Support your local bookstores!

I know I’m a bit late for the official “Small Business Saturday” shoutout that happened November 24.  Hey, I’m new to the blog-o-sphere so please be patient with me.  But I did not want to pass up the opportunity to share with the world my favorite small business, a local bookstore called Book n Brush in Chehalis, Washington.

For me, a drive to the nearest town means at least 45 miles to anything resembling civilization (more about that in the future).  Approximately 48 miles away is a small, locally owned store called Book n Brush.  This intriguing little store was first started in 1969, then moved a few blocks up and added art supplies to their inventory.  Today they specialize in local authors and publishers, while still offering a wide array of popular titles.  And if you are looking for local artistry in soaps, jewelry, and handmade textiles, as well as the best art supplies in the area, look no further than Book n Brush the next time you are in the Chehalis, Washington area.

https://www.booknbrush.com/

Review: The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016

Editor–Amy Stewart

4 stars out of 5

I first came across this addition to the Best American series a couple of years ago (other titles in the series cover mysteries, short stories, true crime, sports, etc.).   I always look forward to the latest editions, and was excited to find a nearly new copy at a favorite thrift store for only $1, quite the steal!

The 2016 version offers 25 articles and essays covering a wide array of topics; from global warming and the illegal ivory trade to the dangers of working in a nail salon and the science behind the perfect sports bra.  There is the story of Dame Janet Vaughan whose research and dedication helped create national blood banks in London (A Very Naughty Little Girl by Rose George).  The Really Big One by Kathryn Schulz takes us into earthquake zones and is not necessarily pleasant reading for those of us living on large fault lines along the western U.S. coastline (I live in the Cascadia subduction zone in western Washington and thanks to Ms. Schulz I can now visualize the destruction a long-overdue 9.0 quake will produce, not something good dreams are made of).

As with any collection I’ve read over the years, there are always a few that I just can’t connect with (The Modern Moose by Amy Leach comes to mind), but several stories really stood out for me, including:

Rotten Ice by Gretel Ehrlich–A look at the effects of the melting Arctic ice on the native hunters of nothern Greenland.

They Helped Erase Ebola in Liberia.  Now Liberia is Erasing Them by Helene Cooper–The shunning of the men who burned the bodies of Ebola victims.

The Lost Girls by Apoorva Mandavilli–How autism affects girls differently than boys and the need for further studies.

My Periodic Table by Oliver Sacks–Perhaps my favorite piece.  In one of his final essays before his death in 2015, Sacks shares his thoughts on taking comfort in science even with the spectre of cancer nearby.

If you’ve ever enjoyed reading magazines like National Geographic and Discover, or you just like to explore something new,  be sure to check out The Best American Science and Nature Writing.  2016 was a very good year indeed.