Earth Friendly Book Club

bookclubphoto1The Earth-Friendly Book Club for GARNA members meets monthly to discuss a book decided upon by the group. There is no charge and new members are always welcome. The group typically meets in the evening the first Tuesday of each month in Salida. To be added to the list, please contact Marilyn Moore at

Earth-Friendly Book Club coordinator: Marilyn Moore

Books and Meetings:


Tuesday, August 1 – The Thing with Feathers by Noah Strycker. From Amazon: “Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As we learn more about the secrets of bird life, we are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, relationships, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.”

Thursday, July 6 – The Planet in a Pebble, by Jan Zalasiewicz. From Amazon: “This is a narrative of the Earth’s long and dramatic history, as gleaned from a single pebble. It begins as the pebble-particles form amid unimaginable violence in distal realms of the Universe, in the Big Bang and in supernova explosions and continues amid the construction of the Solar System…Many events in the Earth’s ancient past can be deciphered from a pebble: volcanic eruptions; the lives and deaths of extinct animals and plants; the alien nature of long-vanished oceans; and transformations deep underground, including the creations of fool’s gold and of oil.”

Tuesday, June 6 – Grass, Soil, Hope by Courtney White with a forward by Michael Pollan. From the Amazon review: “Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food. In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil then we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.”

Tuesday, May 2 – Half Earth by E.O. Wilson. From the library website: “In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature.”

Tuesday, April 4 – The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. “…acclaimed nature writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt journeys into the heart of the everyday wild, where coyotes, raccoons, chickens, hawks, and humans live in closer proximity than ever before. Haupt’s observations bring compelling new questions to light: Whose “home” is this? Where does the wild end and the city begin? And what difference does it make to us as humans living our everyday lives?  …Haupt draws us into the secret world of the wild creatures that dwell among us in our urban neighborhoods, whether we are aware of them or not.” – Amazon

Tuesday, March 7 – Rising From the Plains, by John McPhee. “McPhee rides shotgun across Wyoming in a four-wheel-drive Bronco while the geologist David Love steers, lectures, and reminisces….This instructive account of the geologic West and the frontier West is a delight.” – The New York Times Book Review via Amazon

Tuesday, February 7 – Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World, by Dan Riskin Ph.D. “It may be a wonderful world, but as Dan Riskinexplains, it’s also a dangerous, disturbing, and disgusting one. At every turn, it seems, living things are trying to eat us, poison us, use our bodies as their homes, or have us spread their eggs...Riskin makes unexpected discoveries not just about the world all around us but also about the ways this brutal world has shaped us as humans and what our responsibilities are to this terrible, wonderful planet we call home.” – Amazon

Tuesday, January 10 – All the Wild That Remains Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West,  by David Gessner. “…Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner left their footprints all over the western landscape. Award-winning nature writer David Gessner follows the ghosts of these two remarkable writer-environmentalists from Stegner’s birthplace in Saskatchewan to the site of Abbey’s pilgrimages to Arches National Park in Utah, braiding their stories and asking how they speak to the lives of all those who care about the West…In a region beset by droughts and fires, by fracking and drilling, and by an ever-growing population that seems to be in the process of loving the West to death, Gessner asks: how might these two farseeing environmental thinkers have responded to the crisis?  Gessner takes us on an inspiring, entertaining journey as he renews his own commitment to cultivating a meaningful relationship with the wild, confronting American over-consumption, and fighting environmental injustice―all while reawakening the thrill of the words of his two great heroes.” – excerpted from Amazon


  • January – The Animal Dialogues, by Craig Childs
  • February – The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, by Charles Fishman
  • March – The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World, by Joel K. Bourne, Jr.
  • April – The One Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka.
  • May – House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest, by Craig Childs
  • June – The New Wild by Fred Pearce
  • July – Song of the Alpine, by Joyce Gelhorn
  • August – Marking the Sparrow’s Fall: The Making of the American West, fifteen essays by Wallace Stegner
  • September – The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman
  • October – Underground: How Creatures of Mud and Dirt Shape our World by Yvonne Baskin
  • November – The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and its Peoples, by Tim Flannery
  • December – The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck


  • February – Silent Spring by Rachel Carlson
  • March – Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants, by Jane Goodall
  • April – The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • May – The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins
  • June – Anthill, by E. O. Wilson
  • July – The Invisible History of the Human Race, by Christine Kenneally
  • August – Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect, by David W. Orr
  • September – Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America , by Bruce Babbitt
  • October – Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Phillip Connors
  • November – Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee, by Hattie Ellis
  • December – Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, by Bernd Heinrich


  • June  – Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins
  • July – A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold
  • August – Moby Duck, by Donovan Hohn
  • September – Triumph of the City:  How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, by Edward Glaeser
  • October – Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Release 2.0 by Thomas L. Friedman (November 2009)
  • November – Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose–Doing Business by Respecting the Earth by Ray Anderson
  • December – Desert Wife by Hilda Faunce


GARNA is the Arkansas River Valley’s only local broadly focused conservation and educational institution with non-profit status. GARNA is supported by membership fees…will you join us?

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