A fine coffee-table tome about a rich and threatened ecosystem.

CARIBOU RAINFOREST

FROM HEARTBREAK TO HOPE

A remnant group of elusive caribou in the Rocky Mountains embody the plight of a wilderness under siege in this lavishly illustrated eco-study.

Moskowitz (Wolves in the Land of Salmon, 2013, etc.), a wildlife tracker and photographer, explores the lives of the so-called “mountain caribou,” a subpopulation of reindeer living in a region of the Rockies that’s also the world’s largest interior temperate rainforest, stretching some 500 miles from Washington and Idaho to British Columbia. The area’s old-growth forests, watered by heavy rainfall and deep winter snowpack, furnish an unusual ecological niche for the caribou, who migrate up and down the mountains, subsisting mainly on lichen. Meanwhile, the caribou’s endangered status energizes human efforts to protect the forests from man-made encroachments. Moskowitz analyzes this biologically unique environment and the complex adaptations that caribou and other creatures have that enable them to survive there, surveys the destruction wrought by logging operations, examines the place of caribou in Indigenous cultures, and celebrates his own communion with primeval nature: “I bask in a moment of grace,” he writes about spying a grizzly and her cub in a clearing. The author’s tone occasionally gets strident, as when he decries “the juggernaut of Western civilization’s cancerous relationship with its habitat.” But his absorbing natural history usually makes a more measured, if still ardent, plea for preserving the forest and its fauna while also accommodating limited, sustainable human use of its resources. The book is strewn with gorgeous color photographs, most taken with camera traps that used motion detectors to sense and snap passing beasts. The caribou browsing the foliage or sniffing the lens aren’t the most visually charismatic creatures, and they frequently come off as a bit mangy. But other animals steal the show, including majestic bears, hypnotic mountain lions, suave lynxes, quarrelsome marmots, shrill wrens, and imperturbable toads. Moskowitz’s composed landscapes—featuring stars and the aurora borealis shimmering above trees, craggy peaks, soft meadows, and ravaged clear-cuts—are especially good and make a powerful argument for conservation.

A fine coffee-table tome about a rich and threatened ecosystem.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68051-128-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Braided River

Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

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NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

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A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

HUMANS OF NEW YORK

STORIES

Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.

Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.

A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05890-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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