Six for Sunday – Books with a Nature theme.

A year ago, I posted my first book blog post and it was a Six for Sunday post. That was my first time dipping my toe into the bookblogging ocean so it seemed appropriate to do a Six for Sunday post today, 52 weeks later.

Six for Sunday is the brainchild of Steph and details can be found on her blog here . Each week there is a different theme so it’s a bit like a book scavenger hunt. This week, the theme is books about nature. Below are the six books that I have read that stand out for me.

What would your favourite books with a Nature theme be?

Islands of Abandonment – a review

Blurb from Goodreads:
Investigative journalist Cal Flyn’s ISLANDS OF ABANDONMENT, an exploration of the world’s most desolate, abandoned places that have now been reclaimed by nature, from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to the “urban prairie” of Detroit to the irradiated grounds of Chernobyl, in an ultimately redemptive story about the power and promise of the natural world. 

I saw an article about this book in a newspaper and was intrigued by the idea. I love ruins and have spent many hours poking around ruined castles etc so a book about abandoned places really appealed. I’m so glad that I read it as it was truly excellent as well as being eye-opening.

The book is about those places that humans have touched and then for various reasons abandoned. One or two are actual islands but most are areas, some remote, that humans have largely given up on. Cal Flyn has visited 12 of these places around the world and looked at how nature has gradually reclaimed the land.

When she began the research for the book, Cal Flyn expected it to be a book of darkness where she visited the worst places in the world. However, she found something very different. “In fact, it is a story of redemption: how the most polluted spots on Earth can be rehabilitated through ecological processes.”

The book is split into four parts with a different focus in each one.

The first part which is the longest is centred on four sites in Europe where humans used to live and have now moved away. The author starts in her home country of Scotland but then moves to Northern Cyprus, Chernobyl and Estonia. I was astonished at her findings in this section especially in the section on the abandoned collective farms in the old Soviet Union. As the farms were abandoned when the Soviet Union fell, nature returned. Acres of land were reclaimed and the hypothesis is that this has created a huge carbon sink which is partly counter-balancing the loss of forests in Brazil and elsewhere.

The second is places which haven’t quite been abandoned completely and covers Detroit and Paterson New Jersey. Here people are still living although in much smaller numbers than previously and nature is again, taking back its territory.

In part three, she covers places where humans have left a huge impact on the land which still persists today. The chapter on the botanical garden in Tanzania was especially thought provoking.

The final section is called Endgame and looks at places where humans have practically destroyed the environment. This section is the bleakest as she looks at how badly we have polluted some areas beyond all hope of repair. But even here, nature is fighting back.

I was engrossed by this book and fascinated by the author’s findings. It was quite an easy read, there is some Scientific background but this is perfectly understandable by a non-scientist such as myself. The text is enhanced by photographs of most of the sites but in actual fact, her descriptions are so vivid that you could easily manage without them. The writing is often almost poetic as she wanders around those derelict and abandoned sites.

Climate change is a constant presence in the book but her findings are more optimistic than might have been expected.

“Time is, after all, the great healer. The question is: How long does it need?. Then, How long have we got’. It may not be long”

It is a book of hope that maybe not all is lost. Despite everything that we do to harm our world, Nature still fights back.

I am so glad that I read this book and recommend it to anyone with any interest in how we impact our environment.

This is the third book towards my Non Fiction reader challenge hosted by Shelley Rae at Book’dout

Stacking the Shelves 31

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It’s Saturday and the sun is shining. Welcome to the weekend and another Stacking the Shelves post. Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Marlene at Reading Reality and details are on her blog. The gorgeous graphic is also used courtesy of the site.

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

My STS posts are generally my library books. The library is where I get most of my books and I hope that maybe I can inspire other people to use their local library. Our libraries are constantly under threat of closure but the more people that use them, the less likely that is. My library is also how I manage to read a lot of newly released hardbacks as I can order them. Sometimes they can take quite a while to arrive if a title is really popular though.

This week I didn’t even bother to look at what was on the shelves as I had four books that I had reserved arrive since my last visit. That’s quite enough to keep me occupied for this week.

This week’s library haul

Look at the pretty blue/green colour coordination too. Completely accidental but very fitting for today’s lovely weather.

We were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard
I picked up Roxanne Bouchard’s second book about DS Joaquin Morales a few weeks ago and loved it. This is the first book set on the remote Gaspe Peninsula in Canada.

The Tenant by Katrine Engberg
This Nordic crime series was recommended by Elnade at Confessions of a Serial Reader and I’m hoping that it’s as good as others that I’ve read in this genre.

A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle
I requested this on NetGalley but wasn’t approved so I ordered it from the library instead. I’m glad as I think it will be much nicer to read the nice shiny hardback. A murder mystery set on an Atlantic liner in 1924. This book ticks so many boxes. I really hope it lives up to my expectations.

Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn
My next non fiction read. Abandoned places and ruins hold such a fascination for me that I had to read this when I saw it reviewed in a recent paper. It’s all about what happens to places like Chernobyl and parts of Detroit when the people leave and nature moves back in.

I’m really looking forward to reading all of these as well as ticking off another couple on my NetGalley shelf. I’m gradually working my way along my shelf however I have been approved for another 4 this week 😃. That might be the subject of next week’s STS post.

What have you added to your bookshelf this week?