2020 Environmental Book Club selections

Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month except December. Meet at 7 p.m. at the River Action office, 822 E. River Dr. Davenport, IA. Everyone can have their favorite flavor of coffee from our new Keurig machine.

January 28 - Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
Author: Bernd Heinrich
From flying squirrels to grizzly bears, and from torpid turtles to insects with antifreeze, the animal kingdom relies on some staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who must alter the environment to accommodate physical limitations, animals are adaptable to an amazing range of conditions. Examining everything from food sources in the extremely barren winter land-scape to the chemical composition that allows certain creatures to survive, Heinrich's Winter World awakens the largely undiscovered mysteries by which nature sustains herself through winter's harsh, cruel exigencies.

February 25 - The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World
Author: Peter Wohleben
In this international bestseller, forester Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families. He also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.

March 24 - Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird
Author: Tim Birkhead
Bird Sense tells captivating stories about how birds interact with one another and their environment. Never before has there been a popular book about how intricately bird behaviour is shaped by birds' senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Birkhead with a wealth of fieldwork experiences, insights, and a unique understanding of birds, all firmly grounded in science.

April 28 - On Trails: An Exploration
Author: Robert Moor
While thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others fade? What makes us follow or strike off on our own? Over the course of seven years, Moor traveled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the minuscule to the massive. He learned the tricks of master trail-builders, hunted down long-lost Cherokee trails, and traced the origins of our road networks and the Internet. In each chapter, Moor interweaves his adventures with findings from science, history, philosophy, and nature writing.

May 26 - 
Wild Season
Author: Allan Eckert
Through a day-by-day account, the author tells of quick cycles of birth, life, and death among the wildlife in a lake region on the Wisconsin-Illinois border during a lush and beautiful May.

June 23 - Listening Point
Author: Sigurd Olson
Through deeply personal stories, Olson brings life in the northern Minnesota woods alive. He traces the history of a fallen leaf, explains the power of a canoe paddle cutting through the water, and the magic of listening to the rain pour on his tent flaps

July 28 - Mozart’s Starling
Author: Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Haupt explores the unlikely and remarkable bond between one of history's most cherished composers and one of earth's most common birds. The intertwined stories of Mozart's beloved pet and Haupt's own starling provide an unexpected window into human-animal friendships, music, the secret world of starlings, and the nature of creative inspiration. A blend of natural history, biography, and memoir, Mozart's Starling is a tour de force that awakens a a surprising new awareness of our place in the world.

August 25 - The Overstory: A Novel
Author: Richard Powers
Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. A sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of―and paean to―the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours―vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe

September 22 - Man and Nature: Or, Physical Geography As Modified by Human Action
Author: George Perkins Marsh
Marsh was clearly well ahead of his time in terms of his environmental attitudes. Man and Nature is a plea to readers to recognize the value of our natural landscapes and to ensure their protection. It is a must read for any modern environmentalist, and a sad reminder the issues facing man today have gone unresolved for nearly two centuries.

October 27 - Good News for a Change
Author: David Suzuki and Holly Dressel
In this thoughtful look at what's happening behind the grim headlines, the authors show that thousands of individuals, groups, and businesses are changing their ways. This practical, inspiring guide to saving the planet is based on true stories of ordinary people who are doing it every day.

November 24 - The Man Who Quit Money
Author: Mark Sundeen
An account of how one man learned to live, sanely and happily, without earning, receiving, or spending a cent. Daniel Suelo lives in caves in the Utah canyonlands, forages wild foods and gourmet discards. He manages to amply fulfill the basic human needs to an enviable degree. Sundeen raises provocative and riveting questions about the decisions we all make, by default or by design, about how we live-and how we might live better

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