Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Books Campaign: Grey Owl and Me: Stories from the Trail and Beyond

This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

We civilized humans are a complicated lot. Whereas most other animals are intimately connected to, and immersed in, their natural habitat, most modern humans have “cultivated” ourselves right out of the natural world to a large degree. Now, we have to go “back into nature” to experience anything remotely like the conditions that our ancestors faced for the majority of our species’ history. But we can get glimpses of that environmental immersion when we plunge ourselves into nature--and sometimes we can do more than just glimpse it. Some of us actually live a large portion of their lives and build a large portion of their identity around a naturalized, “wild” way of life.

Of course, their lives are still pretty complicated in many ways as far as being “in” nature goes, especially if they try to bridge the gap between wild nature and civilization. Archie Belaney, an English-born Canadian who was known to the world as Grey Owl, is a prime example of such complexity. In his new book Grey Owl and Me: Stories from the Trail and Beyond, Hap Wilson, the Canadian adventurer, guide, conservationist, and writer, engages with the legacy of Grey Owl, who was and still is a crucial mentor for him through his writings on the Canadian wilderness and the need to preserve it. Published by Natural Heritage Books/Dundurn Press, and with illustrations by Wilson and Ingrid Zschogner, the collection of essays comprises a narrative adventure into their shared homeland that is both personal and graphic (in more ways than one!).