Category: Upcycle & Recycle Practices

#ArbourDay #NonFiction Book Review | “Complexity: The Evolution of Earth’s Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity” by William C. Burger

Posted Friday, 28 April, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “Complexity” direct from the publisher Prometheus Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

musings about the introduction:

Right out of the gate, Burger warmed me to his compassionate view of life when he cross-compared the natural biodiversity of our world with the multicultural diversity of our biped humanity. If you lament about the world at large long enough, there is an incredible girth of biological ancestry percolating all round us. It is not just our footprints and our legacies which are resplendently observational in this world, but there is a depth of evolutionary evidence of how the natural world has progressed forward through millennia and augmented itself to become adaptive and changeable per each environ and region on Earth.

I must admit, part of the reason why I had my eye keenly attached to Paleontology was to understand the back-history of the natural world. When I uncovered AstroBotany a few years ago, it took studying the subject from a completely new point of view and by such, granting a new angle of approach. I think this is why I was originally considering studying Archaeology rather than Anthropology; as although I am dearly interested in culture and traditional heritages of different ethnic backgrounds; one thing has kept constant about my scientific interests: I like to dig into the past and seek out the mannerisms of the how species and humanity lived through the different ages. Inasmuch as I appreciate uncovering the socio-psychological make-up of our own actions, there is a measure of joy in back-tracking through how the natural world has evolved forward through their own timeline.

He breaks down the terms: Biodiversity vs. Complexity as both directly relate to how our understanding of the natural order and presence of everything (human vs natural world) correlate, inter-relate and are individually unique from one another too. Systematically there are intersections of everything and everyone on Earth (as one would naturally observe) but when he mentioned the tundra and the the rain forest, I just smirked! Those were the two biodiverse regions which perked my interest early-on as a child. I loved how uniquely different those regions were and how incredible it was to peer into the wildlife and the natural organisations which called each space their home. The habitats were awe-inspiring for a girl growing into an appreciation for conservation and preservation of natural environs. I was a budding environmentalist before I ever understood the full spectrum of Earth’s fragile balance between ecological preservations and the impact of our human actions. By the age of ten, when I first saw Medicine Man in the theater, you could say it all came full circle and since then, I have been passionately curious about the steps we can take to reduce our industrialism and live more authentically towards a greener tomorrow using upcycling, recycling and natural innovative science to improve our way of life.

Understanding SPECIES:

Growing up in Science class, one of my favourite bits to graduating into seventh grade was starting to get a more scientific foundation on the order of species. My seventh grade teacher had a living biosphere of his own – we had an outside zoo attached to our classroom where farm animals resided in a lovingly cared for pen and where inside, we had aquariums and cages full of small animals which added to the joy of researching natural habitats. It is also where I fell in love with the class hamster but never thought I’d be blessed to take him home. He lived four years, nearly five (impressive for a little guy) and he still has a fond place in my heart. Aside from meeting my first ham-ham of joy, I was eagerly itching to better understand how everything in the natural world was organised and classified. Mind you, for a girl in a classroom full of peers who’d much rather be outside in the sunshine, I was an oddity. I loved being holed up inside my textbook and musing about how everything in nature had it’s own blueprint to identify itself. There was a specific tool set in nature to give you clues and hints towards how everything belongs by genus, species and family. Of course it’s more complex than this, as you can read about in this article but I was simply mentioning I was wicked fascinated by the conception of everything having a particular place in which to belong.

I used to read hierarchical charts like Amateur Ancestry Sleuths read genealogical graphs and family trees! There is a lot of data about how the natural world is understood and broken down into Plants and Animals. The hierarchy is the code which helps you understand the connections and the diverse components of what makes each individual organisation uniquely themselves whilst having a comparatively similar component of another species, too. There are cross-similarities as much as there are inherent differences and I have always wanted to have a better foundation of understanding of how all of this co-relates and diverts into sub-categories of order. To put it a different way, understanding the natural world is similar to having a blueprint of the break-down of genre in Literature. You have sub-genres and sub-categories of interest broken into thematic inclusions and styles of crafting stories together through either Fiction or Non-Fiction. You can spend a lifetime seeking stories moving through genres and generations of writers whose influences continue to shape the literary world. So, too, is the same for understanding the biosphere. You first have to understand how to approach the topic and then, you get to have fun exploring everything that makes Earth bio-diverse as it is right now.

