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Bangor Public Library
Field's Pond Reading Group
Join Joyce Rumery to discuss books and topics that deal with environmental issues.
For more information, contact Joyce Rumery by phone: 581-1655, or email:
Meeting Dates and Titles
September 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Dawn Light: Dancing With Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day
by Diane Ackerman

Dawn LightDiane Ackerman wants us to slow down and pay attention. Human beings are "creatures stricken by meaning, afflicted with purpose," she laments; that's why it's essential to stop and savor those instants when "time suddenly snags on a simple Wow!" It's easy to live in the moment when you're immersed in Ackerman's glorious prose, studded with arresting phrases and breathtakingly beautiful images. She chose dawn as the subject of her new book because, she writes in the prologue, it's the beginning of the day, "a fresh start" with cleansed vision before "familiar routines and worries charge in." Moving across the seasons from spring dawns in Palm Beach, Fla., through winter sunrises in Ithaca, N.Y., her book abounds in senuous snapshots -- as the author flies through a plethora of subjects. Ackerman roams far afield, and sometimes the links to her ostensible subject are strained, albeit delightful: A glimpse of starlings flocking at dawn segues into a visit with a friend's hilarious talking bird; the morning light catches a sycamore tree shedding bark in "parchment scrolls reminding me of Archimedes' lost journals." She always returns, however, to her central preoccupation, the need to pause amid life's hurly-burly forward motion and quietly appreciate where we are right now. - The Washington Post

Request Dawn Light: Dancing With Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day
October 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Wolves at Our Door: The Extraordinary Story of the Couple Who Lived with Wolves.
by Jim Dutcher and Jamie Dutcher

WolvesIntent on dispelling the misguided notion that wolves are dangerous, predatory creatures, the Dutchers went to great lengths to observe a wolf pack's natural, unguarded behavior: they created a 20-acre enclosure for the wolves in Idaho's remote Sawtooth Mountains and moved their own quarters inside of it. There, the couple spent six years living among and filming the wolf pack, and their resulting film won an Emmy Award and became the Discovery Channel's highest-rated natural history documentary. This written account of their film explains how the Dutchers set out to capture the intimate daily life and social structure of the wolf pack. - Liberty Journal

Request Wolves at Our Door: The Extraordinary Story of the Couple Who Lived with Wolves

November 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
by Barry Estabrook

TomatolandVermont journalist Estabrook traces the sad, tasteless life of the mass-produced tomato, from its chemical-saturated beginnings in South Florida to far-flung supermarkets. Estabrook first looks at the tomato's ancestors in Peru, grown naturally in coastal deserts and Andean foothills, with fruit the size of large peas. Crossbreeding produced bigger, juicer varieties, and by the late 19th century, Florida had muscled in on the U.S. market, later benefitting from the embargo on Cuban tomatoes; the Sunshine State now produces one-third of the fresh tomatoes in this country. To combat sandy soil devoid of nutrients, and weather that breeds at least 27 insect species and 29 diseases that prey on the plants, Florida growers bombard tomato plants with a dizzying cocktail of herbicides and pesticides, then gas the "mature greens" with ethylene. Estabrook concludes this thought-provoking book with some ideas from innovators trying to build a better tomato." - Publisher's Weekly

Request Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit

February 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth
by Curt Stager

Deep FutureA bold, far-reaching look at how our actions will decide the planet's future for millennia to come. Imagine a planet where North American and Eurasian navies are squaring off over shipping lanes through an acidified, ice-free Arctic. Centuries later, their northern descendants retreat southward as the recovering sea freezes over again. And later still, future nations plan how to avert an approaching Ice Age...by burning what remains of fossil fuels. These are just a few of the events that are likely to befall Earth and human civilization in the next 100,000 years. And it will be the choices we make in this century that will affect the future more than those of any previous generation. We are living at the dawn of the Age of Humans; the only question is how long that age will last.

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March 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM
The Wild Within: Adventures in Nature on Animal Teachings
by Paul Rezendes

Wild WithinThe author takes readers on a beautiful journey into the woods of the American Northeast. Drawing on his treks taken alone, with experienced nature adventurers, and with neophyte students, he depicts a variety of human encounters with bears, loons, deer, bobcats, coyotes, fox and moose, and ultimately, with the nature of the universe, life, humanity and self. He also brings uncommon wisdom and depth of insight to his chronicle, explicating the Zen principles of patience, compassion, silence and stillness; of the web of all that exists; and of awareness of the present moment. - Publishers Weekly

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April 10, 2014
The Hungry Ocean: A Sword Boat Captain's Journey
By: Linda Greenlaw

Greenlaw tells her story of a 30-day swordfishing voyage aboard the Hannah Boden. The intrigue of her life began with the publication of the Perfect Storm. To be a successful Grand Banks fisherman, a captain must manage three things: the boat; the crew; and the fish. In this book she tells the story of a real and typical swordfishing trip.

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May 8, 2014
Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
By: Elizabeth Kolbert

Field NotesIn the burgeoning shelf of cautionary but occasionally alarmist books warning about the consequences of dramatic climate change, Kolbert's calmly persuasive reporting stands out for its sobering clarity. Expanding on a series for the New Yorker, Kolbert lets facts rather than polemics tell the story: in essence, it's Earth that is now nearly as warm as it has been at any time in the last 420,000 years and is on the precipice of an unprecedented "climate regime, one with which modern humans have had no prior experience." In her most pointed chapter, Kolbert chides the U.S. for refusing to sign on to the Kyoto Accord. In her most upbeat chapter, Kolbert singles out Burlington, Vt., for its impressive energy-saving campaign, which out to be a model for the rest of the nation -- just as this unbiased overview is a model for writing about urgent environmental crisis. - Publishers Weekly

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June 12, 2014
Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death
By: Bernd Heinrich

Life EverlastingHow does the animal world deal with death? And what ecological and spirtual lessons can we learn from examining this? Bernd Heinrich has long been fascinated by these questions, and when a good friend with a terminal illness asked if he might have his "green burial" at Heinrich's hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist and author to investigate. Life Everlasing is the fruit of those investigations, illuminating what happens to animals great and small after death.

Request Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death
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