Arboreal musings—learned, canny, homespun, graceful—from one of our better natural history writers. Trees are one of Lembke's (River Time, 1989) joys, as are rivers and birds and butterflies, all given lavish attention here; a naturalist, Lembke just can't keep her eyes still, thank goodness. This gallimaufry of tree lore—historical and medicinal; trees as food, as Eve's temptation, as just plain awesome—is a wide-ranging delight, and of the species covered, each gets a chapter unto itself: catalpa and sassafras, osage orange and yucca and loblolly pine, to name a few. Lembke has a special talent for commingling intimacy with erudition. One essay will explore the backgrounds of Druids and Green Men, witches in the Teutonic forest, Baba Yaga and her chicken-footed woodland abode; another will mull over why the author has never warmed to the yellow poplar. She takes a personal interest in the trees on her North Carolina riverfront property: a black tupelo draped with mistletoe; a persimmon humming with bees in spring, a celebration of red berries in autumn, harvested with a mighty shake; the curative properties of rabbit tobacco, known to foragers as ``life everlasting''; the sweet gum, pantry to the yellow-bellied sapsucker and bedroom to the orchard oriole. Why did Thomas Jefferson revere the pecan? Why did the pawpaw go to heaven and the pepper to hell? And can the sumac truly allow one to take wing? All these are asked and answered with nimble deliberation. Eighteen essays all told, with a few poems thrown in, and recipes for teas and jellies, puddings and zabaglione, and not a lemon in the bunch. We breathe the exhalations of the trees, and as Lembke testifies, they fuel a hundred more poetic concerns. (line drawings, not seen)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1996

ISBN: 1-55821-350-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Lyons Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1996

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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

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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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