I was quite charmed Burger chose to avoid discussing Insects – as personally, they never interested me in the least! I have a love/hate relationship with Insects overall. Yes, I recognise they have a place in this world but on a truly personal level of honest reflection? I could literally bypass their presence in my life. There are few exceptions to this rule: butterflies, dragonflies and a few others to make my soul smile but in general, the world of insects and I are not on speaking terms.

Plant Diversity | Essential to Biodiversity:

I oft wondered why my peers gave little credit or credence to plant and trees. After all, it wasn’t hard to understand how we are able to breathe (ie. trees are our source of oxygen) but so, too it wasn’t hard to fathom how the flora and fauna in a natural habitat was key to a sustainable habitat for all the lovely creatures who called that local environ their home. I used to be keenly invested in tracing photosynthesis on both land and sea. When it comes to the ocean, the most unique discovery was how life is still adaptively responsive beyond the layer of sunlight penetration where the world is completely dark and absent from the effects of photosynthetic processes. Mind you, those creatures in the deepest layers of the ocean freak me out of my skull! They are straight out of a story of Horror but on the flip side of that coin, it’s not their fault they are structurally horrific to look at as to them, we’re the odd ones who scare them!

Cosmic Complexities:

Since I was a Young Astronaut, I have been especially curious about the Cosmic diversity and complexities of life in the vacuum of space. Partially why I loved spending so much time at my local Science Center was for the joy of uncovering more about life in the universe from our humble observational knowledge back here on Earth. It is also why I have a penchant for reading and writing Hard Science Fiction stories. There is a lot more understanding on the diverse aspects of what makes the environments on the planets so eloquently complex nowadays than even when I was growing up as much more is known. I oft found it curious how at one point in time, Science Fiction was a bit limited in speculating a living environment for planets; as basic science for those locations was still anyone’s educated guess. To find out which of the planets are sustainable for life and which ones are a boiling stew of environmental causticity is quite humourous now.

The irony I felt was that if our Earth is diversely complex and structured, why would we think the Cosmic structure of those planets would be less than our own? Wouldn’t it be a better working theory to acknowledge the planets in our solar system were equally complex to understand if Earth is still being processed, categorised and understood on a fundamental level?

I also liked getting a small grasp of how the other planets keep our planet healthy – I knew there was more to the ‘order’ and ‘distance’ of the planets than what was being shared during my school years. For starters, nothing is coincidental – not in life and not in nature. There are reasons for everything even if we are not entirely clued into those reasons until a day of new understanding alights on our path, which doesn’t discredit there is a purpose for why things simply ‘are’. It was quite curious how the placement of the planets not only effect our planet’s health but they also, effectively alter how each of the planets can thrive in their own unique environments, too. Again, there is more to the world and the universe than what is generally understood. For starters, by what is being explained the very positioning of the other planets create a ‘fail-safe’ for Earth; an invisible protective shield for drawing objects away from us inasmuch as consistently influencing our weather and the cycle of living habitats.

Why Earth is a blessed place to call ‘home’:

Aside from contemplating the spherical dimension of the sky and the curvature of the Earth, I oft contemplated gravity and our inability to realise how gravity itself places such an important role in our lives. The absence of our daily visual observation of how we can walk, stand and run on solid ground is a credit to the hidden metrics of how gravity influences our way of life. However, there are other hidden factors which are indicators of how life on Earth is sustained and able to be generationally increased. Everything from our tilt to our cyclic seasons to how our girth and size allows us to be spread between different climatic zones.

Laughs. When Burger started to talk about ‘plate tectonics’, it reminded me about how my classmates nearly groaned about how I wanted to spend an incessant amount of time discussing the subject! Mostly the science behind this Earthbound marvel is why we study Volcanology and have a ready appreciation for earthquake science which is still in the rudimentary stages of being understood. Interesting new point of insight: plate tectonics re-release carbon dioxide! Now, why did my science teachers leave out that bit of fodder from our chats? It’s a system of purging a surplus of toxic gas if it were to be allowed to continue to collect in places where it’s unhealthy levels would start to interfere with the natural order of our world. Now that’s a new layer of insight past what influences volcanoes and earthquakes and the dynamic shift in topographical elevations!

