Nature Study Reading Society
The Nature Study Reading Society is devoted to reading and discussing an array of nature books. Book group discussions are generally held on the second Friday every other month from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. During COVID-19 we will be meeting virtually via Zoom, which is available on tablets, computers or smartphones, or even by telephone (without the video component). We will reassess the format of these meetings in late fall. For more information, or to join the group contact [email protected] or call 804-262-9887 x275.
August 14, 2020 (Zoom)
by Robert Macfarlane
Macfarlane explores place-words: terms for aspects of landscape, nature, and weather, drawn from dozens of languages and dialects of the British Isles.
September 11, 2020 (Zoom)
The Sea Around Us
by Rachel Carson
Originally published in 1951, Carson’s book provides a timely reminder of both the fragility and the centrality of the ocean and the life that abounds within it.
November 13, 2020 (Zoom)
American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic
by Victoria Johnson
This groundbreaking biography tells the story of the physician who built America’s first botanical garden.
January 8, 2021
Erosion: Essays of Undoing
by Terry Tempest Williams
Williams sizes up the continuing assaults on America’s public lands and the erosion of our commitment to the open space of democracy.
March 12, 2021
by Richard Powers
The Overstory, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is an impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a paean to the natural world.
Life List: A Woman’s Quest for the Most Amazing Birds
by Olivia Gentile
A frustrated housewife sets out to see more bird species than anyone in history—and ends up risking her life again and again in the wildest places on earth.
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
by Cynthia Barnett
It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world’s water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.
Martin Doyle tells the epic story of America and its rivers, from the U.S. Constitution’s roots in interstate river navigation, the origins of the Army Corps of Engineers, the discovery of gold in 1848, and the construction of the Hoover Dam and the TVA during the New Deal, to the failure of the levees in Hurricane Katrina and the water wars in the west.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
by Robin Wall Kimmerer
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).
Chesapeake Requiem is an intimate look at the island’s past, present and tenuous future, by an acclaimed journalist who spent much of the past two years living among Tangier’s people, crabbing and oystering with its watermen, and observing its long traditions and odd ways.
A Naturalist at Large: The Best Essays of Bernd Heinrich
by Bernd Heinrich
From one of the finest scientist/writers of our time comes an engaging record of a life spent in close observation of the natural world, one that has yielded “marvelous, mind-altering” (Los Angeles Times) insight and discoveries.