The Urban Bestiary is a 2014 Orion Book Award finalist!

April 23, 2014

Lyanda Lynn Haupt's The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild (Little, Brown, 2013) is a nonfiction finalist for the 2014 Orion Book Award!

Winners will be announced in May.

"The challenge of our time is the movement from rural villages to big cities where nature seems gone. Haupt's brilliant book restores nature in our lives and uplifts that relationship with stories full of wonder, awe and love." -David Suzuki, author of The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature

Posted by waleslit on April 23, 2014  |  Permalink

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Badluck Way reviewed in New York Times

March 12, 2014

From the New York Times Sunday Book Review:

After a bout of 20-something wanderlust, Andrews moves from Seattle to southwestern Montana to be a worker on a ranch “committed to conservation and improving the health of the land for wildlife and livestock.” His co-workers there teach him how to worm a horse and ride through the cattle to “settle” them, and never to use the word “cowboy,” except as a verb. Life at the ranch is not without politics.... But the beauty of this book is how such a personal story reflects larger issues about the American West — not just the politics of wildlife and real estate, but the strange, conflicting impulses engendered by such landscapes, illustrated by the day when Andrews pushes rocks off a mountaintop out of sheer joy, sending boulders crashing down into the forest, “shaping the wilderness, if only by punching holes.”

 

Badluck Way by Bryce Andrews (Atria/S&S, 2014) is currently #12 on the PNBA Indie Bookseller List!

 

Posted by waleslit on March 12, 2014  |  Permalink

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ABA Q&A with Bryce Andrews

January 10, 2014

A great interview with Bryce Andrews is up on the American Booksellers Association's website now, as part of their Indies Introduce Debut Authors Q&A. Full interview is here, but here's an excerpt:

 

In Badluck Way, you recount your unique experience of living and working on the fragile interface between tame and wild — a wilderness area and a ranch. Do you think there can ever be peace between ranchers and natural predators?

 

Bryce Andrews: I have more hope for balance, and for coexistence, than I do for a bloodless peace. The lives of ranchers, livestock, and predators unfold on a huge, wild landscape. The Sun Ranch, for example, is around 21,000 acres of benches, hills, creek bottoms, and forests. The Sun, then, is 25 times the size of Central Park. Unlike the park, great swaths of the ranch consist of impenetrable thickets, steep mountainsides, or sinkhole bogs that spell disaster for cattle and horses.

 

In my part of Montana, a rancher must graze his or her herds across a vast, crenulated landscape — a landscape that has grown increasingly full of predators. She or he must do this with the bare minimum of hired help, due to the razor-thin margins of modern agriculture. The end result is that great bunches of dumb, slow, delicious livestock are turned loose each spring in hills that belong to quick-witted, hungry predators. Given what I know about wolves and cattle, it is hard for me to imagine that our summers will ever be wholly without violence. The wolves will take cattle from time to time. Ranchers will lose sleep, and then their tempers.

 

If we hope for something, let it be less blood on both sides of the equation. With each passing year, and each new gruesome wreck, we learn more about how to share the land with predators. Over time, this process can lead us to a form of coexistence that is sustainable, if not entirely peaceful.

 

In Badluck Way, you recount your unique experience of living and working on the fragile interface between tame and wild — a wilderness area and a ranch. Do you think there can ever be peace between ranchers and natural predators?

Bryce Andrews: I have more hope for balance, and for coexistence, than I do for a bloodless peace. The lives of ranchers, livestock, and predators unfold on a huge, wild landscape. The Sun Ranch, for example, is around 21,000 acres of benches, hills, creek bottoms, and forests. The Sun, then, is 25 times the size of Central Park. Unlike the park, great swaths of the ranch consist of impenetrable thickets, steep mountainsides, or sinkhole bogs that spell disaster for cattle and horses.

