Book Club Meeting, 1/11/16

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Date - 01/11/2016
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

nature Mass

The first meeting of the Nature, Environment and Conservation Book Club is Monday, January 11, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Plymouth. It will be held each month on the second Monday at the same time. To sign up for the book club, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

The first readings are from Bill McKibben’s American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, published by in 2008.

Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond

Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond

For January, we will examine the roots of environmental writing in the U.S. by reading excerpts from books by the three influential American authors whose work helped lay the foundation of the modern environmental movement: Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson. We will consider the place of nature and wilderness in the world and our lives through two more authors, Bill McKibben, the editor of American Earth, the author of many other books, and an environmental activist, and, Barbara Kingsolver, an evolutionary biologist turned writer who addresses scientific issues and there effects on us through fiction.

The selected readings are as follows:

  • Forward, Al Gore. Starts on page xvii (3 pp.)
  • Introduction, Bill McKibben. Starts on page xxi (11 pp.)
  • Henry David Thoreau, selected writings. Starts on page 2 (33 pp.)
  • Aldo Leopold, from A Sand County Almanac. Starts on page 266 (30 pp.)
  • Rachel Carson, from Silent Spring. Starts on page 366 (12 pp.)
  • Bill McKibben, from The End of Nature. Starts on page 718 (7 pp.)
  • Barbara Kingsolver, from Small Wonder. Starts on page 939 (9 pp.)

As you read, please think about these discussion questions:

  • Describe your personal land ethic.
  • In what realms is human domination of nature necessary or desirable?
  • Do you think that we are experiencing the end of nature now? Why or why not?
  • In your opinion, what are differences between nature and wilderness?
  • Think of one of your favorite spots in nature. What effect does being there have on you? If your spot was destroyed, what would you miss most, and would you be able to find it elsewhere?

Happy reading!