Next book

BIG RIVER

RESILIENCE AND RENEWAL IN THE COLUMBIA BASIN

A thought-provoking and visually stunning portrait of an embattled paradise.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

The great river system of the Pacific Northwest is home to a clash between nature and industrial civilization—with the salmon its tragic victim—according to this vibrant photographic meditation.

Photographer and biologist Moskowitz and nature writer Pearkes survey, in words and images, the enormous Columbia River Basin, stretching from British Columbia to Nevada and from Montana to the Pacific Ocean, its many rivers now punctuated by dozens of dams. The book opens with an expansive essay by Pearkes on the Basin’s natural and human history, including the ancient geology and glaciology that forged its rugged landscape, the evolution of salmon and their epic upriver migrations from the sea to spawn in the freshwater streams where they hatched, the Indigenous cultures that shaped themselves around the salmon runs, and the modern project of damming and rationalizing the rivers for the purposes of flood control, navigation, irrigation, and electric power, which blocks salmon runs in the process. She concludes with an intricate consideration of the present-day struggle between native tribes and eco-activists trying to restore salmon runs and competing agricultural-industrial interests, and she highlights some hopeful recent compromises. Pearkes’ prose is lucid and full of compelling scientific and historical detail, but it also conveys a deep spiritual connectedness. (At a tribal salmon ceremony, she writes, a fish “darted unexpectedly in my direction and grazed my calf, then disappeared into deeper water. A bolt of pure energy charged through me. Over the next few days, I dissolved into a weeping mess.”) Much of the book is devoted to Moskowitz’s color photographs, which illustrate Pearkes’ themes with a visual counterpoint between nature and civilization, including sweeping vistas of winding river valleys, lush coastal rain forests, snowy peaks, and meadows dappled with wildflowers. But this arcadia, Moskowitz shows, is blighted by brutalist concrete dams, barges chugging up canals, forest slopes gouged by clear-cutting, and vast industrial farms; in one resonant juxtaposition, irrigation sprinklers spray a mono-crop while smoke from a distant wildfire dims the sun.

A thought-provoking and visually stunning portrait of an embattled paradise.

Pub Date: June 1, 2024

ISBN: 9781680516609

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Braided River

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2024

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 18


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 18


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

Next book

THE ELEPHANTS OF THULA THULA

A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.

The third volume in the Elephant Whisperer series.

In this follow-up to An Elephant in My Kitchen, Malby-Anthony continues her loving portrait of the Thula Thula wildlife reserve, which she co-founded in 1998 with her late husband, South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony, who published the first book in the series, The Elephant Whisperer, in 2009. Following his death in 2012, Malby-Anthony sought to honor his legacy by continuing his vision “to create a massive conservancy in Zululand, incorporating our land and other small farms and community land into one great big game park.” At the same time, the elephants gave her “a sense of purpose and direction.” In the Zulu language, thula means quiet, and though the author consistently seeks to provide that calm to her charges, peace and tranquility are not always easy to come by at Thula Thula. In this installment, Malby-Anthony discusses many of the challenges faced by her and her staff, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. These included an aggressive, 2-ton rhino named Thabo; the profound loss felt by all upon the death of their elephant matriarch, Frankie; difficulty obtaining permits and the related risk of having to relocate or cull some of their animals; the fear of looting and fire due to civil unrest in the region; and the ongoing and potentially deadly struggles with poachers. Throughout, the author also shares many warm, lighthearted moments, demonstrating the deep bond felt among the humans and animals at the reserve and the powerful effects of the kindness of strangers. “We are all working in unity for the greater good, for the betterment of Thula Thula and all our wildlife….We are humbled by the generosity and love, both from our guests and friends, and from strangers all around the world,” writes the author. “People’s open-hearted support kept us alive in the darkest times.”

A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 9781250284259

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

Close Quickview