Archives de catégorie : Essay


THIRTEEN WAYS TO SMELL A TREE takes you on a journey to connect with trees through the sense most aligned to our emotions and memories.

by David George Haskell
‎ Octopus UK/Viking US, October 2021
(via The Martell Agency)

Thirteen essays are included that explore the evocative scents of trees, from the smell of a book just printed as you first open its pages, to the calming scent of Linden blossom, to the ingredients of a particularly good gin & tonic. In your hand: a highball glass, beaded with cool moisture. In your nose: the aromatic embodiment of globalized trade. The spikey, herbal odour of European juniper berries. A tang of lime juice from a tree descended from wild progenitors in the foothills of the Himalayas. Bitter quinine, from the bark of the South American cinchona tree, spritzed into your nostrils by the pop of sparkling tonic water. Take a sip, feel the aroma and taste of three continents converge.
Each essay also contains a practice the reader is invited to experience. For example, taking a tree inventory of our own home, appreciating just how many things around us came from trees. And if you’ve ever hugged a tree when no one was looking, try breathing in the scents of different trees that live near you, the smell of pine after the rain, the refreshing, mind-clearing scent of a eucalyptus leaf crushed in your hand.

British-born biologist, award-winning author and celebrated academic David George Haskell’s work integrates scientific, literary and contemplative studies of the natural world. Haskell holds degrees from the University of Oxford (BA) and from Cornell University (PhD). He is Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of the South, where he served as Chair of Biology. His scientific research on animal ecology, evolution and conservation has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the World Wildlife Fund among others. He serves on the boards and advisory committees of local and national land conservation groups. His previous books include The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors and The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature.

IMAGINABLE de Jane McGonigal

A dynamic, optimistic, science-driven work by a New York Times bestselling writer and designer of alternate reality games that trains us to see the future as a futurist does―and prepares us to thrive in that future when it arrives (sooner than we think).

How to Pick Ourselves Up, Heal from the Pandemic, and Prepare for a Decade of Unthinkable Change
by Jane McGonigal
Spiegel & Grau, March 2022
(via The Gernert Company)

After living through the massive global shock and trauma of Covid-19, one of the most disruptive events in human history, we need to find a way to face the future with optimism. But how can we plan for a better future when it feels impossible to predict what the world will be like next week, let alone next year or in the next decade? What we need are new tools to help us recover our confidence, creativity, and hope in the face of an uncertain future. In Imaginable, world-renowned future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal draws on the latest scientific research in psychology and neuroscience to show us how to train our brains to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable. Using gaming strategies and fun, thought-provoking challenges that she designed specifically for this book, she helps us build our collective imagination to dive into the future before we live it and envision, in surprising detail, what our lives will look like ten years out.
In IMAGINABLE, McGonigal teaches us to identify the challenges that lie ahead in the next decade―big and small, personal and global; shape a better future that solves for those challenges; and access “urgent optimism,” an unstoppable motivational force that inspires us to be fearless, resilient, and bold in realizing a world we can only imagine.

Jane McGonigal, PhD, is a senior researcher at the Institute for the Future and the author of The New York Times bestseller Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times and on MTV, CNN, and NPR. Her TED talks on games have been viewed more than ten million times.

WOKE RACISM de John McWhorter

Acclaimed linguist, New York Times bestseller and award-winning writer John McWhorter argues that an illiberal neoracism, disguised as antiracism, is hurting Black communities and weakening the American social fabric, and offers a roadmap to justice that actually will help, not hurt, Black America.

by John McWhorter
Portfolio, October 2021
(Writers House)

Americans of good will on both the left and the right are secretly asking themselves the same question: how has the conversation on race in America gone so crazy? We’re told to read books and listen to music by people of color but that wearing certain clothes is “appropriation.” We hear that being white automatically gives you privilege and that being Black makes you a victim. We want to speak up but fear we’ll be seen as unwoke, or worse, labeled a racist. According to John McWhorter, the problem is that a well-meaning but pernicious form of antiracism has become, not a progressive ideology, but a religion—and one that’s illogical, unreachable, and unintentionally neoracist.
In WOKE RACISM, McWhorter reveals the workings of this new religion, from the original sin of “white privilege” and the weaponization of cancel culture to ban heretics, to the evangelical fervor of the “woke mob.” He shows how this religion that claims to “dismantle racist structures” is actually harming his fellow Black Americans by infantilizing Black people, setting Black students up for failure, and passing policies that disproportionately damage Black communities. The new religion might be called “antiracism,” but it features a racial essentialism that’s barely distinguishable from racist arguments of the past.

John McWorther was recently on Real Time with Bill Maher and eloquently describes his point of view:

John H. McWhorter teaches linguistics, American studies, and music history at Columbia University. He is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and host of Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast. McWhorter is the author of twenty books, including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, and Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English.


A major new essay collection from the National Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams.

by Barry Lopez
Random House, Fall 2021

These new and collected essays from the acclaimed naturalist Barry Lopez—his final undertaking—represent the culmination of a lifetime’s thought in service of our relationship with wilderness, and with each other. Here, his collected essays offer a unifying vision; his drive to reconnect the cultural and the natural is unflinching, and major, never-published pieces offer profound commentary on topics that veer from the autobiographical—his abuse as a child—to the evolution of his views on the untamed. His classic prose, like the arctic landscape he elegized, remains as ever: “spare, balanced, extended…” It has been said that Barry Lopez understood what we gain when we accept the enormity of what we don’t know; these essays hinge on that tantalizing concept.

Barry Lopez (1945-2020) was the author of thirteen books of essays, short stories, and nonfiction. He was a recipient of the National Book Award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous other literary and cultural honors and awards. His highly acclaimed books include Horizon, Arctic Dreams, Winter Count, and Of Wolves and Men, for which he received the John Burroughs and Christopher medals.


In THE SEARCH FOR THE GENUINE, a collection of new and previously published essays, the giant of letters muses on everything from grouse hunting to Zen Buddhism and matters of the spirit…

by Jim Harrison
Grove Press, November 2021

New York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison (1937-2016) was a writer with a poet’s economy of style and trencherman’s appetites and ribald humor. In THE SEARCH FOR THE GENUINE, a collection of new and previously published essays, the giant of letters muses on everything from grouse hunting to Zen Buddhism and matters of the spirit, including reported pieces on Yellowstone and shark-tagging in the open ocean, commentary on writers from Bukowski to Neruda to Peter Matthiessen, and a heartbreaking essay on life—and, for those attempting to cross in the ever-more-dangerous gaps, death—on the US/Mexico border. Written with Harrison’s trademark humor, compassion, and full-throated zest for life, this chronicle of a modern bon vivant is a feast for fans who may think they know Harrison’s nonfiction, from a true “American original” (San Francisco Chronicle).

One of the most interesting and entertaining bodies of work by any writer of his generation.”—Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune

Jim Harrison (1937-2016) was the author of thirty-nine other works of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including Legends of the Fall, The Road Home, Returning to Earth, and The English Major. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he had work published in twenty-seven languages.