Religion and Science:

As I have blogged about in the past, my pursuit of Science is from a girl who walks in faith. I am not the first nor the last person who has found common ground in pursuing Science without forsaking her faith. To me, to understand how the universe and Earth are in sync with each other is another extension of understanding the universal truths of where we live. It isn’t to takeaway from religion nor to fully embrace Science without faith; we each walk our own path and make our minds on how best to approach the larger questions which will always be present in our world. (see also Review) Burger adds his two cents on the subject and in effect, leaves the reader to decide where they stand which is the only way to leave it, truly.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

One interesting point in this section of his Introduction is when he stipulated this:

But science is different; it is nothing more than a pragmatic way of trying to understand the world through carefully controlled experiments, the origin and elaboration of biodiversity are historical questions. In these instances we formulate historical scenarios and then seek evidence from nature to support or reject a given scenario. It’s very much like detectives trying to solve a crime.

-quoted from Complexity by William C. Burger with permission of the publisher

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On this vein of thought, the study of Biodiversity is a funneling of retracing the history of the natural world in pursuit to understand where we are today. It is another way of knowing why our natural environment is changing and re-defining itself once more through geological evolution. It’s a mark of historical reference to better understand what happened in the past in order to continue to strive towards a better future.

Land and Sea Variants of Biological Life:

As Burger has concentrated his research and observations to terrestrial entities rather than oceanographic species, he does give a brief interlude about how the ocean is enriched by biodiversity if only as a footnote on the subject. The oceans account for 90% of the living sphere but they contain a radically reduce amount of living organisms when cross-compared to those living on land (ourselves included!). I have known about this for quite a long while – as I spent a bit of time during seventh grade in a different school than the one I hinted about earlier (where I adopted my first hamster). In the former school, where I had spent sixth grade as well; I had a wicked lovely science teacher who taught through experiments and encouraged us to have an independent mind. My second science teacher that year attempted this but fell short a bit due to angst stemming out of devastating budget cuts (ie. he lost all funding to keep his animals). In the first school, my teacher introduced a broad appreciation for the oceans, the currents and the cycle of how the oceans are controlled by the moon and tides. It was a wicked introduction but also, affirming by scale and design: this is when I realised how large 90% of anything truly is in proportion to geologic size. I was developing a healthy interest in oceanography, thermodynamics, geophysics, marine biology and paleooceanology with a small interest in climatology which would increase lateron.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#ArbourDay #NonFiction Book Review | “Complexity: The Evolution of Earth’s Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity” by William C. BurgerComplexity
Subtitle: The Evolution of Earth's Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity
by William C. Burger
Source: Direct from Publisher

This very readable overview of natural history explores the dynamics that have made our planet so rich in biodiversity over time and supported the rise and dominance of our own species.

Tracing the arc of evolutionary history, biologist William C. Burger shows that cooperation and symbiosis have played a critical role in the ever increasing complexity of life on earth. Life may have started from the evolution of cooperating organic molecules, which outpaced their noncooperating neighbors. A prime example of symbiosis was the early incorporation of mitochondria into the eukaryotic cell (through a process called “endosymbiosis”). This event gave these cells a powerful new source of energy. Later, cooperation was again key when millions to trillions of individual eukaryotic cells eventually came together to build the unitary structures of large plants and animals. And cooperation between individuals of the same species resulted in complex animal societies, such as ant colonies and bee hives.

Turning to our own species, the author argues that our ability to cooperate, along with incessant inter-group conflict, has driven the advancement of cultures, the elaboration of our technologies, and made us the most “invasive” species on the planet. But our very success has now become a huge problem, as our world dominion threatens the future of the biosphere and confronts us with a very uncertain future.

