who sees the images of this vanishing world will be unmoved.

Amazing Rare Things

Amazing Rare Things
by David Attenborough et al

From the fifteenth century onwards, as European explorers sailed forth on grand voyages of discovery, their encounters with exotic plants and animals fanned intense scientific interest. Scholars began to examine nature with fresh eyes, and pioneering artists transformed the way nature was seen and understood. In Amazing Rare Things, renowned naturalist and documentary-maker David Attenborough joins with expert colleagues to explore how artists portrayed the natural world during this era of burgeoning scientific interest.

The book focuses on an exquisite selection of natural history drawings and watercolors by Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander Marshal, Maria Sibylla Merian, and Mark Catesby, and from the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo–works all held in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. Attenborough and his coauthors offer lucid commentary on topics ranging from the 30,000-year history of human drawings of the natural world, to Leonardo’s fascination with natural processes, to Catesby’s groundbreaking studies that introduced Europeans to the plants and animals of North America. With 160 full color illustrations, this beautiful book will appeal to readers with interests that extend from art and science to history and nature.