In my part of Montana, a rancher must graze his or her herds across a vast, crenulated landscape — a landscape that has grown increasingly full of predators. She or he must do this with the bare minimum of hired help, due to the razor-thin margins of modern agriculture. The end result is that great bunches of dumb, slow, delicious livestock are turned loose each spring in hills that belong to quick-witted, hungry predators. Given what I know about wolves and cattle, it is hard for me to imagine that our summers will ever be wholly without violence. The wolves will take cattle from time to time. Ranchers will lose sleep, and then their tempers.

If we hope for something, let it be less blood on both sides of the equation. With each passing year, and each new gruesome wreck, we learn more about how to share the land with predators. Over time, this process can lead us to a form of coexistence that is sustainable, if not entirely peaceful.

- See more at: http://www.bookweb.org/news/indies-introduce-debut-author-qa-bryce-andrews#sthash.8Vq2fVAx.dpuf

In Badluck Way, you recount your unique experience of living and working on the fragile interface between tame and wild — a wilderness area and a ranch. Do you think there can ever be peace between ranchers and natural predators?

Bryce Andrews: I have more hope for balance, and for coexistence, than I do for a bloodless peace. The lives of ranchers, livestock, and predators unfold on a huge, wild landscape. The Sun Ranch, for example, is around 21,000 acres of benches, hills, creek bottoms, and forests. The Sun, then, is 25 times the size of Central Park. Unlike the park, great swaths of the ranch consist of impenetrable thickets, steep mountainsides, or sinkhole bogs that spell disaster for cattle and horses.

In my part of Montana, a rancher must graze his or her herds across a vast, crenulated landscape — a landscape that has grown increasingly full of predators. She or he must do this with the bare minimum of hired help, due to the razor-thin margins of modern agriculture. The end result is that great bunches of dumb, slow, delicious livestock are turned loose each spring in hills that belong to quick-witted, hungry predators. Given what I know about wolves and cattle, it is hard for me to imagine that our summers will ever be wholly without violence. The wolves will take cattle from time to time. Ranchers will lose sleep, and then their tempers.

If we hope for something, let it be less blood on both sides of the equation. With each passing year, and each new gruesome wreck, we learn more about how to share the land with predators. Over time, this process can lead us to a form of coexistence that is sustainable, if not entirely peaceful.

- See more at: http://www.bookweb.org/news/indies-introduce-debut-author-qa-bryce-andrews#sthash.8Vq2fVAx.dpuf

Posted by waleslit on January 10, 2014  |  Permalink

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NYT: Kurt Timmermeister is a "Table-to-Farm Pioneer"

January 3, 2014

Kurt Timmermeister's Vashon Island farm and home was showcased in The New York Times Great Homes & Destinations section last week. Here's a clip:

As the cheese business was growing, he began hosting Sunday dinners, extravagant four-hour, eight-course meals that he and various Seattle chefs cooked using ingredients produced on his land, which he named Kurtwood Farms (Mr. Timmermeister named the farm the year he tried the farmers’ market; he hoped the plural “farms” would give a gloss to his produce.)

These dinners, made and served in the concrete cookhouse he built on the footprint of his old chicken coop, quickly acquired a cult following. Foodies fell all over themselves to snag a seat. Even at $100 a head, they were so oversubscribed that Mr. Timmermeister started asking would-be diners to answer essay questions, in an attempt to winnow down their numbers.

“I got a lot of hate mail,” he said. “But some rose to the challenge. Of course, I didn’t realize how much work it would be to read 200 essays about corn on the cob and then prioritize them. Even then, I had to tell people, ‘You spent an hour writing and I still don’t have a seat for you.’ ”

 

The full article, and a slideshow of Kurt's log cabin, is here.

 

 

Posted by waleslit on January 3, 2014  |  Permalink

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Bryce Andrews on Badluck Way

November 20, 2013

Bryce Andrews discusses his debut memoir, Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West (forthcoming from Atria on January 7, 2014) in the below video. Badluck Way is the story of a man, a wolf, and what happens when circumstances lead to their collision.