Thought-provoking and full of fascinating detail, this eloquently told story of life on earth and our place within it presents a grand perspective and raises many important questions.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781633881938

Genres: Biological Diversity, Botany, Evolution, Life Science, Non-Fiction, Science


Published by Prometheus Books

on 14th June, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 380

Published By: Prometheus Books (@prometheusbks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #Nature, #Conservation, #Biodiversity + #ScienceBooks

About William C. Burger

William C. Burger

William C. Burger is Curator Emeritus of the Department of Botany at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of the highly acclaimed Flowers: How They Changed the World and Perfect Planet, Clever Species.

Read More

Divider

Posted Friday, 28 April, 2017 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Asteroid Science, AstroBotany, Biblical History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book for University Study, Bookish Discussions, Botany, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Education & Learning, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, GeoPhysical History, History, Horticulture, Indie Author, Industrial Revolution, Jorie the Writer, Marine Biology, Natural Disasters & Catastrophic Events, Nature & Wildlife, Non-Fiction, Oceanography, Paleontology, Preservation, Prometheus Books, Science, Space Science, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upcycle & Recycle Practices

Book Review | “Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye projects for your home & wardrobe” by Sasha Duerr #BloggingForBooks

Posted Thursday, 27 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Fiber Art Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “Natural Color” direct from the publisher Watson-Guptill (an imprint of Crown Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to review a book about Natural Dyes:

As I have intermittently tweeted on Twitter and mentioned off-handedly on my blog, I am a knitty girl at heart who loves creating projects out of the stitches she casts onto her bamboo needles! The afterglow of feeling the Zen of creativity by knitting is wondrous, too! I feel renewed somehow by the method of focusing on stitches and the throwing of yarn one inch at a time whilst creating this wholly new ‘something’ out of what as once a simple hank or skein of yarn!

I took up knitting alongside my Mum, as we were seeking a new Mum & daughter hobby we could pursue together that was a bit easier on the budget than rubberstamp art & mixed media collage; inasmuch as saving on long distance commute times, as the former only had shoppes which were so far afield from our local region, you had to nearly take a TARDIS just to arrive home in time! Laughs. No seriously! We felt it was time to re-direct our time and creative hearts – so whilst I was saying ‘good-bye’ to my twenties we discovered we both were itching to take up knitting!

Mum was returning to the craft after *forty!* plus years absent from it’s yarny blissitude and I, was the dyslexic whose previously failed attempt to learn how to properly cast-on was not going to blind her to the prospect of finding a teacher *somewhere!* who could get her to master the long lost art by combining two styles of knitting to formulate her own hybrid style! The way I approach knitting is AmeriBritish inasmuch as my personal writing voice reflects the unique combination of bi-continental influences!

When we first started to notice we were ‘catching-on’ to knitting together with a fierce passion, we started to dream a bit about what we could do in the future with our ‘newfound’ love and skill set! Mum was re-encouraging herself to contemplate picking up crochet on the side; whereas I decided that would muddle knitting for me if I attempted it. (too confusing to keep it all separate!) Whilst I started leaning towards natural dyes, more complicated patterns (ie. my heart is set on learning Fair Isle!) and potentially learning how to spin roving.We started to contemplate how to move forward in our journey with fiber arts, each finding our own pathways to walk! Some of what we want to do is together and a few times we’ll divert and take separate paths!

The beauty for us both, is finding a green and natural way to craft! I developed several allergies in childhood and as an adult, I live as green as I can by using alternative household products and by seeking out arts and craft projects which do not upset my allergy triggers by the toxicity of products which tend to flood the market. This is one reason why we love using Natural Yarns (except for the synthetics we sometimes receive as Charity Knitters; such as Acrylic); and by extension, a natural way to dye our own yarn would be quite ideal! Hence why I was so wicked excitement when I first saw this book come up for review! Imagining how we could take our love of this craft one step further and find ways to ‘create our own fiber colour palette’ naturally would be incredible!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

Posted Thursday, 27 April, 2017 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Eco-Friendly, Education & Learning, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Solutions, Green-Minded Social Awareness, Horticulture, Knitting, Non-Fiction, Old World Arts & Crafts, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upcycle & Recycle Practices

+Blog Book Tour+ Seeing Green by Annabel Hertz Whilst engaged in the dialogue of #ThinkGreen & #EnvironmentalAdvocacy

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Seeing Green by Annabel Hertz

Seeing Green Virtual Book Tour with JKS Communications

Published By: Self-Published, 15 April, 2014
Official Author Websites: Twitter | Facebook
Available Formats: Softcover
Page Count: 223

Converse on Twitter: #AnnabelHertz

Top Green Tags: #ThinkGreen, #ecofriendly, #greenpublishing, #sustainability

As much as I loved using: #EarthDay2014 & #EarthDay !!

