BRIT Reads Book Club (ZOOM)

If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the Oak Conference Room at BRIT. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Please email BRIT Librarian, Brandy Watts, if you are interested in joining the book club via Zoom, bwatts@brit.org.

 

Program Information

Time: Third Monday of each month, 12pm to 1pm

Room: Zoom

Book List for 2016-2020

Point of Contact

Brandy Watts

BRIT Librarian

If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the Oak Conference Room at BRIT. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Please email BRIT Librarian, Brandy Watts, if you are interested in joining the book club via Zoom, bwatts@brit.org.

 

Upcoming Events

Oaxaca Journal (ZOOM)

by Oliver Sacks

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Oaxaca Journal 

Since childhood, Oliver Sacks has been fascinated by ferns: an ancient class of plants able to survive and adapt in many climates. Along with a delightful group of fellow fern aficionados—mathematicians, poets, artists, and assorted botanists and birders—he embarks on an exploration of Southern Mexico, a region that is also rich in human history and culture. He muses on the origins of chocolate and mescal, pre-Columbian culture and hallucinogens, the vibrant sights and sounds of the marketplace, and the peculiar passions of botanists. What other species would comb ancient Zapotec ruins on their hands and knees, searching for a new type of fern? Combining Sacks's enthusiasm for natural history and the richness of humanity with his sharp and observant eye for detail, Oaxaca Journal is a rare treat.

Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens (ZOOM)

By Douglas W. Tallamy

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Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens  

As development and habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. In Bringing Nature Home, Douglas W. Tallamy reveals the unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals.

But there is an important and simple step we can all take to help reverse this alarming trend: everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity by simply choosing native plants. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical and achievable recommendations, we can all make a difference.

The Incredible Journey of Plants (ZOOM)

By Stefano Mancuso

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The Incredible Journey of Plants 

Generation after generation, using spores, seeds, or any other means available, plants move in the world to conquer new spaces. They release huge quantities of spores that can be transported thousands of miles. The number and variety of tools through which seeds spread is astonishing: we have seeds dispersed by wind, by rolling on the ground, by animals, by water, or by a simple fall from the plant, which can happen thanks to propulsive mechanisms, the swaying of the mother plant, the drying of the fruit, and much more.In this accessible, absorbing overview, Mancuso considers how plants convince animals to transport them around the world, and how some plants need particular animals to spread; how they have been able to grow in places so inaccessible and inhospitable as to remain isolated; how they resisted the atomic bomb and the Chernobyl disaster; how they are able to bring life to sterile islands; how they can travel through the ages, as they sail around the world.

A Sand County Almanac (ZOOM)

By Aldo Leopold

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A Sand County Almanac 

The environmental classic that redefined the way we think about the natural world—an urgent call for preservation that’s more timely than ever. These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape—the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. Conjuring up one extraordinary vision after another, Aldo Leopold takes readers with him on the road and through the seasons on a fantastic tour of our priceless natural resources, explaining the destructive effects humankind has had on the land and issuing a bold challenge to protect the world we love.

A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind (ZOOM)

By Harriet Washington

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A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind

From injuries caused by lead poisoning to the devastating effects of atmospheric pollution, infectious disease, and industrial waste, Americans of color are harmed by environmental hazards in staggeringly disproportionate numbers. This systemic onslaught of toxic exposure and institutional negligence causes irreparable physical harm to millions of people across the country-cutting lives tragically short and needlessly burdening our health care system. But these deadly environments create another insidious and often overlooked consequence: robbing communities of color, and America as a whole, of intellectual power.

The 1994 publication of The Bell Curve and its controversial thesis catapulted the topic of genetic racial differences in IQ to the forefront of a renewed and heated debate. Now, in A Terrible Thing to Waste, award-winning science writer Harriet A. Washington adds her incisive analysis to the fray, arguing that IQ is a biased and flawed metric, but that it is useful for tracking cognitive damage. She takes apart the spurious notion of intelligence as an inherited trait, using copious data that instead point to a different cause of the reported African American-white IQ gap: environmental racism - a confluence of racism and other institutional factors that relegate marginalized communities to living and working near sites of toxic waste, pollution, and insufficient sanitation services. She investigates heavy metals, neurotoxins, deficient prenatal care, bad nutrition, and even pathogens as chief agents influencing intelligence to explain why communities of color are disproportionately affected -- and what can be done to remedy this devastating problem. Featuring extensive scientific research and Washington's sharp, lively reporting, A Terrible Thing to Waste is sure to outrage, transform the conversation, and inspire debate.

Seeds of Hope (ZOOM)

By Jane Goodall

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Seeds of Hope

In her wise and elegant new book, Jane Goodall blends her experience in nature with her enthusiasm for botany to give readers a deeper understanding of the world around us. Long before her work with chimpanzees, Goodall's passion for the natural world sprouted in the backyard of her childhood home in England, where she climbed her beech tree and made elderberry wine with her grandmother. The garden her family began then, she continues to enjoy today. 

SEEDS OF HOPE takes us from England to Goodall's home-away-from-home in Africa, deep inside the Gombe forest, where she and the chimpanzees are enchanted by the fig and plum trees they encounter. She introduces us to botanists around the world, as well as places where hope for plants can be found, such as The Millennium Seed Bank, where one billion seeds are preserved. She shows us the secret world of plants with all their mysteries and potential for healing our bodies as well as Planet Earth.
Looking at the world as an adventurer, scientist, and devotee of sustainable foods and gardening-and setting forth simple goals we can all take to protect the plants around us-Jane Goodall delivers an enlightening story of the wonders we can find in our own backyards.

The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants (ZOOM)

By Jennifer Jewell

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The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants 

In this beautiful and empowering book, Jennifer Jewell—host of public radio’s award-winning program and podcast Cultivating Place—introduces 75 inspiring women. Working in wide-reaching fields that include botany, floral design, landscape architecture, farming, herbalism, and food justice, these influencers are creating change from the ground up. Profiled women include flower farmer Erin Benzakein; codirector of Soul Fire Farm Leah Penniman; plantswoman Flora Grubb; edible and cultural landscape designer Leslie Bennett; Caribbean-American writer and gardener Jamaica Kincaid; soil scientist Elaine Ingham; landscape designer Ariella Chezar; floral designer Amy Merrick, and many more. Rich with personal stories and insights, Jewell’s portraits reveal a devotion that transcends age, locale, and background, reminding us of the profound role of green growing things in our world—and our lives.

Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds (ZOOM)

By Bernd Heinrich

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Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds

Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a "raven father," as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines, and in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens' world. At the heart of this book are Heinrich's love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis, we become their intimates too. Heinrich's passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. Mind of the Raven follows an exotic journey;from New England to Germany, and from Montana to Baffin Island in the high Arctic;offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature. Each new discovery and insight into raven behavior is thrilling to read, at once lyrical and scientific.

Past Events