Masks are required in the Library and on the Bookmobile following guidance from the Johnson County Public Health Department.


Echo Mountain book cover

Echo Mountain

Lauren Wolk

jFICTION Wolk Lauren
Kids, Nature, Historical Fiction

When twelve-year-old Ellie and her family lose livelihood and move to a mountain cabin in 1934, she quickly learns to be an outdoors woman and, when needed, a healer.

Mari's picture

I loved this story, and it provides some pretty incredible perspective for kids in the modern age. Financially affected by the Great Depression, a family has no choice but to live off the land on a mountain. Ellie learns about her gift to heal when tragedy leaves her father gravely ill. Ellie uses the survivalist skills he taught her along with her own intuition to save her family and foster a community on the mountain. -Mari

The book of eels : our enduring fascination with the most mysterious creature in the natural world book cover

The book of eels : our enduring fascination with the most mysterious creature in the natural world

Patrik Svensson

597.43 /Svensson
Nature, Nonfiction

"Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish-the eel-and a reflection on the human condition. Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the "eel question": Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery. Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal. In The Book of Eels, we meet renowned historical thinkers, from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Rachel Carson, for whom the eel was a singular obsession. And we meet the scientists who spearheaded the search for the eel's point of origin, including Danish marine biologist Johannes Schmidt, who led research efforts in the early twentieth century, catching thousands upon thousands of eels, in the hopes of proving their birthing grounds in the Sargasso Sea. Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson's journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant."--

Anne M's picture

Part natural history, part philosophy, and part eulogy for his father, Svensson writes beautifully about the mysteries of the eel, an animal that has beguiled scientists from ancient times to the present. -Anne M

The emerald horizon : the history of nature in Iowa book cover

The emerald horizon : the history of nature in Iowa

Cornelia Fleischer Mutel

508.777 /Mutel
Nonfiction, Nature, Science

Jason's picture

A terrific overview of the natural history of Iowa. Any state would be lucky to have such a primer for residents to better understand the world outside their doors. -Jason

The shortest day book cover

The shortest day

Susan Cooper

jE Cooper
Picture Books, Nature, Literary Fiction

A celebration of the winter solstice and the Yuletide season. As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again. Written for a theatrical production that has become a ritual in itself, Susan Cooper's poem "The Shortest Day" captures the magic behind the returning of the light, the yearning for traditions that connect us with generations that have gone before-- and the hope for peace that we carry into the future. Richly illustrated by Carson Ellis with a universality that spans the centuries, this beautiful book evokes the joy and community found in the ongoing mystery of life when we celebrate light, thankfulness, and festivity at a time of rebirth. Welcome Yule!

Casey's picture

Lofty, elegant, and achingly beautiful, Carson Ellis's illustrations are the perfect pairing for Susan Cooper's poem. Don't miss this true winter solstice celebration from and for the ages! -Casey

Drawdown : the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming book cover

Drawdown : the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming

363.73874 /Drawdown
Nonfiction, Science, Nature

Ten years ago, environmentalist, entrepreneur, and writer Hawken reported, in Blessed Unrest, on diverse activist groups working independently "toward ecological sustainability and social justice." The results of their efforts, along with those of numerous scientific inquiries, generated Hawken's latest contribution to the global sustainability movement, Project Drawdown. "Drawdown" is the point at which greenhouse gases will peak and begin to decline, "the most important goal for humanity to undertake." And one toward which, as Hawken and his contributors so assiduously record in this comprehensive and exacting compilation of vivid exposition and data, we are making progress. Hawken's coalition of experts in fields as varied as biology and economics, geology and engineering, along with such writers as Elizabeth Kolbert, Bill McKibben, and Michael Pollan, take full measure of the 100 "most effective solutions" in a meticulous inventory of current global-warming-reversing practices that are "commonly available, economically viable and scientifically valid." Richly illustrated and accessible, if fervently detailed, this enlightening inventory, backed by an open-source database, covers advances in energy, land use, food, transport, and buildings. The diverse discoveries and achievements, all lucidly explained, from modest domestic adaptations to infrastructure advances, forest restoration to wave and tidal energy, do attest, as Hawken observes, to the power of "our collective imagination, creativity, and conviction." A rigorous and profoundly important resource.

Candice's picture

Added by Candice

Just cool it! : the climate crisis and what we can do : a post-Paris Agreement game plan book cover

Just cool it! : the climate crisis and what we can do : a post-Paris Agreement game plan

David T. Suzuki

363.73874 /Suzuki
Nature, Science, Nonfiction

For decades, Canadian scientist, activist, and broadcaster Suzuki (The Sacred Balance) has spoken up on behalf of the environment. With journalist coauthor Hanington, he updates the message, taking into account the points established at the UN 2015 Paris Agreement. At that conference, almost all nations made commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set a date by which they would stop burning coal, oil, and gas. The authors remind governments, businesses, and individuals that honoring these "breakthrough" commitments requires making major changes. They acknowledge that fighting global warming is challenging and expensive, but contend that ignoring it would be catastrophic. They state that agricultural solutions should revolve around sustainably working with nature and storing more carbon in soil, and that technological solutions should include building a smart power grid and storage to manage renewable energy that is replacing fossil fuels. More controversial statements are about economics and politics: that producing carbon pollution indicates market failure, that mainstream economics must value natural capital and ecological services, and that governments must lead the global shift from fossil fuels. As in Suzuki's earlier books, the tone is practical about the means to make change yet passionate about preserving an environment that supports biodiversity and human civilization.