Will be using: #EarthDayEveryday

Others include: #environment, #GoGreen, #Upcycle, #Recycle, #GreenGrowth

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Seeing Green” virtual book tour through JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from JKS Communications, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comInspiring Speech on behalf of the Earth Summit of 1992:

Severn Cullis-Suzuki at Rio Summit 1992 via We Canada

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Synopsis:Seeing Green by Annabel Hertz

Drawing on clever social commentary and her own experience in the political realm, author Annabel Hertz will get readers “Seeing Green” in no time.

Her new book “Seeing Green” (April 15, 2014) steps into the world of cutthroat politics and environmental policy as seen through the eyes of a young multicultural woman whose personal life seems to parallel her professional life as an activist on the front-lines of Washington D.C. in the ’90s. Never afraid to articulate her personal convictions, Hertz’s modern day heroine is strong and profound, yet humorous and relatable.

Author Biography:

Annabel Hertz“Seeing Green” is Hertz’s first endeavor in historical fiction, much like the protagonist she introduces in “Seeing Green,” Hertz has delved into the world of politics with organizations involved in international relations and sustainable development. More recently, she served as a policy consultant, adjunct professor at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations and Global Governance Fellow at the World Economic Forum.

“Seeing Green” is Hertz’s debut novel. She holds master’s degrees from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and San Francisco State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree from the University of California where she studied politics. Hertz is currently pursuing a doctorate in international relations at American University in Washington D.C.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comMy thoughts on Environmental Concerns:

I do have a conscience heart for the environment which is why Seeing Green appeals to me! Ever since 5th grade (1989-90) as on take your parent to school day one of my classmates Dad came in to talk about environmental science, preservation, and activism! Combined with seeing Medicine Man that same year, you could say I was a natural environmental advocate! My early experience in getting into the dialogue of environmental concerns and progressive thoughts towards action, responsibility, and response has endeared me to the topic for life. It is a lot of motivation for a ten year old in other words! I have even seen my environmental heart bleed into my writing life, as most of the stories I write organically have a flowing stream of conscience interwoven into the on-going conversation on how best to conserve, preserve, reduce, recycle, and sustain our natural resources as much as the natural environment of the Earth’s ecosystem which sits quite fragile in the wake of our advances.

Previously, I hosted Sandra Leesmith (author of “Love’s Promises” which is an upcoming book review outside of her official blog tour) during a Cover Reveal post to help alert the word to readers of her next novel’s release. I appreciate taking part in these projects for authors as I am not only an advocate for certain causes but I am a true blue bookcheerleader to the level that if there is a book I feel passionately about I am quite eager to champion its cause on my blog! Ms. Leesmith returned to Jorie Loves A Story for an Author Interview which knitted together into a conjoined conversation about the environment and my own personal thoughts about green-minded publishing practices and the dedication of those in the industry who are already taking strides to green our books!

Regular readers, subscribers, and visitors of Jorie Loves A Story will start to see more blog posts dedicated to this vein of dialogue, thought, and supposition as it is a personal passion of mine as a reader, a book blogger, a patron of public libraries, and a citizen of Earth. There are already sub-focuses in place threaded into the heart of my blog (i.e. adoption stories in fiction, Children’s Literature, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Classical Literature, Inspirational Fiction Authors, etc) however this will evolve and turn into a new resource in my blog’s sidebar as I compile the links I am uncovering to help spread the word and empower readers, writers, and other enthused supporters of green-minded practices inside the publishing industry. You will also start to denote a new ‘category’ attached to my book reviews which will be “The Ecological Factor” which will give credence of recognition for books printed by green methods and/or produced with sustainability practices.

Likewise, before my blog’s official first birthday on 6th of August, 2014 I am hopeful to not only flesh out my sidebar to include more links than it already contains, but to keep them updated for bookish events stateside, throughout the Canadian Provinces, and around the world as I find the events which pique my own interest to attend if I were able to do so. I always encourage readers to contact me if they know of a link which would befit inclusion in my sidebar by either leaving me a blog comment on a post OR through using my Contact Form under “My Bookish Life“.

Jorie Loves A Story is truly a work-in-progress and as I grow in knowledge so too will my bookish blog! Always remember to scout out a sighting for “Related Articles” at the bottom of my posts as those are hand-selected by me, viewed & read prior to inclusion and are knitted to the topic or subject at hand. Each top menu of my blog has a supporting page (except for “Stories” as I swapped out “Home” for a word more relevant! although, if you hover you will find categories of ‘stories’ to click-over too!) as well as drop-down supporting categories to easily guide you on your way through my blog! Clouds for topics, subjects, genres, authors, and publishers are located in the lower portion of my sidebar for convenience.

As I expand into more topics on the environment I look forward to the ensuing conversations left in the comment threads and/or in tweets on Twitter! I am always humbled and grateful for each person who takes a moment to contact me and to extend the joy of what is being shared and discussed. My plan is also to seek out pro-positive and honest stories both in fiction and non-fiction which have an under-thread of environmental science or green-minded practices to help paint a positive light on a subject that is too oft-times controversial. Thank you for always being open to take the journey with me!

My Review of Seeing Green:

As I began the story inside Seeing Green, my mind instantly propelled me backwards into my own childhood’s eye of knowing fully the importance of Earth Summits and the ability to have world leaders openly discuss and talk about a pro-positive future for saving the environment as much as endeavouring to harness practices which will not continue to forsake natural resources. As a young girl I could see the fragility of the Earth simply by observation of the natural world outside the confines of my everyday wanderings. There are examples of the harshness humans can inflict on nature and on natural resources if you bend your eyes, heart, and mind towards viewing the natural environment through the eyes of those who inhabit the world outside our civilised cities and townes. The ecological ramifications are deeper than any of us could hope to emphatically understand yet within the hope of what we can achieve lies the greatest surge to rectify our mistakes and champion the wisdom from what we have learnt in their wake.

I should not have smirked in acknowledgement of a behest of disillusioned frustration towards America’s inability to take the bull by the horns on the global stage to initiate environmental protocols, but how could I not smirk? Herein the smirk refers to growing up in a country bent towards change but hindered by the ability to make change happen in a way that is not only feasible but truly with the best intentions backed by the knowledge of how to properly put the right changes into action. A murmuring echo of a conversation I had with a German friend of mine and myself had around the Christmastide a few years back came startling back into focus as we had a rather hearty debate by how in the infancy of my country, her country had already triumphed such remarkable strides towards true green living practices such as a non-waste ordinance in cities to recycle all glass bottles – whether in the privacy of your house or out in the errands of your life. Recycle bins are as viable and visible as rubbish bins, which I could sympathise with as that was one of my dreams for my own future whilst living with the knowledge that progress takes a slower road towards the change she felt was second nature.

I had to nod in recognition of the fact that women’s fashion designs have completely jumped the rails as far as what a true woman’s figure actually can hold within its being! At 18, I was plumb aghast, appalled, and properly gobsmacked by how fashion had altered its perception of real women and real bodies, whilst attempting to compartmentalise all of us into a cookie-cutter blueprint which does not exist in the real world. I hope all women rock the creative out-of-box mentality I have done in seeking femininity in a world bent against the true essence of the woman divine.

I loved Arcani’s Aunt Lilian’s sense of knowing how to uplift her niece’s spirits even without knowing the full details of what stressed her to the brink of needing a cup of comfort and love. The novel is writ with a no nonsense approach of being true to self-identity as much as understanding ethnicity from a new perspective of a modern woman making her way in the worlds whilst holding onto the elements of what make her whole as a Native American. Owning her heritage and marvelling at how her sister Caroline would fail a test if asked of her Hopi roots.

Arcani herself is lit afire by an intense desire to help the Earth and to pull back the excessive need of humanity’s drive towards consumption and exploitation of viable natural resources. Through her eyes we are taken back to a near-future outlook in the 1990s where hope was a thin determined line towards socioeconomic change in a lack of green-minded initiation. She sees the world as a half empty glass of exhausted lost causes through the apathy and stagnation she observes by how everyday life and the errands therein function. Her anguish over knowing her heart’s calling and the inclination of obstinate opposition deflects her rage but reaffirms her grit in rising above the stacked challenges to make a difference in a world bent against anything changing at all.

Her reconnection to her parent’s origins and the roots of her history as a Hopi were explored as she returned to where her parents had once lived. By going back to find a semblance of what once was she started to reveal bits of her authentic self and in so doing, enabled her to move forward towards a future that would be decided on her terms; not on the wanton hopes of others. She even found a soothsayer whose wisdom painted a calming balm of grandfatherly love around her shoulders which was ached for as a connection of the heart. His guidance allowed her to see what was blocked to her before their encounter: at times when a blockage of progress cannot be released due to a conflict which is not easily resolved, one must seek the middle way of eclipsing the muddlement of stasis. Life provides us with an innate ability to determine our own fate whilst giving us the opportunity to impact the lives of those we endeavour to protect by changing the way in which we live today.

 

On how far we still have yet to go:

Extending out of my second paragraph of my review of Seeing Green, I wanted to empathsis that there are communities and towneships already riding on the wave of progress towards a viable augmentation of pro-ecological and environmental change. Communities which support the locovore and slow food movements to discourage the trucking of fresh fruit and veg outside of a window of 100 miles. Communities which ignite a fever of hope by helping make recycling resources available to everyone either by curbside pick-up bins or by implementing the recycling bins at key sites in close proximity to where neighbourhoods can commute. Rainwater collection bins on the outside of homes are replacing the excessive use of water tapped from city or county water lines as residents find new ways to adapt to water shortages whilst enabling them freedom to water more often for their personal needs.

Homeless shelters and missions are implementing self-sustaining practices by growing tracts of organic and/or non-chemical crops to not only feed their own but to outsource the surplus to gain back a living wage to those in need of it most. Community co-ops for health food, local produce, and local / state made products are sprouting up to take place of national green-grocers who cannot always serve the locality sector as well or with as many benefits to local trade and commerce. Local forest and park officers are finding non-chemical ways of treating insect pests and protecting local water resources such as lake, stream, river, and estuaries from being cross-contaminated. Solar powered rubbish and recycle bins are being inserted around downtown centers of business to help encourage pedestrians to pitch wiser and with a green heart in mind.

Certain restaurants and eateries are backing away from using takeaway containers which have no recycle or reusable value to them by implementing the use of those that can be turnt back in for a second use. Electric car recharging stations are being sourced and built to give hybrid or full electric car drivers a place to ‘fill their tank’ around county or city buildings. It is easier to compost and reuse kitchen waste than it was say twenty years ago, as much as finding green friendly building supplies, personal hygiene products, house cleaning products, and every imaginable ‘product’ that a person could use in their everyday life.

There are a myriad of changes occurring right now in all our local communities both known or unknown which are creating positive strides towards a better tomorrow. All change is codependent on our own ability to implement the changes we can in our own lives which in effect inspire others to do the same. The ones that I have shared are either in place in my local community and/or are in place in communities around the nation in which I personally know of being practiced.

Yet, despite this turning tide perspective of how far we have come, there is still a heap of work left to do towards creating a greener space for all of us to thrive and build a stronger future for everyone yet bourne. We have to stay resilient and mindful of new ways in which to sustain ourselves and our local communities, not only for food but for water. We have to continue to think outside the box, and find ways to help our neighbours and those in our community who need our assistance. It came be as simple as giving a person a ride who cannot find one otherwise to taking someone to the local farmer’s market to source local produce. It is by finding ways to have local plots available for residents to keep herbs and veg for their own needs as much as finding ways to keep our footprint a bit lighter as we walk through our journey.