 

 

Posted by waleslit on November 20, 2013  |  Permalink

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Great Reviews for Growing a Feast by Kurt Timmermeister

November 13, 2013

Kurt Timmermeister's forthcoming book Growing a Feast: The Chronicle of a Farm-to-Table Meal (W.W. Norton, Jan 2014) is harvesting some excellent advance praise:

Verdict: Timmermeister has created a feast not just for his dinner guests but for his readers as well. Fans of food and of farm memoirs who have the patience for this journey are in for a treat. --Library Journal

At the end of summer, Timmermeister (Growing a Farmer, 2011) presides over a luscious feast for 20 guests at his 13-acre dairy farm on Vashon Island, Washington. In this beautifully written book, the former restaurateur details the long labor of love behind the feast that began two years earlier with the birth of a calf, Alice...Timmermeister guides the reader through the seasons and the rhythms of planting and harvesting, conveying the visual, aural, and tactile pleasure of growing food. Joining him in his enterprise are a host of food-conscious characters, from Leda, who trades seeds for cheese, to Bill, whose large, thin-skinned tomatoes will find their way into a cake. A delight for foodies, this astonishing book includes recipes for the feast dishes. --Booklist

 

 

 


Posted by waleslit on November 13, 2013  |  Permalink

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Outstanding Boston Globe Review of Lyanda Lynn Haupt's Latest

October 2, 2013

The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown, 2013) scored a great review from the Boston Globe. Here is a snippet from the full review:

 

The book is an eloquent natural history of urban wildlife, and an insightful rumination on how the human animal has/should/might relate to what Haupt calls the “new nature.” “[T]he romantic vision of nature as separate from human activity,” she writes, “must be replaced by the realistic sense that all of nature, no matter how remote, is affected by what we do and how we live.”

While this perspective is a recent shift in nature writing, it is not new. Many writers (David Gessner, Bill McKibben, Sandra Steingraber, etc.) and many journals (Orion, Environment, High Country News, etc.) have been defining this new nature for at least a decade. And Haupt makes a significant contribution to that conversation.

Rather than attempting to discover pockets of “pure” wilderness in remote locales, she instead recovers the wilderness in her own backyard. This is evident in the species of mammals that she writes about: raccoons, moles, squirrels, rats, opossums, and coyotes. The birds are equally ordinary: starlings, sparrows, pigeons, hawks, owls, crows, and the species that she raises — chickens.

Self-described as an “urban naturalist,” Haupt shares her observations from her Seattle home in a personal and engaging voice that moves seamlessly between backyard anecdotes and analysis of their ecological implications.

 

 

 

Posted by waleslit on October 2, 2013  |  Permalink

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Fantastic Starred PW review for Lyanda Lynn Haupt's The Urban Bestiary

September 17, 2013

Lyanda Lynn Haupt's just-published The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild (Little, Brown) grabbed a great starred review from this week's Publishers Weekly:

In this sparkling follow-up to Crow Planet, Haupt returns to the urban wilds, this time familiarizing the reader with the wildlife ecology within their own backyards. From the ubiquitous squirrel, to the seldom seen coyote, or the subterranean mole, Haupt seeks to demystify the lives of the animals that commonly surround us, even in the most urban and seemingly unnatural settings... Packed with information yet conversation in style, this nature memoir invites backyard birdwatchers and amateur naturalists to take a moment to be still, observant, and to discover that the wild world really does extend into our own lives, and even still today, we are too a part of that wild.

Posted by waleslit on September 17, 2013  |  Permalink

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Washington State Book Awards Winner: The Rocks Don't Lie by David Montgomery

September 16, 2013

The 2013 Washington State Book Awards were announced last week. David Montgomery's The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood (W.W. Norton, 2012) won the history/general nonfiction category. Congratulations, David!

According to the Seattle Times, there will be a party celebrating this year's winners at the Richard Hugo House on October 3rd.

Posted by waleslit on September 16, 2013  |  Permalink

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Lyanda Lynn Haupt's Latest on the Amazon Books Best Books of September 2013 List

September 4, 2013

The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown, September 17, 2013) is one of Amazon Books' Best Nonfiction Books of September 2013. Congratulations, Lyanda!

Posted by waleslit on September 4, 2013  |  Permalink

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