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Includes books that have the environment or environmental issues as a theme
An Atomic Romance by
Publication Date: 2006-07-11
Booklist: In her first novel in a decade, PEN/Hemingway Award winner Mason tells the tale of handsome Reed Futrell, a maintenance engineer at the same Kentucky uranium-enrichment plant that employed his father and grandfather. Divorced, with two grown children, Reed spends his free time pondering the solar system, string theory, and the beauty of a brainy biologist named Julia. But his life of late has become an endless series of laments: his mother's mental and physical health is deteriorating, Julia won't return his phone calls, and he's forever bailing best friend Burl out of jail. Worst of all, flickers of blue fire at a wildlife refuge near the plant have prompted rumors of plutonium contamination. Reed shrugs off the dangers of exposure, despite the accident that killed his father at the age of 36. A lukewarm plot and lackluster ending disappoint in this latest offering from the talented Mason (Shiloh and Other Stories, 1982; In Country, 1985), whose well-drawn characters are both humbled and haunted by the world in which they live. -- Allison Block (BookList, 06-01-2005, p1712)
The Stream by
Publication Date: 2004-07-22
BookList: In concise, vivid chapters that alternate between the perspectives of animals and humans, first-time novelist Clarke dramatizes the life and death of a stream flowing through the English countryside over a five-year period during which environmentalists fail to stop the building of an industrial park and a drought exacerbates the deleterious changes development brings. He offers a fish’s-eye view by focusing on a trout’s attempt to live the life “the law that governed all things” decreed that he should live even as the once clean and cool stream turns warm and sluggish, thickened by silt and choke-weed and poisoned with chemical runoff. -- Donna Seaman (BookList, 07-01-2004, p1816)
Publication Date: 2007-06-05
A work combining fiction and history in a collaboration that encompasses fifty years gives readers a glimpse into the realities upon which America’s modern culture is based and explores the complex relationship between “waste analyst” Nick Shay and artist Klara Sax.
The Monkey Wrench Gang by
Publication Date: 2006-12-12
Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke has returned from war to find his beloved southwestern desert threatened by industrial development. Joining with Bronx exile and feminist saboteur Bonnie Abzug, wilderness guide and outcast Mormon Seldom Seen Smith, and libertarian billboard torcher Doc Sarvis, M.D., Hayduke is ready to fight the power—taking on the strip miners, clear-cutters, and the highway, dam, and bridge builders who are threatening the natural habitat. Reissued as a Harper Perennial Modern Classic in December 2006.
Hayduke Lives! by
Publication Date: 1991-09-04
Sequel to The Monkey Wrench Gang. George Hayduke was a wilderness avenger, industrial development saboteur, nighttime troublemaker, and barroom brawler. No wonder he was last seen clinging to a cliff, under fire from air and ground. Presumed dead by those who stalked him, whereabouts unknown to those who knew him, Hayduke lives -- and he does it with the same fiery vengeance and inspired scheming that made him the hero of eco-warriors everywhere. When he appears this time, it's to take on Goliath, the worlds' largest mobile earth-moving machine, now munching its way through the desert in search of toothsome minerals.
Publication Date: 2007-06-01
Booklist: Antonia Lanchester is understandably stunned when she learns she has an inoperable brain tumor that will kill her in six months. How to spend the rest of her limited life? She has abandoned her family and friends, her marriage has failed, and she has no social life or hobbies. The only constant is her high-powered job as PR director for Masterpiece Home Design, a company that sells furniture made from illegally logged timber from the worlds rain forests. So Antonia decides to turn whistle-blower and expose MHDs involvement not only in destroying the rain forests but also, indirectly, in the killing of several environmental protesters in Malaysia. Antonias decision has dire personal consequences, but as her death approaches, she finds herself feeling fulfilled, proud of making a difference and with a whole new circle of kind, generous friends. In less-capable hands, this story could have been smarmy and sentimental, but Bradshaw injects dignity and joy into a movingly told, heartwarming book that delivers a powerful punch. -- Emily Melton (Reviewed 04-01-2007) (Booklist, vol 103, number 15, p23)
Natives and Exotics by
Publication Date: 2005-05-09
Publishers Weekly: Generations of an Australian family are linked across time and space by their relationships to a changing world and a common search for a true home in a tender, lyrical novel that explores the consequences of so-called "progress." Nine-year-old Alice is brought to Ecuador by her mother and U.S. diplomat stepfather. Alison (The Marriage of the Sea) richly, precisely describes how the beautiful landscape entrances Alice, even as the sterile, rootless diplomatic life keeps the heart of her host country du jour at bay. The political unrest of 1970s Ecuador and hostility toward the oil-hungry U.S. further alienate Alice as she struggles to determine where she belongs. The novel's next section tells how, some 40 years earlier, Alice's grandmother Violet leaves the comforts of Adelaide for a life with her new husband in the Australian bush. Pregnant with Alice's mother, Violet struggles to hack tree stumps from the ground as she ponders her own roots: those who came before her to Australia, and the elusive nature of home for those born with wanderlust. The story of Violet's great-great-grandfather George is one of a people ravaging a land in the name of "Civilization, [and] the Empire's advance upon the globe." More impressionistic than narrative, Alison's third novel is a lush evocation of the way people love and alter (and are altered by) the environments they inhabit. Agent, Geri Thoma. (May)
Publication Date: 2013-02-01
When everything around you is sinking, sometimes it takes desperate measures to stay afloat. When Duncan Leland looks down at the garbage-strewn beach beneath his office window, he sees the words God Help Us scrawled in the sand. While it seems a fitting message-not only is Duncan's business underwater, but his marriage is drowning as well-he goes down to the beach to erase it. Once there, he helps a seagull being strangled by a plastic six-pack holder-the only creature in worse shape than he is at the moment. Duncan rescues the seagull, not realizing that he's being filmed by a group of conceptual artists and that the footage will soon go viral, turning both him and the gull into minor celebrities. And when an unsavory yet very convincing local, Osbert Marpol, talks him into a not-quite-legitimate loan arrangement, Duncan can't help but agree in a last-ditch attempt to save the jobs of his employees. For a while, it seems as if things are finally looking up for Duncan-yet between his phone-sex-entrepreneur ex-girlfriend's very public flirtations and the ever-mysterious terms of his new loan, Duncan realizes that there's no such thing as strings-free salvation-and that it's only a matter of time before the tide rises ominously around him again.
A Trout in the Sea of Cortez by
Publication Date: 2006-08-08
Dennis Pratt doesn’t want to go to Mexico. He’s a guy knocking on forty, with a dead-end job recycling toxic waste, a lukewarm marriage, a distant daughter, and an incredible lack of enthusiasm for anything in his life. So little wonder that he’s not very enthusiastic about the trip south of the border his wife has planned. And as he becomes increasingly convinced that his wife is having an affair with a local alpha-male, obsessive thoughts begin to take over his life, and Pratt finds himself putting his job and his marriage at risk.
Strong Motion by
Publication Date: 2001-09-08
Louis Holland falls in love with a seismologist who discovers that recent Boston earthquakes had human causes, in a novel that deals with such issues as environmental pollution, religious fundamentalism, abortion, and the threat of the apocalypse.
I'm with the Bears by
Publication Date: 2011-10-01
A collection of ten stories about global warming and its effects includes contributions by T.C. Boyle, Paolo Bacigulapi, and Margaret Atwood.
Greening of Ben Brown by
Publication Date: 2005-04-01
This novel is about a man who is turned green in an electrical accident, moves to a small town and affects everyone. The Town of East Leven, Oregon, on the Willamette River, its factory with chemical settling ponds, its citizens, are all as much the hero of this story as is the green man, Mr. Ben Brown. The story concerns the town's reaction to a toxic spill and the Green Man's extra sensitivity to the environment.
