BRDC Book Club
Each month members of BRDC get together and discuss a group chosen book focused on the Blue Ridge or BRDC founding philosophies. If you'd like to join please contact: Eva Floyd at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The book club usually holds a meeting somewhere in Grayson county on the third Thursday of the month.
Besides the in-person meetings, we also have very insightful digital conversations about each book as we are reading them. We ask that Book Club participants utilize the "Comments" section at the very bottom of each book specific blog post as a public discussion forum. For that to work, we ask that you "Subscribe via e-mail" to that post discussion for each book as to be notified when new topics and responses are posted.
For March, the BRDC Book Club read Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver.
"A brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver's must thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest."
"From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class."
"One night, poet and environmental writer John Lane tuned in to a sound from behind his house that he had never heard before: the nearby eerie and captivating howls of coyotes. Since this was Spartanburg, South Carolina, and not Missoula, Montana, Lane set out to discover all he could about his new and unexpected neighbors."
"Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work."
The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world—and in the process created modern environmentalism.
"Chances are, you have never thought of your garden — indeed, of all of the space on your property — as a wildlife preserve that represents the last chance we have for sustaining plants and animals that were once common throughout the U.S. But that is exactly the role our suburban landscapes are now playing and will play even more in the near future." Doug Tallamy
From flying squirrels to grizzly bears, and from torpid turtles to insects with antifreeze, the animal kingdom relies on some staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who must alter the environment to accommodate physical limitations, animals are adaptable to an amazing range of conditions.
"Edwin Way Teale (June 2, 1899 – October 18, 1980) was an American naturalist, photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. Teale's works serve as primary source material documenting environmental conditions across North America from 1930 - 1980. He is perhaps best known for his series The American Seasons, four books documenting over 75,000 miles (121,000 km) of automobile travel across North America following the changing seasons."
"The American chestnut was one of America's most common, valued, and beloved trees—a "perfect tree" that ruled the forests from Georgia to Maine. But in the early twentieth century, an exotic plague swept through the chestnut forests with the force of a wildfire. Within forty years, the blight had killed close to four billion trees and left the species teetering on the brink of extinction."
Biologist David George Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Beginning with simple observations--a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter, the first blossom of spring wildflowers--Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology, ecology, and poetry, explaining the science binding together ecosystems that have cycled for thousands--sometimes millions--of years.