Staff Pick

Moving from the 1930s to today, Attenborough, now 94, takes the vital signs of the planet, showing what has happened as the human population has grown from 2.3 to 7.8 billion, the atmosphere’s carbon load has gone from 280 to 415 ppm, and the percentage of wild land has plummeted from 66 to 35. Including both the wonders he’s seen and filmed—from fossils to rainforests to whale songs—and the radical changes in the planet’s stability that have caused biodiversity to plummet, rainforests to turn into savannahs, and the white poles to turn blue, this “witness statement” is heartbreaking. But just when it seems we have doomed all life on Earth, ,Attenborough presents “A Vision for the Future,” one that looks at technical and social innovations around the world and finds a real basis for hope. By listening to nature and imitating it rather than trying to control it, and especially by restoring biodiversity, he shows that the land and oceans will regain their balance, provide enough food for both humans and animals, and make life sustainable for generations to come. But nature can’t help us unless we change our fundamental relationship to it—and time is short.

 

A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781538719985
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 6th, 2020

Staff Pick

A path-breaking astrophysicist, Seager “spent my life searching for lights in the dark.” Then her husband died and she was plunged into a new kind of darkness, one that left her feeling like a rogue planet: adrift in the universe with no sun to orbit. As that metaphor conveys, Seager was centered by more than loss, and in this bracingly honest memoir, she puts her personal catastrophe in the largest possible context, intertwining her struggle to adjust to grief and raise her two young sons alone with her ongoing search for life in the cosmos. The challenges are formidable, often turning the rational scientist into a mess of tears and panic. But sustained by her passion for the stars (“the places where science and magic meet”) and helped by her children and the Widows of Concord (a group of bereaved women who support each other with regular get-togethers, practical advice, and the exchange of recipes, clothes, and dating tips), Seager slowly comes to terms with the pain, anger, and confusion of her new role, discovering truths she articulates with often heartbreaking lucidity: “when you lose someone,” she says,” you don’t lose them all at once, and the dying doesn’t stop with their death. You lose them a thousand times in a thousand ways. You say a thousand goodbyes.”

The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525576259
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Crown - August 18th, 2020

Staff Pick

Nunez’s extraordinary technique might be summed up in the first line of her mesmerizing novel: “I went to hear a man give a talk,” an unnamed narrator states, aptly introducing a narrative woven of stories, conversations, and ruminations, one in which the listening is no less important than the telling. Nunez’s narrator is expert at both, and her profiles of passing acquaintances—a woman at her gym, her Airbnb host, even her host’s cat—are as vivid and engaging as those of her oldest friends, like her ex, a misanthropic public intellectual obsessed with the climate crisis and her best friend from college, a sharp woman with a dark sense of humor and a daughter estranged nearly from birth. Each story is told—mostly—without judgment, and all are mined for what they suggest about how to live. And how to die, which may or may not be the same question, as Nunez’s protagonist discovers when she agrees to help her college friend end her “battle” with cancer, a partnership that opens new directions in their relationship and leads not only to pathos but to unexpected moments of humor. As with her National Book Award-winning The Friend, there is a lot to think about here, but Nunez couches her deft novel of ideas within a full gamut of emotions.

What Are You Going Through: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593191415
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Riverhead Books - September 8th, 2020

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