Life as We Knew It

Life as We Knew It Book Cover

For 16 year old Miranda along with her friends, family, and classmates, the impending impact of a meteorite striking the moon is an event to look forward to. What they don’t realize is that life after the meteorite hits the moon will change their lives in a way no one expects. Written in the format of Miranda’s journal, the reader experiences the hope that comes along with surviving in a world forever changed.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things Book Cover

Introducing a new industrial revolution: Environmentalism has always been at odds with industry and vice versa; environmentalists trying to rein in industrial growth and industry fighting against the constraints of the environment. The problem lies with the linear life cycle of production: cradle to grave. This means that lots of time and effort is put into extracting raw materials from the earth and producing a product whose life cycle inevitably ends in a landfill where it can never be recovered. Picture instead industry that is cradle to cradle. A product is designed with the idea that all the components are valuable as either biologic or technical nutrients. “Products that, when their useful life is over, do not become useless waste but can be tossed onto the ground to decompose and become food for plants and animals and nutrients for soil; or, alternately, that can return to industrial cycles to supply high-quality raw materials for new products”. With this revolutionary concept, the idea of waste is eliminated. This book provides examples of companies that are succeeding at cradle to cradle design. Instead of merely recycling (which often means down-cycling) these companies and innovators are seeing their products through their whole life cycle rather than just into the consumer’s hands. This change in perspective could make peace between the natural world and human productivity.

Our Man in Havana

Our Man in Havana Book Cover

This quick, suspenseful, and at times humorous book is about a vacuum-cleaner salesman in Havana recruited by the British Secret Service to work as a secret agent; in need of money he reluctantly agrees. Things are going fine until the phony reports he has been filling to keep his job start becoming true. Similarly engaging is The Quiet American.

The Future of Life

The Future of Life Book Cover

Considered his most personal and timely book to date, biologist E.O.Wilson assesses the precarious state of our environment. He examines the mass extinctions occurring now and provides a specific plan to save our world. He has a vision that is as economically sound as it is environmentally necessary. The current scientific information he presents is written in an engaging and persuasive style that is easily understood by everyone. An elegant manifesto of why biodiversity matters.

The Signal

The Signal Book Cover

This is a western story of childhood, love of land and family, and what is truly meaningful in life and the difficulty of finding the truth. Read by T. Ryder Smith who really makes the story come alive.

Bloodroot

Bloodroot Book Cover

Bloodroot is a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power to heal and to poison, and this book tells a story of incendiary romance that consumes everyone in its path. Myra Lamb is a wild young girl who grows up on Bloodroot Mountain in the Smokey Mtns of Tennessee. Her grandmother Byrdie, passes down “the touch” that bewitches animals and people alike. Doug is the neighbor boy who longs for Myra yet is destined never to have her. Against a backdrop of beautiful but unforgiving country, a dark mystery unfolds of one family across generations. In this audiobook all the characters are read by people whose voices bring to life the characters they portray.

The Lake of Dreams: a novel

The Lake of Dreams: a novel Book Cover

This complex family history is set in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York. It is the story of Lucy Jarrett, who returns to her childhood home and accidentally discovers her family's hidden past. Lucy is in transition and is attempting to figure out what comes next for her. Besides still being distraught by her father's death in a fishing accident years earlier, she questions her current arrangement with her boyfriend and career choices. Lucy reconnects with her first boyfriend and digs into her family's mysterious past while she is home. The mystery of her family's secret past is very interesting and ends nicely in present day.

The Wednesday Sisters

The Wednesday Sisters Book Cover

This book tells the wonderful story of the friendship of five women in Palo Alto, California. The women are very different but are bonded by a shared love of literature and the Miss America Pageant, which they watch together every year. The women start a writing club and meet weekly. They also experience the history of Vietnam, the race for the moon, and the women’s movement. Humorous and enjoyable!

The Red Garden

The Red Garden Book Cover

This book is a collection of stories that chronicle the history of Blackwell, a mythical town in Massachusetts. Each story takes place in a specific time period and focuses on different characters descended from the town founders. The stories are short and not directly related yet they piece together a fragmented picture of the town’s history. Recommended for those that like magical realism.

Lady of the Butterflies

Lady of the Butterflies Book Cover

This is the story of Eleanor Glanville, daughter of a Puritan landowner in the English moors during the 17th century. The marshy land that she lived on was abundant with butterflies. At that time butterflies were believed to be the souls of the dead and Eleanor's scientific study of butterflies had others believing she was mad. This historical romance shows the differences between Puritans and Catholics, and how they affected England politically and historically. A large part of the story involves Eleanor's love life and her struggle with her lovers over the decision whether or not to drain the marshes around her home. An excellent read for those who like historical fiction.