Outdoor Conservation Book Club discussion

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
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Book of the Month Discussions > Refuge (Jun 2020)

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Rachel | 202 comments June is rapidly approaching so I want to introduce next month's book. It's one of my favorites all time in any category, and Terry Tempest Williams is on of my all time favorite authors too. I debated about whether we as a group should read this book but ultimately I've decided it's a classic and that everyone should read it. I learned of it after a trip to the Great Salt Lake in Utah, where we visited the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge - the focus of the nature part of this book. The other half of the book is about her mother, but what ties it all together is the refuge Terry takes in Bear River during this tragic life event. It shows the value and importance of natural places to our emotional and mental well being. I hope you enjoy it, it's one of my favorites


Rachel | 202 comments Also if anyone is on Twitter, I tweet quotes from our monthly reads on my account (@flyingcypress) using #ocbookofthemonth. But lagniappe for this month is I've also shared some photos of Bear River, since I've been there! It's also enjoyable to me to read about a place I've been, or also a place I want to go. So re-reading this book always brings back memories of my time at Bear River!


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Powell (mikepowell) | 44 comments Our local library will be opening for curb-side pick up soon! :)


Rachel | 202 comments Michael wrote: "Our local library will be opening for curb-side pick up soon! :)" That's great news!


Rachel | 202 comments As much as I love Terry Tempest Williams I only just discovered she had a new book come out at the end of 2019! It's called Erosion, and it's essays that she wrote that, according to Sierra Club, focus on one theme: "The lyrical book’s central question is familiar to any environmentalist alive during the Anthropocene: How do we find the strength to not look away from all that is breaking our hearts?" I haven't read it yet, but I will, but if you are interested in a lagniappe read here's the review from the Sierra Club: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/ter...


Kelly Guilbeau | 9 comments Only a few chapters in, but I'm loving this book so far! This my first TTW book, so I hope it's a good indication of her beautiful writing style for the rest of her books.


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael Powell (mikepowell) | 44 comments Our local library has started curb-side pickup; however, they do not have either Refuge or The Water Will Come. I may try to get a copy of one another way, but I will probably miss those two for now. They do have The Great Penguin Rescue, so I am planning to join in for that one. For now, I am going to check a book I had not finished just before all of this started. It is called Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature. The portion that I had gotten through was very good, so I am looking forward to picking it up again. Enjoy Refuge everyone, and I will catch you down the line. :)


Kelly Guilbeau | 9 comments Michael, my local library didn't have Refuge, either, so every now and then I opt to pay for the Kindle version. Not ideal, but sometimes worth it!


Rachel | 202 comments Yeah apparently Refuge is difficult to find all over, which I think is weird since it's her most well known book.

Michael no worries & I'm sorry I've picked books your library doesn't have. But we'll be here and hopefully some of the future reads are more available!

Kelly I'm glad you're liking it so far!!


Kelly Guilbeau | 9 comments Interestingly, I just finished reading Educated by Tara Westover, who grows up in Idaho and is raised by Mormon parents (albeit an extreme version), and so was thinking about the similarities and differences of these two women's life in the Mormon west. A friend of mine says she couldn't quite put her finger on the influence of Mormonism on TTW's writings, so I'm curious if others have thoughts? I don't actually know that much about Mormon principles, but am curious how they align (or not) with conservation ethics or values.


Kelly Guilbeau | 9 comments Oh, also, I camped on Antelope Island in May 2019 and, while I the flies weren't so bad, a massive wind storm came through during the night. I had to tie my tent to the overhang at my spot and held on for dear life. It was one of the more memorable camping experiences I've had, and it was fun to have that in mind when reading this book.


Rachel | 202 comments I'm not 100% sure how Mormon aspects reflect in her work, if at all really because I'm definitely no religious expert. But I kind of expect that caring about the land is a part of it, and I say that only because of her descriptions of her family and the way they all are connected to the land and the world around them in ways that my family is not. Although that could also be her family specifically and not religion!


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