Books for Earth Day And Beyond

The Monitor asked environmental writer Diana Kappel-Smith, author of ``Night Life: Nature from Dusk to Dawn'' (Little, Brown & Co) for a short list of books suitable for Earth Day. A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC AND SKETCHES HERE AND THERE by Aldo Leopold, London: Oxford University Press, 1989

A beautiful edition of a grand classic. Leopold is no hands-off nature lover; planter and cutter of trees, hunter and watcher of grouse, this man lives and works with what he loves.

PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK by Annie Dillard, New York: Harper & Row, 1988

Best in the long line of Walden-style right-in-your-backyard books; already a classic, as much because of the magnificence of its style as for the eccentricity of its contents.

SOUTH LIGHT: A JOURNEY TO THE LAST CONTINENT by Michael Parfit, New York: Macmillan, 1987

In the best tradition of polar explorers, Parfit takes us to Antarctica with him; his keen eye takes in icebergs and humanity with equal accuracy. Compelling, exhilarating, beautifully written.

THE END OF NATURE by Bill McKibben, New York: Random House, 1989

This needed to be said and needs to be read; a spare, exact, terrifying, coolheaded account of the effects our culture has had on our home planet. A life-changer.

LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS ON LISTENING TO MAHLER'S NINTH SYMPHONY by Lewis Thomas, New York: Viking Press, 1983

Quirky magnificent essays on the human body and soul and mind, and on the business we call science, and on the world we're not so separate from as we think, from the ``biology watcher'' who gave us ``Lives of a Cell'' and ``The Medusa and the Snail.'' ENCOUNTERS WITH THE ARCHDRUID by John McPhee, Farrar Straus & Girroux, 1987

McPhee puts a powerful radical environmentalist together with ``three of his natural enemies'' and takes us along. Amusing, fascinating, as important now as the day it was written; the best account of 20th-century man versus nature that there is.

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