The Dragon Keeper by
Publication Date: 2012-09-01
Meg Yancy knows she may be overly attached to Jata, the Komodo dragon that has been in her care since it arrived at the zoo from Indonesia. Jata brings the exotic to Meg's Minnesotan life: an ancient, predatory history and stories of escaping to freedom. A species that became endangered soon after being discovered, Komodos have a legacy of independence, something that Meg understands all too well. Meg has always been better able to relate to reptiles than to people, from her estranged father to her live-in boyfriend to the veterinarian who is more concerned with his career than with the animals' lives. Then one day, Meg makes an amazing discovery. Jata has produced viable eggs-without ever having had a mate. Faced with this rare phenomenon, Meg must now defend Jata's hatchlings from the scientific, religious, and media forces that converge on the zoo to claim the miracle as their own. Finally forced to deal with the very people she has avoided for so long, Meg discovers that opening herself up comes with its own complications. And as she fights to save the animal she loves from the consequences of its own miracle, she must learn to accept that in nature, as in life, not everything can be controlled.
Balance of Fragile Things by
Publication Date: 2012-10-01
When Vic Singh finds a dead blue butterfly—out of place in his cold, upstate New York village—he knows something is terribly amiss. Yet he is too busy dodging the bully at his high school, let alone trying to live up to his father’s expectations, to look much further into the environmental oddities around him. Meanwhile, for Vic's father, Paul, the ghosts of the past cause him to pressure his son to live up to his Sikh traditions—while his Latvian wife, Maija, is haunted by the present: She’s having new and ominous psychic visions even though she can’t read her own teenage children. Isabella, attempting to lose herself through her role in a school play, has an illness she can't seem to shake—and Vic, trying to find himself, is spending more time alone in nature. Then Paul's father and Maija's mother move in to the family home, upending the delicate balance of this Indian/Latvian family and its two American teenagers. Yet, as the environmental devastation that Vic's butterflies have forewarned comes to bear, the family comes together in new and unexpected ways.
The Lives of Rocks by
Publication Date: 2006-11-06
This new collection is big in scope, with a broad range of characters and subjects: the title story concerns a woman recovering from cancer; “Pagans” tells, at forty years’ distance, of a girl and two boys--one of whom was in love with her--and the dangerous games they played. In “Her First Elk,” a woman looks back on her first elk hunt, three years after her father died, and of the two brothers she hunted with, also now dead.
The Lake, the River and the Other Lake by
Publication Date: 2006-05-09
Welcome to the resort town of Weneshkeen, nestled along Michigan’s Gold Coast, where the sapphire-blue Lake Meenigeesis and the winding Oh-John-Ninny River lie within spitting distance of Lake Michigan. It is the summer of 2001, and Roger Drinkwater, a ‘Nam vet and lifelong resident, is plotting extra-legal revenge against the “idiot boy” jet-skiers polluting his beloved lake, even as he’s pursuing Janey Struska, the take-no-guff deputy sheriff.
When the Killing's Done by
Publication Date: 2012-02-28
Publishers Weekly: Boyle (The Women) spins a grand environmental and family drama revolving around the Channel Islands off Santa Barbara in his fiery latest. Alma Boyd Takesue is an unassuming National Park Service biologist and the public face of a project to eradicate invasive species, such as rats and pigs, from the islands. Antagonizing her is Dave LaJoy, a short-tempered local business owner and founder of an organization called For the Protection of Animals. What begins as the disruption of public meetings and protests outside Alma's office escalates as Dave realizes he must take matters into his own hands to stop what he considers to be an unconscionable slaughter. --Staff (Reviewed December 20, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 50, p)
The Last Good Chance by
Publication Date: 2003-09-01
Jack Lambeau is the prodigal son returned home to Lakeland, New York the Ivy-League educated architectural visionary brought home to reinvent the dying port town and smooth over its self imposed scars. His friend, Steven Turner is the Brooklyn-born local reporter who will bear witness to the city’s successes and failures. Between them come Jack’s beautiful fiancée Anne and his undisciplined brother Harris, hired by Jack to remove the suspicious barrels of waste from Lakeland’s broken heart.