Candice's picture

Added by Candice

Climate of hope : how cities, businesses, and citizens can save the planet book cover

Climate of hope : how cities, businesses, and citizens can save the planet

Michael Bloomberg

363.73874 /Bloomberg
Nonfiction, Science, Nature

"The 2016 election left many people who are concerned about the environment fearful that progress on climate change would come screeching to a halt. But not Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope. Bloomberg, an entrepreneur and former mayor of New York City, and Pope, a lifelong environmental leader, approach climate change from different perspectives, yet they arrive at similar conclusions. Without agreeing on every point, they share a belief that cities, businesses, and citizens can lead--and win--the battle against climate change, no matter which way the political winds in Washington may shift. In Climate of Hope, Bloomberg and Pope offer an optimistic look at the challenge of climate change, the solutions they believe hold the greatest promise, and the practical steps that are necessary to achieve them. Writing from their own experiences, and sharing their own stories from government, business, and advocacy, Bloomberg and Pope provide a road map for tackling the most complicated challenge the world has ever faced."--Jacket.

Candice's picture

Added by Candice

Climate justice : hope, resilience, and the fight for a sustainable future book cover

Climate justice : hope, resilience, and the fight for a sustainable future

Mary Robinson

363.7 /Robinson
Nonfiction, Science, Nature

"Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people--people battling for food, water, and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate. The faceless, shadowy menace of climate change had become, in an instant, deeply personal. Mary Robinson's mission would lead her all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself. From Sharon Hanshaw, the Mississippi matriarch whose campaign began in her East Biloxi hair salon and culminated in her speaking at the United Nations, to Constance Okollet, a small farmer who transformed the fortunes of her ailing community in rural Uganda, Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change. Powerful and deeply humane, Climate Justice is a stirring manifesto on one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, and a lucid, affirmative, and well-argued case for hope."--Dust jacket.

Candice's picture

Added by Candice

On fire : the (burning) case for a green new deal book cover

On fire : the (burning) case for a green new deal

Naomi Klein

363.7 /Klein
Science, Nature, Political, Nonfiction

"For more than twenty years, Naomi Klein has been the foremost chronicler of the economic war waged on both people and planet-and an unapologetic champion of a sweeping environmental agenda with justice at its center. In lucid, elegant dispatches from the frontlines of contemporary natural disaster, she pens surging, indispensable essays for a wide public: prescient advisories and dire warnings of what future awaits us if we refuse to act, as well as hopeful glimpses of a far better future. On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal gathers for the first time more than a decade of her impassioned writing, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of our immediate political and economic choices. These long-form essays show Klein at her most prophetic and philosophical, investigating the climate crisis not only as a profound political challenge but as a spiritual and imaginative one, as well. Delving into topics ranging from the clash between ecological time and our culture of "perpetual now," to the soaring history of humans changing and evolving rapidly in the face of grave threats, to rising white supremacy and fortressed borders as a form of "climate barbarism," this is a rousing call to action for a planet on the brink. With reports spanning from the ghostly Great Barrier Reef, to the annual smoke-choked skies of the Pacific Northwest, to post-hurricane Puerto Rico, to a Vatican attempting an unprecedented "ecological conversion," Klein makes the case that we will rise to the existential challenge of climate change only if we are willing to transform the systems that produced this crisis. An expansive, far-ranging exploration that sees the battle for a greener world as indistinguishable from the fight for our lives, On Fire captures the burning urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the fiery energy of a rising political movement demanding a catalytic Green New Deal"--

Candice's picture

Added by Candice

Here : poems for the planet book cover

Here : poems for the planet

811.608 /Here
Poetry, Nature, Science

"HERE: Poems for the Planet is a lovesong to a planet in crisis. Summoning a chorus of over 125 diverse poetic voices, this anthology approaches the impending environmental crisis with a sense of urgency and hopefulness. Now more than ever is the time for this book as it seeks to galvanize readers, students, teachers, philanthropists and everyday people to address the realities of climate change head on and become individual catalysts for change. Here looks at the world with a renewed sense of courage, fighting fear that so often leads to indifference and cynicism. The anthology also includes an activist guide, created in tandem with the Union of Concerned Scientists, and an introduction by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. With these poems, we hope you will see with new eyes what the astronauts saw the first time they peered down from space at our tiny world"--

Candice's picture

Added by Candice