Tag Archives: Nature

Review: Strange Company

Strange Company

Strange Company
By Jean Ryan
MadeMark Publishing (March 12, 2017), 118pp.

The Short of It:

A collection of super short essays that promise to awaken your need for nature and its beauty.

The Rest of It:

Regular readers of this blog know how packed my schedule is. It’s not often that I have time to step out into nature and just observe the beauty around me but oh, how I crave it.  Strange Company allowed me to do that if only for a short while.

Strange Company is a collection of nature essays about all sorts of things. Do animals feel compassion? Do they think as humans do? If the act of bleeding out a rare Horseshoe crab for the sake of science isn’t damaging to the creature itself, does it make it right to keep doing it? What about pesticides? Do you ever think about the impact that they might have on say… a bird’s food supply?

On a personal note, I absolutely believe that animals feel compassion. Every pet I’ve ever had has connected with me in some way. After the death of my mother, my dog would not leave my side.  Years ago when I was diagnosed with Lupus and seriously questioned if I could survive it, my cat was right there, as I spent days in bed trying to work up enough energy just to go to work. So it’s no surprise to me that domesticated animals or even those in the wild can feel compassion. Just look into their eyes!

What I loved about this collection is that although each essay is short, often only a few pages long, they gave me a lot to think about. There’s a little bit of science for those who like facts, but there’s also a lot of heart. Ryan is a nature lover and it shows in her writing. I’ve read and enjoyed her work before and I am happy to say I enjoyed this collection as well.

Source: Review copy provided by the author. Thank you!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon links.

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Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver

I just finished Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver. I picked this book up twice and put it right back down again. However, the third time around I made a pact with myself to stick with it..no matter what. I am so glad I did! In hindsight, I have no idea why I had such a hard time with it the first two times. Here is the blurb from Barnes & Noble:

Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate overtakes the countryside, these characters find their connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with whom they share a place.

Rich and lush. Those are the two words that come to mind. The book takes us through three, interwoven stories about nature and love. We meet a ranger whose main task is to protect a mountain and the conflict between her and the hunter that threatens it. We also meet a young woman, overcome with grief, and how she struggles to make a life for herself on a farm. The last couple, consist of two elderly neighbors. Each trying to co-exist on their land that sits right next to each other.

There are some tender moments.. and a lot of funny ones. I found myself re-reading certain passages because they were written so beautifully. This would be a great book to kick-off summer. If you read it..let me know what you think of it.