BookShelf

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The BookShelf features regular reviews of the latest environmental books of interest to journalists, as well as an occasional Between the Lines question-and-answer feature in which published authors offer insight into the motivations behind their work and provide advice to environmental reporters and writers.

For questions and comments, or to suggest future BookShelf reviews or Between the Lines interviews, or to offer to review a book, email the SEJournal BookShelf editor Tom Henry at thenry@theblade.com.

February 5, 2020

  • The Mekong River is a lifeline for millions and a biodiversity hotspot. But massive hydropower projects have put the Southeast Asian body of water, as well as the lives of the people and natural world around it, in serious jeopardy. In the latest BookShelf, writer Melody Kemp, who lives alongside the legendary river, reviews two volumes that help explain what’s killing the Mekong.

January 8, 2020

  • Sometimes in the face of bad news, it can help to laugh a little. That’s what award-winning environmental writer Craig Pittman may help readers do with his new dispatch from the Sunshine State. Our latest BookShelf reviews Pittman’s upcoming witty, truth-telling volume,“Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle To Save the Florida Panther.”

December 11, 2019

November 6, 2019

  • A new book, “Giants of the Monsoon Forest,” offers an intimate look at the lives of working elephants in conflict-ridden Myanmar, where one of the planet’s most majestic animals faces increasing pressures. BookShelf reviewer Melody Kemp, based in Laos, describes her own experience with elephants, their surprising history with man and hopeful possibilities for their future.

October 2, 2019

September 4, 2019

  • The new book, “Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy,” takes what our reviewer calls an illuminating look into the politics and economics of energy development. The volume examines the decade-long effort to build long-distance transmission lines for wind-generated electricity. More in our latest BookShelf review.

June 5, 2019

  • Marine ecologist Drew Harvell’s new book makes the case that the world’s oceans are sick and that few are paying enough attention. According to our latest BookShelf review, her “Ocean Outbreak” takes readers on a panoramic journey through the deep, while equipping reporters to better report problems that go well beyond climate change.

May 1, 2019

  • Washington, D.C.’s long-neglected Anacostia River bears both tragedy and beauty. And author Krista Schlyer plumbs its depths in her most recent book, “River of Redemption.” In this Between the Lines, she speaks of her connection to the urban waterway, as well as her latest reporting on the environmental impact of the border wall.

April 3, 2019

  • Does the military use ecological restoration as a means to “green” over the complex relationship between nature and culture, undermining the impacts of history and warfare? Our latest BookShelf review of the new volume, “Bombs Away: Militarization, Conservation, and Ecological Restoration,” explores one author’s argument that it does.

February 13, 2019

  • A former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has written a powder keg of a book, “Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator.” Author Gregory Jaczko left the post in 2012, far more critical of nuclear power’s safety claims than he came in, his concerns amplified by the Fukushima meltdown in Japan in 2011. Now, he worries that its lessons have not sunk in deeply enough with an industry that he believes is headed toward catastrophe. Read our latest BookShelf review.

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