An enthusiastic argument that love, care, and defiance may still save the Earth.



A heartfelt plea to save nature's cacophony.

In a series of essays, many previously published, nature writer and environmentalist Moore offers an ardent warning against the perils of climate change and species endangerment. Writing mostly from Alaska and the Sonoran Desert, the author focuses on sound, which she evokes in sensuous prose that reflects her “deep love for the world’s music—the birdsong, the frog song, the crickets and toads, the whales and wolves, even old hymns and Girl Scout songs.” The peril of extinction means that “each time a creature dies, a song dies.” Moore hears sonority throughout nature, from the operatic plaints of humpback whales to the relentless drumbeat of sapsuckers. Even the saguaro cactus emits music: “When the wind blows across the spines, they sing like violin strings.” Dinosaurs, too, the author speculates, sang, much like their descendants, the birds. Each essay ends with a sidebar detailing threats to creatures such as grizzly bears, red-legged frogs, and monarch butterflies; providing evidence of pollution; and noting the rise of eco-anxiety. Although Moore shares that anxiety, she also encourages “active hope” that comes from listening to nature “with thoughtful attention” and making a decision to change the course of natural degradation by taking three steps: “Stop the killing. Defend everything that is left. Create new lifeways in harmony with the Earth.” She regrets that during the pandemic, humans have been forced to live like birds: “we flutter across the street or around bushes to avoid people, knowing that we are vulnerable to every miasmic wind, that a human touch could kill us. Now and then, we sing from high or hidden places, but mostly we are quiet.” That silence is dangerous. “What we need,” she writes, “is strength—strength in numbers and strength in moral conviction. What we need is shrieking, roaring courage.” The author’s passion is evident, though the prose sometimes ascends into rapture.

An enthusiastic argument that love, care, and defiance may still save the Earth.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64009-367-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Catapult

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A welcome reference, entertaining and information-packed, for any outdoors-inclined reader.


The bad news: On any given outdoor expedition, you are your own worst enemy. The good news: If you are prepared, which this book helps you achieve, you might just live through it.

As MeatEater host and experienced outdoorsman Rinella notes, there are countless dangers attendant in going into mountains, woods, or deserts; he quotes journalist Wes Siler: “People have always managed to find stupid ways to die.” Avoiding stupid mistakes is the overarching point of Rinella’s latest book, full of provocative and helpful advice. One stupid way to die is not to have the proper equipment. There’s a complication built into the question, given that when humping gear into the outdoors, weight is always an issue. The author’s answer? “Build your gear list by prioritizing safety.” That entails having some means of communication, water, food, and shelter foremost and then adding on “extra shit.” As to that, he notes gravely, “a National Park Service geologist recently estimated that as much as 215,000 pounds of feces has been tossed haphazardly into crevasses along the climbing route on Denali National Park’s Kahiltna Glacier, where climbers melt snow for drinking water.” Ingesting fecal matter is a quick route to sickness, and Rinella adds, there are plenty of outdoorspeople who have no idea of how to keep their bodily wastes from ruining the scenery or poisoning the water supply. Throughout, the author provides precise information about wilderness first aid, ranging from irrigating wounds to applying arterial pressure to keeping someone experiencing a heart attack (a common event outdoors, given that so many people overexert without previous conditioning) alive. Some takeaways: Keep your crotch dry, don’t pitch a tent under a dead tree limb, walk side-hill across mountains, and “do not enter a marsh or swamp in flip-flops, and think twice before entering in strap-on sandals such as Tevas or Chacos.”

A welcome reference, entertaining and information-packed, for any outdoors-inclined reader.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12969-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?


A straightforward, carefully detailed presentation of how ``fruit comes from flowers,'' from winter's snow-covered buds through pollination and growth to ripening and harvest. Like the text, the illustrations are admirably clear and attractive, including the larger-than-life depiction of the parts of the flower at different stages. An excellent contribution to the solidly useful ``Let's-Read-and-Find-Out-Science'' series. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-06-020055-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1991

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet