Friday, December 4, 2009

What to give the book lover in your life

A Journey Through Literary America by Thomas R. Hummel

This is a book that will help you understand the link between some of America's great literary voices and the landscapes that inspired them. It is, however, more than just a collection of beautiful photographs that make it a pleasure to look at as well as to read. It is a literary pilgrimage of photography and prose that took writer Thomas Hummel and photographer Tamra Dempsey two years and twenty thousand miles to compile. There are over 140 photographs and biographies ranging from James Fenimore Cooper to Washington Irving.

Here's a sample of the section on Willa Cather:

To confront the Divide—a swath of land from the Little Blue to the Republican River in Nebraska—was to feel such a pang of disorientation. But in a short amount of time, the country began to work on Cather. “I was little and homesick and lonely…” she later observed. “So the country and I had it out together and by the end of the first autumn the shaggy grass country had gripped me with a passion that I have never been able to shake. It has been the happiness and curse of my life.”

This is a beautiful and engaging book that manages to capture the natural wonders that influenced some of our favorite writers.

Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild by Michael Forsberg

The great plains were once one of the greatest grasslands on the planet, but in our settling of the west they were ploughed under and fenced in, as well as overgrazed. The grasslands today are some of the least protected and most endangered spots in North America. The photographs, essays, and maps of this book give us a taste of what still survives; the natural communities and native creatures of a vast and extraordinary landscape. Between fall of 2005 and winter of 2008 Michael Forsberg traveled roughly 100,000 miles across 12 states and 3 provinces of Canada to complete the photographic work for this project. There are also essays by Great Plains scholar David Wishart and wildlife biologist and rancher Dan O'Brien. The great plains are in desperate need of conservation and perhaps this beautiful book will help us all to recognize the wild splendor in this irreplaceable part of our planet.

1 comment:

Marie said...

I love it- I want it!

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