Green Bookshelf

Back to the wild

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Hidden Lives of Trees
By Peter Wohlleben (Greytone)

German forester Peter Wohlleben spent most of his career sizing up trees according to their harvest-readiness and managing forests for profit. But after a life spent in close company with his sylvan neighbors, he began to see their complex lives and interactions with more depth and empathy.

In The Hidden Life of Trees, short chapters explore hidden dimensions of tree lives that science is slowly uncovering, enhanced by Wohlleben’s anecdotal experiences from the woods.

He explores how trees communicate, both internally from the roots to the leaves at the end of branches, as well as to other neighboring trees through mycelial networks. He applies concepts like love, community and learning to trees, and finds myriad ways they benefit the forest community, from pumping, storing and respirating water to serving as a “community housing project” for countless bugs, birds, bats and other creatures.

“When you know that trees experience pain and have memories and that tree parents live together with their children,” the amiable author concludes, “then you can no longer just chop them down and disrupt their lives with large machines.”

Boundary Layer: Exploring the Genius Between Worlds
By Kem Luther (Oregon State University Press)

“To make a boundary layer, all we need is a pair of large stable systems of regularity that rub against each other,” writes Vancouver Island naturalist Kem Luther. “Where they come into contact, the two systems create a third region that is unstable.”

Luther finds these thin, dynamic and unexplored margins making sand dunes in Tofino, BC, producing moss in Cypress Provincial Park, and sending out mycorrhizal networks beneath the forest surrounding Victoria.

Revealing a hidden world that thrives beneath our feet, Luther champions the small and overlooked in nature, species that, though little-understood, make the world go around.

Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide
By Charles Foster (Metropolitan)

“Earthworms taste of slime and the land. They are the ultimate local food and, as the wine people would say, have a distinct terroir,” Charles Foster explains. “Worms from Chablis have a long, mineral finish. Worms from Picardy are musty…worms from Somerset Levels have a stolid, unfashionable taste of leather and stout.”

But why is the British writer—who is also a veterinarian, holds a doctorate in law and bioethics and teaches at Oxford—eating worms?

“I want to know what it is like to be a wild thing,” he explains. “I want to have a more articulate talk with the land.”

Being a Beast chronicles his experiment in trying to live like animals do—burrowing, rooting, pooping, swooping, swimming and sniffing. He chooses a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer and a swift and sets out to inhabit their unique worlds as close as he can.

The tools he chooses to aid him in his quest are psychology, natural history, neuroscience, sensory enhancement and even shamanic transformation. A fool’s errand? Perhaps, but it’s a pleasure to follow the resulting discoveries and disasters in this bestselling book.

Whether trying to catch fish with his teeth, sleeping in an underground burrow, snacking on bugs, lying on the bottom of rivers or being pursued by bloodhounds, Foster’s hands-on account is by turns funny, philosophical and full of interesting tidbits of information from the forefront of natural science. He is an engaging storyteller, self-deprecating and clever as he shares with readers his own personal process of re-wilding.

SVCR Vanessa
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Saunders' Story
Inside Lincoln’s White House

George Saunders is known as a short story genius; his 2013 collection, The Tenth of December, was a National Book Award finalist and named one of the 10 best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review. Saunders is also an accomplished essayist of darkly humorous pieces exploring…

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Strong Heart
Charlie’s back, and he wrote a book

In 2012, after he’d been on the job for a barely a year, the Port of Bellingham (stupidly, criminally, in my opinion) pitched their talented and capable new executive director over the side—just as the agency was beginning a large-scale waterfront cleanup that has stalled ever since.…

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Fake News
A Field Guide to Lies

More than a decade since Stephen Colbert popularized the term “truthiness” and it was awarded Word of the Year (in 2005 by the American Dialect Society and in 2006 by Merriam-Webster) American culture has sunk to a new low, awash in “fake news.” 

Fake news goes beyond taking things…

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Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

Wings of Courage

10:00am|Mount Baker Theatre

Library Tour

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Dig Into Spring

6:00pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Cultivating cannabis cognizance


Community Film

6:30pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Swing Dance

8:30pm|Eagles Hall


9:30pm|Green Frog

MBT HBIII Village Books
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Fun with Cheese

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme Commons

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Harbor Porpoise Presentation

6:30pm|Burlington Public Library

Gather Round

7:00pm|Honey Moon Mead & Cider

Books on Tap

7:00pm|Maggie's Pub

Maloney & Tergis

7:00pm|Old Main Theater

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Alton Brown Live

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Semiahmoo Stewardship

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

Community Coffee and Tea

9:00am|East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

Searching for Phoebe

2:00pm|Lynden Library

CSA Happy Hour

5:00pm|Diamond Jim's Grill

Pickling Class

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Growing Alliance Fundraising Dinner

5:30pm|YWCA Ballroom

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Miwako Kimura Reception


Pops Concert

7:00pm|Unity Spiritual Center

Artists protect the Salish Sea


see our complete calendar »

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