Tag Archive: books


It seems that my first book, Claiming Sacred Ground, which came out ten years ago, is circulating for free online as a PDF. (I just downloaded it myself to see if it’s the real thing; it is. Do a PDF search for it if you want it.)

I don’t mind people downloading it — it’s a good way to look at it before deciding if you want to spend money for a hard copy. The hardcover is pricy — or was when it came out. But it’s also attractive and nice to hold in one’s hands, and you can now find it cheap. (Ask me if you want one for under ten bucks.)

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A new book by Tim Ingold is always good news, especially one that — like his 2000 collection Perception of the Environment — brings together several years’ worth of work into one volume. Ingold describes Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description as “in many ways” a “sequel” to that earlier book, and it’s interesting to examine the territory he’s traversed since then.

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What books, published over the last ten years, have contributed most cogently and profoundly to our thinking about the relationship between culture and nature, ecology and society? (That’s to name just two of the dualisms this blog regularly throws into question.) Who have been the most important ecocultural theorists so far this century? And which are the most important publishers in this area?

Below is a highly subjective “top 10″ (sort of) of the books that have most influenced my own thinking on these issues. It aims for a certain representativeness, a balance between the rigorously theoretical and the  theorized-applied, the established names and the new, and between the many fields and styles of thinking I’m aiming to encompass on such a list.

This is followed by a longer list of some 50 additional nominees. These include books that almost made the top ten and others that I haven’t read yet, but that have gotten enough mention in one or another of the fields and subfields I try to monitor to warrant their inclusion. Those fields include philosophy, social/cultural theory, geography, science and technology studies, environmental history, environmental anthropology and sociology, cognitive science, and emerging or interdisciplinary fields like ecocriticism, environmental communication, political ecology, biosemiotics/ecosemiotics, critical animal studies, affect studies, religion and ecology, and ecopsychology.

All are monographs (or close to it) first published in the English language between 2000 and 2010. In including titles published this year, I’m keeping in mind that a book can be influential even before it comes out, since the author is likely to be preparing the way for it — in articles and public presentations — for some time in advance.

I’m interested in hearing your suggestions for other books not on this list, as well as comments and votes “yay” and “nay” on any of the following. If there are enough “seconds” on any of these 60 or so nominations, or on any others anyone would like to add to the list, I’ll run a Survey Monkey style vote (and share it on relevant listservs) to see which book wins.

Finally, with such a long list, I’m bound to offend everyone who’s been left off. My apologies in advance. Remind me of your book (or, better still, send me a copy! ;-) ).

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