Tag Archives: Book Club

June Book Discussion: Zoobiquity by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers

By Emily Clever

For many people who are concerned about the environment, we understand that our success is tied to the success of other species. While we may understand how our shared environment connects us we may not always see how our shared biology connects us. Those connections result in conditions and diseases that may be the same or closely related. Zoobiquity provides a fascinating insight into conditions and diseases that are shared across multiple species. They range from cancer, drug addiction, mental health to weight issues.  

Thankfully the book is not a suspense novel so I don’t feel too bad about providing you with the ending since it summarizes the book and its importance much better than I can.

“Our essential connection with animals is ancient, and it runs deep. It extends from body to behavior, from psychology to society – forming the basis of our daily journey of survival. This calls for physicians and patients to think beyond the human bedside to barnyards, jungles, oceans, and skies. Because the fate of our world’s health doesn’t depend solely on how we humans fare. Rather, it will be determined by how all the patients on the planet live, grow, get sick, and heal.”

Please join us Tuesday June 26th, 7pm at River Action in Davenport, IA

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March Book Discussion: The Swamp by Michael Grunwald

By Olivia Dorothy

Al Gore lost the election because of Florida… but why did he lose Florida?

According to the author of our March book, The Swamp by Michael Grunwald, the Florida Everglades, America’s Swamp, has played in integral part in United States history and politics.  It’s a history that is often unrecognized and underappreciated, but the timing of our March selection couldn’t be better as new information is emerging about the early multi-cultural settlements in Florida.

If you’re a PBS fan like me, you may have caught the recent Secrets of the Dead episode on Spanish Florida, which highlighted the post-European contact settlements and societies that were founded long before Jamestown and Plymouth.  The documentary is an excellent companion to Grunwald’s book.  If you haven’t seen it, go online and watch it now.

In his book, Grunwald explores the natural and human history of the Everglades and how it’s influenced our national policies and politics.  The Everglades has been home to people for at least 14,000 years where its rich ecosystem supported some of the earliest human settlements in North America.  But it wasn’t until United States became a country did we start to see these rich resources exploited and the swamp drained for development.

The progression of the region from the wildest of wildernesses to penultimate engineering marvel to National Park mirrors the progression of our national conservation conscience.  Indeed, Grunwald argues, the region is intractably intertwined with our national politics, including presidential elections and even the policies that have shaped the develop of the Mississippi River.

Regardless of whether you’ve visited central Florida or the Everglades you’ll be able to relate to the place through Grunwald’s articulate history.  So make time to read The Swamp (it is a long book) and join us for our book discussion on March 27 at 7PM at River Action.