We have to be respectful of how far we have come but not to become stagnant and believe that is all we can achieve. It is to keep the dialogue in motion and by instilling the proper hope and belief to everyone coming up behind us that change is a living entity that resides in each of us. Each person can effectively change one singular act of environmental conservation and preservation.

And, this book blogger in particular is encouraged by seeing print books becoming greener with each year non-old growth forest paper is sourced, veg & soy inks are replacing harsher chemicals, and the bindings of books is created using materials which do not destroy more than what we can replace in a kinder more renewing way towards sustainability. Some might advocate for less print books, but for each person who reads electronically may they realise that not every reader can read on a digitalised screen and those of us who read strictly in print format are championing the printers and publishers who are leading the charge for a greener world of literature!

Fly in the Ointment:

I do believe I caught a copy-edit error on page 17, as there is mention of a 2002 model of a car when I believe we were still in the present year of 1992? Normally I shake off a copy-edit error, but in this instance it threw me for a bit of a loop except the rest of the paragraph was most decidedly not taking place in 2002!

Elsewhere I found the minor inclusions of vulgarity to be a bit tame until of course the worst word I think that is oft used too readily for my particular tastes made its first appearance on page 18. As outlined in previous ‘Fly in the Ointments’ I am not one who condones the use of vulgarity to the level of extensiveness as some novels have the tendency of doing. One exception to this preference of mine was ‘Etched On Me‘ which is in a different category altogether in of its own. I transcended the language barrier by finding myself intrigued by Arcani as a character and as a woman struggling to find her feet in environmental advocacy and activism. Her character’s spirit shines strong and is one character I found myself overlooking using words which inwardly make me cringe.

I was a bit puzzled by how a novel written about the environment did not include any disclosure or stamp of sustainable print sources for the paper or for the production of the book. In fact, I nearly felt I had received an ARC except that there isn’t a disclaimer towards this end anywhere I could find inside the book or outside of it. I claimed this as a ‘self-published’ novel due to the fact the only markings of how it exists is the copyright notice (simply a statement of year) and a brief biography of Annabel Hertz on the last page of the novel itself. It is the very first novel I have ever picked up which does not list a Library of Congress listing nor does it have anything between the cover page and the author’s biography except the text of the story itself. It is a bare bones edition which intrigued me to say the least.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Severn Cullis-Suzuki returns to Rio 20 years after stopping the world via Green Cross

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThis book review is courtesy of:

Seeing Green Virtual Book Tour with JKS Communications

Be sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events

to mark your calendars!!

Tour stops I enjoyed for  “Seeing Green”:

Click the tour badge for a full listing!

More will be added here in coming days! As this blog tour is in-progress!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Seeing Green
by Annabel Hertz
Source: Direct from Publicist

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Biological Diversity, Ecology, Literary Fiction, Science, Science & Technology


Published by Self Published Author

on 15th April, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 223

Reader Interactive Question: I am most curious to hear what impression of environmental advocacy and/or environmental protection you grew up with during your own generation inasmuch to see your thoughts on eco-friendly innovations in the comment threads. I welcome the conversation to take on its own thread of interest and to keep a green-minded forum of open exchange on various posts as I move forward with environmental focused book reviews and blog posts. I was a bit surprised by how much I have to share on my own behalf, but I sometimes note that there are certain books whose topic of focus re-fuel our own passions and give us a platform to express of thoughts and opinions. I’d be keen to learn which books (either fiction or non-fiction) on the topic at hand would be recommended for me to seek out to read next after my reading of “Seeing Green”!?

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Seeing Green”, author photograph of Annabel Hertz, author biography & book synopis (taken from the Press Kit) were provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Severn Cullis-Suzuki lectures via We Canada & Green Cross had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
Divider

Posted Thursday, 1 May, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Earth Summit, Eco-Friendly, Ecology, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Green Publishing, Green-Minded Publishers, Green-Minded Social Awareness, Indie Author, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Judaism in Fiction, Native American Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Preservation, Social Change, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Sustainability Practices inside the Publishing Industry, Upcycle & Recycle Practices, Vulgarity in Literature, Yiddish Words & Phrases